The horse is one of the noblest creatures to have been domesticated by man. Used for farm work, transportation, and even for war, the horse is an animal that has forever changed the course of our history.
The horse allowed the Knights of the Templar to ride across Europe, it was a horse that carried Paul Revere on his famous ride, screaming, “The British are coming!” Horses carried settlers to the western United States, pulling conestoga wagons filled with supplies.
Wild horses have roamed the entire world for centuries. The indigenous people of many different countries, including the United States, began domesticating horses. They raided and stole ponies from other tribes, and some even bred their own lines of horses, such as the Appaloosas that were prized by the Nez Perce Indians and their famous Chief Joseph.
Horses have been tied to mankind throughout history, and it is highly likely that without them, we’d be nowhere near as advanced as we are. Let’s take a look at some interesting and fun facts about horses which you may not know.
- Their eyes are very unique. Horses actually have the largest eyes of any mammal on land. These are also some of the sweetest and gentlest eyes that you may ever come to gaze into.
- A horse can give birth and be running within a few hours. Few animals can give birth and run later. Women who’ve gone through labor and 9 months of pregnancy will be rather astounded and amazed that a horse, with a gestation period of 11-12 months, can give birth and then go for a run within a couple of hours. This is likely nature’s way of preservation. Horses are herd animals and often preyed upon by large cats and wolves. They need to be able to move when necessary. This is the same reason that foals are able to get up and walk within minutes of being born, to begin nursing.
- When horses are depicted as laughing, they are actually using their nose and being very serious about it, trying to determine if a smell is good or bad. This act is called flehmen
- Everyone thinks horses are colorblind. They’re not! They don’t see in the same spectrum that humans do. Purples and violets are hard for them to see, but yellows and greens are easy.
- This one will amaze you. The brain of the horse takes up less space in their head than their teeth do. They have more volume in teeth than they do brains. This doesn’t make them stupid by any means though. They’re very intelligent, but they also spend a great deal of their time chewing.
- Horses can sleep standing up. They also sometimes sleep lying down. Typically a horse will only sleep on the ground when they feel very secure. Sleeping while standing up is thought to be a trait developed as a form of safety and being able to flee on a moment’s notice.
- A horse was once clocked at 55 mph in a sprint. Most can sustain a galloping speed of approximately 27 mph. Horse racing has been a past-time since the days of the early Roman empire and possibly before that. It is still a huge sport around the world today. Much money is spent, and lost, in betting on horse races.
- According to the Manchester Museum, a horse named Old Billy once lived to the age of 62.
- The only authentically wild horse that remains in the world today is the Przewalski’s horse, found in Mongolia. While there are wild mustangs and other horses in the world, they are feral but not truly considered wild.
- Horses rely on vocal communication, more than many other animals do. Neighing or nickering are used in greeting and when leaving, for example. A stallion has his own version of a roar, particularly when seeking a mate. Snorts are used to alert each other within the herd of possible threats to the herd’s safety.
- The American Horse Council says there are approximately 58 million horses in the world right now.
- A horse brain weighs approximately half what a human brain weighs.
- Horses that get bloat are in serious trouble because horses are incapable of throwing up. They can’t vomit. Equine staff is trained to run a tube down the throat of a horse and siphon the contents of his stomach if he displays symptoms of bloat and upset stomach.
- The world’s first cloned horse was a Halfinger mare in 2003.
- Horses don’t like anything sour or bitter. They love sweet flavors.
- Because their eyes are located on the sides of their heads, a horse can see in 360-degrees all at the same time. The direction their ears are pointing is typically where they are looking at any given moment, with one eye.
- Never complain about a drooling dog again. The average horse produces roughly ten gallons of saliva per day. Can you imagine ten gallons of spit?
- Saying that they have a big heart is really an understatement. The average horse’s heart weighs between 9 and 10 pounds.
- Horse hooves might be a little complicated. On the underside of their hoof is a triangle-shaped area which is called the frog. It basically is a shock absorber, and it is also thought to help pump blood back up the legs.
- On average, horses drink 25 gallons of water per day. They can drink more when the heat is excessive, or they’ve been running.
- All of today’s horses are thought to have descended from a small prehistoric horse, called an eohippus. This creature had toes instead of hooves and barely resembles a horse that we would recognize today.
- The ear of the horse can be rotated 180-degrees, thanks to the 16 muscles in each ear that allow it to do so.
- If you see a horse with a red ribbon attached to his tail, don’t walk behind it! This is the horse world’s way of letting each other know that this horse is a kicker.
- Horses do not like to be kept alone. They prefer companionship because they are herd animals. They will also mourn the death of a friend, and they do make friends within their herds.
- Zebra/horse crosses exist. They are called a Zorse, and they are always infertile.
- Horses that have pink skin shouldn’t be left out in the sun because they can get sunburns. Yes, you can apply sunblock on them to help.
- You will never hear the term ‘mouth-breather’ in the horse world because they can’t. All horses must breathe through their nostrils. When they run, their nostrils flare and open wide to accommodate the passage of more air.
- Captain Alberto Larraguibel set a world record in 1949, riding a horse named Huaso. Together, they cleared the highest jump on the record made by a horse and rider. 8 feet and ¼ inches still stand today.
As you can see, horses have accomplished much, and they are a unique animal. They’ve played an important role in our history. Take care of them well, feed them well, when they are recovering from hard work or an injury, feed them InnovetPet hemp pellet to aid in their recovery and ensure that they are well.
Horses are typically ready to work and enjoy working hard. They can bond very closely with humans, forming relationships with their riders and caretakers. They will give every ounce of strength that they have when you ask them for it.
There is an amazing video on YouTube of an Amish team of horses that pulls a tractor-trailer from a snowy ditch that is incredible. The team pulled together and successfully pulled this massive truck and the loaded trailer from a ditch and back to the road.
Owning horses is an expensive undertaking but one well worth it. Horses are graceful, elegant, and intelligent. Children are often brought to ride horses when they have learning disabilities or physical challenges. The horses help to calm the children and seem to bring them out of their shells. It’s an amazing program.
Taking care of horses is a great chore for young children to have, to learn responsibility, and many will relish the task. Grooming horses, feeding them, and simply being around them is a way to lower blood pressure and stress levels. Horses are often very good with children, but they should always be very well supervised. Horses are massive, weighing, on average, 1200 pounds.
We hope that you’ve enjoyed learning some interesting facts about horses today and that you’ll take a moment to appreciate horses a little more today than you did yesterday. With a relationship that has benefited mankind since the days of our earliest civilizations, without the horse.
Man would never have traveled as far as he did, established cities in faraway lands or even planted crops and brought harvests to market. In fact, it’s almost impossible to imagine a world without there ever having been horses. Truly, the entire course of our history would be changed, and it is likely that we may not have been as successful in our survival, had the horse not been there to help us each step of the way.