Horses are large, four-legged mammals that were first domesticated thousands of years ago. Since then, they have been used as an important means of transport, carrying and pulling heavy loads, as well as for sports and entertainment. Here are some basic and interesting facts about horses.
The first horse-like creature, the dawn horse or Eohippus, appeared 45-55 million years ago in North America. It was much smaller than modern horses and had multiple toes instead of a single hoof.
2. Horses have different names depending on their age and gender
A baby horse up to a year old is called a foal, while a male foal is known as a ‘colt’ and a female foal is a ‘filly’. While an adult male horse is termed a ‘stallion’, a female horse is called a ‘mare’. The term ‘gelding’ is used for specifying a castrated male horse. Additionally, a group of horses is referred to as a herd.
3. The sound made by horses is called a neigh
4. Horses are kept in stud farms for breeding
Click here to find out about their habitat in the wild.
The average lifespan of horses varies depending on the type of breed, as some are known to live for 40 years or more. Experts can evaluate the age of a horse by its teeth.
6. The heaviest horse ever recorded weighed over 3,000 lb
But horses typically weigh between 900-2,000 lbs.
The standard size of horses is 14-17 hands, but some can measure more than 18 hands.
8. Horses are herbivores
Wild horses typically graze fresh plants and grass. In addition to grass, domesticated horses are fed hay, barley, rolled oats, and bran.
Though often thought otherwise, horses do not make the list of top ten fastest mammals on earth. Still, they are the fasted animal that is commonly used as a means of conveyance for humans.
They don’t need to sleep for long hours, as several short naps are enough.
11. Horses can generate a maximum of around 14.9 horsepower…
while that of human beings is only 5 horsepower.
They need a fair amount of training to become experts in swimming. Swimming with horses is a popular activity in many states.
Like humans, horses sweat during intense exercise, or when it gets too hot.
14. A mare carries her baby for 11 months
Ponies typically have a shorter gestation period, while some domesticated mares may give birth earlier or later.
15. December 13 is observed as the National Day of the Horse in USA
It encourages Americans to be aware of the contribution of horses to the history and economy of the US.