Brief History of Horseback Riding

Horses are one of the oldest species of animals on earth, dating back to over 50 million years in origin. At first, they were treated primarily as a source of food by our ancestors, but soon their intelligence and transportation value to led to their domestication by humans. The earliest traces of domestication of horses can be traced backed to the Eurasian steppes of Kazakhstan around 3500 BCE. Their domestication led to huge steps forward for humans in terms of agriculture, warfare, and transportation, things which were unimaginable started to happen, thrusting civilization forward.

The first historical evidence of domestication of horses and the way they revolutionized transportation for the next few thousand years came in the form of their integration with chariots, found in burial sites in the Ural mountains.

In the next few thousand years, the size of the average horse shrunk as most wild breeds were wiped out with the domesticated horses surviving primarily in the evolutionary chain. The Botai culture was the first human tribe to domesticate and use horses for transportation, leading to the invention of ‘bit’. However, most of the horse riding gear that we see today is the result of using horses in warfare, which required riders to be as safe and secure as possible while riding at high speeds on horseback.

The development of the harness and other riding equipment evolved from the application of horses in war. The first harness was used by the Egyptians in 1600 BC for chariots first used during the Hyksos invasion. The next big invention came in the form of stirrups around 400 BC, first used by the Assyrians in their war efforts. The modern saddle was first invented by the Romans around the 2nd century AD and turned the Roman cavalry into something ferocious and fearsome that all their enemies feared. To learn more about horseback riding in the 21st century, visit

Until the early 1920s, before automobiles took over, horses remained the most efficient and common human transportation method not only in America but all around the world. Nowadays horses are mostly ridden for sport and hobbies. The cultural and traditional values of horses are still large in many parts of the world among many indigenous tribes who still live life the primitive way. In Canada and certain places in America, horses are still used by locals for traveling and other purposes. Horses are amazing animals and riding them is one of the most fun activities you could ever do.