INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT HORSES
What do you know about horses? If you own a horse or you are seriously considering buying a horse it helps to be knowledgeable about your animal. There is certain information that you should be aware of and it is always good to share your horse knowledge among your horse-loving friends.
It is a known fact that horses have been part of the human culture for a very long time. Some suggest as far back as 30,000 BC. There is a lot of historical evidence that indicates horses go back to prehistoric times of the Paleolithic age. Images of horses illustrated on cave paintings prove this fact. During this period horses were not domesticated. In fact they were hunted by humans for food.
It is unknown when horses were first domesticated but the discovery that is was more efficient to work a horse that led to domestication. There are only two species that were not domesticated by humans. The Presewalski and Tarpan horse were true wild horses. These are very rare species with the Tarpan horse now extinct.
Are you familiar with the correct terminology relating to horses of different ages? For instance a young horse up to 1 year of age is called a foal. When the foal reaches the age of 1-2years it will be called a yearling. The male horse is called a colt when he is between the age of 2 and 4 years old and the female 2-4-year old horse is called a filly. When the female horse matures to 4 years of age she will be called a mare. Male horses that reach 4 years old could be called either a gelding which means the horse has been castrated or a stallion for a non-castrated older male horse.
Did you know that . . .
Horses, donkeys, and zebras are all classified under the same genus – which means that these animals can breed with each other. There are names for the offspring of these cross breeds which I was didn’t realize. If you cross a mare and male donkey the offspring will be referred to as a jack. The result of breeding a donkey and a zebra will produce a zedonk (that’s a pretty funny name). A hinny is a cross between a female donkey and a stallion. Collectively these crosses are called zebroid or zebra hybrids.
Horses and the Digestive System
It is interesting and helpful to know that horses are not capable of vomiting. This is the reason why digestive problems in horses can be fatal. Equine colic is a leading cause of death for the animal. Horses cannot burp and they can’t breathe in through their mouths. Generally a horse’s digestive system follows a one-way street by in taking food and water. Their digestive system can do a lot of work processing fibrous food that come from the forage. While they may have a very efficient digestive system, it can also be vulnerable to many different ailments such as equine gastric ulcers, indigestion, and of course colic.
Horses and Poop
Did you also know that horses poop about 15 times each day (now, that’s a lot!)? Horses do eat a lot of grass and grass is rich in fiber which might explain while defecating is never a problem for this huge herbivore.
I personally could not imagine why someone would fear a horse who is such a gentle creature. However a horse’s size can be intimidating and anyone who strongly fears this animal is known to have equinophobia.
Talk About Teamwork
When horses go to sleep not all of them are sleeping. They are prey animals and as such they need to be alert at all times. In a herd horses take turns watching out for each other. When most of the herd members are asleep there will always be one left standing as a lookout to alert if any danger approaches the herd.
Strong-willed at an Early Age
The horse symbolizes strength and freedom. The vision of horse galloping at full speed across the landscape is a sight to behold. From the moment a foal is born it will only take a couple of hours before it will be able to walk and then run. This quite an achievement when you think that the baby horse has been used to the floating sensation of being inside the mother’s womb. When you think it can take a year before a child can take its first steps. This epitomizes the horse’s strength.
The horse industry is prevalent for various reasons but mostly because, horses are great as companion animals and they also excel in other fields such as sports, entertainment, and are great work animals. Horses are very interesting creatures. They can grow very big in size but remain gentle when surrounded by a pleasant environment. These gentle animals should be given the love, care and respect that they deserve.