For centuries horses have been called the noblest of creatures and it’s not very hard to see why. Depending on which theories you believe, they have been man’s original best friend since between 4000 to 2000 B.C. They have taken us wherever we have asked them too including the battlefields of old.
But here we are in the 21st Century, and there are still a ton of those noble creatures you still don’t know. Don’t believe me? Well here is my list of 45 Facts about horses you didn’t know.
1. Horses have the largest eyes of any land mammal – Scientists have discovered that this is partly do to a mammal’s maximum running speed. Horses eyes can work individually and provide monocular vision. This gives them a greater field of view for spotting predators. (Source: Horseswithaime)
2. Horses can actually run within hours after birth (Source: ScienceKids)
3. Flehmen – Horses are not actually smiling when their upper lip is lifted. This is a technique known as “flehmen” which they use to determine if a smell is good or bad. (Source: Dictionary)
4. Horse are not color blind – At one time people thought they were but scientists have found that they actually are not. However, they are better at seeing yellows and greens than purples and violets.
5. Their teeth take up more space in their head than their brains – This does not mean they are stupid though. Horses are highly intelligent animals.
6. Males have more teeth – Generally you can tell the difference between a male and a female by the number of teeth they have. Males have 40 while females have 36.
7. Hooves are fingernails? – A horses hooves are made from the same protein that makes up human hair and fingernails. (Source: HorsesWithAime)
8. Horse Trailer – The Horse trailer was invented by Lord George Bentinck, a man from the U.K. who needed a better way to transport his horses from one racetrack to another.
9. Horses can “fly” – In 1872, Leland Stanford made a bet that at some point during the gallop of a horse, all for feet were off the ground at the same time. Eadweard Muybridge proved him right by using a series of 24 cameras and photographing a racehorse named Sallie Gardner (Source: HorsesWithAime)
10. Horse Comfort in Trailer – A horse is more secure and comfortable when trailering if they can face the rear, but they prefer openings. (Source: Animal People News )
11. Horses can sleep laying down and standing up – Although usually the older horses and young ones sleep laying down.
12. 62 – A 19th century horse named “old billy” reportedly lived 62 years. (Source: Manchester Museum)
13. More Horses – Between 1867 to 1920 the number of horses skyrocketed from 7.8 million to 25 million. Experts believe this was due to the rise of the automobile (Source: HorsesWithAmie)
14. Almost 360 degree vision – Because a horse’s eyes are on the side of their head they can see almost 360 degrees.
15. Fastest Horse – The fastest recorded sprinting speed of a horse was 55 MPH. Most horses gallop at around 27 MPH. (Source: PurelyFacts)
16. Only true wild horse – The Przewalski’s horse is the only true wild horse species still in existence. The only wild population is in Mongolia. There are however numerous populations across the world of feral horses (i.e. Mustangs in North America). (Source: OneKind)
17. Horse use their ears, eyes and nostrils to express their mood – They also communicate their feelings through facial expressions. (Source: OneKind)
18. Lookout – Horses will not all lie down simultaneously because at least one will act as a look-out to alert the rest of the herd of potential dangers. (Source: OneKind)
19. Horse are very vocal – Vocalizations are highly important to horses. For example: Whinnying and neighing sounds are elicited when horses meet or leave each other. Stallions (Adult, Un-castrated male horses) perform loud roars as mating calls, and all horses will use snorts to alert others of potential danger. (Source: OneKind)
20. Big Industry – Approximately 4.6 million Americans work in the equine industry in some capacity. The US Horse Industry has an economic effect of $39 billion annually on just nine million American horses. There are about 58 million horses in the world and the vast majority are cared for my humans. (Source: HorseCouncil)
21. Small Brain – An adult horse’s brain weighs only 22 oz. That is about half of the weight of a human brain. (Source: TheEquinest)
22. Honorable – Horses still hold a place of honor in a number of cultures. They are often linked to acts of heroism, mostly during wars. (Source: NationalGeographic)
23. Keep it down – Horses are unable to vomit (Source: TheEquinest)
24. One Species – There is only one species of domestic horse, but around 400 different breeds that have a number of specialties. (Source: NationalGeographic)
25. Amazing Vision – A horse can see better at night that a human. But this comes at a cost as their eyes need more time to adjust from light to dark and vise versa than a human. (Source: CowboyWay)
26. Cloned – The first cloned horse was a Haflinger mare in Italy in 2003. (Source: TheEquinest)
27. Horses love sweets – Horses like sweet flavors and will usually refuse anything sour or bitter. (Source: TheEquinest)
28. Rule – Wild horses generally gather in herds of 3 to 20 horses. A stallion protects the group, which consists of mares (females) and young foals. A Mare runs the herd. When young males become colts, at around 2 years old, the stallion drives them away. The colts then roam with other young males until they form a herd of their own. (Source: NationalGeographic)
29. Crazy Eyes – A horses ears will point at what they are looking at. If their ears are pointed at in two directions at the same time then the horse is looking at two different things at the same time. (Source: TrainingHorsesNaturally)
30. Lots of spit – Horses produce about 10 gallons of saliva every day. (Source: EquineNews)
31. Frog – On the bottom of a horses hoof is a triangle shaped area that’s called the “frog”. This acts as a shock absorber for a horse’s leg and also helps to pump the blood back up the leg. (Source: PawNation)
32. Horses Have Hands (Kinda) – A horse’s height is measured in units known as “hands”. One hand is equal to 4 inches. The tallest horse on record was a shire hnamed Sampson. He was 21.2 hands (7 feet, 2 inches) tall. He was born in 1846 in Toddington Mills, England. (Source: CowboyWay)
33. Huge Heart – The average horse’s heart weights about 9 or 10 pounds (Source: SteinbeckEquine)
34. Long Jump Champion – The record for the longest jump over water is held by a horse named Something who jumped 27 feet, 6 and ¾ inches on April 25, 1975 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Source: EquineLifeSolutions)
35. High Jump Champion – The record for the highest jump made by a horse is held by a horse named Huaso who jumped 8 feet, 1 and ¼ inches on February 5th, 1949 in Vina del Mar, Chile. (Source: YouTube)
36. Very Old Animal – 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. (Source: Chronozoom)
37. Nose Breathers – Horses with typical anatomy are “obligate nasal breathers” which means they must breathe through their nostrils and are unable to breathe through their mouths. (Source: TheHorse)
38. Drink like fish – Horses drink at least 25 gallons of water a day (More in hotter climates). (Source: TheEquinest )
39. Slow Growth Nails – It takes 9 to 12 months to re-grow and entire horse hoof. (Source: TheEquinest)
40. Sunburns – Horses with pink skin can get sunburned. (Source: TheEquinest)
41. Zebroid – A zebroid is a cross betwee 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. And a “zorse” is a cross between a zebra and a horse. (Source: CowboyWay)
42. Cold Spots – You can tell if a horse is cold by feeling behind their ears. If behind their ears is cold then so is the horse. (Source: ChronOfHorse)
43. Muscular – Horses have 16 muscles in each ear, allowing them to rotate their ears 180 degrees. (Source: UMN)
44. Kicking Banners – If a horse has a red ribbon on it’s tail, it will kick. (Source: EquineTips)
45. Social Butterflies – Horses are very social animals and will get lonely if kept alone. They will also mourn the passing of a companion. (Source: TheEquinest)
46. Cattle Rockstars – Horses are the most popular way to herd cattle.
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