All about horses

A horse jumps in competition. Horses have been raised as work animals, athletes, companion animals and meat animals.Domesticated horses were tamed around 4,000 years ago from wild horses in the Near East. While cows used to do the manual labor that farms needed, domesticated horses were able to do the same work faster.

Horses were also used for transportation because they were capable of moving much further than humans at a much faster pace. Before horses, travel was limited to how far a person was willing and able to walk; with horses, people became able to travel over land at a faster pace. When food was scarce, horses were able to serve as a source of meat for the weary travelers.

Horses are known as somewhat picky eaters, but they will eat grasses, hay and some grains. One of the downsides of allowing horses free reign over a pasture is that they graze over very large areas, using up an entire pasture in a relatively short period of time. Farmers who allow their horses out to pasture will usually rotate the horses through different sections in order to allow the grass to grow back.

Though people living in rural or underdeveloped areas still use horses for manual labor and transportation, industrialized countries have mostly replaced horses with cars and tractors. In the United States, horses are usually raised as pets, companions and athletes for horse races.

Learn more about how humans use horses

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