15 Fascinating Facts About Horses

Horses Sleep Standing Up Horses can actually sleep standing up. Horses can also sleep lying down. Find out more about horses' sleeping habits. To avoid sleep deprivation, horses must sleep on their backs for at least 30 minutes each night. 

Horses Can't Burp That's right! Horses don't have the ability to burp like humans. Horses can't urinate or breathe through their mouths as humans can. Horses' digestive system is one-way, unlike cattle or other ruminants that regurgitate food to re-chew it. They have an efficient system for processing fibrous food, but this one-directional system can lead to problems . 

You Can Estimate a Horse's Age by Its Teeth Horses can actually sleep standing up. Horses can also sleep lying down. Find out more about horses' sleeping habits. To avoid sleep deprivation, horses must sleep on their backs for at least 30 minutes each night. 

Horses Can Live to Be More Than 30 Years Old The most frequently asked question about horses is "How long does a horse live?" You might be surprised at the answer. The knowledge of horse nutrition, horse care and veterinary medicine has improved. Equine longevity has also increased in line with human life expectancy. 

The American Quarter Horse Is the World's Most Popular Breed The American quarter horse is loved by both novice and experienced riders alike. Learn more about American quarter horses. 

(Most) Arabian Horses Have One Less Vertebrae Than Other Breeds Many light horse breeds are based on the Arabian horse. These horses also have some special characteristics. The Arabian horse has one less vertebrae, rib bone and tail bone than other horses.

Horses Are Herbivores Humans are omnivores. Lions and horses are carnivores. Their teeth (grinding molars for fibrous plant material), their position of the eyes (facing the side to look out for predators) and their digestive system are all characteristic characteristics of herbivores.

Horses Are Herd Animals Horses live in small groups in the wild. Domestic horses are more comfortable with companions. Horses can feel very stressed if they live alone. A horse may even find a companion in a dog.

Horses Were Domesticated by Humans More Than 3,000 Years Ago Dogs could have been domesticated as early as 14,000 years ago. Around 8,500 years ago, cats became human companions. The human relationship with horses began around 6,000 years ago. However, some evidence suggests that domestication may have occurred earlier.

Horses Are Measured in "Hands" A hand is the standard measurement to determine the horse's height. A hand equals 4 inches. Pony is an equine with less than 14.2 hands. miniature horses are the only horses that are not measured in hands. They are measured in centimeters or inches.

Most White Horses Are Actually Gray Many of the white horses you see are actually much darker than their birth color and slowly turn white. These "white" horses can be as dark as a bay, chestnut or nearly black. These horses are gray, not white.

A Horse's Resting Respiratory Rate Is About 8-14 Breaths per Minute It is important to know your horse's resting pulse rate and respiration rate. The resting respiratory rate of horses can range from eight to eight breaths per hour, but this can rapidly increase when they are stressed or work hard.

Horses Are Not Native to North America Every horse found on North American continents is a descendant of European horses. Even horses we consider "wild" may actually be feral horses whose ancestors fled captivity. Horses vanished from America more than 11,000 years ago. There is plenty of fossil evidence to suggest that horses lived in America before that.

A Baby Horse is Called a Foal What's the difference between a colt, a foal and a filly ? It all depends on the gender and age. A foal is generally a baby horse. It is called a sheanling after it has been weaned from her dam. Horses are fillies until four years old.

The Original "Horse" Was the Size of a Golden Retriever The original horse was smaller than a Golden Retriever. Diminutive Hyracotherium might have looked more like an old-fashioned horse than a modern-day one. Hyracotherium was alive during the Eocene Epoch, 50 million years ago.