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The sound is unmistakable: the thundering hooves of a running horse. Horses have been racing across the landscape for more than 50 million years—much longer than our own species has existed. But once horses and humans encountered each other, our two species became powerfully linked.
Humans domesticated horses some 6,000 years ago, and over time, we have created more than 200 breeds, from the powerful Clydesdale to the graceful Arabian. As we have shaped horses to suit our needs on battlefields, farms and elsewhere, these animals have shaped human history. They have also captured our imagination and hearts. Millions of people rely on horses as their spirited, dedicated, much adored companions.
The History Behind Horses
Drawings of the horse dated around 3000 BC exist and the book of Job refers to the horse and his rider hunting ostriches. Cave drawings from the Bronze age depict horses pulling chariots and the earliest records of horses being ridden were found in a tomb in Egypt dated to 1600 BC.
The first written text about the horse was produced in 1400 BC and concerned the training of chariot horses and around 360BC Xenophon wrote "The Art of Horsemanship", which is still relevant for today and covers riding the horse as well as its care and the pshycology of the horse.
The History Behind Horses Continued
Around the 4th century horses were being ridden in saddles with stirrups which was an Asiatic invention widely adopted after the time of Charlemagne and allowed for the development of mounted knights.
During the Ice Age, herds of horses roamed every continent, except Antarctica. But sometime during this era, horses mysteriously vanished from North America. One theory explaining their disappearance is that horses migrated west to Siberia across a land bridge.
There are about 75 million horses in the world.
A horses height is measured in hands. One hand equals about four inches.
A foal usually inherits its fathers (sires) looks, but its mothers (dams) constitution and personality.
Horses have a keen sense of smell, hearing and direction. Their skin is sensitive and will respond to the slightest touch.
The types of Horse Events
The History of Show Jumping
Horses are no longer the engine of our economy, but they remain part of our lives in stories, books and films. Whether imagining a knight in shining armor, a dusty cowboy or a fairy tale princess, it is hard to imagine a hero without also imagining a horse. Horses are more than just part of our history. They have become part of who we are.