Horse fun facts - EUR Equestrian

November 28, 2016

Horses are beautiful creatures to look at and many of us enjoy riding them or showing them. Here are some interesting facts you might like to know about them.

-When a domesticated horse is released in the wild they shed all traces of domestication rapidly.

-In the wild a foal will suckle until they are one year old, in some conditions this can be longer.

-Stallions will fight over females but generally not over territory.

-Horses have better memories than elephants.

-The eyes of a horse are bigger than those of any other land mammal, and the fact they are located on the side of their heads means they can see almost 360 degrees.

-Horses are not colour-blind. At one time people thought that horses were colour-blind. Although it is more difficult for them to see purples and violets, they have less trouble with yellows and greens.

-The horse has binocular vision, but can also see different things in each eye. This is why you need to show your horses the spooky things in both eyes so the brain can get the message that it's not spooky.

-A horse's teeth take up more space in their head then their brain. Adult male horses generally have 40 teeth and females 36.

-The measurement 'hand' is 4 inches because that was considered to be the average width across a man’s knuckles.

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-In the picture above this horse is doing what is called flehmen. This is seen more in males than females, especially stallions. Flehmen is known to be a way to direct scents in the air to specialized olfactory glands at the end of the nasal passage.

-In Australia, there were no horses until 1788.

-Human hair, fingernails and horse hooves are made from the same protein.

-Horses hooves grow approximately 1/4 inch per month, taking almost a year to grow from the cornet band to the ground.

-A horse trailer or 'horse box' was invented in England in 1836 by Lord George Bentinck. Pulled by six horses it was invented to get his race horses from one track to the next.

-When measuring a horse you use the top of the withers because the distance from the withers to the ground remains the same. (As long as the horse is standing on level ground.) If the horse was measured from the top of the head, the height could change every time.

-Alfalfa is thought to be the first cultivated food fed to horses by humans, probably the Parthians, around 100 b.c.

-The first grain thought to be domesticated, and probably the first to be given to horses was Barley.

-In 1872, Leland Stanford (1824-1893) made a bet that at some point in the gallop all four of the horses 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.

-Aristotle (384-322 b.c.) in the 4th century b.c. described the sequence of the horses footfalls at a walk correctly

-In total, there are 205 bones in the skeleton of a horse.

-Horses which have been tamed usually live to be around 25 years old. However, the oldest domestic horse on record was Old Billy, who died at the age of 62.

-When a horse is seen standing up, don’t assume it’s awake! They can sleep either standing up or lying down.

-A group of horses will not go to sleep at the same time – at least one of them will stay awake to look out for the others.

-They only eat plants, making them herbivores.

-For a regular horse, their top speed is approximately 27 miles per hour, although the fastest horse ever recorded could reach 55 miles per hour!

-There are an estimated 60 million horses in the world, combining wild and domesticated horses.

-Its brain only weighs around 22 ounces, making it just half the weight of a human brain.

-Like humans, horses have different facial expressions to express their moods.

-Unlike many other mammals, it is impossible for horses to vomit.

-There are more than 300 different horse breeds in the world.

-Sampson was a Shire horse and the tallest on record. He stood at a staggering 21.2 hands high.

-By contrast, the smallest horse ever was a tiny 14-inch pony from New Hampshire. His name was Einstein.

-Horses are big fans of water, and will drink a minimum of 25 gallons every single day. In warmer countries, this amount is even higher.

-While zebras and horses are often considered to be totally different animals, they can breed with each other to create ‘zebroids’. Zebras will also mate with donkeys and produce ‘zonkeys’.

-In 2003, a horse was cloned for the first time. The cloning took place in Italy.

-If you feel behind the ears of a horse and they appear to be cold, this means that the horse itself is feeling cold.

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-Horses have been used in the police force since the 17th century, and although they became less popular with the introduction of the automobile in the early 20th century, hundreds of horses are still used by the police today.

-The Arab is thought to be the oldest surviving breed of horse. Experts believe they first appeared about 4,500 years ago.

I’m sure you knew some of these facts already, I know I did. Yet others were quite new and sometimes surprising to me! If you have any fun or interesting facts about our beautiful equine friends that didn’t appear on the list, let us know!


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