The history of the horse and its relationship with man can be traced back to Asia, where signs of the first prehistoric horses have been found in what is now Southern Ukraine, the Caucasus and Central Asia. As civilisations developed, horses became valuable both militarily and culturally, celebrated in art of all kinds, from the very earliest artworks some of the greatest expressions of classical anti such as the Parthenon Frieze.
Horses’ speed and their stamina pushed political, economic and cultural boundaries, enabling rulers to administer far-flung territories, explorers to find new ones and traders to link them both through commerce and enterprise. From the plains of Asia to the plains of the Americas, horses have connected people, cities and civilisations for centuries.
Different cultures have developed their own horse traditions, sporting pursuits and riding styles. The style of riding introduced into the Middle East by the warriors of the Prophet spread through Europe and eventually formed the basis for the style of riding now known as English saddle or hunt seat. The Western style of riding developed directly from the medieval Spanish saddles and the cowboy’s seat, with long stirrups and straight leg, is the same seat used by a European knight.