The horse has become a faithful friend and helper of man since time immemorial. Endurance, grace, and beauty make this animal indispensable on the battlefields, in travel, hunting and in agriculture, in sports. The progenitor of the modern horse, scientists consider Eohippus – an animal that weighed a little more than 5 kg and lived on earth more than several tens of millions of years ago.
Throughout the history of the development of mankind, the horse has been a faithful friend and irreplaceable helper, a source of pride for the rich and the breadwinner for the poor. Most often, the horse was used for riding. Archaeologists find confirmation that our ancestors depicted horsemen as far back as three thousand years BC.
Horses live on average for about 30 years, but there are some unique ones that can live twice as long. So, it is a known fact that a draft horse, born in the UK, named “Billy”, died at the age of 62. It is believed that the years of a horse’s life can be compared to the periods of a person’s life. For example, 12 years of a person’s life is equal to one first year of a horse’s life. The next 7 years are equal to the second year of the horse. With this calculation, long-liver Billy lived for more than 173 human years. Experts determine the age of a horse by the condition of the animal’s teeth.
These unique animals, like humans, have not only developed senses: smell, taste, hearing, touch, and sight, but also a strong intuition that allows them to protect themselves from danger at the right time and protect their owner. The structure of the horse’s eyes is very interesting. They allow the animal to take in a panorama and see objects in color. It has been proven that horses have colored dreams. Horse hooves have another interesting feature. When pressure is applied to them, the blood rises up through the vessels, thereby promoting the circulation of the animal’s venous blood.
Throughout the centuries, many legends, interesting facts, and historical events have been associated with the horse. The closest and inseparable friend of man – the horse is sung in many works of art. Writers, painters, sculptors depicted this amazing animal in their works. Horses were given royal honors, such as the legendary Bucephalus, buried as royalty, and the horse of Emperor Caligula was appointed by the Roman senator.
Many countries have laws and customs that are directly related to horses. For example, in the African Maasai tribe, a person who is killed by a horse goes to heaven, and in the American state of Utah, an unmarried woman is prohibited from riding on Sunday. Some peoples consider the horse to be a sacred animal.
Equestrian sports, especially horseback riding, have a therapeutic effect for people with problems of the musculoskeletal system, improve posture, burn calories well. Scientists have proven that communication with these noble animals strengthens the nervous system, has a beneficial effect on the entire human body.
Over the years, by crossing various species, more than 160 species of horse breeds have been bred. Distinguish between riding, draft, light-harness, and other breeds of horses. Of course, Arabian horses are rightfully considered the most purebred and unique breed.