There are lots of interesting facts about horses that you were probably unaware of.
Some of these facts could give you a whole new appreciation for your pet. These animals are even more fascinating than you think. The more you learn about horses, the more you are going to want to own one yourself.
1. Horses Don’t Burp
One of the more interesting things about horses is that they actually do not burp. These animals have a digestive system that only works one way. This means that they do not burp or even vomit.
It also means that they can develop a condition known as colic, which can be fairly serious if left untreated. Some of the symptoms of this condition include elevated pulse rate, restness behavior, and stretching like they are going to urinate.
2. They Aren’t Meat Eaters
Believe it or not, horses do not eat meat, at all. These animals are classified as herbivores. They are perfectly content with eating pasture grass, hay, fruits and vegetables. It is not a good idea to give your horse meat, even as an occasional treat. The fact is that the digestive system of these animals is not designed to process meat, so giving them any amount is a very bad idea.
3. You Measure a Horse in Hands
You have probably seen measurements for horses in “hands”. For example, a pony is only a pony if it comes in at under 14.2 hands. There are also small or miniature horses, but they are not the same as ponies. Of course these animals can still be measured by traditional means (inches, centimeters, etc), but it is not the official standard.
4. A Horse Can Sleep Standing Up
Horses can indeed sleep while standing up, and it is pretty amusing to witness, especially for the first time. This usually doesn’t last for very long though.
If a horse is going to sleep for a normal period of time, they will either lie down flat on their side or curl up like a dog. These animals only sleep for about three hours each day. They might fall asleep for 10 or 15 minutes while standing.
5. A Horse’s Teeth Can Reveal Their Age
You can learn a horse’s approximate age by simply looking at their teeth. As a horse gets older, their teeth begin to yellow and take on a stained appearance, much like humans. These animals actually require quite a bit of dental work throughout their life.
It is important that you are extra careful about the food that you give older horses, as their teeth are more brittle and prone to breaking. Regular dental checkups can prevent a lot of issues with these animals’ teeth over the years.
6. Horses Have Lots of Different Names
There are numerous names for horses, depending on their age, gender and other things. For instance, a female horse that is younger than four is called a filly. A newborn horse is called a foal, regardless of gender. Mares are female horses that have reached fully maturity, and mature males are called stallions.
A “dam” is what you refer to a female horse as after it has given birth. A “sire” is a male horse or stallion that has had children with a female.
7. Horses Don’t See Colors like we do
While experts used to assume that horses were color blind, it is now known that they can see color, just not the same way humans do. These animals can see various shades of blue and green just fine. They do, however, have problems with the color red.
When a horse sees blue-yellow, it appears as black and white. Horses actually have very keen vision overall though; they can see objects clearly from quite a long distance.
8. They are Naturally Herd Animals
It is perfectly natural and normal for horses to travel together in herds. This is why you will see wild horses running together out in the open. In fact, these animals hate to be on their own. They take care of each other and fend off predators as a whole.
If you are thinking about getting a horse, you should think about getting at least one more. It is far more likely that your horse will be happy and healthy if it has a friend of its own kind around. These animals simply do better together.
9. Horses Used to be Much Smaller
The early ancestor of the modern day horse was about the size of a golden retriever. It resembled a goat more so than what we know how as a horse. These animals lived tens of millions of years ago. Horses still retain a lot of their primitive instincts though.
10. Horses Change Colors from Birth
A lot of white adult horses actually started off as black, dark brown, or even bay. It is very common for these animals to change color from the time they are born to full maturity. These horses are referred to as gray rather than white.
- Horses have a one way digestive system, which means they do not burp or even vomit.
- These animals are strict herbivores, so they do not eat meat. It is never a good idea to give your horse any type of meat.
- Horses and ponies are measured in hands. For instance, a pony must be under 14.2 hands to earn this classification.
- It is fairly common for horses to fall asleep standing up, but only for a little bit. They usually lay down when going to sleep for longer periods.
- A horse’s teeth can tell you a lot about how old they are.
- Horses have different names, depending on age and sex. Adult female horses are called mares, while males are called stallions.
- While horses aren’t entirely color blind, they are incapable of seeing red and certain other colors that humans can.
- Horses are naturally herd animals, which is why they travel together in the wild.