120 Facts About Horses you didn't know


Horse and Girl

120 Facts About Horses you didn't know

  • A male horse is called a stallion.
  • A female horse is called a mare.
  • A young male horse is called a colt.
  • A young female horse is called a filly.
  • Ponies are small horses.
  • The Przewalski’s horse is the only truly wild horse species still in existence. The only wild population is in Mongolia. There are however numerous populations across the world of feral horses e.g. mustangs in North America.
  • Horses use their ears, eyes and nostrils to express their mood. They also communicate their feelings through facial expressions
  • Horses will not lie down simultaneously because at least one will act as a look-out to alert its companions of potential dangers.
  • Vocalizations are highly important to horses. Examples: Whinnying and neighing sounds are elicited when horses meet or leave each other. Stallions (adult male horses) perform loud roars as mating calls, and all horses will use snorts to alert others of potential danger.
  • There were no horses in Australia until 1788, when they arrived with with the first Western settlers, and were used for farming and utility work. Only the strongest and fittest horses survived the hard sea journey over from Europe and Australian horses still maintain a reputation for being amongst the hardiest equines in the world.
  • A horse’s brain weighs around 623g, half the weight of a human brain.
  • Horses don’t have collarbones. Their shoulders are held to the rest of their skeleton via a sling of muscles and ligaments instead.
  • When foals are born, their hooves are covered with soft tissue to stop them damaging their mother’s birth canal and uterus. Names for this tissue include fairy slippers, golden hooves, foal slipper, leaves, gills, and fingers.
  • The earliest member of the horse family was the Eohippus, dating back 55 million years.
  • The record for the longest jump over water is held by a horse named Something who jumped 27 feet, 6 and 3/4 inches on April 25, 1975 in Johannesburg, South Africa. He was ridden by Andre Ferreira.
  • The record for the highest jump made by a horse is held by a horse named Huaso who jumped 8 feet, 1 and 1/4 inches on February 5th, 1949 in Vina del Mar, Chile. He was ridden by Captain Alberto Larraguibel. 
  • Scientists believe that the first known ancestor of the horse lived about 50 million years ago. This prehistoric horse is called Eohippus and had four padded toes on the front legs and three padded toes on the back legs.
  • Horses with typical anatomy are "obligate nasal breathers" which means they must breathe through their nostrils and cannot breathe through their mouths.
  • Male horses have 40 teeth when they are adults (usually from around five-years-old), while mares have 36 teeth. In both cases horses’ teeth take up more space in their heads than their brains.
  • The longest tail ever recorded on a horse, according to the Guinness Book of Records, belonged to a mare in Kansas, USA, called JJS Summer Breeze and measured 381cms (12 foot 6 inches) on 23rd August 2007.
  • Horses can’t vomit due to them having a strong band of muscles around their esophagus. This band is so strong that a horse’s stomach would burst before it would vomit.
  • Horses produce approximately 10 gallons of saliva a day.
  • The tallest horse on record was a Shire named Sampson. He was 21.2hh (7 feet, 2 inches) tall
  • Because horse’s eyes are on the side of their head they are capable of seeing nearly 360 degrees at one time
  • The fastest recorded sprinting speed of a horse was 55 mph
  • When horses look like they’re laughing, they’re actually engaging in a special nose-enhancing technique known as “flehmen,” to determine whether a smell is good or bad
  • Horse hooves are made from the same protein that comprises human hair and fingernails
  • Horses have been domesticated for over 5000 years.
  • Horses are herbivores (plant eaters).
  • Horses gallop at around 44 kph (27 mph).
  • There is only one species of domestic horse, but around 400 different breeds that specialize in everything from pulling wagons to racing. All horses are grazers.
  • A horse can see better at night than a human. However, it takes a horse's eyes longer to adjust from light to dark and from dark to light than a human's.
  • The first cloned horse was a Haflinger mare in Italy in 2003.
  • Horses like sweet flavors and will usually reject anything sour or bitter.
  • Wild horses generally gather in groups of 3 to 20 animals. A stallion (mature male) leads the group, which consists of mares (females) and young foals. When young males become colts, at around two years of age, the stallion drives them away. The colts then roam with other young males until they can gather their own band of females.
  • Equinophobia is the fear of horses.
  • On average, most domesticated horses live until they are around 25 to 30-years-old.
  • There are around 350 breeds and types of horses around the world.
  • Most of the white horses that you see were actually a much darker colour at birth and gradually turn white. These ‘white’ horses may start out as bay, chestnut, or almost black. Of course, these horses aren’t actually called white, but grey…
  • Horse hooves are made from the same protein that comprises human hair and fingernails.
  • The horse trailer (“horse box”) was invented by Lord George Bentinck, a U.K. man who needed a more effective transport for getting his six horses from one racetrack to another.
  • In 1872, Leland Stanford (1824-1893) made a bet that at some point in the gallop all four of a horse’s legs are off the ground at the same time. Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904) proved him right by using a series of 24 cameras and photographing a racehorse named Sallie Gardner.
  • Horses are more secure and comfortable when trailering if they can face the rear, but they prefer openings.
  • A 19th century horse named ‘Old Billy’ reportedly lived 62 years.
  • Approximately 4.6 million Americans work in the horse industry in one way or another. The US horse industry has an economic effect of $39 billion annually on just nine million American horses. There are approximately 58 million horses in the world and the vast majority are cared for by humans. 
  • An adult horse’s brain weights 22 oz, about half that of a human. 
  • Horses still hold a place of honor in many cultures, often linked to heroic exploits in war, China being one of those countries.
  • Most of the time, wherever a horse's ear is pointing is where the horse is looking with the eye on the same side. If the ears are pointing in different directions, the horse is looking at two different things at the same time.
  • On the underside of a horse's hoof is a triangular shaped area called the “frog," which acts as a shock absorber for a horse's leg, and also helps to pump blood back up the leg.
  • Horses drink at least five gallons of water each day.
  • While humans have just three ear muscles, horses have 10.
  • A horse’s heart typically weighs between 4kg and 4.5kg and is about the size of a basketball.
  • The world’s smallest horse breed is the Falabella which ranges between 38-76 cm tall.
  • A horse’s range of vision is 350 degrees with two small blind spots, one directly in front and one directly behind them.
  • In Wilbur, Washington, it is illegal to ride an ‘ugly horse.’ Do so and you risk a $300 fine.
  • In Oklahoma, it’s illegal to let a donkey sleep in a bathtub after 7pm.
  • In New York, it’s illegal to open or close an umbrella in the presence of a horse.
  • Horses use their ears, eyes and nostrils to express their mood. They also communicate their feelings through facial expressions
  • A horse can see better at night than a human. However, it takes a horse's eyes longer to adjust from light to dark and from dark to light than a human's
  • Horses with pink skin can get a sunburn
  • You can tell if a horse is cold by feeling behind their ears. If that area is cold, so is the horse
  • Horses are social animals and will get lonely if kept alone, and they will mourn the passing of a companion
  • When horses look like they’re laughing, they’re actually engaging in a special nose-enhancing technique known as “flehmen,” to determine whether a smell is good or bad.
  • At one time people thought horses were colorblind. They’re not, though they are better at seeing yellows and greens than purples and violets.
  • A horse's teeth take up a larger amount of space in their head than their brain.
  • You can generally tell the difference between male and female horses by their number of teeth: males have 40 while females have 36 (but honestly, most us are going to use the much “easier” way).
  • From 1867 to 1920, the number of horses shot up from 7.8 million to 25 million. Experts believe this was due to the rise of the automobile. 
  • The fastest recorded sprinting speed of a horse was 88 kph (55 mph). Most gallop at around 44 kph or 27 mph.
  • Horses height is measured in units known as "hands." One hand is equal to four inches. The tallest horse on record was a Shire named Sampson. He was 21.2 hands (7 feet, 2 inches) tall. He was born in 1846 in Toddington Mills, England.
  • The average horse's heart weighs approximately 9 or 10 pounds.
  • It takes 9-12 months to re-grow an entire horse hoof.
  • A zebroid is a cross between a zebra and any other member of the family Equidae (which, besides zebras, includes donkeys, ponies, and horses). … A "zonky" is a cross between a zebra and a donkey. … A "zony" is a cross between a zebra and a pony. … A "zorse" is a cross between a zebra and a horse.
  • You can tell if a horse is cold by feeling behind their ears. If that area is cold, so is the horse.
  • Horses have 16 muscles in each ear, allowing them to rotate their ears 180 degrees.
  • If a horse has a red ribbon on it’s tail, it kicks.
  • Horses are social animals and will get lonely if kept alone, and they will mourn the passing of a companion.
  • Horses can run shortly after birth.
  • Domestic horses have a lifespan of around 25 years.
  • The fastest recorded sprinting speed of a horse was 88 kph (55 mph).
  • Estimates suggest that there are around 60 million horses in the world.
  • Scientists believe that horses have evolved over the past 50 million years from much smaller creatures.
  • Horses have around 205 bones in their skeleton, but some Arabian horses have fewer ribs and lumbar vertebrae than is typically found in other breeds of horse — 5 lumbar vertebrae rather than 6 and 17 pairs of ribs rather than 18.
  • Equine have bigger eyes than any other land mammal. They also have a third eyelid which lies on the inside of the eye and closes diagonally over it for added protection.
  • Horses can sleep both lying down and standing up thanks to a special locking system in their legs, but they can only achieve REM sleep when lying down.
  • Estimates suggest that there are around 60 million horses in the world, but…
  • Horses in Burns, Oregon, are allowed into the town’s taverns with their owner — provided their owner has paid for their admission, of course.
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