Why are horses used as working animals instead of oxen?
 
 

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Why are horses used as working animals instead of oxen?

This is a discussion on Why are horses used as working animals instead of oxen? within the Driving forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Why use ox instead of horses on wagon trains
  • Why are oxen used instead of horses

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    11-05-2011, 09:15 AM
  #1
Foal
Why are horses used as working animals instead of oxen?

I know that oxen(castrated bulls) are a lot better at pulling than horses. In bull fighting we see the horses being screwed by bulls which implies that bulls are stronger. In India, where the population of cattle is too high(highest population in the world) but people rather seem to use horses as draft or pack animals. A few people use bullock for pulling carts though. Why is this, I mean why horses are more used as working animals? Cattle have more horse power but maybe they can't sustained it for that long. I don't know. Thanks already!
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    11-05-2011, 02:12 PM
  #2
Yearling
Cows are sacred in Hinduism.
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    11-05-2011, 07:30 PM
  #3
Trained
I think that horses are more versatile. So while an ox is more efficient for slow heavy work, a horse can be strong and slow, but also fast and light. So you can take the same horse from the plow and hitch him up to the wagon or cart to take things to town.
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    11-05-2011, 08:21 PM
  #4
Green Broke
Oxen powered the westward expansion not horses. Wagon trains werent pulled by horses that's hollywood stuff.
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    11-05-2011, 09:29 PM
  #5
Trained
'Cause horses are way better looking than oxen, duh!
     
    11-06-2011, 11:51 AM
  #6
Started
I personally believe that horses are much more trainable and responsive. Oxen may be stronger and last longer, but I don't have the sense that they are nearly as sensitive to direction. I imagine that they were good for the wagon trains because as long as they walked in the same direction along the same road all day, everything was good. With horses however, I believe more finesse can be applied with stopping, starting, turning, etc.
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    11-06-2011, 02:15 PM
  #7
Showing
Here's a different tidbit-when settlers moved to our more northerly parts they often tamed moose cows to pull as a team. When tamed, they could be turned loose to find browse as grass was almost non existant, just scrubby stuff that barely kept a cow, never mind horses.
     
    11-06-2011, 02:20 PM
  #8
Showing
Oxen were used on long straight hauls like across the prairies. The teamster always walked and with the crack of a whip near the lead team he could control the direction. Oxen were better when grass was sparse. Horses were used more in the eastern parts of the country with winding roads and plenty of mud holes.
     
    11-06-2011, 08:17 PM
  #9
Yearling
Yeah in India cows are sacred so they won't be working, or altered to prevent reproducing, or used for food.

Coming from a family with many Oxen teamsters (even ones that use to be on NS post cards), the are very trainable if you start with a young team, they just aren't that versatile I guess? They pull, they change direction, they are strong and steady workers. The word acre describes how much land a oxen can plow in a days work. You just can't take off the yoke and ride them well.

I've haven't met a team that was sold when they were older so I don't know how they work if they aren't bonded with the person.
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    11-07-2011, 03:18 PM
  #10
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saddlebag    
Here's a different tidbit-when settlers moved to our more northerly parts they often tamed moose cows to pull as a team. When tamed, they could be turned loose to find browse as grass was almost non existant, just scrubby stuff that barely kept a cow, never mind horses.
What's really interesting is that they had to retrain them every year. During the rut, moose are completely unable to be handled and have to be set aside or released.
     

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