Sure, you know how to use all the tack in your tack box, but do you know its history? Can you name the items whose histories are described below?
1. Thought to be the first item of tack developed, the original versions were probably woven from grass.
2. The earliest examples of this tack item have been found in frozen tombs of Scythian people, dating between 500 and 400 B.C. Originally, the items served a dual purpose: protecting the horse and comforting the rider.
3. Invented by the Celts of Gaul in the 4th century B.C., this item of tack was considered the only acceptable way to outfit a horse for the hunting field up until the Second World War.
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POP QUIZ ANSWERS
1. Halters. First constructed as simple loops around the nose and possibly, the poll, these horse-control devices came to include loops around the lower jaw, which may have inspired the invention of bits made of harder material, such as horn or bone, introduced in approximately 2300 B.C.
2. Saddle pads. Elaborately embroidered specimens were found in the tombs of Pazyryk in the High Altai mountain region of Siberia. Folded under the rider's seat to protect the horse's back when ridden, the pads also served as blankets to warm sleeping riders at night.
3. Curb bits. Until relatively recently, these leverage bits were standard equipment for all English riding. A popular phrase of the early 1900s sums up the attitude toward the use of any other bit: "There are three kinds of fools: the fool, the damn fool and the fool that hunts in a snaffle."
Information for this quiz is from The Howell Book of Saddlery and Tack, edited by Elwyn Hartley-Edwards.