This page brings you a list of interesting horse facts.
Classification of the Horse
- They are a subspecies of the the family Equidae
- The correct Latin name for the horse is Equus ferus caballus.
- They are an ungulate mammal which means "hooved" animal.
- They evolved from a small multi-toed creature to the horse we know today over the last 50 million years
- Horses were first domesticated around 4500 BC
- Horses are prey animals who rely on speed to escape from predators
- They are also herd animals who rely on safety in numbers and require social interaction with each other
- There are over 300 different breeds of horses
Horse Facts: Age
- You can tell the age of a horse by examining his teeth
- Domesticated horses have an average life expectancy of 25 to 30 years
- The oldest recorded horse was "Old Billy" who lived to the age of 62
- Foal is the term that describes a male or female horse that is less than one year old
- Yearling is the term that describes a male or female horse that between one and two years old
- A mare is a female horse who is four years or older
- A filly is a female horse who is under four years old
- A stallion is a male horse who is four years or older
- A colt is a male horse who is under four years old
- A gelding is a male horse who has been castrated
- Horses are measured in hands - one hand being equal 4 inches (10cm)
- The measurement is taken from the ground to the top of the withers
- "Pony" is the term generally used to describe an animal that measures 14.2h or under
- "Horse" is the term used to describe an animal that measures over 14.2h
- Miniature horses measure in at less than 30"
- Bay - body color ranges from light reddish-brown to dark brown and the legs, tail and mane are black
- Brown - body color ranges from light reddish-brown to dark brown
- Chestnut - body color ranges from light reddish-brown to dark brown with no black points. Mane and tail are the same shade or lighter.
- Grey - can range from white to dark grey but all have black skin
- Black - coat, mane and tail are all black
- Buckskin - cream coat with black legs, mane and tail
- Dun - cream coat with black legs, mane and tail plus black stripe along spine
- Cremello - very light cream coat and most often with blue eyes
- Leopard/Appaloosa - horse has spots, mottled skin around the eyes, lips and genitalia and also has a white sclera of the eye
- Palomino - golden, yellow or tan shade with flaxen or white mane and tail
- Pinto - multi-colored horse with large patches usually either brown and white or black and white
- Roan - has white hairs evenly intermixed with body color and solid-colored head
- White - very rare and has white coat with pink skin
Horse Facts: Reproduction
- Pregnancy lasts for approx 335-340 days
- Foals are able to stand and run within a very short time after birth
- Horses are considered mature at around four years old but their skeleton doesn't finishing developing until they are around six
- Horses have 205 bones in their skeleton
- Horses have a special locking mechanism in their legs which enable them to sleep standing up
- Horses are herbivores which means they only eat plants
- They have a small stomach so require a steady flow of food throughout the day and night
- They require approx 2 percent of their body weight in food per day
- A 1,000 pound horse require approx 10-12 gallons of water per day
- Horses have the largest eyes of any land mammal and have excellent day and night vision
- Their range of vision is 350 degrees with two small blind spots, one directly in front and one directly behind them
- Their ears can rotate up to 180 degrees to provide 360 degree hearing with having to move their head
Horse Facts: Movement
- Horses have four basic gaits: walk, trot, canter and gallop
- The walk is a four beat gait with three feet on the ground at any one time
- The trot is a two beat gait with diagonally opposite feet on the ground at the same time
- The canter or lope is a three beat gait with a moment of suspension where all four feet are off the ground
Return from Horse Facts to All Natural Horse Care home page
- The gallop is a four beat gait and is the fastest gait for the horse
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