The wild ancestor of the present day domestic horse was equus ferus Woddaert which included two distinct sub-species - the tarpan and the taki or the Ptzevalsky horse. The tarpan is the main ancestor of the- Present day domestic type. Its domestication irst started in East Europe in the Neolithic period from where it spread in different directions, moving in successive waves to the Carpathian Basin and Moravia in the west, Caucasus in the southeast and Mesopotamia in the Near East, finally reaching western Europe in the Bronze Age.
The early domestic horses were small compared to present day animals, measuring only 137 cm at the withers. They were chiefly used to provide mobile power - either draught or riding. Later, during the Iron Age, the Scythians brought these eastern horses to Austria, Italy and Greece, where they were much in demand for their superior power and size, a result of conscious breeding by the Scythians. In contrast, the horses indigenous to the western half of Europe, represented by the Celtic horse, were smaller and slender. These were later improved by crossing with the eastern Scythian horses. From the Greeks, the eastern horses reached the Romans and contributed to the development of the Roman horse.,