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50 Horse Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

50 Horse Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

 

The role of horses has changed quite a bit throughout history. Once used solely for hunting, they slowly began expanding the trading route, distributing goods far and wide. Since only the wealthy could afford a horse, they quickly became a status symbol for the elite.

Due to their size and extensive care, only a small portion of the population will ever own horses. 

However, horses are known for not only being majestic animals but having incredibly loving hearts – one of the characteristics their owners love the most. So, for those who have never – and may never own a horse, read about horse history, and here are 50 facts about stallions you may not have known before:

  1. They have an outstanding memory.
  2. They may not understand words like dogs do, but they do remember familiar faces.
  3. Horses are incredibly intelligent animals.
  4. Every horse has a distinct personality, making each one completely unique. 
  5. Horses will mourn the death of a fellow companion.
  6. A red ribbon tied around a tail means this horse kicks – so stay away!
  7. Horses are social animals and need to be in the company of others.
  8. Horses have 205 bones in their skeleton.
  9. Horses have a third eyelid for extra protection. 
  10. While horses are able to sleep both lying down and standing, REM sleep can only occur if a horse is laying. 
  11. A horse’s teeth take up more space in its head than its brain does.
  12. A grown male horse has 40 teeth, while mares only have 36. 
  13. In 2007, Guinness Book of World Records measured a horse’s tail in Kentucky at 12 feet 6 inches long!
  14. Horses drink 25 gallons of water a day.
  15. The oldest horse lived up to 65, it has been preserved through taxidermy to this day.
  16. Due to a strong band surrounding their esophagus, horses can’t vomit.
  17. There are an estimated 60 million horses in the world. 
  18. Australia had no horses until 1788 when European settlers brought them over by sea. Only the strongest horses survived the trip – truly survival of the fittest.
  19. With nearly 360 degree vision, horses are incredibly aware and alert of their surroundings. 
  20. Horses have 16 muscles in each ear, allowing them to rotate 180 degrees.
  21. A horse produces 10 gallons of saliva every day.
  22. When horses purse their lips out, they may look as though they’re laughing but they’re actually determining whether a smell is good or bad. By doing this open mouth motion, they are allowing the scent to hit the glands in the back of their throat.
  23. At one point, humans thought horses were color blind until science later debunked this myth.
  24. Foals are born with soft tissue surrounding their hooves to protect their mother’s birth canal and uterus. 
  25. The soft tissue foals are born with what has been nicknamed: fairy slippers, golden hooves, foal slippers, gills, fingers, or leaves.
  26. A horse’s heart is the size of a basketball – a human heart is the size of a closed fist.
  27. The average speed for a horse is 27 mph.
  28. The fastest horse on record ran at 55 mph.
  29. Equinophobia = fear of horses. 
  30. True white horses are rare, as many horses that appear white were once a darker color at birth and gradually lightened.
  31. Horses typically live anywhere from 25-30 years old.
  32. Horses are known to be incredibly empathetic animals, hence why they’re used for therapeutic practices.
  33. The horse’s closest relative is the rhinoceros. 
  34. In France, horse meat is a luxury, with restaurants serving horse meat, horse brains, and horse heart. 
  35. A horse’s brain weighs the same as half a grown human. 
  36. Arabian horses have entirely different skeletal structures. They have fewer bones and vertebrae and are wider set than other types of horses.
  37. There was once a breed of horse with shimmering, metallic fur. However, it became extinct when the Soviets began slaughtering it for meat. 
  38. A horse’s eye is 9 times larger than a human’s.
  39. You can tell a horse’s age by inspecting its teeth.
  40. In some herds, females rank higher than males.
  41. Horses were first domesticated in Mongolia, 5000 years ago.
  42. The Islam religion is reportedly “founded on the hoof prints of the Arabian horse”.
  43. While humans have 5 senses, horses have six. Smell, taste, touch, hear, see, and heightened perception. 
  44. Horses can only breathe through their nose.
  45. Research has concluded that horses can read human emotions such as sadness, sometimes even before we’ve registered them. 
  46. Ponies live longer than horses, typically into their 50’s. 
  47. Zorses (zebra-horse hybrids) actually exist. 
  48. A horse’s vision has two blind spots: one directly in front, and one directly behind them.
  49. A foal (baby horse) can run hours after birth.
  50. Horses have been found in cave paintings dating all the way back to 15000 B.C.

 

Image Credit: christels / Pixabay