Horses are really intriguing animals. Even if you never learned to ride one, you could study them for the rest of your life and still find new things to discover.
Anyone who has ever gazed upon a horse will attest to the fact that horses are magnificent creatures. But there’s a lot more to these creatures than meets the eye.
For thousands of years, horses have been our faithful companions. They have been used to transport us across great distances, pull cargo, labor on our land, and fight with us in conflicts. They now assist us in breaking records, staying healthy, rehabilitating us, and providing a very addictive form of pleasure.
While this collection of horse facts is far from complete, it will assist you in starting the process of learning about horses.
Horses have always been a part of civilization and for a variety of reasons. Horses are a variety of things, including working animals, pets, and equestrian athletes, to mention a few. Despite the fact that horses are popular, the following facts about these majestic beasts may surprise you.
Some Fascinating Facts About Horses
Check out these amusing horse facts to learn a variety of intriguing facts about horses. How many of these were you previously familiar with?
- Horses Sleep on their Backs
Horses do, in fact, sleep standing up! They also sleep lying down, but only for brief periods of time.
- Horses can Run Up to 100 Miles in 24 Hours
Ever wondered how long can a horse run? A healthy horse can run at a maximum pace for around 2-3 miles before getting tired. Some endurance horses, on the other hand, can go up to 100 miles in 24 hours if they take regular stops.
- Horses are Unable to Vomit or Burp
Horses, unlike other vertebrate animals, have lost their capacity to vomit through time. At the entrance to their stomachs, they have an extremely powerful muscular ring called the cardiac sphincter. This arrangement ensures that any food that enters the stomach does not escape.
Furthermore, horses’ vomiting reflexes are quite weak, which is another reason they can’t throw up. They are also physically unable to use their abdominal muscles to compress their stomachs and drive food back up the throat. The only way food may escape a horse’s stomach is if it ruptures, which is generally deadly.
We must be very careful about what we feed our horses since they are unable to remove poisons from their system. Make sure you know what foods horses can and cannot consume.
- Horses Have a Life Expectancy of More than 30 Years
“How long does a horse live?” is one of the most often asked questions regarding horses. You might be surprised by the response. Horse nutrition, horse care, and veterinary medical knowledge have improved. As a result, horse lifespan has grown in tandem with human longevity.
Domestic horses are enjoying longer and healthier lives as equestrian care and veterinary treatment improve. The maximum age a horse may attain is still limited by genetics, diet, and environmental variables.
Ponies live longer than horses in general, and many of them live to reach 40 years old. Some horse breeds, such as the Haflinger, Appaloosa, Icelandic horse, quarter horse, and Arabian, have a longer life expectancy than the norm.
- There are About 600 Horse Breeds
There are approximately 600 horse breeds in the world now as a result of significant selective breeding over the last several centuries. All modern horses, according to a 2017 DNA study, are descended from two historic horse breeds: Arabian and Turkoman horses.
While the Arabian horse is still in existence, the Turkoman horse, which looks identical to the Akhal-Teke, is no longer in existence.
These five groups encompass all known horse breeds: hot-blood, warm-blood, cold-blood/draft, pony, and miniature. Arabian, Thoroughbred, and Barb breeds of Middle Eastern roots are examples of hot-blooded horses. Northern Europe, on the other hand, developed cold-blooded heavy horses and ponies.
Any horse breed whose origins were hybrids between hot-blooded and cold-blooded/pony-type breeds is referred to as a warmblood. Finally, miniature horse breeds are smaller copies of their larger counterparts with a maximum height limit.
- You Can Tell How Old a Horse is by Looking at Its Teeth
While you can’t identify a horse’s precise age from its teeth, you may make an educated guess. Horses require adequate equine dental care, but because horses can outlive their teeth, extra caution is required when feeding elderly horses.
- The World’s Oldest Horse was 62 Years Old
Old Billy (1760-1822) holds the title for being the world’s oldest horse. He was a barge horse from Woolston, Lancashire, England, in the 18th century. Although his precise breed is unknown, he was most likely a Shire-type horse with a brown coat and white blaze.
Old Billy was roughly 165 years old in horse years at the time of his death! Surprisingly, he led a very active life and worked until he was well into his elderly years.
- Humans Have One Less Bone Than Horses
Horses have one fewer bone than humans, with 205 bones in their skeleton (206). This isn’t true for all horse breeds, though. Arabian horses only have 201 bones because they have one fewer pair of ribs, lumbar, and tail vertebrae.
- Horses Have a Nearly 360-Degree Field of Vision
Horses can see about 350 degrees around themselves due to the location of their eyes. This is over four times the visual range we have!
Horses, on the other hand, have a totally different perspective on the world than humans have. They can only see 55 to 65 degrees with both eyes, leaving them with monocular vision (190-230 degrees). As a result, their depth perception and ability to discern details are severely limited.
Horses are extremely adept at sensing motion, which is how they have managed to live for millions of years. They needed to be able to run as soon as a predator came into their visual range. Horses, on the other hand, will spook at just about any rapid movement since they can’t see moving shapes in their peripheral vision clearly.
- Horses are Herbivores
Humans are omnivores, while lions and horses are carnivores and herbivores, respectively. Herbivores are distinguished by the shape of their teeth, the position of their eyes, and the sort of digestive system they use.
- Horses can Sleep in Both a Lying and a Standing Position
The stay apparatus is a remarkable survival adaptation in horses that allows them to totally relax and sleep standing up. It’s made up of tendons and ligaments that link the stifle to the hock and keep them together. This is why horses cannot move their knees independently of their hocks.
The goal of this unique talent is for horses to be able to flee at the first hint of danger. To attain deep sleep and complete their sleep cycle, humans must still lie down for brief periods of time. Horses, in fact, cannot lie down for lengthy periods of time because it puts unnecessary strain on their bones and internal organs.
- Male Horses Tend to Have More Teeth than Female Horses
Wolf teeth are more common in stallions and geldings, which is why male horses frequently have 40 teeth whereas mares only have 36. Around 70 percent of horses grow wolf teeth between the ages of five months and a year, according to thehorse.com.
But why do some horses have wolf teeth while others don’t? Horses’ ancestors were tiny browsers that lived in woods, according to veterinarian Glennon Mays. Their diet consisted primarily of twigs and leaves, and their wolf teeth aided ineffective chewing.
- Keratin is Found in the Hooves of Horses
Horses’ hooves, like human hair and nails, are composed of keratin. Your horse’s coat must be trimmed on a regular basis since they are continually developing. This is especially essential for young horses because neglected feet can lead to twisted legs and reduced well-being.
- Horses are Capable of Comprehending and Interpreting Human Emotions
Horses can interpret human facial expressions and recall a person’s prior emotional state, according to a study. Horses have complex facial expressions, thus this skill comes easily to them.
Another study found that when horses looked at angry human expressions vs joyful ones, their heart rates increased. According to the findings, horses can distinguish between good and negative human facial expressions and are more agitated when viewing angry faces.
- Horses can Walk and Run Within a Few Hours of Being Born
It is critical for a newborn foal’s survival in the wild to be able to keep up with the herd. As a result, horses have adapted to have long legs and completely formed hooves when they are born.
Within 30 minutes to an hour of birth, the majority of foals will stand up. Just think about how much less capable a human infant is!
Horses are Fun
These facts about horses can help you learn about and enjoy being around horses. They are fun and loyal animals to raise and be around.