The Star Trek franchise is a little horse-lite. For those of you new to the series, it’s a bunch of shows (and movies) that take place in space, a place where horses mostly don’t live. I have not yet seen a precise analysis of the challenges inherent in transporting horses into space, but I am unwilling to believe that those challenges are trivial. This explains why the most common reason for the appearance of a horse in an episode of Star Trek is that someone is having some kind of telepathically-induced hallucination. Star Trek characters like horses just fine—Chris Pike rode a little; Jim Kirk rode a little; Picard was passionate enough about it to travel the galaxy with his own saddle, in case he got the chance to ride and found a horse whose back and withers fit his tack. (I know some of you are dying to know—I asked Melinda Snodgrass, and she said it was a dressage saddle. She does not know the maker.) There’s a longstanding historic relationship between military command and horsemanship, and it’s nice to see that Starfleet has officers who maintain the tradition.
It won’t matter much in the end. In the Star Trek universe, real horses are doomed.