Cattle were used for the pioneers because they were cheaper to purchase, moved a bigger load, easier to keep fed on grass or local browse than horses. They still are all those things, people in every continent use cattle as draft animals.
Horses can be flighty, harder to use, pull smaller loads. They are faster movers, but tend to be more expensive to purchase and own than cattle are.
There are probably almost as many cattle being used for work in poor countries as horses, buy you just don't notice them. Some places, like Africa, horses just don't survive the diseases because they are not vaccinated. Heck even the people don't always get vaccinated there!
I think when a choice is available, people chose horses because of the speed advantage in getting crops to market.
Oxen are very popular in the North East, lots of folks raise and use them these days.