(Equus ferus caballus
) is a hoofed (ungulate
, a subspecies of one of seven extant species of the family Equidae
. The horse has evolved
over the past 45 to 55 million years from a small multi-toed creature into the large, single-toed
animal of today. Humans began to domesticate
horses around 4000 BC, and their domestication
is believed to have been widespread by 3000 BC; by 2000 BC the use of domesticated horses had spread throughout the Eurasian
continent. Although most horses today are domesticated, there are still populations of wild
and feral horses
. There are over 300 breeds of horses in the world today, developed for many different uses.
The horses anatomy enables them to make use of speed to escape predators and they have a well-developed sense of balance and a strong fight-or-flight instinct. Related to this need to flee from predators in the wild is an unusual trait: horses are able to sleep both standing up and lying down. Horses and humans interact in many ways, including a wide variety of sport competitions, non-competitive recreational pursuits and working activities. A wide variety of riding and driving techniques have been developed, using many different styles of equipment and methods of control. Many products are derived from horses, including meat, milk, hide, hair, bone, and pharmaceuticals extracted from the urine of pregnant mares.
is a breeder of Arabian horses
who lives and works at the Varian Arabians Ranch near Arroyo Grande, California
. She started her horse ranch
, Varian Arabians, in 1954, and raising and training horses has been her full-time occupation since 1963. She still uses vaquero
-influenced methods of training horses, although she has adapted her technique over the years to fit the character of the Arabian horse, which she views as a breed
requiring a smart and gentle approach. Varian has produced
some of the most influential Arabian horses, whose bloodlines are found in a significant number of winning Arabian show horses
in the United States. For her accomplishments as a breeder Varian has received recognition from the United States Equestrian Federation
, as well as several awards from various organizations within the Arabian horse industry. For her contributions as breeder and as a horse trainer
in the vaquero
tradition, she was inducted into the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame
The Carolina Marsh Tacky or Marsh Tacky is a rare breed of horse, native to South Carolina. It is a member of the Colonial Spanish group of horse breeds, which also include the Florida Cracker Horse and the Banker horse of North Carolina. It is a small horse, well adapted for use in the lowland swamps of its native South Carolina. The Marsh Tacky developed from Spanish horses brought to the South Carolina coast by Spanish explorers, settlers and traders as early as the 16th century. The horses were used by the colonists during the American Revolution, and by South Carolinians for farm work, herding cattle and hunting throughout the breed's history.
The breed is considered to be critically endangered by both the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy and the Equus Survival Trust, and there are thought to be less than 150 Marsh Tackies in existence today.
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