Now On: National Horse Exhibition, Museum Of Agriculture Budapest

  • 29 Dec 2015 8:00 AM
Now On: National Horse Exhibition, Museum Of Agriculture Budapest
Are you curious about why horse domestication is of fundamental importance in Hungarian history? Which are the Hungarian horse species? How did the horse-drawn tramway and the omnibus operate?

How many races did the famous Hungarian race horse, the unbeatable ‘Kincsem\' win and who was his best friend contributing to its victories?

Are you interested in how the horse, - this intelligent animal - was used in the past, how it is used today and how it can help us?

In what way and with what kinds of tools are they tended?

Which are the regions of the horse? And do you really know where its knees are to be found exactly?

Come and visit us and this particular exhibition in Hungary. Our braver visitors can even try and sit on horseback while galloping. Horse-breeding is one of the most popular pages in the history of Hungarian agriculture.

Our exhibition focuses on this topic and especially emphasises the history of national horse-breeding and -usage. We pay our respects to the two outstanding figures of horse-racing, Kincsem and Imperial by exhibiting their skeletons and race results. The knowledge related to horses is completed with a room planned and made for children which gives lots of information to the youngest ones about horses in an interactive and playful way.

Horse domestication was of fundamental importance in human history. This made it possible to populate the inside parts of the continents and to spread the free, nomad lifestyle. It revolutionized traffic, transport, hunting, warfare, and last but not least, horsepower was made use of also in agriculture. Similarly to many other animals its meat and milk were consumed, horse was considered to be a valuable property. The various roles of the horse existed for centuries next to each other, but with different emphasis.

The strategic importance of the horse was already recognized in the Ancient Times. The chariots were known in almost every empire in the Middle East and Europe. In the Eurasian grassy steppe an equestrian nomadic tactics was developed which was typical of our conquering Hungarian ancestors, as well. This way of fighting enabled the armies to move fast and to use weapons shooting to long distances while place was being changed quickly. During the rules of the kings in the House of Árpád the Western-European knightly tactics appeared and gained ground also in Hungary.

This required new horse species, new way of horse-keeping, more modern sets of harness and training. During the Turkish rule the cavalry had to be adequate to the new challenges. In the 15th century the Hungarian branch of service, cavalry being known all over the world was formed which adapted to the modern way of fighting. The light-horsemen's weaponry and clothing were changed several times; they preserved their importance up to the 20th century when the modern multi-shooter and automatic weapons appeared.

The horse played an important role in passenger transport and transport of goods, alike. The exhibition displays the various carts and the manifold types of coach (the English ‘coach' comes from the Hungarian word ‘kocsi') being considered as a Hungarian invention by means of rich illustration material. The beginnings of public transport between the settlements and towns are also to be linked with horse-drawn vehicles, mail-coach, as well as the horse tramway and the horse-drawn omnibus. The ancestors of the taxi were the hansom cabs and the four-wheeled two-horse hackney carriages.

Due to the technical development and several other factors in the 18-19th centuries horse became the primary power machine in agriculture. The role of the horse is displayed by showing how to grow the most important Hungarian field crop, the wheat in our exhibition. The work of a plough drawn by horses can be seen in a true-to-life diorama. The work processes of sowing, harvest, crop transport, threshing and grinding made with horses is demonstrated by means of original photos and models.

Horse-keeping and -breeding were paid great attention to even at state level due to their economic and strategic importance. Therefore, place was also given to the presentation of the most famous state stud-farms, registration certificate and the state management of horse-breeding. The history of horse-breeding in Hungary would be unimaginable without the show of the Hungarian horse species which has been made really enjoyable with the realistic statues made by György Vastagh Jr and László Vastagh on the basis of a typical or outstanding entity of each species.

Up to the 20th century, parallel to the headway of mechanization the horse lost its determining function having been characteristic earlier. Our historical outline would be not complete if we did not present the place of horse in our times. In Hungary both the traditional special branches such as dressage, show-jumping, military, coach-driving and the less known or more modern ones, like tournament, western riding and polo are to be found at the same time.

In a separate room, the history of horse-racing, its rules and the role of British thoroughbred playing in horse-breeding in Hungary are displayed. Here you can see the skeletons of Kincsem and Imperial. Thus, not only the history of these two 'treasures' of the museum and their results are shown at this exhibition but also to the memory of the other famous Hungarian horses being worth mentioning from the viewpoint of horse-racing and -breeding are raised a monument to.

Special attention is drawn to children. Our youngest visitors (kindergarten children and primary school children) have the possibility to get familiarized with the horse in an interactive, playful way. They can learn the regions of the horse, and facts like how many colours they can have or how many parts their legs consist of. They can even get the answer to the question where exactly the knee of the horse can be found.

Venue: Museum of Hungarian Agriculture

Address: Budapest, XIV. Városliget, Vajdahunyadvár

Telefon: 422-0765, 363-1117/128

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