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Characteristics:

  • Horses have been domesticated for over 5000 years.
  • Horses can sleep both lying down and standing up.
  • Horses can run shortly after birth.
  • Domestic horses have a lifespan of around 25 years.
  • Horses have around 205 bones in their skeleton.
  • Horses are herbivores (plant eaters).
  • Horses have bigger eyes than any other mammal that lives on land.
  • Because horse’s eyes are on the side of their head they are capable of seeing nearly 360 degrees at one time. They do however have blind spots directly in front and behind them.
  • Horses use their ears, eyes and nostrils to express their mood. They also communicate their feelings through facial expressions.
  • Horses and other equines have better senses of smell and hearing than humans. Their ears can turn in different directions to aid their hearing. Horses have 16 muscles in each ear, allowing them to rotate their ears 180 degrees.
  • An adult horse’s brain weights 22 oz, about half that of a human.
  • It is extremely dangerous to stand behind a horse as they are liable to kick out if they get scared by anything as kicking out is their way of defending themselves.
  • Horses gallop at around 44 kph (27 mph).
  • 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. Ponies live longer than horses and can live well into their 50′s.
  • Horses use a range of different vocalizations to communicate. 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. Mares (adult female horses) use deep smooth sounds, whickering, when they are nursing a foal (infant horse).
  • Horses cannot vomit.
  • Horses drink at least 25 gallons of water a day (more in hotter climates).
  • Horse’s teeth never stop growing. The best way to determine the age of a horse is by examining its teeth.
  • It takes 9-12 months to re-grow an entire horse hoof. A horse’s knee joint is the equivalent to a human wrist, and their hock joint is equivalent to the human ankle.
  • The gestation period for a mare is 11 months.
  • Horses with pink skin can get a sunburn.
  • Horses have a great long term memory, (especially for places they were spooked).
  • You can tell if a horse is dehydrated by pinching their skin, if it takes time for the skin to return from the pinch, they need water.
  • A horse’s stomach should always make gurgling noises; an absence of them can mean colic.
  • Horses have 7 common blood types.
  • Horses thrive on routine, especially when it comes to food.
  • Horses are social animals and will get lonely if kept alone.
  • Arabian horses have one fewer vertebrae and one less rib than other breeds.
  • When cantering, a horse takes a breath with every stride.
  • Horses will mourn the passing of a companion.
  • All horses have parasites in their stomach and intestines in small quantities, they only become a problem if the count builds up.

 

Other Facts:

  • Mares prefer stallions with deep whinnies.
  • Hot Blooded horses are suited for hot temperatures. They have very little hair and can run very fast. Some examples are: Aribian, Barb, Akhal Teke, Shagya, Thouroughbred.
  • Cold Blooded horses, also known as heavy horses, are suited for cold temperatures. They have a heavy coat of hair and is very strong. Technically, the opposite of a hot blooded horse. Some examples are: Suffolk Punch, Norkier, Shire, Brabant, Fresian, Cyclesdale, Halflinger.
  • A 19th century horse named ‘Old Billy’ is said to have lived 62 years and died in 1822.
  • 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.
  • If a horse has a red ribbon on it’s tail, it kicks.
  • Scientists believe that horses have evolved over the past 50 million years from much smaller creatures.
  • 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.
  • It is extremely unlikely to see all horses in a herd lying down simultaneously. This is because at least one horse will stand as a look-out in order to be able to alert the others of any potential dangers.
  • Horses are undeniably clever animals. Beyond being proficient at relatively simple learning tasks, they are also recognized as having the capacity to solve advanced cognitive challenges involving categorization learning and a degree of concept formation.
  • Equine assisted therapy is a growing field where horses help people with a wide range of mental health issues. A relationship between the patient and the horse develops and allows the person to engage with nature through a beautiful and peaceful animal. This aids in building trust, respect, compassion, communication and self-confidence. The skills learned through building a meaningful relationship with the horse are transferable to other aspects of the individual’s life.
  • Horses are used in experiments in the UK.
  • Leonardo da Vinci liked to draw horses.
  • The first cloned horse was a Haflinger mare in Italy in 2003.
  • The word chivalry comes from cheval the French word for horse.
  • Chariot racing was the first Olympic sport in 680 B.C.
  • The Dubai World Cup is 6 million dollars, the richest horse race purse in the world.
  • To get an official measurement of a horses height, they must be measured without shoes.
  • Ragweed is responsible for more horse deaths than most other toxic plants.
  • Horses have been found in cave paintings that date back to around 15000 B.C.
  • You can tell if a horse is cold by feeling behind their ears. If that area is cold, so is the horse.
  • Mown grass cuttings can cause colic in horses.
  • Mongolian tribes were the first to domesticate the horse, about 5000 years ago.
  • The largest horse museum in the world is the International Museum of the Horse in Kentucky.
  • Horse Colors: Gray, Flea-Bitten(Not literally), Palimino, Bay, Light Bay, Bright Bay(In my opinion dark bay…), Chesnut, Red Chesnut, Liver(Ewwwwwww!!!)/Dark Chesnut, Yellow-Dun, Bay Brown, Brown(Looks more like black…just saying…), Blue Roan(Not blue at all!!!)
  •   Some horses HATE water!!!!!!!!

Folklore:

  • The four horses of the apocalypse are said to signify the end of the world; conquest on a white horse, famine on a black horse, war on a red horse and plague on a pale horse.
  • A small indent in a horses skin (usually on the neck or shoulder) is called a prophet’s mark and is considered good luck.
  • Legend has it that the Arabian horse was created by Allah, ‘out of a handful of the southern wind‘.
  • According to Arabian folklore chestnut horses are the fastest and bravest of all colors.
  • A quote from the Koran states: ‘Horse, thou art truly a creature without equal, for thou fliest without wings and conquerest without sword.’
  • Giant white horses are carved in chalk on several hillsides in England. Some date back hundreds of years – folklore says that when King Arthur of he Round Table returns to the throne, one of the chalk horses would get up and dance.
  • In Greek mythology Apollo delivered the sun and the moon to the sky every day in his horse drawn chariot.
  • The horse is one of the 12 Chinese signs of the zodiac. Anyone born in the year of the horse is seen to embody the characteristics of the animal, namely intelligence, independence and a free-spirit.

How To Train Your Horse

  1. Get your horse’s trust.
  2. Create strong signals.
  3. Be very careful. ( Well, it’s not like the horse is gonna eat your hand off! )
  4. Keep calm.
  5. Create a training plan.
  6. Break tasks into small goals.
  7. Create a reward system.
  8. Immediately reward horse for good behavior.
  9. Train horse to let it touch you.
  10. Train horse to walk with you.
  11. Train horse to stop.
  12. Train horse to back up. 

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