Thursday, May 7, 2020

Horses - Amazing Story about this wonderful creature

Horses - Amazing Story about this wonderful creature 

it gives us is all speed endurance power yet his wild spirit burns bright spark of ancient myth pride of king and conqueror he was the backbone of civilization history was forged to the beat of his hooves even now he still lays claim to the heart with all the bold beauty that is the horse summer sets off fireworks in the mountains of southern Montana spurred by heat and hunger wild horses converge on the cool green Heights and sparks begin to fly Stallions spar and court young mayor's in a drama as old as the hills the Mustang has become a symbol of the American West but some say he's a new comment of these parts even a trespasser the truth is tangled in the long and winding history of his kind it began some 60 million years ago in the forests of North America living on leaves a creature the size of a fox walks the underbrush on padded toes in time forests give way to grassy plains legs grow long and toes become nimble fools in a body built for speed about a million years ago the first true horses spread across land bridges to Asia and Europe their numbers swell then slowly decline perhaps due to climate change or the impact of a two-legged predator to Ice Age hunters the herds must have seemed inexhaustible but by eight thousand years ago horses were 

extinct in the Americas and dwindling elsewhere into memory and myth then somewhere on the steppes of Eurasia at least four thousand years ago the horse inspired someone as more than just a meal it may have begun as a shamans ritual or a reckless teenage prank but some brave soul took a quantum leap and changed the world forever the horse utterly changed our sense of distance and speed he carried us forward in space and time and made our world smaller great equestrian cultures arose and thundered across antiquity today most have vanished but here on the steppes of Mongolia little has changed since the time when the horse became a way of life nomads still measure their wealth in livestock and move vast herds with the seasons small but hearty Mongolian horses endure a harsh climate and grow a thick winter coat when pasture is meager they can survive on very little Mongolian nomads also herd sheep goats and cows but horses are their greatest pride revered they are largely reserved for riding and one other important role Mongolia's national drink called Iraq is fermented mares milk life in the saddle begins early in keeping with a local proverb a Mongolian without a horse is like a bird without wings in July thousands of nomads set up camp on the edge of the capital city on LAN batter they come to celebrate nanyem an ancient religious festival national competitions of traditional sports are held including two days of horse racing one of the country's top horse breeders hang medic travelled over a week to take part and what will be his 30th natum from a herd of 400 head he has brought his 12 fastest horses also in tow are his grandchildren for good reason riders must be under 12 to compete at madame training however is no child's play it's what hang medic lives for I you do sermon are passing horse training is a passion my father was a great trainer and he passed that on to me it's the same for most Mongolian people we compete at Naadam to see who has the best horse and because we're so proud of our horses I think a fine racehorse is a symbol of good luck and happiness on the day of the first race preparations begin at dawn hats and bright silks will help families spot their little jockeys at a distance the distinguishing mark of a race horse is a leather tail wrap always wound clockwise four marks are also bound hang medic enhances the look with a charm bearing Mongolia's national emblem he has high hopes for this young stallion with an offering of mares milk hang medics wife invokes the sacred powers of nature to bless horses and riders a circle of incense purifies a drop of Iraq protects from harm an ancient Buddhist chant rings out for luck some 500 riders will compete in the first race parents on horseback swell their ranks by tradition they circle clockwise at a staging area near the finish line but the running of the race is not yet at hand the starting point lies more than 50 miles away in the open steppe to reach that point at a walk we'll take the racers some three hours which leaves time to kill for everyone else nomads like hang medic take the moment to catch up with old friends and trading partners for people who live much of the year and relative isolation there's also the irresistible allure of new faces for now small talk belies the drama that's erupting miles away as 500 horses reach the starting point and the race begins long before they can see the racers spectators crowd the finish line according to myth the dust kicked up by winning horses showers happiness and prosperity on all those it touches front runners have been galloping for nearly 30 minutes by Western standards this might qualify as an extreme sport but these are the descendants of Genghis Khan who forged the largest land empire ever known on horseback the blue sash of victory goes to the first five horses a flash of green tells hang medic his granddaughter has placed but a riderless horse sends him off in search of his youngest grandson after an initial flurry racers trickle in for another hour herd instinct alone will keep a horse going even one that lacks the fitness and conditioning required for a long-distance run for some the strain is too much when a horse dies on the racetrack the trainer is Dishonored but the child who has lost a beloved pet reaps only heartbreak a fall near the starting point dashed the hopes of hang medics grandson his horse is safe his bruises minor but his six-year-old pride will sting until the races are over madam concludes in the National Stadium with a parade of Champions hang medic is twice a winner his grandchildren take two of his horses through their victory laps a herald sings the praises of the winning horses medals and mares milk do them honor but for each little rider the highlight is a kiss from the president of Mongolia no other nation makes more of the horse fiery steed faithful servant he is all good things to the Mongolian people in return they may succeed in saving the last truly wild horse on earth before the rise of civilization his kind ranged throughout Asia and Europe alert and aggressive they were elusive prey with their camouflage of tonic coat their upright two-toned mainly these horses were already rare in 1878 when russian explorer Nikolai Zavadsky returned from Mongolia he carried a skull and hide that would prompt the announcement of a new species in a race for specimens stallions were slaughtered to subdue mares mayor's were killed to secure foals dozens died enroute to zoos and animal collectors in the West servoz keys horses were last sighted in the wild in the 1960s a decade later fewer than 300 survived in captivity only this endangered species was declared extinct in the wild in 1992 16 Przewalski's horses from European reserves touched down in Allah and batter their journey was the crowning achievement of Dutch conservationists and Mongolian authorities transports were blessed with mares mule as the horses arrived at a nature reserve established in their honor the homecoming delighted local people their name for the horses is taki the word also means spirit today some 80 free spirits roam a hundred and twenty thousand acres under watchful eyes Park Rangers closely track the animals health and behavior breathing success is high two generations have been born in the reserve to increase the gene pool horses are still brought in from the West but prospects for a self-sustaining population are promising Mongolia's preservation of the taki seems a fitting tribute to an animal who has given us so much domesticated the horse revolutionized our world but in the process he was also transformed the legendary Arab is just one of more than a hundred and fifty breeds some honed for work some for sport others for shear shell the Spanish horse boasts one of the oldest pedigrees his speed and stamina were praised by the Romans the famous Spanish Riding School in Vienna was founded in his name a dancers grace made him a favorite of monarchs and earned him the title royal horse of Europe today he inspires a new generation at the Royal Andalusian school of equestrian art in the town of Jerez in southern Spain few gain admission here only first-rate horses trainers and students a strict curriculum has produced several Olympic competitors the school also keeps tradition alive once a week the public is invited in to enjoy the splendors of another age in 18th century costume riders recreate the height of classical horsemanship as it was practiced throughout the courts of Europe most spectacular are the airs above the ground of course is naturally leap and kick when fighting centuries ago cavalry mounts were trained to perform these moves in battle eventually each gesture became an end in itself as formal as ballet a supreme effort the cabriole demands vertical loft virtually in place few can perform this exacting dance with the power and precision of the Spanish horse the purity of the breed is proudly protected in Spain yet his bloodlines extend far and wide for this was the horse who once conquered a new world some 500 years ago Spanish explorers rode upon the shores of the Americas some native people mistook man and mount for a single fearsome creature but soon they would make the horse their own through stealth and trade Native Americans embraced the horse it was said they came to each other like long-lost brothers some call him sky dog he opened vast horizons in this life and haunted their visions of the afterlife but this cult of the horse would not last by the 19th century Native Americans had been robbed of land and livelihood their beloved sky dogs were shot or simply set loose scores of Indian ponies joined strays and Runaways already thriving in the wilderness by 1900 over a million horses roamed the American West but not for long to make way for cattle and sheep public lands were cleared of animals considered worthless pests they were slaughtered by the thousands for pet food fertilizer and mere sport in the 1950s public outcry denounced the abuses still numbers had dropped below 20,000 by 1971 when a federal law was finally passed to protect the wild horse as a living symbol of the pioneer spirit of the West today the Bureau of Land Management oversees some 45,000 horses on public lands in ten states on the Montana Wyoming border the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse range is home to a herd of about a hundred and sixty most live in small family groups of several mares their folds and a single dominant stallion his role is to guard his harem and protect his growing offspring this stallion known as Raven is one of the most dominant on the range a heap of fresh droppings called a stud pile alerts him that potential rivals may be in the vicinity a band of young bachelor stallions prompts Raven to move his family to a safe distance then he advances on the intruders and confrontation becomes inevitable Raven may be outnumbered but at 10 years old his maturity and experience give him the advantage as he enters the fray his band stays put on the sidelines most clashes between stallions are more about asserting rank than inflicting harm and serious injuries are rare in the end the bachelors move on unscathed but Jason and Raven returns to his mares occasionally even mature stallions form alliances a stud named Starr man acts as a subordinate or lieutenant stallion to flash who has a mayor and full of his own Flash tolerate Starr man's presence but allows him no access to his lone mare in summer a waterhole fed by melting snow banks attracts this small band the mayor and joys of soothing bloodbath while her three-month-old fold plays with the idea but for now the water holds no appeal for flashes lieutenant stallion star man picks up the scent of another mayor and sets off in hot pursuit the mayor's yearling son tries to intercept star man but fails to impress such a mature stallion this mayor's own stallion must be just out of sight a boon for star man still she rejects his advances in the end she gets away and star man can only observe the tactics of a more successful suitor at times the prior mountains seemed heaven on earth for horses though much of the terrain is arid and wet is a harsh summer pastures can be glorious the horses have few predators to fear most were eliminated by ranching and land development with high fertility rates the horses numbers can increase by 10 even 20 percent a year and that means trouble in paradise in the last three decades the Bureau of Land Management has removed more than 100,000 wild horses from the range the round ups are intended to protect public lands from over grazing and ensure the health of the herds excess animals are placed in adoption programs but supply far exceeds public demand horse is deemed unadoptable live out their days in holding pens even now the fate of America's wild horses remains an open-ended question some four thousand years of domestication have failed to deprive the horse of his wild instincts his natural impulse is to flee the company of humans brian nubert makes a living not breaking but in his words starting wild or green horses this two-year-old quarter horse stunned born on the open range has never been handled on his ranch in Northern California brian is about to make first contact Brian will chase the horse until he turns to face his pursuer the goal is capture the animals attention and keep it I'll ask again good now let's see if he leaves with these hindquarters or if he leaves with the whole horse see here's the first little part is gonna happen here in just a second I think subtle shifts of body language keep the horse focused on Brian if his attention wanders I might see if I can get another step closer long as he's doing that I'll just let that soak in I'll take another step and I'll take another one here he's having trouble with it but he's trying you gonna have to let you here pretty soon and I'll try to direct him back there he adjusted in the rear quarters that's what I'm gonna need here within about 15 minutes the young stallion has mastered the maneuver now Brian presents a new challenge I might do just a little swinging here and see if he can stand that and I'll see about see if I can put that on there without hitting him in the face and I'll just as I come forward just let that go and it's kind of scary you can see that it's troubling to him a little it's all just put yeah that's a little pressure till till he finds his way toward me so he keeps thinking his answer is out of here but the answer is right there the horse turns to Brian for reassurance a critical breakthrough now he might reach for me let's see if you come in here I'll see if I can get another half a step that's guarantee see how he's reaching for me now here is a spot where you want to watch their ears cuz some of them OH they'll take a run at you now I'll just wait here till he reaches like that see him smelling me instead there's the first second time he's ever been touched by a human or he touched the human I guess instead now again let's see if this head shaking oh well this is cool I'll just keep a little tension there and I'll see if he'll reach for me and pretty soon I'll reach for him like right there we sort of met one another a little bit of touch in there a little bit more here see he's finding out he can touch me and reach for me now in a horse there's a spot in there where they can just turn loose emotionally as you can see in their eye and their faith a change that comes over them and they'll begin to drop their head and their eyes will soften and you can just see that they're beginning to trust you and then you can move right on and really advance then I'll get my weight shifted back he's feeling a whole lot better about things now he's finding out I can touch him and he won't get hurt less than half an hour after the first touch Brian tests the saddle important to swing this on so that it doesn't hit him know this Scrabble gradually just lays right over on their back like that I don't mind seeing one buck with the saddle because being a prey animal that's his responsibility to not let anything stay up there that's where the predator has the best advantage if he can get above and stay with him then he can have himself a meal pretty dreamy now but we'll see what he's like he feels that saddle on there I'd rather he test the saddle out before I get on then then after I get up there now I'm gonna move him off but ever so softly if I can I'm not trying to make him buck okay maybe I'll give him a little consoling did you get scared Bali it's been less than two hours since Brian began work a fairly routine first session he'll leave the saddle in place for a few more hours then give the young stallion a well-earned rest until morning yesterday's fear gives way to recognition and Trust today will be another turning-point social animals feel safest in a group as a comfort to the young stallion brian has Corral's several other horses see if he Wiggles I'll just wait here till he stands put pet him over here as if it was my leg and maybe get myself kind of set here before he gets on track I might let him go right out that way and I'll just ask him to go if he gets up skip set to get scared wants to run I'll just try to go with him people asked me about this new way of working with horses far as I know it's been around as long as there's been horses and men interacting with one another I don't know how the first man could ever got on a horse for the first time without having something working for him I'll get a little bolder as he gets a little more confidence I'll ask him here to come back to me with this rain little any he did the young stallions first ride lasts no more than 15 minutes and prompts a simple reward good let's just kind of soothe them sometimes give them a little hugging this is a place where they a lot of them just can't stand you have that close and if you can show them that it's okay to to be this close why it's real relaxing soothing kind of thing for them they really have to trust you by day three it's time to abandon the security of the corral a whole new life is beginning for the young stallion he trusts me whole lot more today I see and brian is left to ponder an age-old mystery about the nature of horses I often wondered how in the world would they allow somebody to get up on their back and guide them around they'll take us miles miles till they're totally you know tired pull wagons and pack loads and all kinds of things when actually they could kick us or her to serve us off anytime and yet they'll just work their hearts out for us if it's presented to them in a way that they can understand pretty special animal really special indeed no more than 60 years before the first moon landing the world was driven by horse power every sector of the economy relied on him transport and trade industry and agriculture no creature served us better in the building of civilization or its occasional overthrow for millennia the warhorse prevailed in battle if not for a horse what Alexander have been great who can imagine Attila the Hun or Napoleon on foot over a million horses served in World War one nearly 1/3 died in World War two tens of thousands perished in a battle of bullets and bars the age of horsepower was over and yet there are more horses in the world today than during the 1800s some 62 million in an age of technology perhaps we yearn all the more for the touch of something wild the horse is no longer changing our world but he can still change lives one at a time in central Georgia Carole Woolley has loved horses since she was a child in 1995 a friend told her about an old school horse who had seen better days as a fox hunter and jumper his name was carousel and he needed a whole carousel was in his mid to late 20s a little lame back 100 pounds overweight he was a little sway back just a good quiet lesson pony Carroll took good care of him local children wrote him soon carousel was a favorite in 1996 two weeks after the Summer Olympic Games the Paralympics came to Atlanta some 3,500 athletes attended for the first time equestrian events were included 16 Nations sent teams it was up to event organizers to provide horses for 62 athletes with a wide range of disabilities each would be judged on precision smoothness and harmony of horse and rider while performing a set pattern in the arena a call went out to horse owners for calm well trained mounts Carol Wooley volunteered two of her younger horses but Games officials were desperate for more she thought twice then sent for old carousel as well after a check-up he was quickly put to the test now later in the day they called him for Denmark and I met Brita Anderson it was a very small woman in a wheelchair and I thought to myself there's no way she's gonna ride this Pony she spoke English quite well and I asked you have you ever fallen off a horse and she smiled and looked at me and says many times far from falling on the day of competition Britta and carousel took Carol by surprise Britta and carousel made a connection he knew exactly what she wanted and she knew how to get the most out of him and he loved her I'm still not sure how she did it but they were just a perfect match the judges agreed the pair took first place in their division and received the highest score of all the competitors from Denmark Britta Anderson's writing in Midlands Cara says by Carol Woolley when they won the gold medal it was this little pony and a horse trainer from nowhere and a world-class rider and the thought that they actually won that gold and they earned it it was probably one of the high points of my life by the time she returned home Carol had decided to start a therapeutic riding school horseback riding can improve balance and muscle tone as well as a sense of Independence and self-esteem in people with all sorts of disabilities for Carol there's no greater reward than to see someone like 13-year old Sarah take her first ride we got you're naked you're riding kid when you take a child out of a wheelchair and put him on a horse he's immediately taller the walk of a horse mimics the same movement you get to actually walk on your own legs it gives him a freedom of mobility it gives them control over something that they may have never known before they can control where they're going Carol runs the school on grants donations and volunteers and carousel heads her fleet of gentle horses past their prime in August of 1998 at a regional show for riders with disabilities Carol decides to send carousel into the arena one last time nine-year-old Shawn Donaldson one of Carol's top students has never competed before it's a breathless moment for his parents make you owe me and browse we got a good horse on him there know what to do young boy an old horse our picture-perfect and take a blue-ribbon Shawn Donaldson a first fish on a final trophy for carousel the competition concludes with a ceremony as a symbol of retirement Carroll removes the saddle from a little horse of unknown breeding who has meant so much to so many to him go the full laws of a champion he was quite calm stood through everything he halfway I think understood that we were doing an honor to him I was a little surprised that he didn't mind his putting flowers on him he acted like well those were his flowers this is fine I think he enjoyed it really he wasn't just a old swayback tourist with a gray face he was everybody's dream of a horse he served everyone has ever owned him every place he's been he's done everything we've asked him to do all of his life to me he symbolizes all the horses that have worked hard all their lives and have given us so much pleasure he's a fairy tale of a horse but there's probably thousands of them out there just like him I guess he's the poster child for all of them for all they have done for us for all that they are may they always have green pastures each and every one 

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