Before some of the major innovations in machinery such as automobiles, tractors, threshers, and more, the American people relied on horses for much of their labor needs. While it’s more common to associate horses with hobby-like activities nowadays, they have remained important members of the working world!
When you drive past a farm on a long winding road, chances are the stables you spy house horses that are used for more than just riding. Larger, stronger horse breeds—referred to as draft or cart horses—are often responsible for a lot of crucial farm labor. Draft horses help farmers and ranchers pull heavy loads, and tend to fields by mowing, raking, haying, and plowing. They’re often integral to completing the daily tasks required to keep a successful farm.
There are, of course, many dude ranches that put horses to work to offer customers horse-centric recreational experiences. These light horses spend their time providing fun riding opportunities for sport or trail exploration and pulling wagons and buggies!
Equine therapy has emerged somewhat recently as a unique and effective treatment for individuals dealing with physical, cognitive, and emotional disabilities. The rhythmic motion of riding a horse mimics the movement of walking to assist those who have trouble or are unable to walk unaided. Horseback riding also enhances muscle development and improves balance, strength, mobility, and so much more!
The tasks that go along with caring for and riding a horse have proven remarkably beneficial for stimulating emotional and behavior growth as well. Patients who work with therapy horses see significant progression in their problem-solving, responsibility, and self-control skills.
When working with a mental health professional, those practicing equine therapy also experience marked improvements in empathy, stress management, independence, and important social skills!
You’ll often see police officers mounted on horses during large events like a parade or patrolling the streets of big cities. Horses are excellent tools for crowd control and riot prevention. Police horses are trained to remain calm in high-stress situations, providing officers with a height advantage and a formidable force to be reckoned with by potentially unruly or threatening citizens.
Horses are also ideal animals for police forces because they’re easy to maneuver to patrol tight areas and wade through congestion. This makes them particularly useful in search and rescue missions, as they offer more visibility along with the capability of exploring areas that a car cannot reach.
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