MORE ABOUT HORSES
1. The fear of horses is called Hippo phobia.
2. The horse’s single toe on each of its four feet is its most marked anatomical characteristic and makes it a perissodactyl or odd-toed ungulate. The horse shares this trait with the Rhinoceros and the Tapir.
3. Horses were introduced to the Americas by Spanish Conquistadors and explorers in the 16th century.
4. The Roman Emperor Caligula is famous or infamous for many things, but he was also a horse lover. He was idiosyncratic too, once wanting to make his favorite horse, Incitatus, consul of Rome.
5. The moons of Mars are named for the mythical horses that drew the chariot of Mars, the god of war. These two were Phobos and Deimos (ibid).
6. One of the most famous horses in television history is Mr. Ed. His original name was Bamboo Harvester and raised to be a parade and show horse. He lived to be 30 years old and died Feb. 28, 1979.
7. Man’s earliest relationship with horses was hunter-prey. Horseflesh was eaten! Although by the Bronze Age man had domesticated the horse, in the earlier Stone Age the relationship was strictly food.
8. There have been eleven (11) Triple Crown winners so far: Sir Barton, Gallant Fox, Omaha, War Admiral, Whirlaway, Count Fleet, Assault, Citation, Secretariat, Seattle Slew, and Affirmed. The last one was in 1978.
9. The horse is known as an Equus ferus caballus. It is a hooved (ungulate) mammal, a subspecies of the family Equidae. The horse has evolved over the past 45 to 55 million years from a small multi-toed creature into the large, single-toed animal of today.
10. Humans began to domesticate horses around 4000 BCE, and their domestication is believed to have been widespread by 3000 BCE. Although most horses today are domesticated, there are still endangered populations of the Przewalski`s Horse, the only remaining true wild horse, as well as more common populations of feral horses which live in the wild but are descended from domesticated ancestors .
11. Horses` display an unusual trait: horses are able to sleep both standing up and lying down. This is related to their need to flee from predators in the past. Their anatomy enables them to make use of speed to escape predators and they have a well-developed sense of balance and a strong fight-or-flight instinct .
12. Female horses, called mares, carry their young for approximately 11 months, and a young horse, called a foal, can stand and run shortly following birth .
13. The Comtois, a light draft horse, is one of the older breeds, thought to originate from horses brought into France by the Burgundians around the 4th century. In the 16th century, the Comtois was used to improve the horses of Burgundy, and was used as a cavalry and artillery horse. The Comtois is a short draft horse, averaging around 14.3 hands. Its color is any variation of the chestnut, with a flaxen mane and tail. Napoleon used this breed for his campaign of Russia.
14. The Brabant, the heaviest horse breed in the world, weighing as much as 3,000 pounds, originated in Belgium, and was used as a farm horse.
15. The Canadian Sport Horse and the Canadian Horse is not the same breed, despite the similarity between the names. The Canadian Sport Horse was developed from imported English Thoroughbreds and horses that belonged to the local farmers. They are known for the ability to jump, and excel in events such as jumping, dressage, foxhunting and driving. They can be any color but spotted (Appaloosa). The Canadian Horse was used in the development of the Morgan, and can come in a small variety of colors, mostly browns, bays and blacks .
16. The Galiceno is a gaited, pony-sized breed from NW Spain, named after their place of origin, the Galicia province of Spain. Some of their ancestors are the Lusitano and Andalusian. They range from 12 to 14.1 hands, technically making them a pony.
17. As its name suggests, the Hungarian Horse originated in Hungary, with the bloodlines going back several centuries. It’s good at many events, including jumping, eventing, dressage and driving. They can be any solid color. Sometimes, a Hungarian Horse will be born with a slate-blue mark in the shape of a three-leaf clover on its muzzle. Such a horse is said to bring the gift of good fortune for the family, and the family would be safe from danger. If a Clover horse was stolen, it would find its way back to the true owner. There is at least one Clover horse alive today (as of 2007), a filly named "Magyar Velvet," the first to be born in 50 years.
18. The Mangalarga Marchador is the national horse in Brazil, and is the most popular horse in the county. While it was developed in Brazil, it can trace its lineage back to Portugal. The unusual name comes from the hacienda Mangalarga, which was one of the first haciendas to promote the Mangalarga Marchador. The second part of the name comes from the gait, a smooth, rhythmic gait that’s natural to the breed.
19. The Marwari originates in India, and is known for its ears, which are hooked, so much so that the tips touch each other. They are used for endurance and pleasure riding, and dressage.
20. The horse breed ‘Moyle’ does not have a registry or a member association. It does have frontal bosses, or "horns." The Moyle was developed in Idaho, by a rancher who traded one of his horses for a Mormon’s horse, who had galloped for 28 miles for the Pony Express. The mare was in foal, and gave birth a month later to a filly. This line of horses is recognizable due to the appearance of the frontal bosses above their eyes. There are only two other horse breeds in the world known for having frontal bosses, a strain of Andalusians, and the Datong of China.
21. The Pryor Mountain Mustang originated in the Pryor Mountains, which are between Montana and Wyoming. The Pryor Mountain Mustangs are a gaited breed, with smooth gaits that are good for a person with back knees or a bad back. They are small horses, ranging from 13 to 15 hands. They have the typical conformation for Spanish Colonial horses. They can come in a variety of colors, and many horses have primitive markings, such as zebra striping, cob webbing and dorsal stripes.
22. Friesians are mostly black, have feathers and are not allowed to be used for breeding if they have a marking bigger than a Re.1 coin.
23. Shetland ponies are stocky, short and have a thick mane and tail. They are very popular among families. Some are so small that even a dog could look down on them! .
24. The Clydesdale are very big, cold blooded and used mainly for work. Before machines were invented, Clydesdales were used for everything. Nowadays all machines are measured in `horse power`.
25. The Lipizzan breed is used for difficult maneuvers. The tallest it can get is 16 hands. It is
born black or grey and usually turn `white` by the time they are 5 or 6. However, The Lipizzan is not fully grown until it is about seven years of age as it is late maturing. They can live up to 35 years. Lipizzans aren’t truly white. No horse is. A horse can only be called white if it is born white which is very rare.
26. The Przewalski, typically between 12 and 14 hands, is often called the `only true wild horse` and was almost hunted to extinction. As of January 1998, only 60 Przewalski horses lived in the wild.
27. The Thoroughbred originated in 17th century England. The Thoroughbred is a product of English racing mares and Arabian stallions. Most people are familiar with the three founding stallions, the Godolphin Arabian, the Byerly Turk and the Darly Arabian.
28. The Thoroughbred is known as a race horse, but is not the fastest racer. In a short race (a quarter of a mile), the Quarter Horse can beat the Thoroughbred.
29. There is no such thing as an albino horse. There is, however, such thing as a sabino. The white Thoroughbred you may have seen (White Fox) is not an albino, it’s a extreme sabino .
30. Horses are measured in “HANDS”, one hand is equal to 4 inches, or 10 centimeters. A horse that is 15.2 hands is 15 hands plus 2 inches.
31. The Arabian is one of the oldest and purest breeds, in fact even if a horse is 99.9% Arabian, it is still not considered to be a purebred. Arabian blood is present in most other modern breeds, including the Thoroughbred.
32. Horses cannot vomit.
33. While most horses have only four gaits, the walk, trot, canter, and gallop, there are some breeds noted for additional gaits, usually smoother to ride, e.g. the Peruvian Paso, the Tennessee walking horse, and the Icelandic Horse.
34. The hoof of a horse is similar to the fingernail of a person, it grows continually and must be trimmed.
35. A horse with a broken leg can be saved, however it is extremely costly, and hard. Horses cannot digest their food while lying down so a horse with a broken leg would have to be kept in a sling for recovery, something very few horses would tolerate.
36. Horse Vision: Most of the time, a horse has "monocular" vision. This means a different image is seen by each eye so that a horse is seeing two different pictures at the same time. A horse can also have "binocular" vision. Binocular vision is when both eyes work together to see one picture (humans have binocular vision). A horse only has binocular vision when it is looking down its nose. However, a horse has a wide range of vision. A horse can see completely around its entire body except for small blind spots directly in front of its face, underneath its head, and directly behind itself. This is why it’s very important not to walk up right behind a horse - you are in its blind spot and if you startle it you may get kicked.
Most of the time, wherever a horse’s ear is pointing is where the horse is looking with the eye on the same side. If the ears are pointing in different directions, the horse is looking at two different things at the same time. There are exceptions to this. For example, if a horse has its ears pinned back against its neck in anger, this does not mean it is looking backwards with both eyes.
37. A horse can see better at night than a human. However, it takes a horse’s eyes longer to adjust from light to dark and from dark to light than a human’s .
38. Horse Records:
The tallest horse on record was aØ Shire named Samson. He was 21.2 hands (7 feet, 2 inches) tall. He was born in 1846 in Toddington Mills, England.
The oldest horse on record is "OldØ Billy," an English barge horse. He was 62 years old when he died, living from 1760 to 1822.
The record for the highest jump made by a horse is held by aØ horse named Huaso who jumped 8 feet, 1 and 1/4 inches on February 5th, 1949 in Vina del Mar, Chile. He was ridden by Captain Alberto Larraguibel.
The record for the longest jump over water is held by a horse named something who jumped 27 feet, 6 and 3/4 inches on April 25, 1975 in Johannesburg, South Africa. He was ridden by Andre Ferreira.
39. Horses cannot breathe through their mouths.
40. Horses have a prehensile upper lip. Prehensile means "adapted for seizing, grasping, or taking hold of something." Their upper lips are very sensitive and capable of feeling the smallest of differences in objects.
41. All horses, regardless of when they were actually born, are considered to have a common birthday of January 1. This is one of the reasons most horsemen don’t like their foals to be born late in the year: Even if a foal is born on December 31st he or she will have their first birthday the very next day.