The rise and fall and rise again of the Heavy Horse

0 Conversations

Horse and Man

The history of man and the horse is one of mutual collaboration. No one knows when the horse first attracted mans attention as a food item, but as the relationship developed it became clear this animal could be more useful if it could be tamed.

The horse's first task was probably as a pack animal, at this time man was still a nomadic hunter and horses were invaluable on the yearly migration to the summer hunting grounds, and in the autumn south to the winter quarters.

As agriculture developed it spread through Europe and Asia, and man discovered the larger breeds of horse could plough alongside the oxen. The big breakthrough was man discovered how he could breed larger horses. It was at this stage, he found he could replace the pack horses burden and ride the horse.

The development of Riding was a big deal, trade expanded and man could travel further and colonise uninhabited areas. But trade also demanded pack horses and the trend to bread larger and stronger horses began in earnest.

As there are today horses would have existed in a variety of sizes, and as they were of the same genus breeding and development of horse types was possible.

Although this development would take some time, prehistoric man was intelligent enough to undertake the systematic development of riding and light load pack horses. *During this period the wheel was invented and carts and wagons started to develop*, trade routes expanded and Kingdoms and Empires were founded.

The development of a more organised society and the ending of the nomadic life called for a further development in use mans best friend.
Owing to the development of basic roads the first wheeled vehicles appeared and with that development, this would have exposed the fact the basic horse of the time was too small. This state of affairs can be confirmed by the stages in the development of the chariot.

Early chariots were propelled by 4 or occasionally 6 horses, this is a testament to the lack of horsepower that individual horses could supply. The Celts providing a good example of the flowering of the early chariot.

The big breakthrough came with the arrival of the early empires of China, Africa Greece and Rome who independently developed mounted armies. Horses were simply selectively bread and slowly became bigger and stronger. As stronger horses became available the armies quickly developed cavalry. Bigger and stronger riding horses were also used to establish the first postal networks.

The place in world history of the riding horse had finally established. Although there were still many pack and draught horses they were not much larger than the riding horses of the period. The need for the need for the heaver horse was becoming apparent, agriculture and trade horse needed more horsepower.

Part 2

Army's were destined to evolve and breed suitable cavalry horses until the 19th-century when it became obvious that the horse had no place on the modern battlefield.


Bookmark on your Personal Space


Conversations About This Entry

There are no Conversations for this Entry

Entry

A87904362

Infinite Improbability Drive

Infinite Improbability Drive

Read a random Edited Entry


Written and Edited by

Disclaimer

h2g2 is created by h2g2's users, who are members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the Not Panicking Ltd. Unlike Edited Entries, Entries have not been checked by an Editor. If you consider any Entry to be in breach of the site's House Rules, please register a complaint. For any other comments, please visit the Feedback page.

Write an Entry

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."

Write an entry
Read more