I have never been on horseback - riding around in games like Red Dead Redemption are no way a substitute, but I can appreciate the love that these animals give to people and how different the world can look from the saddle.
So it comes as no surprise when artists, like Leonardo da Vinci, spend a great proportion of their lives trying to replicate a larger-than-life impression of such an elegant beast. The ill-fated Sforza horse project, that Leonardo undertook to honour Ludovico's father, took many years of his life to realise and due to the restrictions in technology and the lack of resources, it was never completed in his lifetime but that never stopped him from dreaming his dream.
Thinking in more modern terms, where would fantasy movie-making or gaming be without the love of the horse? Riding horseback is an essential ingredient to the whole fantasy world experience without it we'd be stuck with fast-travel and waypoints - goodbye exploration!
It's also good to see Rockstar making the horse a seriously proposition with the open-world of Red Dead Redemption, as they developed the game. To a different degree than compared to Leonardo da Vinci, Rockstar have obsessed over the idea of the horse in an artistic form and it rightly shows. There maybe a few things that Rockstar could have added into the mix(i.e naming your horse, branding, stabling etc) but we don't know to what detriment to other areas of gameplay these would have caused. Let's not forget that Assassin's Creed also gave us a better feeling for horseback riding than any of the MMOs on the market at that time and I would still argue that it still does today.
I wonder what Leonardo would have made of these digital representations of his beloved beast? More importantly, will he be making me run errands to collect bronze for his Sforza horse project in Assassin's Creed II?!