Interesting Facts about Horses

A horse is a member of the "equus" family. This word comes from ancient Greece and means quickness.

More than 350 breeds of ponies and horses can be found.

Horses usually live for around 20 to 25 years. Some of them can live up to 5 years more

In most cases, the foal is born at night, away from danger and prying eyes.

After being born, it only takes a foal about 1-2 hours to stand up and walk.

Foals are fully grown by 3-4 years of age.

Horses use their facial expressions to communicate. Their moods can be gauged with the help of their nostrils, eyes and ears.

A horse has two blind spots; one is located directly in front of them while the other is located directly behind.

Horses spend more energy lying down.

A horse is able to drink 10 gallons of water per day.

A horse is able to walk, trot, canter and gallop.

A horse breed is defined by characteristics such as physical appearance (size, body shape), color, pattern, natural marks and temper.

While there are far too many details used in defining a horse breed to list on a single page, this list provides some of the major colors and markings used in characterizing horse breeds.


Horse Breeds

American mustang | Andalusian | Appaloosa | Arabian | Bali | Breton | Camargue | Cape Horse | Carpathian pony

Chinese Mongolian | Donkey | Dutch warmblood | Haflinger | Hanoverian | Highland pony | Hokkaido horse

Holsteiner | Icelandic horse | Lipizzaner | Mule | Newfoundland pony | Pinto horse | Przewalski

Shetland pony | Spanish mustang | Tarpan | Tibeta | Zebra


Basic body colors for describing a breed:

Brown: most commonly a mixture of black and brown. 

Bay: any shade of brown, with tail, mane, muzzle and lower legs partly black. 

Black: most black horses are actually a very dark bay. 

Chestnut: varying from a light yellow to dark liver. 

White: most white horses are actually light gray. 

Additionally, there are three major color variations (dun, gray and roan) and three major color breeds (palomino, pinto, appaloosa), which are not described in detail here.


Markings on horses' faces and legs:

Blaze: a white mark covering forehead and face. 

Stripe: a white mark similar to a blaze but narrower. 

Strip: a white mark halfway down the face. 

Star: a white patch on the forehead. 

Snip: a white patch on nose or lip. 

Whorl: a patch of hair on the forehead swirling in the opposite direction to the surrounding hair. 

Sock: a ring of white hair at the hock. 

Stocking: a ring of white hair extending from hoof to hock or knee


Stable management

The horse spends most of the day in its stable. Therefore, stable design and management are of great importance. An incorrectly designed stable can be the cause of injuries and diseases, especially diseases of the respiratory tract and so-called stable vices. Additionally, the design and positioning of feed storage facilities and other ancillary buildings may contribute to problems. Important factors in appropriate stable design are stall size, airspace, floor area, humidity and temperature range. A well-tuned ventilation and insulation system is a prerequisite for adjusting the humidity and temperature range. It also plays a key role in preventing the occurrence of dust, mold, and ammonia which impair the well-being of horses:

Dust is an irritant and can be infectious or allergenic. 

Molds thrive in high moisture and heat and produce small spores that can travel deeply into the lungs upon inhalation. 

Ammonia derived from the horse's urine and feces is an irritant and increases mucus production. 

Stables also have to be cleaned regularly as part of the routine for internal parasite control



The dimensions and quality of the pasture have to cover the daily amount of forage and satisfy the need for exercise and motion. If a pasture for grazing is not available, an adequate amount of hay must be supplied. Three hints on maintaining a good pasture:

Regular fertilizing assists the productivity of the plants on your pastures. 

Adding new seed annually assists the production of good grass. 

Rotational grazing assists re-grow and recovering of plants. 

There is a certain danger for horses from potentially toxic plants that may exist in different regions. To avoid possible poisoning, taking precautions is strongly recommended. The best precaution, of course, is access to good pasture. See also nutrition section.

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