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1900-The Horse in Transition Overview

The 20th century brought radical changes in the world of the horse. With the steady rise of technology, the horse was eclipsed by the internal combustion engine. In 1915, the horse population in America peaked at over 21 million. Immense numbers of horses were sent to the battlefields of Europe during World War I. This export decreased America’s horse population which steadily declined until recently, when the horse entered new arenas as a pleasure animal. Equine numbers now continue to grow rapidly. Instead of being a beast of burden, the modern horse enjoys a major role in recreation and organized competition. Many breeds of horses are now being revived, and systematic breeding is raising the quality of horses to heights unknown in the past. The future promises a continued increase in the world horse population. Perhaps the ultimate “Age of the Horse” is, in fact, yet to come.