British ponies

The origins of British ponies

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Like nearly all of Eurasia and much of Africa, in Britain the horse has been the primary power source for humans in order to carry out activities such as farming, mining, transporting both goods and people and also for the projection of power by means of military. The earliest horses found in what we now call Britain date from some 700,000 thousand years ago, well before humans as we known them had evolved in Africa, much less migrated to Europe. But when humans did make it to Britain it wasn’t long before they domesticated the horse four to five thousand years ago.
By the time the Romans arrived in Britain the Britons had integrated the horse until their culture most thoroughly and the Romans commented profusely on the horses of Britain and the fearsome chariots that they pulled.
Now nearly all the horses in Britain are used as means of entertainment and for pets. Equestrian sport round the world even bears the epithet of English riding owing to the vast popularity of riding sports in the UK. Having a look at the supreme popularity of betting on riding on websites with free sports picks  shows that the British love for horses has not waned over the years but in fact is stronger than ever.
Of course, now horses have been replaced practically since the invention of steam power and subsequently the internal combustion engine, but for essentially all of British history, or even global history, the horse was an intricate part of the affairs of state and the everyday Briton.
Horses were so highly valued in Anglo-Saxon society, both in Britain and also in continental Europe in parts of modern-day Netherlands and Germany, that horses are common motifs in early Anglo-Saxon Christianity. Vikings also used horses, but owing to the fact that they travelled across seas is small boats they were considered infantry more than cavalry. On the occasions that the Anglo-Saxons defeated the Vikings it was often due in part to the utilisation of the horse, and this is one of the reasons that in mythology dating from that time the horse is often present when miracles are performed.
However, it wasn’t until the mediaeval period that horses were bred for specific purposes. Prior to that a horse was essentially a horse. In the mediaeval period up to the industrial revolution that all changes and people bred horses for stamina and durability if they were going to a part of the military apparatus or for strength and reliability if they were going to spend their days ploughing the fields.
It was in this period that distinct breeds were developed and with them distinct types of saddles and styles of riding. In fact, it’s safe to that in those times we begin to see the origins on the equestrian arts as we know and love them today.