Horse – the millennial man’s best friend. And the first people who tamed them were our ancestors! Of course, in geography domestication horses can be include and Mongolia, and Kazakhstan, and southern Siberia.
But the main place is Ukraine! This is proved by archaeological finds: the excavations revealed that in the middle of the IV Millennium BC there were not only domesticated horses – there were horse breeders, seriously engaged in breeding these animals, and maybe breeding.
In any case, the remains of a horse with a height of 144 centimeters at the withers were found, while ordinary horses of that time did not exceed 130 centimeters.
However, initially, people had domesticated the horse, not in order to race her or to transport the goods. Long before the horse began to serve man, he fed him. In some places his meat was preferred. For example, tribes who lived in territory of present France, more other meat loved horse meat: during the excavation of “cooking piles” in the field of Solutre were found more than 10 thousands of horse skeletons. Perhaps our ancestors felt that horse meat is well absorbed – and this is true: horse fat melts at a temperature of 30-35*C, while lamb or beef – at 35-50 *C.
And now in many countries still use horse meat. However, not everywhere, mainly in Asia and Africa. In Europe, the Christian Church has achieved to cancel this dish. The reasons for the prohibition are the same as the reasons for the persecution of cats: just horse meat is popular in the East, so Christians should not eat it.
About the ban on horsemeat wrote and Vladimir Manama in his “instructions for children”. However, the monks were in no hurry to exclude horse meat from their menu. Back in 1000, a table prayer of one of the Swiss monasteries said: “May you taste the meat of a wild horse under the banner of the cross.” And the civilian population of Konin was until the XVII century.
People also noticed the healing properties of fermented Mare’s milk – Mare’s milk. For a long time koumiss was the national drink of many Asian Nations. Since the V century BC it was used by the nomads of the Northern black sea region. And the Europeans learned about it only from the middle of the XIII century. The fact that the Asian people kept the method of making koumiss in secret, and the Scythians so cherished them that blinded slaves who learned how to make this drink. Of course, no one knew then that there were a lot of proteins and fats, vitamin C and antibiotics in koumiss. But they treated everything they could. And he really treats a lot: tuberculosis and scurvy, gastric diseases and anemia, neurasthenia and cardiovascular disease, and even typhoid.
To the East the horse was much later and already domesticated. It is no coincidence that the word “horse” in the language of the Sumerians – Mesopotamians – meant “donkey from a foreign country.” The first horses were highly valued, and each of them cost as much as ten hectares of field or six good slaves.
In Egypt, the horses belonged to very noble people. In the courts they were in charge of the princes, and the coachmen were considered very respected people.
But then the horses were harnessed to the cart, and the Golden era of chariots began, and with it the revolution in military Affairs. Proof of this are the phrases exchanged between the rulers of different countries: “I am well. May there be prosperity for you, your wives, your friends, your country, your nobles, your horses, your chariots.”
Horses harnessed to chariots became the main striking force in the army and decided the fate of entire States. Bursting into the enemy’s location, they literally mowed people like grass (Egyptians made chariots with far-reaching axes – a kind of long knives). In Asia Minor chariots were even more powerful – they were three people. These chariots were carried by horses, and they played the main role.
After one of the decisive battles Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses II admitted that he was saved by horses. Names of horses were quite symbolic – “Victory at Thebes” and “Cheerfulness of spirit”.
A little later in Assyria guessed to get out their carts and to sit down on horses astride. However, the first cavalry was far from perfect: the warrior-shooter could not shoot a bow on the move, and the second rider was forced to hold the horse by the bridle so that the first could shoot. And sat the Assyrians on horses is not quite confident (as usually sit on donkeys closer to the rump). And yet, thanks to the cavalry, they began to win very important victories.
According to another version, first got not riding the Assyrians, and the Scythians, the inhabitants of the Northern black sea. No one knew how to control a horse like them – nomads literally akin to a horse. They shot at the enemy at full gallop, even turning, striking from such a position pursuers. This famous “Scythian shot” was later adopted by other Nations, but then only Scythians could shoot like this. Due to the ability to use the horses they had captured the whole of Western Asia, and it was winning horse of horse-drawn.
Numerous cavalry became the main force and the Mongol-Tatars. There were a lot of horses in Batu’s troops, and each warrior led three or even five spare horses, on which riders were transplanted from time to time. It gave the chance to army for days to overcome sometimes on hundred kilometers and to appear in places where people didn’t suspect of their emergence. The horse became a major factor in the victory of the hordes of Batu. During the journey, she took food even from under the snow, content with frozen grass, reproduced herself, she served as a source of food for people, supplied material for the manufacture of shoes, gave milk, which was stored in the wineskin, also made of horse skins. During the crossings, the water-bottles were inflated with air and rafts were put on them – of course they were pulled by horses.
Meanwhile, in Western Europe, a knight (which in German means “rider”) put himself and his horse in armor. Horses had a hard time: often they dragged more than 200 kg, and in the sides of their spurs pierced up to 20 cm. First, the knight had one spur – on the left leg; he forced the horse to turn so that it was more convenient to cut with his right hand. But during the Crusades they had to cut right and left, and thus to acquire a second spur. Since knightly times horses became larger. This was taken care of by the monks who inspired the Crusades; they bought the strongest horses from the peasants, got offspring, chose the most tall and strong ones.
Only after the advent of firearms the cavalry from the main kind of troops moved to the auxiliary. But for a long time hussars, lancers, Dragoons, cuirassiers participated in the battles. The horses under them were tall, strong and fast. They were brought out on special stud farms, and each regiment, company or squadron often had their own horse suit.
There was another, more peaceful application for the horse. And who knows what is more important: fame, received the horse on the field of battle, or the quiet glory of the past? The Persian king Cyrus created the first in the history of mankind equestrian service of messengers. After he had determined which way the horse could go before it needed feeding, he arranged special stations at appropriate distances. They were horses, grooms and the caretaker. The duties of the latter included sending and receiving emails, the shelter people, the replacement of horses. Everything was so thought out that in the following centuries little has changed fundamentally, improved only in particular.
In the Roman Empire everywhere were laid excellent roads with stone pillars, which indicated the number of kilometers from the starting point – a huge column that stood in Rome. Thus, from whatever point of the Empire did not leave the man, he always got to Rome (still preserved born then saying – “all roads lead to Rome”).
The roads ran state couriers, and then rolled the chariot light speedy buggy and more voluminous chetyrehbalnoy, which transported heavy packages.
For many centuries horses rode on the roads of Europe, delivering letters, orders and messages, helping people to communicate with each other, helping to unite. However, over time, some letters were not enough. There was a big commercial game between East and West, and its participants – merchants and politicians – had to know the news. Therefore, in Venice, and then throughout Europe began to appear “flying sheets” – a prototype of the modern newspaper, and from the XVII century has been a real newspaper with the characteristic names of “Postal Bulletin” or “post office newspaper”.
Starting with the horse, postmen in many countries moved to the carts, and next to them sat the passengers. This was a very significant event, thanks to which later appeared long-distance and international communication. In carts and wagons, carriages and stagecoaches, the carriage and cabs, carriages, cabs, carriages and carts pulled people to each other, connecting between cities and countries.
Drove the horses the coachman (which is why we are moving is called the chase). Manage horses, especially flying three, it was not easy – it was necessary for a few hours a day to sit with outstretched arms, and on each hand sometimes had a load of 25 kilograms.
And if the horses carry – trouble! It is no accident that some carriages and carriages had special devices that make it possible to quickly unhook the carriage from the horses. If the horses were harnessed one behind the other – tandem, it was necessary to make sure that all the horses went in the back came to the front. Sometimes Zug consisted of five or even ten horses. Therefore, coachmen were valued in many countries, sometimes they were exempt from taxes and military service.