H is for Heavenly Horses (hànxuèmǎ)

Ferghana horse, photo by Olga I., posted at Culture Trip.

They have a lot of names. Heavenly horses. Ferghana horses. The horses of Tianma, the Argamaks.

The vegetarian dragons (my favorite!) The horses that sweat blood.

Ferghana horses in Bactria, photo from Emory U.

They came from the Asian steppes; Ferghana is in Uzbekhistan. From Iran and Turkey, where they might be called Nisean. Of course they did, since equus originated on the plains of Asia. As you may know, those teeny weeny North American horse ancestors died out, and all horses in this hemisphere were originally imported. The wheel, after all, was invented in Mesopotamia and perfected by Asian steppe people like the Hittites who created chariots. Asia covers a lot of territory. Camels are good for plodding through sand, but horses are good for crossing a lot of hard, grassy ground, and Asia had plenty of that.

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