Anyone who has ever looked at a horse may recognize them as gorgeous, exceptional beasts right away. But these organisms are far more complicated than they initially seem.
Horses have been our loyal partners for numerous years. They used to help us with our fields, haul our freight, travel long places with us, and fight beside us in battle. Horses have been in existence for more than 55 million years. The history of humanity has been significantly influenced by our interactions with these animals and vice versa. Since humans first domesticated horses 6,000 years ago, numerous horse breeds have been created, and they are currently used for everything from racing and fighting to plowing and pulling carts and carriages.
Today, they help us break records, keep us in shape, aid in our recovery, and provide a type of pleasure that is very addictive. Here are 15 fun facts about horses that you probably didn’t know.
15 FUN FACTS ABOUT HORSES
Horses have nearly 360-degree peripheral vision
Due to the position of their eyes, horses have an overall field of vision of around 350 degrees. The distance here is more than four times what we can see! Horses, however, view the world in a fundamentally different way than humans. Their monocular field of vision is just 190–230 degrees, while their combined field of vision is only 55–65 degrees. This shows how limited their perception of depth and ability to distinguish minute details is.
Horses were first domesticated around 6,000 years ago
Horses were domesticated much later than other animals, such as the dog (15,000 Years Before the Present). According to a DNA study from 2012, the event happened at multiple locations in the western Eurasian Steppes roughly 6,000 years ago. Currently, these regions are referred to as southwest Russia, the lowlands of Ukraine, and west Kazakhstan.
Horses can sleep standing up
Due to a unique evolutionary adaptation known as the stay mechanism, horses may completely relax and sleep while standing. The stifle is joined to and fixed to the hock by a number of tendons and ligaments. For this reason, horses’ knees cannot move independently of their hocks. Horses are designed to have the ability to flee at the first sign of danger thanks to this special talent. In order to complete their sleep cycle and enter deep (RAM) sleep, people must still briefly lie down.
The record-breaking speed for a horse sprint is 55 MPH
In 2005, A Long Goodbye, a racing Quarter Horse, achieved this incredible speed over a quarter-mile. (0.40 km). The horse completed the race in exactly 20.686 seconds while traveling at a speed of around 50 mph at times. However, the normal Thoroughbred racehorse can maintain a speed of 40 to 44 mph (64 to 70 km/h) over a short distance. Most horses can canter at speeds between 20 and 30 mph (32 and 48.5 km/h) while being ridden.
Horses Cannot Vomit
Vomiting is physically impossible for horses. This is due to a number of anatomical characteristics, including the strong muscles of the esophagus, the peculiar way it attaches to the horse’s stomach, and the position of the stomach. One explanation says that this serves as protection, even if the precise evolutionary basis for it is unknown. Because a full gallop could theoretically result in vomiting that would allow a predator to catch it, evolution may have entirely eliminated the concern.
Their Ears Are Muscular
Horse ears are small, yet they pack a big punch. Each of the ten muscles in an animal’s ear may rotate 180 degrees, from facing forward to facing backward, compared to the three muscles in a human’s ear. They may also recognize and distinguish between various sounds by concentrating their hearing in certain locations.
Horses can convey an emotion or give instructions by pinning their ears back. According to one study, horses made decisions based on the orientation of their friends’ ears, raising the possibility that the animals used their ears to communicate with one another.
Real wild horses are no longer in existence
It was originally thought that Przewalski’s horse was the only “authentic” breed of wild horse. Most horses that are currently considered to be wild, including the American Mustang and Australian Brumbies, are actually descended from domestic horses. The word “feral” appropriately describes these animals because true wild horses have never been domesticated. According to a 2018 study, Przewalski’s horses are only distantly related to the first horses domesticated by the Botai civilization around 6,000 years ago. The strays of Przewalski’s horses that we see today most likely originated from some of these horses that escaped.
Male horses have More teeth than female horses.
Because stallions and geldings are more likely to have wolf teeth than mares, male horses usually have 40 teeth while mares only have 36. According to thehorse.com, between the ages of 5 months and 1 year, 70% of horses will develop wolf teeth. What causes some horses to have wolf teeth and others to not? Veterinarian Glennon Mays asserted that horses’ forebears were little woodland browsers. They mostly consumed twigs and leaves, which they completely devoured with their wolf teeth.
There are no collarbones in horses.
Collarbones stabilize the shoulders and join the arms to the skeleton in the majority of animals. In contrast, the thoracic sling serves this purpose in horses. The muscles, tendons, and ligaments that connect the forelimbs to the rest of the body are collectively known as the thoracic sling.
There are no albino horses
Albinism is not present in horses. Some coat colors, such as extreme sabino, cremello, or perlino, may at first glance be mistaken for albinos. However, research has shown that this gene, which causes color, is not an albino gene. Rarely, a horse may be born with pink skin that is entirely white, giving the appearance that it is an albino. The colour dominant white is fundamentally different from albinism.
Horses have the biggest eyes of any land mammal.
Horses have the biggest eyes of any land mammal in terms of sheer size. Horse eyes are eight times bigger than human eyes! The eyes of Arabian horses are enormous when compared to those of other breeds.
The frog of an animal serves as a built-in shock absorber.
The frog is a triangular protrusion on the sole of the horse’s foot. One of its numerous functions is to distribute shock to the internal digital cushion, a spongy structure under the horse’s heels. The frog’s intrinsic ability to absorb and disperse shock shields the horse’s joints and bones from concussive stresses.
Horses can move their eyes separately.
Because they are situated on either side of its head, the horse’s eyes can actually focus on two things at once. This is a survival tactic to help them spot predators. The horse’s ears and eye on the same side usually point in the same direction. The next time you ride with a friend, pay attention to your horse and make your own decision!
Horse cloning has been successful.
A Haflinger filly named Promethea was born in Italy in 2003 from a genetically identical mother. She was the first horse to be successfully cloned after the birth of a mule clone earlier in 2003. There is still a lot of controversy around the cloning of horses and other animals. However, some equestrian experts believe that the technique may be used to clone wealthy geldings and use them as breeding stallions.
There is always a sentry in a herd of horses
Horses greatly increase their chances of surviving by congregating in a herd, but they must still be on the lookout for predators. While the others are resting, eating, or sleeping, one horse in a herd will remain vigilant for any dangers. A wild herd typically consists of one stallion, eight to ten mares, and the foals of those females. Despite the rarity, certain herds may have two stallions, and others are larger or smaller.
On summing Up, I sincerely hope you liked discovering these amazing fun facts about horses! There are many more of our articles that go over fascinating and entertaining horse-related information.