Re: Equids

whittet (
28 Dec 1994 15:38:16 GMT

In article <3dge3u$>, (Tara) says:
>whittet <> wrote:
>>"WIlliam C. Wilson" <> says:
>>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.
>>>Most of our modern large horses are
>>>the results of (relatively) modern breeding practices and needs.
>>Yes, particularly as regards the medieval knight for a sturdy mount.
>>>(ie.. you don't need a big strong fairly fast horse to pull a plow,
>>>chariot, wagon, etc; but you do to carry a 180 lb man, 80 lbs of
>>>armour and 20-30 lbs of weapons at a galloping charge. Once you have a
>>>horse like that, It is great for pulling large heavy wagons if you
>>>don't have an armoured knight to carry around of course. You could
>>>pull the same wagon with several smaller horses of course, too.)
>>This would argue against the introduction of the Spanish Andalusian horse to
>>the Americas as the progenitor of the lighter mustangs.
>I'm sorry that I missed the start of this thread, but are you aware that
>the Andalucian isn't all that big of a horse?

I will certainly defer to you as as expert horsewoman. I am interested in
the possibility that if man and the horse coexisted in the Americas during
the same period that the horse was domesticated elsewhere in the world, the
same reasons which led to domestication in those places would apply in the
Americas as well. If not, why not?

The reported extinction of the horse in the Americas after sixty some odd
million years of sucessful adaptations, followed virtually immediately
by the reintroduction of virtually identical sucessors in the same
enviornment seems odd. The horse seems to have survived both climate
changes and the introduction of man in the Americas. What killed it off?
When did this occur? Did some gradual dimunation of its range occur as a
result of its approaching extinction? Might there have been some survivors
even so late as to have contributed to the genetic pool of its sucessors?

It's average size is about
>15.2hh...MUCH less than the warmbloods seen today. I'm a 5'11" gal and
>the Andalucians are a little in the small size for me. Granted they can
>carry my weight and are stocky horses, but they are no larger (other than
>sheer mass) than some Arabians I've seen. ;)

The pictures of "Indian ponies" I have seen, seem to be rather less than
15 hands (5 feet). They have convex as opposed to concave faces, they seem
less bulky than Andalusians and less delicate than Arabians. I admit my
ignorance, please correct me where I am wrong.
>The Hispano, another Spanish horse (referred to as a "Spanish
>Anglo-Arab") is a larger horse...usually in the range of 16+hh. (BTW
>1hh=4 inches and this measurement ends in the area where the neck and
>back meet, the withers).

I was of the impression that the later we get the more breeds there are,
but that at first, in Spain, particularly amongst soldiers, the range
of acceptable breeds might be somewhat limited?
>Also, considering some of the "lighter breeds" developed in Europe as
>descendants of the Andalucian, such as the Frederiksborg and the
>Knabstrup, there is no reason to think why such similar breeds developed
>in the Americas. The similarites between mustangs, Appaloosas and
>Knabstrup ought to be taken into account. And don't forget the ancestry
>of the "engineered" Quarter horse.

Would you eliminate the possibility that some native horses survived to
contribute some genetic material? Would it be possible to test the DNA of
horses to exclude that possibility?
>Also, no mention has been made thus far of the Galiceno who are descended
>from the Garrano and Sorraia ponies of Portugal and Spain. Or what about
>the horse known as the "native mexican?" It is descended from breeds
>such as the Andalucian, Arab and Criollo. Both the Galiceno and the
>"Native Mexican" fit very nicely into the catagory of a "light horse" and
>fit the "wiry" description of a Mustang to boot.

I would be interested in the evolution and distribution of this
"native mexican" breed in North America between 1610 and 1770.

Do you think it is light enough
to fit the description "pony"?
>Other light horses descended from the Andalucian stock are the graceful
>Paso Fino, the long-legged Mangalarga, the Criollo (Crioulo, Costeno,
>Morochuco, Caballo Chilero, and the Lhanero), the Alter Real and the
>Lusitano. I'm sure there are more, but I can't remember them at the moment.
Why did so many breeds evolve from the single
source so quickly?

>Now, I'm not exactly doubting what people have been saying (remember, I
>missed quite a bit of this very interesting thread), but I'm curious to
>know what research has been done in substantiating that there were horses
>already running free in the Americas just prior to the introduction of
>the Spanish stock.

That is a very good question. I am by no means certain that the horse
did survive in the Americas, even in pockets, or that it was ever
domesticated in the Americas, even thousands of years prior to the Spanish
and the event of its extinction, but I have no evidence as yet to exclude
the possibility either.

I don't know if there are enough fossil records to clearly identify the
pattern of the horses decline and re-emergence in the Americas, or to
show if there was evidence of domestication such as tooth wear and tarter
buildup from eating grain. does it refute the simularities between
>the mustang and other horses developed on the Americas? Also, where is
>it being established where the mustangs would get their "colour" as it
>were (I must have missed that part as well...)? The special colour
>traits (tovero, overo, tobiano, leopard, snowflake, spotted blanket,
>palomino) have so far only come from the spanish stock (Andalucian to be
>specific) as a modern day trait. There has been some theory that the
>Andalucian is either distantly related to an Asiatic horse who appeared
>only in early art, or is an entirely different creature. But then the
>Andalucian is also descendended from the Barb.

This is where the material on horse Types becomes interesting.
Are the special color traits a step along the path of becoming
a white coated horse, or are they an adaptation to help the
horse blend into the shadows and escape from large predators?

Also, as indicated by the names, some of a Spanish entomology,
some apparently not, there are some questions about all of these
coming only from Spanish stock, as it presumes that some of the
Spanish stock included horses which developed
from Spanish stock in the Americas, which is the point to be proved.

I have heard that some indians rode bareback, only developing indian
saddles relatively late in their use of the horse. How would the fossils
of horses ridden without a bit and bridle show evidence of domestication?

If the indians got all the horses from the Spanish, stealing a few but
also trading for them, how come the Spanish did not provide instruction
in the use of things like bridles, bits, stirrups, cinches and other
such tacky details, but left the indians to develop their own forms of all
of these things?

Getting back to my original line of thinking, what if the horse was
domesticated in the Americas, long before the time of the Spanish,
isn't it as plausible to imagine people migrating from the Americas
to Siberia with horses, as coming the other way without them?

Let me know what you think,


> _
>Tara R. Scholtz University of Maryland at College Park >@)
> or McKeldin Library (V(_
>=================================================================^^\< ==