EASY-GAITED HORSES OF THE RO­MAN EM­PIRE

EQUUS - - Conformati­on Insights -

The Ro­mans were never slow to ap­pre­ci­ate good an­i­mal breed­ing in any coun­try that they vis­ited or con­quered. They were the first lit­er­ate peo­ple to dis­cover the Hobby, and they ex­ported it east­ward to Rome from Ire­land, Scot­land and north­ern Eng­land. “Par­avere­deus” was the name that the Ro­mans used specif­i­cally for the Hobby, prob­a­bly de­riv­ing from the name of a Bri­tish tribe from which they ob­tained them.

At the height of the Ro­man Em­pire, it was cus­tom­ary for mil­i­tary of­fi­cers to be buried with a carved grave­stone. Those for of­fi­cers of cavalry of­ten de­picted their skill or ex­ploits. This slab bas­re­lief, crafted for a sol­dier named Prim­i­ge­nius, shows...

A highly de­tailed wall paint­ing from a house in an­cient Pom­peii shows a high-step­ping Sam­nite am­bler with rider and groom. Sam­nite ter­ri­tory bor­dered Rome to the east dur­ing the first cen­tury A.D. when this mu­ral was cre­ated, but the horse is clearly...

A young man wear­ing a wreath of flow­ing rib­bons rides his am­bler in high col­lec­tion. Crafted some­where be­tween the first and third cen­turies B.C., this terra cotta fig­urine from Ptole­maic Egypt shows the Hobby phe­no­type. (Bri­tish Mu­seum)

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