Horse culture

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A horse culture is a tribal group or community whose day-to-day life revolves around the herding and breeding of horses. Beginning with the domestication of the horse on the steppes of Eurasia, the horse transformed each society that adopted its use. Notable examples are the Mongols of Mongolia, and the Native Americans of the Great Plains, after horses were imported from Europe, particularly from Spain, during the 16th century.

History offers many examples of horse cultures, such as the Huns and other peoples in Europe and Asia. Horse cultures tend to place a great deal of importance on horses and by their very nature are nomadic and usually hunter-gatherer or nomadic pastoralist societies. For example, the arrival of the horse in the Americas revolutionized the culture of the Plains Indians. The horse increased mobility: the ability of the horse to cover a lot of ground in a very short period of time, allowing Native people to easily move place to place, bringing on a nomadic shift in their culture with an impact on transportation, trade, hunting and warfare.

However, there were also disadvantages to adopting horse culture. These included the risk of horse theft as well as the increased responsibility of caring for the horses and keeping them healthy. Social structures of the community also had to shift to accommodate the physical space for horses to graze and feed easily.

References[edit]

  • Orland Ned Eddins, Spanish Colonial Horse and the Plains Indian Culture [1]