Over the next few weeks, Americans will become ever more familiar with Big Brown, a racehorse whose quest to become the first Triple Crown winner in 30 years will play out in the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park in New York on June 7. Whether the big bay colt wins or not, New York City will keep the equine in the spotlight with “The Horse.” The exhibit, a comprehensive look at the enduring bond between horses and humanity, opened last Saturday at the American Museum of Natural History and will remain on view until Jan. 4 of next year. “Other than humans themselves, the horse is perhaps the single most important species in human history,” said Ellen V. Futter, president of the museum. “The story of how we have shaped horses and how horses have shaped us is profound and complex.” The exhibit explores early interactions between horses and humans and shows how horses have influenced major changes in warfare, trade, transportation, agriculture, sports, and many other facets of human life. Visitors are immediately captivated by a high-definition video projection of a thoroughbred moving across a giant screen. They also encounter equipment such as a full suit of armor from 15th-century Germany (above left) and a horse-drawn fire engine from the 19th century. Call 212-769-5100 or visit the museum website at amnh.org for more information.