I hope this helps any writers interested in writing paranormal or any writing or interested in very early ancient history or even futuristic writers. Enjoy.
“For hundreds and hundred’s of years, perhaps millennia, the favorite food of man on the steppes of Asia and Europe was the horse. Expert that he had become in the herd’s migrations, man soon learned to startle a band of horses into stampeding over the edge of a precipice and to finish off the beasts by stoning them to death, then to drink their blood, suck out their brains, and devour their flesh–(You wouldn’t believe me if I hadn’t quoted this)…Then after he had mounted and become master of that back and sat high above the earth as if on a fatal throne, man discovered within himself, pride and vanity and they were never to leave his heart.”
(Gianoli, Luigi, “Horses and Horsemanship through the Ages.”New York: Crown Publishers,1967.)
But as Mr. Gianoli said, it took a millennia to do this. For starters, the early horse was barely the size of a small dog and had five toes that all disappeared over time except for the middle/third finger that grew into a hoof from the toe nail. No, I’m not kidding because the history of the horse is all but set in stone. And in some cases it really is. In 1882, Mr. William Whitney and crew discovered 800 fossils of Equidae/horses in the Mississippi Basin and at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in a perfect state of preservation. So they were here on the North America continent, but due to a “cosmic upheaval, the horse became extinct. If you’ve been reading Yahoo News lately, this cosmic upheaval did dinosaurs in too. So no more horses on this continent until the Spaniards brought them. Obviously horses survived in Europe and across that continent. By the time Rome was a power, horses were barely larger than a big pony.
In the beginning, it is believed that there were considered three strains of horses that evolved to be tall enough to ride/use.
The Mongolian strain from the steps of Siberia and was angular, thick-set, and sedate. They were the blood of horses in Hyksos, Chinese, Vandals, and Genghis Khan, Tamerlane and Muhammad II.
Another strain was the Aryan strain from steppes of southern Russia and became the horse that carried conquerors to occupy the Mediterranean, Anatolia and Mesopotamia. This horse was more agile, fine-drawn and impressive in bearing that led over time to the Arab and Thoroughbred.
The third strain is the wild horse of Europe that was sacred to the Celts, Gauls and Iberians. It was chunky , raw, heavy, and my bet is the ground stock of the draft horse and the future stead of the Knight.
“Less strong than the ox, but fleeter and more agile; less dangerous than the stag or elk the horse came into use long after the ox and ass. ” (Gianoli) But man finally figured out how to make rope via fiber cords of grass or leather. So man simply tied a cord around the horse’s jaw where the teeth aren’t and the bridle was born. However, the first Sumerians controlled their horses with a ring in the nose like the ox. A blanket was put on the back to keep the rider off sweat but staying onboard was risky if it slipped and slid about. So the next item created was a belt-like thing or longer rope to tie around the blanket to keep it in place. Voila…the saddle. Still no stirrups though. I understand those came from Asia as a leather loop for the foot.However, hitching a horse was to come much later because harness is a very complicated design. And so began the world of horse accoutraments…other wise known as ‘tack”.
Who is believed to be the first to tame the horse? The winner is the Chinese because of the statues that date back to 3500B.C. to the Fu-Hsi dynasty. Second place winners are the Mongolians, Sarmatian, Turks, Scythians. And on down it goes to history.
Over time, the horse became a symbol of wealth and power. that only the rich could ride. In Rome, the class of Equestrian were the early rich class who could afford a horse to go into battle. Later, the man who bore this title probably never sat on a horse. But nevertheless, he had acquired the image.
I think the future of the horse is to end in the zoo. Grazing land will become scarce and unless it can feed the masses. So, what use will a horse serve beyond a pet. Again, only the rich will be able to afford the joys of owning a horse. So, one day you]ngsters will gaze upon this animal and wonder how any man or woman could ride one of those creatures, much less conquer anything with it. I hope I am wrong. What a waste of such beauty, grace and friendship.
(Thank you Mr. Gianoli for your information on horses. This won’t be the last time I shall turn to you for your knowledge.)