Horses: Humanity’s First Technology

Bonus — alcoholic milk dispenser!

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Have you ever considered the origination of horseback riding? At some point in history, humans and horses existed separately on the planet and didn’t have a single thing to do with each other. Now — we’re atop their backs forcing them to do silly footwork in dressage and jumping hurdles for no good reason.

According to the Internet, humans started riding horses 5,500 years ago. In Kazakhstan. Where, interestingly, locals apparently consume horse milk, fermented until it’s mildly alcoholic. Now that’s a milk that’ll help put your kids to sleep at night!

So, this first rider, in the fourth millennium B.C., gazed upon a horse and thought to himself: “I should put my body on top of that creature’s body.”

He figured out a way to capture the horse, and then, because he was the original horse whisperer, convinced that horse to do his bidding, which was to take him to the grocery store post haste so that he didn’t have to schlep food home in a reusable animal pelt bag slung over his shoulder anymore.

Now he had a horse he could measure with his hands. This steed is 15 hands high! Not too mathematically sound, since everyone has different sized hands, but such as it is. Because the horse was our first vehicle, we measure car strength in “horsepower,” despite it being an embarrassingly obsolete comparison.

The horse doesn’t want us on its back. It resents our lazy and imposing ways. No one belongs on anyone else’s back unless it’s a koala or monkey baby clinging to its mother. Or when a human voluntarily carries another. But the horse never volunteered for this job.

How do I know this? Because they toss us off whenever they get the chance. I climbed onto a horse when I was a teenager, and he nonchalantly reared up, dumping me into a blackberry bush. Message received loud and clear, Mister Ed!

I say, we let ’em all go. Let ’em run wild. We’ll just tap them like kegs anytime we need a good dose of alcoholic milk.

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