The horse is one of the animals, along with the dog, which has always been closest to man. Do you know everything about them? Here Tibaldo Gabriele brings you the most curious facts about equines.
1. How many liters of water do the horses drink?
One of his most surprising curiosities. Horses drink between 25 and 55 liters of water a day. Much more than us, right? This amount varies depending on the size and weight of the horse, in addition to its activity and where it is.
The food that the horse ingests contains water, but depending on whether it is pasture or preserved forage, the amount of water will vary. If we talk about pastures, the amount of water they provide is greater, between 60 and 70% of water. Preserved forages contain less water: if they are hay between 10 and 12%, if they are hay between 30 and 40% and if they are silos between 50 and 70% water.
In addition to the water that this food contains, in the digestion process more water is generated that will serve to cover the needs of the horse.
2. Commemorative statues of historical figures on horseback
There are quite a few out there, right? Well the position of the horse has a lot to do with the meaning of the statue. If the horse appears with both legs raised, this means that this person died in combat. If it happens that he only lifts one leg, death was caused by wounds produced in battle. If, on the contrary, the horse appears with its four legs on the ground, this means that the death of the rider was due to a natural cause. One of the most unique curiosities about these equines.
3. Horse teeth never stop growing
This rarity is due to the continuous wear to which the teeth of the horses are exposed. His dentures chew grass 12 to 18 hours a day, a time that causes great wear and tear and is compensated by this incessant growth. Curious truth?
4. Horses are very intelligent and sociable animals
Horses do not like to be alone, if they spend a long time without any company it is possible that the horse develops mental or behavioral problems, so to avoid this it is best to always be in company and thus they will not suffer any type of disorder .
5. The size of the eyes of the horses, of their most striking curiosities
One of the most striking curiosities. Only whales, seals, and ostriches outperform the horse in terms of their eye size. The position they have allows a panoramic view. The equine's visual field is quite wide, he has monocular and binocular vision. Yes, strange as it may seem, you can see different things with each eye and at the same time thanks to your monocular vision. With his binocular vision, with both eyes at the same time, he can see from his nose and down, making the forehead a blind area for horses.
6. Do horses distinguish colors?
Well, not like us humans, but they do distinguish some color. Cats, for example, see the colors in pastel tones, dogs on the other hand, have a vision similar to that of a human that does not distinguish well between red and green. Well, horses are more like dogs and distinguish some color but not all.
7. Horses have a highly developed sense of smell
This is due to the closeness of the olfactory sense to the brain. Horses are very sensitive to odors and thanks to this they can use this sense in many situations. For example to look for water, since they have the ability to smell water even when underground. Something very useful for horses that live in the desert, especially considering the daily amount of water they need.
They also use their sense of smell to recognize friends, enemies, unknown objects, and even other groups of horses smelling manure or urine.
8. Can horses vomit?
As surprising as it may seem, the answer to this question is not yes. Now we understand why horses suffer from colic so much, sometimes causing death. The reason? Well, everything goes back to the digestive system, specifically, to the pit of the stomach. Here is a valve called a cardia or Swiss tie. In this valve are muscles that are so strong that they prevent the ingested food from returning to the mouth. So in case of very strong intoxication or indigestion, horses are unable to vomit and the ingested food passes directly from the stomach to the intestines, causing serious contamination and causing dangerous colic.
9. Arabian horses have fewer bones
This breed is characteristic for its appearance, as it has an innate beauty. But the most characteristic is its morphology, due to the scarcity of bones it has. As for the ribs, the Arabian horse has a couple less than the rest of the horse breeds. The lumbar bones are also scarce, it has 5 compared to 6 of the others and the caudal vertebrae add up to 16 instead of the typical 7 of the other races.
Thanks to this composition, the Arabian horse has great resistance and this allows it to carry heavier loads or riders, in addition to being able to lift its tail due to the absence of the last vertebra, giving it that stately and distinguished air.
10. A foal is capable of running within a few hours of birth
Another of the most characteristic curiosities, since most animals need an adaptation period, like dogs for example. The foal, however, is a precocious creature and is able to stand up within a few hours of birth, acquiring enough coordination in its limbs to be able to run and flee if it is in danger.
The size of a foal's legs corresponds to 90% of the total they will reach when they are adults.
But how fast do they gallop? An interesting question. The average is at 44 kilometers per hour, but the speed record is just double, reaching a speed of 88 kilometers per hour.
11. What is the life expectancy of horses?
The answer to this question is somewhat complicated since it depends on many factors. One of them is whether it is a wild horse or in captivity. A wild one usually has a shorter life expectancy not exceeding 25 years of age, while one in captivity usually lives about 30 years.
But it does not only depend on these two factors, within captive horses you must also take into account the type of horse in question and the work it does. There are three different types:
Heavy or draft horses: characteristic for their large size. They measure between 1.63 and 1.83 meters and their weight is between 700 and 1,000 kilos. The life expectancy of these is between 25 and 30 years.
Light or saddle horses: stand out for their agility, speed and endurance. They weigh slightly less than the previous ones, about 550 kilos, and measure between 1.42 and 1.63 meters. However, although it may seem a bit contradictory, it is one of the categories that has the lowest life expectancy and does not reach 25 years of age.
Ponies: the mini horses with the longest life expectancy. They do not exceed a meter and a half, they have a much more robust body than the previous ones and strong and shiny hair. They are characterized by their calm character, ideal for children to ride and learn. Their life expectancy exceeds 40 years, and can even go as high as 45.
12. How horses express their mood
A horse's ears have a double function: in addition to listening, they can also express his mood.
We are going to highlight 6 basic positions:
Stiff and moving ears – this is the horse's natural state of alarm. It is the normal position of any horse that we should not worry about.
Loose or drooping ears: This position can be due to three things. The first may be linked to the tiredness of the animal or that it is sad, the second may be due to submission to a stronger and more dominant rival, and the third and last may indicate that the horse is ill, but in this case without any type of movement.
Ears pricked forward: shows mistrust towards something or someone you don't know, you have to be careful because we don't know how you can react.
Ears back: means submission or fear. It usually occurs in young horses when they start to ride. If we see this position on an elderly horse, it may be that he fears his rider for being too rough with him.
Ears stuck to the nape: be careful with this position. Indicates aggressiveness towards another horse, animal or person.
One ear forward and one ear back: expresses doubt. If your rider tries to explain something new to you, it means you have misunderstood it, so you will need to explain it again.
As you can see, a horse has many peculiarities and curiosities, we hope that our article has helped you to get to know these animals a little (or much) more.