50 Facts About Horses
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50 Facts About Horses

Some horse facts for horse lovers but not experts and the beautiful poem by Donald Duncan, The Horse.

The horse has inspired poetry for years, carried man into battle and won wars, but he has never complained.

A poem which describes exactly what a horse is was written in 1954 by Donald Duncan. It moves you and makes you look at horses in an entirely different light.

It is as follows;

"The Horse

Where in this wide world can man find nobility without pride,

Friendship without envy,

Or beauty without vanity?

Here, where grace is served with muscle

And strength by gentleness confined

He serves without servility; he has fought without enmity.

There is nothing so powerful, nothing less violent.

There is nothing so quick, nothing more patient.

England's past has been borne on his back.

All our history is in his industry.

We are his heirs, he our inheritance.”

Donald Duncan – Thank you for expressing it so well.

 A few interesting facts about dogs, cats and horses in three articles.

(Fact one is that this is undoubtedly the best poem about horses ever written – at least it is for me.)

photo courtesy of Morgue Files

  1. If you want to know how old a horse is, you look at its teeth.
  2. A horse’s hoof is like a human fingernail - it keeps growing and needs to be trimmed.
  3. A white leg is called a sock.
  4. There is no such thing as a white horse, these are called grey.
  5. Horses have 4 speeds; walk, trot, canter and gallop.
  6. A pony is not a small horse, the differences are also in appearance, conformation and temperament and breed.
  7. Horses evolved over about 50 million years, from an animal with toes to the horse of today.
  8. An uncastrated male horse is called a stallion.
  9. A castrated male is a gelding.
  10. A female is a mare.
  11. photo courtesy of Morgue Files
  12. Baby horses are called foals.
  13. A youn girl horse is a filly
  14. A young boy is a colt.
  15. A yearling is a horse between 1 and 2 years old.
  16. A horse is considered an adult when it is 4 years old.
  17. The father is called the sire.
  18. The mother is called the dam.
  19. Thoroughbreds are all considered to have the same birthday, 1st January, to make it easier keeping records.
  20. Non-thoroughbreds have their birthday on 1st April.
  21. The height of a horse's is measured in hands; 1 hand is 4 inches. This is done to the “lump” called the withers, where their back joint their neck. The measurement is expressed as “hands . inches”, eg. 12.2hh is 12 hands and 2 inches – hh is hands high.
  22. Horses can't vomit, making their diet an extremely important concern.
  23. Horses can only breath through their nose and not through their mouth.
  24. Horses belong to the “Equus” group. Equus comes from Greek, meaning "quickness".
  25. Also in the Equus family are donkeys and Zebra.
  26. A mule is a cross between a male donkey, (a jack), and a mare.
  27. A hinny is from a stallion and a female donkey, (jenny).
  28. A zorse is a zebra, horse cross.
  29. photo courtesy of Morgue Files
  30. There are more than 350 breeds of horse and pony.
  31. Horses live an average of 20 - 24 years.
  32. A pony is usually under 14.2hh.
  33. A horse is usually over 14.2hh.
  34. In some types a horse between 14.2 and 15.2hh is termed a cob.
  35. Falabella and other miniature horse breeds are often around 8hh, but these are horses, not ponies.
  36. A bit sits on a space between incisor and molar teeth.
  37. Horses teeth continue to grow.
  38. Horses have a small stomach but very long intestines.
  39. Horses eyes are the largest of any land mammal.
  40. Their range if vision is over 350°.
  41. photo courtesy of Morgue Files
  42. Horses sleep both lying down and standing up.
  43. Wild horses were first domesticated around 3500 BC.
  44. Horses are used for sport, pleasure and work.
  45. Horses drink around 40L of water a day.
  46. The name for the person who trims and shoes a horse is farrier or blacksmith.
  47. As you face a horse the left side is called the “off side” and the right the “near side ”.
  48. When a foal its born its legs are often around 80% of their final length.
  49. The oldest recorded horse is "Old Billy", born in 1760 and lived to be 62 years old.
  50. Samson is the heaviest horse on record at 1524 kg. He is also the largest at 21.2 ½ hh.
  51. In America the post was delivered by Pony Express.
  52. Horses appear to enjoy classical music.
  53. Horseshoes are supposed to be lucky, but if you hang them upside down the luck runs out.

Title photo is Mister Rex

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Comments (5)

I enjoyed reading this interesting and informative share.....thanks

They are beautiful animals. I enjoyed reading this article. Great job.

Ranked #1 in Horses

Actually there are white horses, but they are very rare. They have pink skin and are white from birth, unlike grey horses who turn grey over time. Grey is actually one of my favorite horse colors.

Ranked #2 in Horses

Thanks Brenda - I know there are horses that look white, but technically they are called grey, no matter how white they are, or they are albino. I had a perfectly white pony - not grey - and was always being told off by experts as he was not white, as there is no such thing as a white horse, (except the whiskey).,

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