I have been training horses as a professional for 30+ years, and have been involved in all facets of the industry including: breeding, training, showing and teaching amateurs. I have shown reiners, cutters and pleasure horses including english. Myself and my amateur riders have had sucess in the show ring.
My specialty now is cutting, cowhorses and starting young horses.
I always ask clients a question and it is usually the same question.And of course that question leads to a myriad of other questions and usually there is no real clear answers.
Who was the first man/woman to ever throw a leg over a horse?
What made them think that this was a good idea?
Why didn't the ride a elk instead?
Could you imagine hearing the ring announcer say "Lope your Elk please"?
I always picture two stone age cavemen sitting on a hill daring each other...
'Dude. go for it'
'No you go for it, I dare you'
'You go for it, I double dog dare you'
It's funny that there is no real definitive answer as to when horses were first domesticated , thought there are pictures of them appearing in cave art from 30,000 years ago.And they were clearly wild animals, mostly hunted for meat. But the first known use of horses as transportation was for chariots 2000 years BC and there is increasing evidense that horses were domesticated 4000 to 3500 BCE in the Eurasion Steppes. So certainly someone had to be the first to climb on a horses back.
Was he/she liquored up and did they do it on a bet?
I can only imagine theirs spouse out there saying "Go ahead and get on, but if you get hurt don't come crying to me".
What I really wonder about though, is what has become of the horses that we domesticated. Those that used the horses as transportation and as a, for lack of better words 'tool' to get work done really did care for them. They revered the horse in all his/her glory. They treated their horses as my father treats his car.
They knew that if they did not take care of the horse that they would not be able to go anywhere or get their jobs done.
And there are times that I think that the first people that got domesticated the horses truly did them a great injustice. Look what we have done to the horses that we so love.
Did they use things such as Chain Gag bits or Kimberwicks?
But one would think that if they used a harsher bit when the horses were first domesticated that it was out of ignorance and not to get the horses to set his head. As they learned to work with the horse,certainly they figured that you can soften and supple a horse with the use of a lighter bit. However,I tend to think that when man first started to domesticate horses, he used a halter when he started to ride rather than a bit. But I could be wrong, that has happened in the past.
I imagine that as they started to work with the horse that perhaps they looked at the mechanics of the movement of the horses.And as they learned how the horse moved they used that knowledge to make themselves better horsemen. The trainers of today were not the first to discover that of the horse drives from behind, then it makes the work is easier.( On a personal note, I have a profound fascination of the mechanics of horses movement,and it has been a tremendous help throughout my career. Watching the movement of every horse indivually.)
What has changed form the days of old, is the invention of money, the Horse Show and the show mom/ show dad!
Next Friday we discuss who was the lucky bastard that first nailed a shoe to a horse foot and what he was on when he did it........ Poor Bastard!
By the way everyone, there are only 91 shopping days left until Christmas!