Saddle Up!

Have you ever ridden a zebra?  Me neither.  But have you ever wondered why?

Maybe not, if you don’t ride horses very often either. But think about it. Zebras look so awesome! Forget about the boring old limousine–imagine how cool it would look for a movie start to arrive to the Oscars on a zebra! If all it required was patience and money, why hasn’t anyone done it?

Well, let’s talk horses first. Horses have lived and worked side-by-side with humans for thousands of years. They have been trained to carry riders, to pull plows and carriages, and in some parts of the world they even allow themselves to be milked.  In contrast, a few zebras (very few) have been trained to pull carts and fewer yet have allowed people to sit on their backs.

It turns out that zebras aren’t very good candidates for domestication. Most of them live on the grassy plains of East Africa, along with lions, tigers, cheetahs, wild dogs, and crocodiles–kind of a rough neighborhood. As a result, zebra need to stay alert. Very, very alert.

Zebras Have ADD

Your typical zebra has severe ADD. In other words, zebras stay aware of every detail in their environment and are ready at any instant to kick, bite or run. If you think about it, ADD is a darned useful trait for any being who lives in a dangerous environment and wishes to continuing living. But just like humans with ADD, it’s hard to get zebras to focus on the mundane. So they are very hard to train to do anything at all.

Zebras Are Fierce

Furthermore zebras are fierce. They have to be, simply to coexist with their neighbors. Zebras can kill lions and there are many recorded cases of them doing just that. Usually they defend against a predator with a kick to the head (but unlike a horse, they buck up and kick backwards with both legs at once).   As Quora observes,  “… no horse has ever broken a lion’s jaw. Furthermore, few people have ever walked away after being kicked by a zebra.”

If that isn’t enough, zebras bite. Hard. And, like a pit bull, they don’t let go.  Zookeepers treat them with a great deal of respect.

And lastly, a zebra’s back isn’t usually strong enough to hold a full-sized human for long.  So they probably wouldn’t enjoy having a human try to sit on them.

So if you ever see someone foolish enough to ride that black and white horse, you might expect the rider to be black and blue.


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