The horse is an animal that has always lived and worked alongside man. It has been fundamental in areas such as hunting, agriculture, industry, war, as well as in sport. If you have a passion for this exceptional quadruped, it is possible that you already know many things about him. However, we have decided to summarize in this article 15 curiosities about horses that you can’t miss.
1. They have an unparalleled strength
After the elephant, the draft horse is considered one of the strongest land animals in the world. It can exert a force proportional to its weight. In 1893 one of these animals, of Clydesdale breed, alone managed to move the beauty of 128 tons.
2. They are ancient animals
The horse of the Arab breed is the oldest in the world and its origin dates back to 3000 BC. He has been able to convey his character traits over the years. In addition to its long history, it differs in its characteristic anatomy. It has a rib, a lumbar bone and two vertebrae less than the other horses.
3. A very particular vision
They have a monocular panoramic view, which allows them to see around on both sides with any of their eyes. However, they have a blind area right in front of their foreheads.
4. They are the larger-eyed mammals
Among the land mammals, they are the only ones with such large eyes. Seals, whales and ostriches are the only animals that exceed them.
5. They perceive the rider’s breath
Another curiosity about horses is that, being prey animals, they are very perceptive. They can intuit what the person is simply experiencing through his breath and use it as a warning sign for what is happening in the surrounding environment.
6. Their teeth never stop growing
The teeth of the equine race grow throughout life. They are used to establish the age of a specimen. It is enough to observe the wear of the incisors deriving from the feeding and the use that has been made of the animal.
7. Differentiate emotions and understand death
The horse is a sensitive animal, which distinguishes various feelings such as love, happiness, sadness, frustration, fear or anxiety. He may also feel sad for months, due to the death of a fellow man or even his rider.
8. The gestation period
A mare gives birth to only one foal, rarely two, after 11 months of pregnancy.
9. Foals can run just a few hours after giving birth
They are born with 90% of the dimensions that will reach their limbs as adults. They can reach an average speed of up to 44 km / h. Although there are races that are able to double that record.
10. Have a good memory
Like humans, one of the curiosities to know about horses is that they have excellent storage capacity. Some behaviors are due to previously unpleasant situations that are recorded in the form of trauma.
During the night, the animal relaxes and remembers what it has learned during the day, reinforcing it in its memory.
11. They can move their ears 180 degrees
Did you know that every single ear has 16 different muscles? Furthermore, it is possible to measure the horse’s body temperature from its ears. If they are cold, the animal will feel exactly the same way.
12. Live long
The horse’s life expectancy is 25-30 years. The longest animal lived 62 years, from 1760 to 1822. His name was Old Billy and he was originally from Lancashire, England.
13. How many horses are there in the world?
Currently around 75 million horses live in the world. China is not only the most populated country of human beings. It is estimated that around 10 million horses live here. One of the most popular sports in the world is dressage.
14. They drink between 25 and 30 liters of water a day
Because of their size, these mammals require a large quantity of fluids every day. This increases, as is understood, in the summer periods or in the days of more intense activity.
15. They can sleep standing up
The horses, as you surely know, are able to sleep standing up. This is linked to the fact that there are two types of sleep, one “synchronized” and the REM one. In the first case, the brain waves are short and the brain is not very active, but not completely asleep. The horse is therefore able to rest, but wakes up easily.
The myth of the “white horse”
Speaking of curiosity about horses we cannot omit to mention the famous white horse. It is a traditional image that has always occupied a leading position in cultures around the world. The white horse was and is considered sacred and revered in many regions. Various myths have been created around him.
In Persia white horses were sacrificed in honor of the god Mithras, god of Light and protector of pastures. In ancient India, they sacrificed themselves to ensure the prosperity of the kingdom. Remaining in the Asian continent, in China, the white mares of the Yuan dynasty were treated as true gods. It was forbidden to walk where they had gone, during the White Spring Festival. The Celts buried their white horses because they considered it a way to honor them. The mares were a symbol of fertility.
But, undoubtedly, the most famous among white horses is Pegasus, the winged animal symbol of ancient Greece and assembled by Zeus, the king of the gods, who accompanied him in all his adventures.