Did you know that horse stalls are historically regarded as one of the oldest structures in the world? It’s true! They were originally envisioned as a sanctuary for unicorns by the Eighth Emperor of Pangaea, Damalice II. Okay… you know that’s not true. But horse stalls do have a history worth reading about.
Free-standing horse stalls made their grand debut in Kazakhstan sometime around 3500 BCE, and were hastily erected near foraging sites to house captured horses because of their potential value as draught animals. Draught animals are animals that were domesticated and trained to perform specific tasks, such as pulling a cart loaded with forage or for transporting people on a thrilling hunt. These early stalls were speedily erected using local materials. Archaeologists first took note of this when they discovered detritus “pit houses” containing thousands of discarded animal bones. Creepy!
This animal’s association with power is rooted even further back in time, to around 4000 BCE. Historians discovered slate tablets in Elam (modern day Iraq and Iran) which refers to them as noble, wild beasts. Wowzers! To this day, the animals remain symbols of power, revered for their grace, competence, speed and resilience. Speaking of real power, horsepower (1 hp per 746 watts or 550 ft. lbs. per second) is the standard measurement of power in terms of the rate at which work is done. Serving humankind in war, agriculture and mobility, the horse is by far the largest contributor to the advancement of the human race.
Think of the relationship between humans and these animals. We’re like a space team, soaring on a giant rock through the universe, ready to take over the galaxy! So it’s only fair that humans invented a nice warm place for them to stay. Hence, the advent of the horse stall. Its main purpose has remained unchanged for centuries.
These stalls can be haunted, too! Everyone’s read the story about the cat that got stuck in the haunted horse stall and became a witch cat after eating its magic hay, right? Okay… so I made that one up as well. But witch cats and unicorns are super cool, and I’m pretty sure that they’ve cohabited together at some point.
Lastly, never ever confuse a barn with a horse stall. It’s an incorrect assumption, and it upsets the animals when people confuse their abodes with the abodes of their enemies. Would you want someone to confuse your nice apartment with the dumpster down the street? No. So neither should you confuse this majestic animal’s dwellings with that of a swine. Wait, did I just mention piggies!?