Re: Equids

whittet (
28 Dec 1994 14:22:25 GMT

In article <3dfsvs$>, (Kathleen Hunt) says:
>In article <3denej$>, whittet <> wrote:
>>Actually, although the earliest evidence for the domestication of the
>>horse consists of bridles from sites in Siberia, circa 6500 BC, there
>>is considerable evidence, tooth wear, various bone lesions, that suggests
>>the horse was domesticated from at least four places independently.
>>Horse I, Horse II, Przewalski's Horse and the Tarpan, in Europe, Western
>>Asia, Eastern Asia and Siberia. The dominent iron age horse traders
>>probably were the Scythians from the Ukraine.
>>The original 16 Spanish horses were Andalusian chargers, war horses
>>designed to carry Conquistadores in full armor. The only other type
>>of Spanish horse then used was the Arabian, which was used as a riding horse
>>for ladies, and some gentle men perhaps. The horses which the plains
>>indians used were much lighter.
>Hi --
>Have you got references for these? I'm very interested in the
>domestication of the horse and would love where you have gotten your info.

One source is Edwards "The History of the Horse", which I believe was
recently reprinted by Dover in Paperback.

There are four types of Horse:

Type I - "The modern Shetland Pony is a dwarf varient of Type I which, if of unmixed blood and living in
the relatively mild, wet enviornment of western England or Ireland, would not grow any larger."

Type II - "Was capable of the greatest variation in size: under favourable feeding conditions of open
forest or natural water meadows, it would achieve massive proportions."

"Most of the ponies native to Northwest Europe have the blood of types I and II in varying proportions"

"Przewalski's horse probably carries no blood other than Type II, but developed certain characteristics
which have modified it in response to the unusually harsh enviornment of saline or alkaline desert with
extremes of heat and cold, which it's increasingly restricted habitat in western Mongolia offers."

"There is one other possible descendent of these primeval types, probably of unmixed descent but
also modified, though in circumstances different from the Przewalski. From time to time there are
reports of yet another deep frozen mamoth being dug out of the permafrost in Siberia, and white
horses are sometimes mentioned in this connection."

"Wild white horses have been known to the Yakut Tribesmen of the Lena valley from time immemorial"

"This Siberian wild horse will probably prove to be essentially of Type II."

Type III - "Evidently this was the ancestor, or an ancestor of the Andalusian. It was much the largest of
these early types, averaging some 15 hands, and is the drought proof horse."

Type IV - "Native to western Asia and small, it was only about 12 hands and fine boned with a straight
or concave facial profile, silky, abundant mane and tail, in other words with most of the attributes now
regarded as indications of quality. It had a flat topped croup at the same height as it's withers, with a
high set tail. The nearest modern representative of the heat-proof horse is the recently identified
Caspian pony."

"The Tarpan, if indeed it was a wild race and not the feral descendent of once tame horses, was a
cross of types I and IV."

"The use of animals for pack arises sooner or later among all nomadic pastoralists who have been
living quite well on meat and milk, but are getting tired of carrying their own bedding, tents and cooking
pots. The analogy of primative camel breeders, donkey herds, even of ancient cattlemen and Yak
breeders bears this out. Only after this stage does any significant divergence in the desired type of
horse arise."

There was also a reasonably recent issue of a Harvard archaeological
periodical devoted to "The Domestication of the Iron Age Horse" which
focused on toothwear and the bone lesions associated with bits and bridles

There was an article in Scientific American on the evidence for the
domestication of the horse in the Ukraine some time ago, and there was
a blurb in Science News about the discovery of a bridal associated with
a burial dated to 6500 BC.

>I thought the Przewalski's horse had not ever been domesticated. What
>are Horse I and Horse II? Are they terms for the proto-Arab desert
>horse, or the northern European forest horse?

See above
>Finally, I'd be amazed if Spain really only had two types of breeds in
>those days. And in case you don't know Arabians are an extremely
>demanding breed to ride; perhaps they were used for women because Arabians
>are not very tall, but they're certainly not for a "gentle" rider.

The reports of the Spanish horses in the book
"The European Discovery of America" by Samuel Eliot Morrison,
Volume 2 the Southern Voyages 1492-1616, describes them as follows

speaking of Columbus's second voyage

"One curious element in the expedition was a cavalry troop
of Spanish lancers, who sold their blooded barbs in Cadiz,
purchased some sorry hacks, and lived high on the difference,
but the substitutes proved good enough
to terrorize the natives of Hispaniola."

despite their being "sorry hacks" apparently they were up
to carrying mounted lancers in armor.

Morrisons source for this is apparently the detailed account of
Dr. Diego Chanca, the fleet surgeon, which he cites in his book.

>to give you an idea, Arabians are variously described as "intelligent,
>loyal, and full of life" vs. "crazy, spooky, and difficult to train")

not exactly a "sorry hack"
>But I'll bounce that topic to those who know more, the people over on
>rec.equestrian. There's been an ongoing thread there on the history of
>Arabians and Andalusians and I'm sure they can contribute something to

See if they know what happened to these Anadalusians to turn them into
indian "ponies"?
>If we increase the size of the penguin until it is the same height as
>the man and then compare the relative brain size, we now find that the
>penguin's brain is still smaller. But, and this is the point, it is
>larger than it *was*. (Monty Python)