Have you ever heard the phrase horse latitudes before? If you haven’t, don’t worry, it’s an outdated term with several different interpretations that the average person would have no call to know. The origins of the saying have absolutely no baring on what I’m about to tell you. That is, other than to briefly explain what it is so that you can better understand where I’m at right now.
The horse latitudes is an old sailing phrase that indicated that a ship had reached a location with calm waters and no crosswinds. Of course, this was prior to the days of two and four stroke engines. Are you impressed that I know that terminology, because you should be? With no prevailing winds, large ships would find themselves stalled out in the middle of the ocean. Supplies would begin to run short and sailors would start to panic.
The inhumane (and insane) fix for this often began with water rationing. The animals on board, specifically the horses, would bear the brunt of this solution. When the ships remained moored in the middle of the sea they would begin unloading their least precious cargo, the horses. This would both lighten their load and reduce the use of their finite resources.