The first species of horse arose in Asia, Europe and North America between 45 and 60 million years ago, during the period known as the Eocene. Partial fossils of this diminutive species were discovered in England in 1841 by the paleontologist Richard Owen, who referred to it as Hyracotherium, or "mole beast."
Later finds gave a more comprehensive impression of how the animal must have looked, and the species was renamed Eohippus, meaning "dawn horse."
The domestication of horses is thought to have happened in Babylon, Assyria, Egypt and parts of Eurasia between 6,500 and 7,000 years ago. However, the precise date and location is unknown, with more conservative estimates attributing to central Asians in 4000 B.C.