Evidence of Horse Riding

JoatSimeon at aol.com JoatSimeon at aol.com
Wed Apr 25 05:56:01 UTC 2001

In a message dated 4/24/01 8:00:15 PM Mountain Daylight Time, X99Lynx at aol.com

> It has often been repeated that evidence of HORSE-RIDING has been shown in

-- bit-wear marks are evidence of horse-riding (or traction), but absence of
bit-wear is not evidence of absence, to coin a phrase.

There are a number of ways to control horses; eg., American Indian horsemen
rarely used the bit.

The famous light cavalry of ancient Numidia (Hannibal's cavalry included many
Numidians) didn't use the bit, either, just a rawhide loop behind the

Many people I know who ride do so without bits on occasion.

In the ancient world, where there are domestic horses at all, you can assume
they're being used as riding animals or for pulling chariots or other fast,
luxury/military vehicles.

Horses are expensive to keep outside steppe habitats, and less productive
users of forage than cattle and sheep even there.  There's simply not much
profit unless you're using them for riding or pulling things.

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