It seems that horses have always been companions of man, since our ancestors discovered that they could be useful for many other things besides food, and they began to use them as a means of transport and to use them in agriculture.
These splendid animals, often seen as a symbol of freedom, especially when they are imagined to run for infinite landscapes, have an obscure past made of exploitation, wars and bloody conquests. However, in their past there are also stories of almost symbiotic relationships with riders and relating to the therapeutic benefit they offer thanks to hippo therapy. Unfortunately, it is rare to rely on adequately large spaces in our homes to allow us to keep these noble creatures as pets.
Data for which we know horses
Let’s discover together some physical characteristics and the personality of the horses, so that you can enter the wonderful equine world …
- They are ungulate herbivorous mammals (with hooves).
- They can be divided into two categories. Cold-blooded horses are suitable for working in rural areas and excellent as therapy animals, while warm-blooded ones are ideal for racing, sports and exhibitions. The crosses between the two different categories generated the warm-blooded horses, with the docility and tranquility of the first, and the lightness and agility of the latter.
- They usually live around the age of 30, although some reach the age of 50.
- Gestation lasts 11 months and mares generally give birth to only one foal.
- The most common diseases that could be affected are equine fever, rabies, Nile fever, equine encephalomyelitis, mumps and tetanus.
- These are gregarious animals that need to communicate with other members of the herd.
- If domesticated, they treat humans as members of their pack and use the same body language to communicate with their masters. It is an extensive and specific language, and it is important to master it to maintain a better relationship with these beings.
- The sensitivity of these animals allows them to perceive the mood of the people they come into contact with.
Advice for those who choose a horse as a pet
If you are considering the idea of keeping a horse as a traveling companion or as a pet, you will need to take into account some important issues …
- First and foremost, you need to make sure you have enough space to move and graze. You cannot leave your horse all day in a stable.
- Get rid of waste and dangerous plants for him (such as laurel, belladonna or castor) that can be found in the open air areas you have destined for him. It will also have to be areas properly closed with a fence. Never use barbed wire as a fence.
- Get a clean and cool place for rest. The stable must be large, airy and warm during the winter. Always remember to cover the floor with clean, dry straw, and change it at least once a day.
- It is of fundamental importance to brush it every day to keep the coat and skin in good condition. This activity will also be extremely pleasant for your horse, so you will also need to make a bond with him.
- Keep in mind that horses cannot eat large quantities of food at once, as their stomach is delicate and not too large.
- Horses need three basic types of food: grazing – which will be carried out in the area that will be used in the open air – hay and processed foods that provide vitamins and minerals.
- Remember that the horse drinks a lot of water, so make sure that it always has large quantities available.
- Vaccinate it and remove the parasites periodically.
- Ask your veterinarian to check your general health every six months.
If you live in a small house just right for you or maybe for a cat, or you live in the city but would like to own a horse anyway, remember that art is a means that will always allow you to have a relationship with these animals. The relationships between man and these creatures have remained engraved in numerous stories and stories. Those of you a little older will surely remember Tornado, the black steed that Zorro mounted when the moon came out. Or again Cochise, the pinto horse of Joe Cartwright in the legendary Bonanza series. And how to forget Silver, the inseparable companion of the Solitary Knight’s adventures. Without going too far in the years, the stories of the Hidalgo mustang or of the thoroughbred Seabiscuit have recently been brought to the big screen.