45 Random horse facts, just for fun! Let me know if you have any to add to the list.
1. Horses have the largest eyes of any land mammal.
2. Horses can run within hours after birth.
3. 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.
4. At one time people thought horses were colorblind. They’re not, though they are better at seeing yellows and greens than purples and violets.
5. A horse's teeth take up a larger amount of space in their head than their brain.
6. 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).
7. Horse hooves are made from the same protein that comprises human hair and fingernails.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. Horses are more secure and comfortable when trailering if they can face the rear, but they prefer openings.
11. Horses can sleep both lying down and standing up.
12. A 19th century horse named ‘Old Billy’ reportedly lived 62 years.
13. 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.
14. Because horse’s eyes are on the side of their head they are capable of seeing nearly 360 degrees at one time.
15. The fastest recorded sprinting speed of a horse was 88 kph. Most gallop at around 44 kph.
16. 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.
17. Horses use their ears, eyes and nostrils to express their mood. They also communicate their feelings through facial expressions.
18. Horses will not lie down simultaneously because at least one will act as a look-out to alert its companions of potential dangers.
19. Vocalizations are highly important to horses. Examples: Whinnying and neighing sounds are elicited when horses meet or leave each other. Stallions perform loud roars as mating calls, and all horses will use snorts to alert others of potential danger.
20. Horses have a great long term memory and remember when treated good or bad, when things frightened them or when they’ve learned a new mischievous trick.
21. An adult horse’s brain weights 22 oz, about half that of a human.
22. Horses still hold a place of honor in many cultures, often linked to heroic exploits in war, China being one of those countries.
23. Horses can not vomit.
24. 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.
25. 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.
26. The first cloned horse was a Haflinger mare in Italy in 2003.
27. Horses like sweet flavors and will usually reject anything sour or bitter.
28. Wild horses generally gather in groups of 3 to 20 animals. A stallion leads the group, which consists of mares 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.
29. 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.
30. Horses produce approximately 10 gallons of saliva a day.
31. 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.
32. 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.
33. The average horse's heart weighs approximately 9 or 10 pounds.
34. 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.
35. 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.
36. 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.
37. Horses with typical anatomy are "obligate nasal breathers" which means they must breathe through their nostrils and cannot breathe through their mouths.
38. Horses drink at least 25 gallons of water a day (more in hotter climates).
39. It takes 9-12 months to re-grow an entire horse hoof.
40. Horses with pink skin can get a sunburn.
41. 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.
42. You can tell if a horse is cold by feeling behind their ears. If that area is cold, so is the horse.
43. Horses have 16 muscles in each ear, allowing them to rotate their ears 180 degrees.
44. If a horse has a red ribbon on its tail, it kicks.
45. Horses are social animals and will get lonely if kept alone, and they will mourn the passing of a companion.