The role horses have played in helping build human societies goes back some six thousand yrs. ago.
Their role was so crucial that it could be said that the development of nations and cultures would have been quite different if they had not existed.
Long before humans appeared on the scene, horses were here. Their ancestors are between 55-60 million years old.
Theirs was an extremely complicated evolutionary process that led over millions of years to the modern horse.
Humans have only been here half a million years. Around the end of the Ice Age at about 10,000 BC many large animals became extinct in the Americas, horses included.
Horses came back again to our continent in the mid 16th century with the arrival of the Spaniards. Herds of wild horses and ponies, animals that live in the wild but descended from the domesticated stock are found in many parts of the world.
Over many generations, domesticated populations come to differ in certain ways from their wild ancestors. Their evolution takes a slightly different path alongside humans that "use" them but also protect them. Domestication in not simply imposed on other animals by people. Even though humans are dominant partners, domestication is to some extent a process entered into jointly by two species, to their mutual benefit.
Horses brought a revolution in power and transport, this dramatic development transformed the ability of humans to wage war, conquer other groups of men and women, enlarge territories, travel, build roads, railways, cities and countries, helping spread culture, language and a way of life.
The horses natural ability and behaviour patterns, when intelligently and sympathetically utilized, make them willing and able to follow instructions and to go in the direction, speed, desired by a human rider or driver. Much debate has taken place over the question of whether driving or riding came first. The two ideas, draught and riding must always be interconnected.
We hope some of these thoughts have helped you understand the scope of the relationship we share with horses. We are connected and responsible to their care and well being. BSE offers an opportunity to get to know our working friends better and in the process learn more about ourselves, historically and presently!
We believe at BSE if you want to know about something about working horses you should go to those who "live" their lives with them. Far too often their voices are silenced by censoring or assumptions made through misinformation. While we stand against all forms of abuse and neglect in any equine industry, there is a very radical movement to end the vital and ancient connection of working horses and humans. This movement is fueled by exploitation and manipulation of a concerned public who have forgotten the role horses have played alongside mankind. These growing, well funded movements threaten to end working opportunities for horses and humans everywhere! Look for more on our Support Working Horses positions and PLEASE when you see horses and humans working for a living by all means go for a ride!! Everyone wins! The human is able to keep his horse, the horse his home and the care he receives and you get to create a lasting and meaningful memory that will last a lifetime!
BSE is proud to be the retirement of the NYC carriage horses. To tour the stables and meet the drivers and caretakers that spend their lives with these amazing horses check out:
For an overview of some general concerns of the horses working in NYC please read
To support and learn about working horses, mules and donkey's worldwide please visit The Brooke
As a non-profit, we are entirely reliant on the generosity of individuals and organizations who support our mission to help horses, humans and Mother Earth. Please Join The Herd, a group of like-minded, caring individuals who know a small monthly donation can make a huge impact in the horses' lives. Help us reach our goal of 1000 herd members in 2013, establishing sustainability for BSE and security for countless working horses in need!