Horses have accompanied human beings for tens of thousands of years, and they show no sign of degradation or destruction. As such, they are an instantly recognizable and familiar sight, though increasingly most of us only see them on television.
Horse breeds are loosely classified into three categories depending on their general temperament: “cold bloods”, like draft horses and some ponies, suitable for slow, weighty work; spirited “hot bloods” with endurance and speed; and “warmbloods”, developed from the crosses between cold bloods and hot bloods, usually focusing on improving breeds for a particular riding purpose, especially in Europe. Today, there are over 300 breeds of horse in the world, developed for several different purposes.
Horses have been referred to as the noblest creature, and it is very easy to see why. Horses are beautiful animals to look at, and many fanatics enjoy showing them every year or riding them.
They’re incredibly fast and well-balanced animal, and that helps them to escape their predators in the wild.
Depending on which scientific theories you believe, they have been human’s first best friend since anywhere from 4000 to 2000 B.C. They have taken us wherever we have asked them to include battlefields.
It’s so unfortunate that horses don’t get the attention they deserve. Today, we are going to honor these animals by providing some very interesting facts you probably didn’t know about them.
1. Horses use their eyes, nostrils, and ears to express their moods. They also communicate their feelings through various facial expressions.
2. It’s very unlikely to see all horses in a herd lying down all at once This is due to the fact that at least one horse will have to stand as a lookout to be able to alert the rest of any impending dangers.
3. Horses have nearly 360-degree vision. Since the eyes of the horse are on the sides of their head, they can see nearly 360 degrees at once. However, they’ve blind spots directly in front and behind them. That is why it’s very risky to stand behind a horse since they’re liable to kick out if they’re scared of anything. Kicking out is their defensive mechanism.
4. Horses are incredibly intelligent animals. Aside from being proficient at relatively simple learning challenges, they’re also recognized as having the capacity to solve advanced cognitive tasks involving categorization learning and a degree of concept formation.
5. When horses seem like they are laughing, they are actually engaging in a special nose-enhancing practice referred to as “flehmen,” to find out whether a particular smell is good or bad.
6. At some point, people thought horses were color blind. They are not, though they’re better at seeing greens and yellows than violets and purples.
7. The number of teeth also tells the difference between female and male horses: males have 40 while females have 36 (of course, most of us will prefer to use the much “easier” way).
8. A horse has better night vision than a human being. Nonetheless, it takes the eyes of a horse longer to adjust from dark to light and from light to dark than a human’s.
9. Many times, wherever the ear of a horse is pointing is where the horse is looking with the eyes on the same side. So, if the ears of a horse are pointing in different directions, then it’s looking at two different things simultaneously.
10. On the underside of the horse’s hoof is a triangular-shaped part known as the “frog” that acts as the shock absorber for legs of a horse, and also assists in pumping blood back up the leg.
11. The height of horses is measured in units called “hands.” One hand is equal to 4 inches. The tallest horse ever recorded was the Shire called Sampson. He was 21.2 hands (7 feet, 2 inches) tall. He was born in 1846 in Toddington Mills, England.
12. A horse named Something holds the record for the longest jump over water. On April 25, 1975, he jumped 27 feet, 6 and 3/4 inches in Johannesburg, South Africa. Andre Ferreira rode the horse.
13. A horse named Huaso holds the record for the highest jump made by a horse. On February 5th, 1949, he jumped 8 feet, 1 and 1/4 inches in Vina del Mar, Chile. Captain Alberto Larraguibel rode the horse.
14. Horses are very social animals and will feel lonely if kept alone, and they’ll mourn the passing of their companion.