Jan 02 2011
Horses and man have come a long way together and its interesting to a historical view of horses.
Facts aren’t useful without the historical information. The Bible makes reference to horses being used for ostrich hunting in the book of Job. Pre-historic drawing of horses have been dated at around 3000 BC – so its evident that man and horses have a long history together. Bronze age drawings of horse and chariot have been discovered in caves throughout the Middle East and Mediterranean region. The earliest evidence of horses can be traced to Ancient Egypt and some hieroglyphics featuring horses are dated at 16000 BC.
Horses were first mentioned in written text around 1400 BC. Xenophon , a Greek wrote The Art of Horsemanship around 360 BC , it covered areas such as horseback riding , the care of horses and even focused on psychology. The book still has value as a reference book today.
Horses were found on all the continents except for Antarctica prior to the Ice Age. During the Ice Age horses mysteriously vanished. Some theories suggest that horses migrated west via the land bridges in Siberia.
During the Dark Ages around the time of Charlemagne the use of saddles and stirrups were first noted. These were thought to have originated in Asia. It was on the Asian Steppes that many Historians believed Horses were first tamed and domesticated. The domestication of horses and the use of saddles and other riding gear resulted in the use of mounted knights into warfare. Horses were reintroduced into North America around 1519 by the Spanish in Mexico.
These were not the first horses in North America though ,and the fossil record shows fossils dating from about 55 million years ago. Around this time they seem to have become instinct until their reintroduction to North America by the Spanish.The fossils from this era are useful in evaluating the evolution of horses.
Horses have played an important role in History throughout the world and they are one of the factors that have enabled mankind to dominate the planet. The role of horses has been primarily in the areas of transportation , warfare and agriculture. Today horses are mainly used for pleasure , but who know where mankind would be without his faithful horse at his side.