'Dogs are more useful than horses' - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 30 Old 01-04-2014, 06:18 AM
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Where in this world can man find nobility without pride, friendship
without envy, beauty without vanity? Here, where grace is laced
with muscle, and strength by gentleness confined.
He serves without servility; he has fought without enmity. There
is nothing so powerful, nothing less violent; there is nothing so quick,
nothing more patient.
Our past has been borne on his back. All our history is his industry:
we are his heirs, he is our inheritance.
Ladies and Gentlemen: The Horse!


I love this poem, it is read out at the final parade at the Horse of the Year Show in the UK.

It is so true.

Dogs offer far more loyalty than a horse, they will often lay down their life to protect or serve their human, is this just because they are in closer contact?
Not many horses would do as much.
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post #22 of 30 Old 01-04-2014, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chokolate View Post
Roads and train tracks are all made to wagon width because all transport except walking was horse powered.
Not so. Lots of wagons were drawn by oxen, which were also used for plowing (and depending on climate &c, often more economically than horses).
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post #23 of 30 Old 01-04-2014, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, some wagons were indeed drawn by oxen, but most, if not almost all, by horses when it comes to transport.

"The historical tendency to place the wheels of horse-drawn vehicles approximately 5 feet (1,500 mm) apart probably derives from the width needed to fit a carthorse in between the shafts."

"The initial gauge of 4 ft 8 in (1,422 mm) was set to accommodate the existing gauge of hundreds of horse-drawn chaldron wagons[11] that were already in use on the wagonways in the mines."

Standard gauge - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

^ Standard gauge for railways was certainly set to horse, not oxen width. I didn't look for roads but I am nearly certain they are the same.

And as for transport, yes some oxen were used but they were mostly in farming, not transport. Horses were lighter and faster, which is why they were used.
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post #24 of 30 Old 01-04-2014, 06:10 PM
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I would say that dogs are more useful, just in general, because more people use them. Yeah, horses are great but their numbers and the numbers of those who use them are few compared to the number of dogs and dog users are out there. I know more people that would rather have a dog for a job than a horse.

Besides that, it is like comparing a spoon to a fork in terms of usability. Both are awesome. Both have an amazing number of things they can do.
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post #25 of 30 Old 01-04-2014, 08:12 PM
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Like many others I feel it is a hard comparison. Both have their own pros and cons and very different uses.

I have both as pets so I can't contribute to usefulness of either, but I know I would rather have my dog because I spend significantly more time with her than my horse. Also her bags of dog food are MUCH cheaper than the ton of hay and round bales we've gone through this winter. I'd feel safer with her (~50lb pit mix) protecting me than my 950lb chicken and she is definitely a nice foot warmer when I relax or sleep but I would take my horse any day if I was lost in the woods or needed to travel without a car. I'd probably be in either of those situations because of my dog anyways lol.
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post #26 of 30 Old 01-04-2014, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Chokolate View Post
"The historical tendency to place the wheels of horse-drawn vehicles approximately 5 feet (1,500 mm) apart probably derives from the width needed to fit a carthorse in between the shafts."
If you ignore all the examples of two (and even three or four) abreast teams dating back to classical Greece & Rome. Or in more modern times, the Russian troika: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troika_(driving) Besides, is the width of an ox all that different from that of a draft horse?

Quote:
"The initial gauge of 4 ft 8 in (1,422 mm) was set to accommodate the existing gauge of hundreds of horse-drawn chaldron wagons[11] that were already in use on the wagonways in the mines."
Now did I say that horses weren't used? No, just that they weren't the only draft animal in common use.

Quote:
And as for transport, yes some oxen were used but they were mostly in farming, not transport. Horses were lighter and faster, which is why they were used.
Faster, yes. Lighter I'd say depends on the breed. So you would see oxen used mostly for heavy freight hauling. As for instance a large fraction of pioneer Conestoga wagons were drawn by ox teams:
Quote:
Scholars put the percentage of pioneer wagons pulled by oxen at one-half to three-quarters.
National Oregon/California Trail Center >> Historical Trails >> Trail Basics
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post #27 of 30 Old 01-05-2014, 02:10 AM Thread Starter
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Interesting, jamesqf, especially about the numbers of oxen - I didn't think they were as high as that. However, I think we can still say that as for human transport, horses were more common (riding, carriages, etc.) while oxen were more prevalent in freighting.

This is basically a comparison between horses and oxen (written from an oxen-oriented POV) and makes quite an interesting read, and it makes good points for the oxen (but few for the horses.) I feel, however, that it is quite biased:

No Beasts for draught but Oxen

May we say oxen were more used in freighting and farming and horses used in travel and transport?

(This whole oxen/horse thing is so off-topic, but quite interesting! xD)
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post #28 of 30 Old 01-05-2014, 02:53 AM
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When I look at it from a usefulness perspective:
While horses have been apart of many historic events and we wouldn't be where we are today with out them - there 'usefulness' has pretty much faded to non-existent. After all we don't use them in wars anymore, and on most farms there isn't one, unless your Amish or live in a third world country they aren't used for travel. I mean some people make money out of them - from breeding and riding - some people eat them and i'm sure if you look at some remote place in the world they would use horse skin/fur as clothes but that's about it.

Horses have been a very significant part of history - but today they are used mainly for pleasure & therapy.

Dogs however are still be used in wars - they sniff out bombs, alert soldiers when enemies are near, protect them. There is always at least one dog on a farm to protect livestock. They help the disabled people, detect illness & missing people. They are guard dogs, hunting dogs, retrieving dogs, they are still used to get rid of pests.

On many occasions my dogs have protected me, my dogs protect my chickens, they guard the house and most of all are more loyal than any horse could be. I know that in a heart beat my dogs would lay down their life for me.

I've read, heard and seen millions of stories where a dog has protected a human with it's life - they've run through bullet fire, dragged people from flaming buildings, alerted people to bombs, robbers & crazy people. But I've read little stories of how horses protected people, I mean I've read one or two when I horse has moved in the way of a charging bull or whinnied to alert to a fire but that is it.

Dogs are more useful - and cost a whole heap less!

When I look at it from my bias perspective:
Horses win! Hooves down.


But as that wise Mexican girl from those taco ads on TV once said: Why not have both?
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post #29 of 30 Old 01-05-2014, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chokolate View Post
Interesting, jamesqf, especially about the numbers of oxen - I didn't think they were as high as that. However, I think we can still say that as for human transport, horses were more common (riding, carriages, etc.) while oxen were more prevalent in freighting.
Sure, I was just arguing against the claim that all non-foot transport was by horse.
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post #30 of 30 Old 01-05-2014, 10:26 PM
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No no guys y'all got it all wrong...
They aren't like spoons, apples, cheese, or forks!

They're like cookies and milk! Each are great but when you have both... Life is GREAT!

Look at Alexander the Great, he had it goin on!
With Bucepherous and Peritas at his side he conquered the world.

My three dogs collectively weigh 400 pounds. With their stopping power and when I'm on horseback able to make a quick getaway I have little to fear!

ATVs are such a bummer. All our friends have converted and its hard to find riding buddies... But it isn't a heartbreaker when a 4 wheeler bites the dust. Lose a good horse and I get why so many people are opting for machinery.

I'm not one for GMO's but I'm all FOR a "horg" creature, that would be AWESOME! LOL!
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