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EvilHorseOfDoom 07-17-2012 01:15 AM

Horses in the future
If you look back at the way we worked with horses 70 years ago, a lot has changed in that time. We've had NH come along, breaking in has changed, the type of work horses do has changed. Veterinary care has developed and improved, and we don't feed racehorses arsenic or give them brandy anymore (I hope!). There is a growing interest in barefoot horses and bitless bridles. Types and breeds are in fashion for a few years, then another comes along to replace it.

So, the purpose of this thread is to imagine it is 70 years in the future. What will have changed? What methods or equipment of ours will our grandchildren be looking back at and shaking their heads and tutting? Will we still be shoeing horses? Will we even be riding them, or will we be inviting them over for tea and crumpets? (OK, just having a go at PETA et al lol.)

What does the future of the horse look like?

Have fun! :-)

Domnopalus 07-17-2012 01:20 AM

This may sound a little doom and gloomy, but I was thinking about this very thing recently. Horses may have a HUGE part in our future 70 years or so from now if, for instance, one of these rumored X-class solar flares manages to put the world into some kind of blackout/loss of electricity for some time. We may just become as dependent on horses as we once were so long ago!

While the whole thing is scary, I think I'd be very happy in general to see horses working with mankind like they did before. I know I'd feel a LOT safer and more comfortable/mobile with a horse or two if we had a sudden global loss of power. The best part is now, hopefully we've evolved enough not to treat them as abusively as we have back in the Black Beauty days--so it could be the best of all worlds in a weird way.

Domnopalus 07-17-2012 01:44 AM

Sorry to double post, but I just found this article and thought it was relevant and interesting :)

Peak Oil Transport | Permaculture Magazine

Saskia 07-17-2012 01:58 AM

I remember reading an article once that said that a while back (I don't know when, probably mid 20th century) they were worried that horses would become somewhat extinct. They were no longer being used for work and they seemed to have no purpose, especially with increased industrialisation and urbanisation.

Then it started to become a hobby and now it is as it is now.

I don't know what the future will bring, we'll eventually run out of oil but I think by then we'll have alternative sources of power. Although, our perceptions on animal welfare I think will change, I don't know what that will bring.

Society seems to be becoming increasingly urbanised, although perhaps there will be a backlash at that, and people will return to small communities.

As fuel prices go up though, horses will become more expensive to keep, with more expensive feed, gear, transport. So that might drive a lot of urban horse owners away. Who knows though.

It's all just speculation.

I've always sort of imagined a world without cars anymore, where we just ride horses around. I don't think it would be so bad. Certainly different though.

EvilHorseOfDoom 07-17-2012 01:59 AM

I'd love to go travelling with my horse. Sadly, he does not share my interest as he's bone lazy and likes the creature comforts of a well-pastured paddock :-P

I expect more work to be done into the ergonomics of a saddle (both for horse and human) in the future.

What do you think we'll be feeding them? I think we'll see an increase in the stabled horse given shrinking pastures and growing cities - so what will we be using as bedding and what will these stables look like? They're already building a multi-story stable block for around 200 horses at Randwick Racecourse in Sydney.

stormylass 07-17-2012 05:49 PM

Well I can assure you that if they keep building subdivisions the way they are encroching on pasture land, that not only will they have to make hay "pills" that they eat and it blows up intheir stomach, but they will be feeding them to cows also. I just don't understand why people from the city move out here with us in the country to get away from the city then the first thing they complain about is "the convenience"of everything soooo... they immediatly put up a wal-mart and a starbucks!!! I figure that they will have to take all the empty office buildings and parking garages and build grassland on them to graze the animals. Ohh and what about "jetson" type trailers, just think we wont ever have to worry about enough space to turn the trailor around, and worrying about the traffic when your trying to get your horse to the surgeon in time. But all in all horse people are gonna have horses no matter what, and riding I dont think will change at all cause no matter your discipline can you imagine changing ANYTHING about that feeling of sitting on your best friend and looking in between his two perky ears!!! No amount of industrialization will ever ever change that for me!!!! How bout you???

ponyboy 07-17-2012 06:14 PM


Originally Posted by Domnopalus (Post 1601405)
The best part is now, hopefully we've evolved enough not to treat them as abusively as we have back in the Black Beauty days--so it could be the best of all worlds in a weird way.

I don't think so. I think if we had to rely on horses to get our food there would be the same amount of abuse as there was before. Most people think that getting food is more important than being nice to animals.

Horse ownership will become even more expensive but there are ways to deal with that. A Paddock Paradise-type setup is cheaper than a barn with stalls, it's better for the horses, and it saves land. Still, I think share-boarding, half-leasing and co-ownership will become more common.

Roperchick 07-17-2012 06:16 PM

i have a feeling that the more people become all advanced technology wise the less and less well be seeing horses. alot of the people i work with (none horsey) dont even know how big our industry is now. and they think oh well the horse is useless now, nobody wants them or needs them. theyre relics...and i see it more and more. we always have new people coming in and they all think the same. they want their high tech gadgets and toys...

then again, some people are really trying to get more aware of things and get to alternative methods. so maybe itll be the opposite. maybe horses will play a much bigger part than they do now.

i personally will never give up my horses. i will never replace chasing cows on my horse to chasing cows on a fourwheeler. or ride a desk all day over being out in the desert sun.....not gonna happen.

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