The History of Horse Riding
The Origins of Horse Riding
Today, horse riding is a pastime enjoyed by hundreds of thousands across the world every day – it’s become so common, in fact, that it’s an intrinsic part of most countries that were influenced by the British during their expansion across the world in the 1800s. But horse riding itself is extremely old, dating back thousands of years to when humans were searching for more efficient methods of transportation.
While horse riding is now almost completely dominated by recreation and professional riding, it’s worth remembering how impactful horses have been in the development of the human race over the ages, making horses one of most valuable animal companions. It’s also a pastime that has started to lose its worldwide appeal as more advanced forms of entertainment have arrived, such as theatre, internet, and the best NBA bets.
The Earliest Evidence of Horse Riding
While it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly when humans began to ride horses, some historians believe that it started around 6000 BC, although others believe that it was a little later in 4500 BC that we began to make uses of horse riding as a viable form of transportation. Historians have found ancient drawings of horse riding going back as far as 3000 BC; with some cave paintings depicting horse-drawn carriages from the Bronze Age.
But the most concrete evidence we’ve found so far of our ancestors using horses for practical purposes can be found in a tomb in Egypt that dates back to 1600 BC, where the Egyptians would use chariot horses for both transportation and warfare.
The First Nation to Ride Horses
There has been some controversy surrounding which ancient people exactly started riding horses for the first time. The Brahms of India, for example, claims that they were the first horse riders in history. The Chinese, on the other hand, have said that their ancestors began riding horses as early as 4000 BC, and started breeding horses in 1000 BC.
By the time of the Middle Ages, humans had already started creating entirely new breeds for a variety of different, practical reasons. Function was important, and there was emphasis put on breeds that were able to either work the fields, pull soldiers into the battlefield, or for pulling carts. The two main uses for horses today, namely Western and English riding styles, can be dated back to Medieval times, and are still both prevalent today.
Western Riding Style
Western riding style is believed to have originated some time in the mid-1600s, in both southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Here, horses were mostly used for work purposes, especially on the newly acquired fields of the American people. They were also used for cattle farming, which gave rise to the modern cowboy that has become a staple of American history and culture.
English Riding Style
Originating in Europe, English horse riding is seen as the traditional form of riding horses, and was brought to the United States not long after the British had set up within the country. The style focusses on the appearance of both the rider and the horse, as well as communication between the two. It’s still popular today.