The modern horse, and its evolutionary cousins, originated in North America as Eohippus, a multi-toed mammal about the size of a lamb.
Domestication occurred in several parts of the world and, once domesticated, the equine species had a profound effect on human culture.
Equines, whether used as a pack animal, or as a draft animal, or, especially, as a riding animal greatly facilitated early human activities.
They enabled humans to travel further, which increased learning and opportunities. Obviously, they were an asset in hunting and in warfare. They also served as a source of dietary meat.
All of the above are still part of their role in domestication, of course, but it is human progress that subsequently led to the equine’s major roles in today’s societies. Consider the role of equines now in agriculture, recreation, and in “Equine Assisted Therapy” (EAT) for humans with certain specific disabilities such as autism, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, etc.
Although the cow is celebrated as “The Mother of Mankind” and the dog as “Man’s Best Friend”, it is the horse, which had the most profound effect upon human progress.
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