Horses are such fascinating creatures. Even if you never learned to ride one, you could spend your whole life studying them and still have plenty to explore. Here are 15 interesting facts about horses.
Horses Sleep Standing Up
Yes, horses do sleep standing up! They sleep laying down too, but only for short times. Learn all about the sleeping habits of horses.
Horses Can’t Burp
That’s right! Horses can’t burp, at least not the way humans do. They can’t vomit or breathe through their mouths like humans do either. A horse’s digestive system is a one-way street, unlike cattle and other ruminants who regurgitate food to re-chew it. Although they have a pretty efficient way of processing the tough fibrous foods that make up their forage, this long, one-directional system can cause problems that result in colic.
You Can Estimate a Horse’s Age by Its Teeth
While you can’t tell the exact age of a horse by its teeth, you can estimate its age. Horses need proper equine dental care for their teeth, but sometimes a horse lives longer than its teeth do, so extra care is needed when feeding senior horses.
Horses Can Live to Be More Than 30 Years Old
One of the most common questions about horses is “how long does a horse live?” The answer may surprise you. Knowledge of horse nutrition, horse care, and veterinary medicine has increased. Because of this, just as human life expectancy has increased, so has equine longevity.
Arabian Horses Have One Less Vertebrae Than Other Breeds
The Arabian horse is the foundation of many other light horse breeds. They also possess some unique characteristics. Arabian horses have one fewer vertebrae, rib, and tail bone than other horses.
Horses Are Herbivores
Humans are omnivores, lions are carnivores, and horses are herbivores. The way their teeth are formed, the position of their eyes, and the type of digestive system are all typical characteristics of herbivores.
Horses Are Herd Animals
Horses in the wild live in small herds, and domestic horses feel more comfortable if they have companions too. It can be quite stressful for a horse to live alone. To keep your horse happy, it will need a (preferably equine) friend.
Horses Were Domesticated by Humans More Than 3,000 Years Ago
Dogs may have become domesticated around 14,000 years ago. Cats became human companions about 8,500 years ago. Humankind’s relationship with the horse began a little more recently, about 3,500 B.C. although some evidence has come to light that horses may have been domesticated even earlier.
Horses Are Measured in “Hands”
The standard measurement for determining the height of a horse is called a hand. A pony is an equine under 14.2 hands. The only equines not measured in hands are miniature horses that are measured in inches or centimeters.
Most White Horses Are Actually Gray
Most of the white horses that you see were actually a much darker color at birth and gradually turn white. These “white” horses may start as bay, chestnut, or almost black. These horses aren’t called white, but gray.
The Original “Horse” Was the Size of a Golden Retriever
The original horse was no larger than a golden retriever. It may have looked more like a small goat or deer than a modern-day horse. Hyracotherium lived during the Eocene epoch about 50 million years ago.