This past weekend, seventy people from six countries gathered at CalPoly Pomona– once the site of the Kellogg Arabian Horse Ranch and the Pomona Quartermaster Remount Depot– to discuss “why equine history matters.” It was a spectacular weekend, with twenty-six papers on horses, mules, donkeys, and the occasional zebra, ranging from ancient Egypt to the effects of cloning and genomics on highly traditional industries. We had tours of the W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Library and the W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse, and were able to consider the effects of history on practice. In all, presenter agreed equine history matters because it is our history, and because it makes us look outside ourselves. We had the first official meeting of the Equine History Collective. The future of equine history is wide open, and as an organization we will be “cheeky” and aim high.
Equine History 2018 was made possible by the W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Library (and their spectacular staff), the Don B. Huntley College of Agriculture & W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Center, UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, UCLA 17th & 18th Century Studies, and the Western History Association. Because many of us are horsefolk, and because as an organization we are committed to making historical research available and accessible to the public and the equine industry, we were also thrilled to have donations from SmartPak, Cowboy Magic, Mane ‘n Tail, and Exhibitor Labs. And, as our keynote Richard Nash noted: it’s hard to top being serenaded over lunch by one of the conference organizers!