Horses or Equus ferus caballus to use its scientific name, have been around for centuries and can be found all over the world.
As of 2008, it was estimated by the Food and Agriculture Organisation, that 57% of all horses worldwide are in the Americas, 23% in Asia, 11% in Europe and the remaining 9% in Africa and Oceania.
With over 300 known breeds, horses are generally divided into 3 categories, which helps to define their use.
These are also known to be spirited, they are generally fast and have endurance. The are called hot bloods either because they come from hotter countries, such as Egypt or they are hot tempered and highly strung.
Thoroughbreds fall into this category and are the ones seen in horse races, they are the most popular, fastest and well know horse breeds. This breed is so well known that the use of the term ‘thoroughbred’ is used in everyday language when referring to speed.
You could describe any of the fast sports cars that have been built for speed, think Ferrari, Porsche, Lotus Elise as thoroughbreds or the BMW Z4. You could also describe the way in which 100m sprinters run as thoroughbreds. They all have elegance in the way they look and move that is reminiscent of a Thoroughbred.
These are the workers; they are draft horses and some ponies and are suitable for slow heavy work. They are breed for strength, but also possess a calm and patient demeanour required to pull a carriage full of people or any type of hauling work required. The Clydesdale, and Shire breeds are examples of cold bloods.
Horses within this category are a combination of hot and cold bloods. They are used for creating breeds to be used for precise riding purposes. They ensure we would always have horses.
They are good all round horses for light work, riding and competitive events such as dressage.
The Hanoverian is an example of a warm blood.
So, what can horses be used for?
Now we know the 3 main categories horses fall into, here are a few things they can be sued for.
In times gone by, it was common practise to use cold blood horses to plough the fields, now it is more common for tractors to be used. Even so, horses are still used on farms to get around properties and to gain access to areas vehicles are unable to reach.
2. Law enforcement
Still very much in use today, it is not uncommon to see Police officers on a horse, usually for ceremonial purposes, but also to aid with policing crowds during sporting or music events.
3. Sporting activities
Polo, horse racing, show jumping, dressage, trail riding/horse trekking, rodeos are some of the sporting activities performed with horses.
For either practical or pleasure, there are organised hunting events held where horses are used as a means of transportation. Fox hunting is one such example, where horses are used to chase the Fox through the countryside.
Although not part of readily available meats in countries like the UK and USA, as horses have a ‘pet status’ in these countries, horse meat is a source of protein and contains little fat, it is sweet in taste and tender. Along with other types of meats, a good source of protein with little fat can be found in the best whey protein isolate provided by a leading supplements brand
Horses have been around for a long time and will continue to be around in the future. They have adapted to their environment and have formed a strong bond with humans ensuring they would continue to exist.