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Horses and connections

Two articles about horses popped up in my feed. It is interesting how close to us some animals may be, or simply revolutionize the way we live – as in the case of horses. In modern cities, dogs and cats may be the most intimate species different from our own, bonding strong connections in our lives, reinforcing our necessity to make connections to feel good and healthy (even if it is with social media).

According to the article in Brain Pickings (I recommend the site), horses started to be domesticated around 5000 years ago, long after dogs, sheep, and cattle.

Then, the horses gave us a big leap. Probably the single most important advance made by horses was to make the world smaller.

Dogs helped us hunt (among many other activities). Sheep and cattle gave us food and clothes.

And horses helped us go beyond the valley.

Our exploratory nature was fed by the convenience of riding. Horses are so strong and obedient that they can travel kilometers away. The neighborhood was not so far anymore. We could go to the North. We could see the beaches and forests. The biggest mountain. And, as nicely put in the article, the new lover, a new friend, the new connection – or a new enemy. The so important connections - for us as a species - started broadening in scale.

Cultures would be shared. Cultures would be destroyed more quickly too.

It took a long time, some thousands of years, or more precisely, a scientific revolution, to develop trains and cars, and so on. And we are still measuring the machines’ power by horsepower, as a legacy from this loyal partner.

The other article is a technical one, saying that around a bit more than 1000 years ago horses became more comfortable to ride. Probably Vikings, in Iceland or United Kingdom, had developed a breed that occurred to have a new mutation, which gave horses the ability to walk more smoothly.

The explorer may thank the horse, as the new lover, the new friend, or the new seasoning.

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