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Taking a Look Back: Horse Farming History

Tags: technology
DATE POSTED:September 16, 2019

We all know that farming animals include sheep, goats, camels, donkeys, horses, and pigs. But wait, and what about horses? Humans domesticated them more than five thousand years ago, whereas further partnership was based on food and transportation purposes since then. So, what happened after that, which forced them to lose their jobs in agriculture?

Although numerous students find it hard to track the historical events regarding horse farming, with some buy essays online from essay writing service platforms on the topic, we’re ready to provide a brief recap of events concerning agricultural history, which might be useful for educational purposes.

If you’re were interested at least once to trace how the horses were used for agricultural purposes, don’t miss a chance to review the information below.

Taking a look back

Taking a look back

Early Domestication

Humans domesticated horses more than five thousand years ago, which was believed of being motivated by transportation purposes. In terms of the uses other than farming, they could also be sacrificed alongside with such animals like cattle and sheep. However, as the civilizations progressed, they were becoming less of agricultural animals. They were instead being used for warfare purposes.

The situation changed drastically in the beginning of the second millennium when people started using horsepower for hauling and plowing intentions. Eventually replacing ox, horses were widely used in farming, which was obliged to fulfill the plow purposes in most cases. In other situations, they were used as animals to cart goods. Starting from that exact point, they were associated with farming for another nine centuries.

Second Millennium/ Tull’s Seed Drill

Although the historical account throughout the second millennium is a bit vague regarding the use of horses in farming, we may say for certain that they were used with plowing purposes. A real revolution occurred after 1701 when Tull’s seed drill was invented. It wasn’t only revolutionary for agriculture as a whole but also detrimental for horses. They were becoming more popular to use in planting seeds.

The main benefits for the use of horses included the field fertilization, reduction in the number of manual labor, and the stabilizing costs of horses. So, we may say for sure that horses were becoming the most widely used animals in farming in the aftermath of Trull’s seed drill, which wouldn’t change much in the following decades.

Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

If to trace back to the times when horses were widely used as the farming animals, one might refer to the farming patterns during both the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The crucial point was that horses were believed as being the main assets of the farmers’ households. However, what was valued the most, which forced to use horses widely, was a general versatility of these animals.

Not only they could assist in plowing, seeding, and other farming techniques but also be used for transportation of wagons and carriages. Versatility and universality were the most valued features, which were also decisive for the immense growth of the horse population across the globe. Other than that, we should add that a horse became an iconic symbol of a farm, meaning that a loss of a horse generally meant the demise of the entire farm.

Twentieth Century

The overall efficiency of agriculture in the discourse of the twentieth century was diversified and easily distinguishable in various time frames. More precisely, the beginning of the century was characterized by the increase of farming effectiveness, achieved merely by the decreasing costs for these animals. Similarly, the farmers could afford to have a few units instead of just a single one, which was continually enhancing the overall productivity of all farms.

However, the situation was drastically changing because of the invention of a tractor. During the 1920s, only the most significant farms of that time could afford one, which naturally meant the dominance of horses in the agricultural facilities. In the context of the US, the situation wasn’t changing because of the Great Depression, which similarly disabled the expansion of technology in agriculture for years. Yet, everything changed soon.

Horses Finally Lost Their Jobs

Naturally widespread mechanization in the farming industry resulted in the structural changes in the farms. As expected, tractors became affordable for most farmers of the post-war era, which embarked significant changes to the industry as a whole. Basically, these transformations were even related to crops since farmers formerly grew oats in order to feed horses, which, in turn, were dominating as the primary farming animals.

Tractors required gasoline that was only available by purchase. As a result, the acreage of oats dropped rapidly since the 1940s, whereas fewer units were used in farming since then. The horsepower utilized in the farming contexts were declining since the 1940s, which represented an obvious sign on how farming history changed once and forever. Finally, our friends lost their occupations as the main farming animals.

Make Horses Great Again?

In the contemporary reality, some individuals raise awareness over the use of horses in farming. More precisely, people now claim that bringing back horses to agriculture would most likely to result in food security without any necessity to import anything. So, it would be reasonable to claim that the ideas concerning switching back from tractors to horse farming are somewhat expanding.

Regardless of how you perceive these notions personally, don’t forget about the fact that horses don’t emit greenhouse gases. In some remote areas across the globes, horses are still used for farming and other, agriculture-related intentions, which is a decent indicator of their versatility in farming

Final Remarks

Having traced back to the roots of horses’ use in farming, we recollected the historical data on the most potent changes. From a broader perspective, the history of humanity is intertwined with horses, eventually becoming a dominant reason for their domestication and further use in agriculture.

Therefore, horses, which were formerly used as the main farming animals, have abandoned their jobs in the middle of the twentieth century. Despite the fact that they’re still used in agriculture, the extent of horsepower nowadays is backpedaling, which means that they wouldn’t return to farming in the widespread scales. Luckily.

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Tags: technology

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