Their galloping and trotting, whinnying and neighing abilities catches our mind and soul imaginations. Evidently, horses have revolutionized the human history more than all other domesticated animals. From the ancient explorers, to the time of the knights, horses were used as a carriage to new frontier as war compatriots to great conquests.
History of Horses
History holds their glory days as past, yet these hoofed animals have enthralled us till date, depicting a nature distinct program of sparkling detail horses. Since their earliest human interaction in the steppes of Mongolia and the famous breakneck speed children race perching on stallions ten times bigger, to Georgia fields , known by its people’s confinement to wheelchairs in search of new freedom from saddle, horses have played key roles as the masterly beast of burden. The rare glimpses to the world’s most endangered horse explore the horse whisperers’ art mystery that explains how trainers’ gentle touch can transform a hostile bucking bronco to become a stately show horse.
The superior breed of the horse species has a scientific name Equus caballus, the modern horse that inherits desirable genes of the miniature Shetland ponies and the draught power of the massive draft horses. Nevertheless, the horse existing in today’s world evolved from a different ancestor.
It is estimated that sometime in the past beyond 50 million years, a small fox-sized creature crept about the forests of North America, feeding on selected fruits and leaves. The animal had an archaic body height which was a foot high at the shoulder, a long tail and short-snouted head resembling a dog’s face. Actually, it had sported pad feet similar to those of a dog but its toe tip had a tiny hoof rather than a claw. Amusingly, modern horses have a toe which is a hoof and vestigial bumps high up the leg.
A century ago, when the creature’s fossil was first discovered by fossil hunters, it was named Eohippus, Latin word meaning: the dawn horse. They supposed it as an initial link of the modern horse’s evolutionary chain. Without a doubt, several museums and school books do have displays and graphical images showing this spotless, predictable evolution, whereby horses have gotten larger, transformation from the numerous toes to a single hoof, and growing longer teeth adapted to gnawing prairie grasses.
Horses in Today’s Society
Nowadays, researchers illustrate a much more complicated explanation for the horse evolution, lessening the dawn horse hypothesis like a mere joke. However, they accept that the dawn horse is indeed an evolved predecessor nature of the modern horse but not as direct as it was done before. Through paleontological findings, horse fossils show that they have varied in size over the eras. The earliest species were larger which then gave way to smaller ones, their number of toes also have evolved over the years. Furthermore, some earliest horses discovered are believed to be direct predecessors of the modern horses are revealed to be vaguely related cousins- a cut branch on a hierarchical family tree.
Nonetheless, a branch of the family tree kept on growing. Nearly a million years back in time, it gave out a group of small animals, pony-sized, that galloped in large herds all over the plains in the world. Their behavior is projected to be like that of the modern wild horses, and also used their tails as amazingly fly swatters and signal ensigns. In addition, snorted the air as means for smelling predators and food scent.
However, they became extinct around less than 10000 year ago. Even horses in North America were wiped out around this time. Only horses and in Asia and Zebras survived this. We can blame over-hunting and climate changes as the main causes for their extinction, but the cause lacks a factual answer.
Which brings up the question, where did the current horse population come from? Historians explain that Spanish voyagers came with the animals at the time of their journeys to the new world around 1500s. They were left untamed and they reclaimed the prairies procreating vast wild horse herds.
Presently, overpopulated herds of horses still roam the west region of America. As a population control initiative, the American government ceases hundreds of horses annually for adoption. The initiative aims at preventing the horses from causing habitat degradation. In addition, the efforts aim at fostering the age-old rapport that makes the horse one of the most revere and fabulous animal partner.