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【Ecology】Humans and Animals - Chapter 9: An ancient transportation




Ancient transportation is horse or donkey riding, and gradually it is replaced by modern ones with the era changing.













【The Little story 01】Riding horse experience: Communication with horses



Animals have their characters whether riding horses, donkeys, or any animals. In fact, they can feel human emotions and friendly.

Once before riding a horse, we used to gently touch its mane and mildly talk to a horse at the pasture in southern France. Had a friendly attitude in the spirit that horses could feel our friendly although they did not understand Chinese, and we could not speak French either. In fact, horses could feel our friendly.









There was a fine, white steed in a team of horses that it always wanted to walk in the front, and the pasture's owner shouted to stop it later. The king of horses leads other horses in front of them in the horses' world. The owner of the pasture will choose an appropriate horse to be the one who manages the team of horses. The owner of the pasture will choose an appropriate horse to be the king that could manage and lead the team of horses. Asking the owner why this white horse always wanted to be the first one? It turned out that the white horse was not convinced and thought was the king of horses by itself. Therefore, it was stopped by the owner every time.

Someone had dropped the hat on the way of the wetlands that they passed by. The owner said he must walk back to pick it up by himself. (Because the whole team of horses would follow back if the owner rides the horse to go back.) After his words, he handed over these two steeds to me and explained to hold the reins only without any movement.










I thought about what I should do now. Did I rush with these horses if they had loosed their temper to rush forward? I was talking to the horses in the heart that hoped they could wait obediently for the owner to come back. The two horses and I looked at each other, and the white one suddenly mildly sniffed my sleeve. It seemed like a gesture of goodwill; however, the whole sleeve was all its snot and drool. These two were waiting obediently in situ before the owner back. I felt that I could trust each other with the horse at that moment.


 [Seek stories depth tour.




















【The Little story 02】Riding horse experience: The moment which fell from a horse's back.

Once, we had a horseback experience strolling along the river in Tibetan areas. The Tibetan explained the ecology of this area and this river. (There are river burials in this river.) A river burial is holy in their belief. Fishes are deities so Tibetans do not eat them.

PS: River and sky burials are holy in Tibetans' religion; the sky burial is for vultures to eat and the river burial is for fish. It also is ecological cycles of nature in their cognition.

Then, the Tibetan asked if we wanted to try a gallop in the grassland. We said ok, and he spurred his horse on and came to a creek. Most of the horses leaped over the creek; however, one of these horses suddenly was braking. At this moment, I slipped with the horse and with a loud bang. I thought " It's all the mud and grass on the ground. And great! I'm really going to eat soil and grass."

In fact, it was not very high fell to the ground from the horseback. It was not painful when slid from the horseback. Only felt it was wet on the grassland and worried the body to cover some mud. Just filled with mud and grass on the body and face was not as terrible as imagined. All team members were laughing.

The horse's owner reminded us that covered the head with arms and hands by ourselves, curled up sideways, and embraced the knees when slid from the horseback at the first timing. Keep calm and do not scream loudly. Horses would be frightened if we screamed in front of horses.


 [Tours in Tibetan areas

Cultural and natural world heritage sites tour in Yunnan.











  小女孩有點被迫騎上馬匹,情緒上有點不安。為了安撫小女孩的情緒,牧場主人對著小女孩唱起了一首歌……「Let It Go~」,美妙歌聲讓原本害怕的小女孩,一聽到歌曲,馬上融入歌聲和故事的情節中,展開了微笑,覺得自己是騎著馬的公主,心情也慢慢變得不害怕了。


【The Little story 03】Riding horse experience: The fear after falling from a horse

Once a little girl had experienced falling off a horse; therefore, she was under the shadow of riding a horse. Her mother still hoped that the girl could try to ride a horse again to overcome her fear.

The girl was forced to ride a horse so she was uneasy. The rancher pacified the girl's mood by singing a song, "Let it go." The scared girl was hearing it while was gradually fitting into the plot and the song. She smiled and felt that she was a princess riding a horse. In addition, she gradually became not fear.






The girl was afraid of riding a horse at the beginning. (The horse was afraid too.)





It turned out that the music was magical.





The music makes the girl become a princess and the horse feel good-looking by itself.





They overcame the mental disorder with each other and completed the riding a horse experience.












PS:一般人以為騎馬就是要快馬奔馳,大力甩韁繩、側踢馬的腹部,然後喊著「come on!」,如果心態上不是彼此尊重,馬也是會故意捉弄人。







8 Days tour in northern Japan



【The Little story 04】Riding horse and donkey experience.

Once a tour leader who had extensive experience in riding a horse said this story. Riding a horse was an ordinary event for him; hence, he thought his riding skill was good. As a result, as soon as the horse had been mounted, the horse run faster and faster. The horse almost hit the fence; however, the horse suddenly drifted on purpose to get rid of the leader to the ground. The leader firmly grasped the horse by his hands and legs. The horse had galloped without any control for a while before it stopped. The leader realized he was so scared that his legs felt like jelly when he dismounted from the horse. Finally, he understood that horses were smart and spiritual. They must respect each other in mind when riding a horse.

Most people consider riding a horse to gallop, hard lash with rein, spur a horse's belly, and shout "Come on". Horses deliberately play tricks on people if we do not respect each other.

A guide who loves outdoor activities shared his experience in riding a donkey. Actually, donkeys are very naughty although they look dorky. Donkeys will hit trees with carrying people on purpose when they feel blue. We should respect each other when we ride a horse or donkey.





【Easy General knowledge 01】




It is prohibited to stand behind a horse because horses kick.












【Easy General knowledge 02】Pu'er tea

As the tea undergoes fermentation and is brewed red-brown color as called black tea (which is different from the English language black tea.) That's Pu'er tea which is mild and does not hurt a stomach. This tea is suitable for drinking in high-altitude mountainous areas; therefore, Tibetan use it to make butter tea. The goods are transported between the alpine and Tibet regions by horse caravans.

Pu'er is compressed into a variety of shapes,

(1)A round "cake" (also called "seven units cake tea"). (2)A thick rectangular block of tea. (3)the melon shape is called "Gold Melon".(4)The Bowl shape is called Tuocha.








【Easy General knowledge 03】Horse caravans and the Tea Horse Road.





























Transporting in remote mountain areas was a very inconvenience, and thus all goods must rely on horses for delivery in ancient times. These horses were relatively short but endurance. This kind of transportation became horse caravans.

Some of these goods of transportation are cylinders (or baskets) for easy carrying.

Horse caravans depend on passed down the generations, familiar on the paths of mountains, experienced horses driver. Their work is high risk due to transportation between the mountains. The carrying paths must through many provinces or countries are a long way. Therefore, the transport time is very long that might take several months or one to two years for one trip. Therefore, the transport time is very long that might take several months or one to two years for one trip. Avoiding the robbers' ambush who might attack apart from dealing with the dangerous environment in the mountains.


Every journey was the delivery of responsibility and the risk of bet the life. It is a survival journey.


The Tea Horse Road and the Silk Road are not only trade routes but also the routes of ancient transportation. This route approximately appeared between the Western Han Dynasty (about BC 200) and Tang Dynasty (about AC 600~900).

In the beginning, there was a trail as a road for transportation in the Western Han Dynasty. It is a description in the Book of Han but not much; however, this old trail was very developed. Transported by horses was more convenient than by carriages due to these steep areas. The tea spread across Tibet until the Tang Dynasty. Tea is in demand by Tibetans that make this old trail turn into The Tea Horse Road.

The organization of Horse caravans required rigorous because of the long-distance expedition. It also had professional jargon and rules after Horse caravans’ specialization. Horse caravans are divided into government factions and citizen factions. The chief of a Horse caravan is called the "Ma Guo Tuo", and others are "Er Guo Tou" (Deputy of the chief), "Manager" (who manages the goods and finances), horse drivers, etc. 

This transportation route by Horse caravans became this old trail between the Burma Road, southwestern China, Tibetan mountains that are the Tea Horse Road. It connects Tibetan areas (including Yunnan and Zhongdian), Myanmar, and Laos.


 [8 Days tour in Myanmar.

 [Tours in Tibetan areas.









【Easy General knowledge 04】Ancient & Contemporary Horses

























There were three kinds of horses in ancient times.

(1)Mongol horses are with relatively short but strong legs and thick necks. It is the earliest thoroughbred horse and from Mongolia about 5000 years ago.
(2)Arabian horses are taller and originated on the Arabian Peninsula 4,500 years ago.
(3)The Ferghana horses were originated in the Dayuan country where had located in Turkmenistan of Central Asia now about 2000 years ago. Humans at that time grazed better-breed mares on foot of the mountain in the spring. Those mares would naturally crossbreed with wild horses to birth hybrid horses. According to legends, these horses could travel a thousand miles a day and sweat blood, giving rise to the name: "sweats blood horse".

Once we went to grassland in the Tibetan areas of Yunnan in May and saw many pregnant mares. It turns out that spring is the season for horses to become pregnant.

There are three kinds of horses nowadays.

(1)Hot-blooded horses run fast, are hard to control, and have a fiery temper. Generally, they are used for competitions.
(2)Cold-blooded horses are tall, slow-moving, and suitable for transportation.
(3)Warm-blooded horses are produced by crossing hot-blooded and cold-blooded breeds. They are gentle, easy to control, and used for riding.


 [17~60 Days tour in Siberia and Mongolia

 [Depth nature eco-tour in Siberia









【The Little story 05】Riding horse experience: An elder had the first experience of horse riding.

This little story happened on one of the tours in Japan. We took an eighties-older man and his family to a ranch. Everyone was happily going to ride a horse; however, the older man thought he was too old to participate in any activities. The grandpa was given a push upon the horse by everyone's persuasion. He wore a nice hat, which was given by his son as a present, and relaxed riding a circle. He was laughing happily when he rode the horse because he recalled how brave and handsome he was during his young age.























There was another older lady who moved slowly. She had insisted not to ride a horse at the beginning, but she was coaxed and gotten on the horse by everyone. She scolded everyone when she was getting on horseback. She said that she never thought she could ride a horse in all her life, especially she could have such an experience at her age.

The ranch's owner said the speed at which horses slowly move is nearly human walking. As a matter of fact, elders and children can experience the fun of horse riding when there is professional staff on horse farms leading a horse to walk a circle.

The ancient Greeks had put the injured people on horseback to help soldiers' recovery by horse-riding in the legend. Nowadays, there is also equine-assisted therapy.


 [Greek Mythology Tour


【Easy General knowledge 05】Horse racing

Horse racing is an exciting race and later developed into a win and lose. Horses which in the racecourse have to with very thin legs in order to speed up running. Hence, their legs are often injured and broken. Horses that can't gallop hard to stand the pain and without any value; thus, they were executed by the end. For humans, it was an excitement of winning and losing. For horses, it was a kind of harm.




【to be continue … 待續】









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