I don’t believe that the love of horses means all other animals are road kill, however I do believe that horses have a special status in human culture; it’s just that most humans have forgotten what they owe horses.I’d like to list out a few things that through the grace of the gods or just the make-up of horses have caused them to be our partners in building civilization.
I should probably save warfare to last, but this is what inspired this article for me. As a child I my dad had a couple movies that I was amazed by and scared by. One was Gallipoli and the other was the Light Horseman. Of the two my father liked the Light Horseman better, or I remember seeing that one the most.This particular movie was centered on the Australian 4th and 12th Light Horse Brigades and the “last successful” cavalry charge that occurred on October 31, 1917 WWI at the battle of Beersheba. Of course they put in the exciting conclusion of the mounted soldiers riding down on the Turkish artillery. I always found this terrifying, because I sure would not have wanted to be the Turks in this instance.
One would think that this was the last time that horses were used in modern warfare, and one would be wrong. Horses were used in WWII when the Germans were unable to create any motorized transport because its factories were needed to produce tanks and aircraft they used around 2.75 million horses, a few more than were used in World War I. Though these horses were not used in combat there were merely used to transport equipment.The only remaining operationally-ready, fully horse-mounted regular regiment in the world, today, is the Indian Army's 61st Cavalry. Of course horses are used today by the Police Department and search and rescue.
“The horse, with beauty unsurpassed, strength immeasurable and grace unlike any other, still remains humble enough to carry a man upon his back.” ~Amber Senti
Picture used from Museum Wales site.
Sometimes these equines were housed underground, and even lowered down shafts to be moved to where they were needed. They, of course, would be used to haul the mine product from where it was collected to where it needed to be delivered, and then loaded on a wagon or in later years, trucks.
(Pit Pony story here)“There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.” ~Winston Churchill
My mother had Encephalomyelitis when she was eight, this was during WWII. As a result the doctors told her parents that she would always be a runt and a weakling, so her parents sent her to horse camp. Ideally this was to toughen her up, it did the trick! This was also during the Polio era when parents would send their children to horse camp for Therapeutic Riding (thought I’m pretty sure that it wasn’t called that then!) .
I recently posted an article in the “Sacred Horse” Facebook group about how Therapists were using horses to help people overcome anxiety, depression, grief and low self-esteem. Full article here.There are even Guide horses for the blind! These are miniature horses, however, according to the Guide Horse.org website, “The Guide Horse Foundation was founded in 1999 as an experimental program to access the abilities of miniature horses as assistance animals. There is a critical shortage of guide animals for the blind and guide horses are an appropriate assistance animal for thousands of visually impaired people in the USA. ”
One little fella, Cuddles, even found his way on Oprah
Picture found here.