You can probably guess that I’m not super enthusiastic about the carriage horses in Austria. There were lots of them, especially on the weekends, mostly Haflingers the breed you see here, though a few Lipizzaners as well, the two main breeds of Austria.
As much as I love seeing horses during our travels, I’d much prefer that it didn’t involve indentured servitude to the masses. I could smell the horse sweat throughout the entire outdoor square. It is at once a soothing smell in it’s familiar earthiness, but also, they’re working so hard to serve the whims of man.
You know I’m always on the lookout for horse related things during our travels and I was pleasantly surprised to encounter some cool stuff on our tour of the fortress in Salzburg. We saw the blacksmith’s quarters which was neat and pretty unchanged from the tools we continue to use today to shoe horses and trim their hooves.
We also saw a very old saddle, along with spurs, a bit, and stirrups and a face shield for battle.
Old saddles are one of my favorite things to find, it’s neat to see how they are different and similar to what we use now, though I do prefer to go bareback or ride in a bareback pad these days. You certainly couldn’t have done that in times of war or long distance travel.
Horses have carried us throughout history, riding in wars they didn’t start and building monuments, roads, and buildings that were of no use to them. They’ve also been companions to us and their true purpose remains the same, to be a light in this world.
I hope you enjoy seeing some of this equine history.