Equine Facts


Basic Horse Facts

  • A horse is considered adult at age four.
  • A female horse over 4 years old is called a mare.
  • A male horse over 4 years old is called a stallion.
  • Horses are measured in hands.
  • A hand is four inches.
  • A horse is generaly over 14.2 hh (hands high).
  • Anything under 14.2 hh is a pony.
  • There are over 200 breeds of horses in the world.
  • A horse's gestation period (time between breeding and birth) is about 11 months, but can be anywhere from 10-12 months.
  • Horses usualy live to be 20-25 years old. The oldest horse lived to be 62.
  • A father horse is called a sire.
  • A mother horse is called a dam.
  • The scientific name for the horse is equus caballus.

Scientific Classification of the Horse

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Mammalia
Subclass: Theria
Infraclass: Eutheria
Order: Perissodactyla
Family: Equidae

Horse Superstitions

  • Horshoes are supposed to be lucky.
  • The luckiest horse shoe of all is one off the hind leg of a gray mare.
  • If you hang a horseshoe upside down, the luck runs out.
  • Gray horses are supposed to be lucky, while piebalds are unlucky.
  • According to superstition in Lincolnshire, England, if you see a white dog, you should stay silent until you see a white horse.

    Horse Anatomy Facts

  • A full grown horse that weighs about 1,000 pounds contains approximately 13.2 gallons of blood.
  • Horses have about 175 bones in their body.
  • A horse's hoof grows at a rate of about 1 cm per month.
  • A horse's leg joints are not fully fused (grown) until around the age of 3 1/2.
  • Most horse breeds have 18 ribs.
  • The Arabian has 17 ribs.
  • Most horses have 6 lumbar bones.
  • The Arabian has 5 lumbar bones.
  • Most horses have 18 tail vertabrea.
  • The Arabian has 16 tail vertabrea.
  • Horses can see in two directions at once.
  • Horses can see everywhere, except directly in front or behind them.
  • Horses make 8 basic sounds- snort, squeal, greeting nicker, courtship nicker, maternal nicker, neigh, roar, blow.
  • It is almost impossible for a horse to vomit-- if they do, their stomachs usually rupture soon after.

Foals and Foaling

  • A newborn foal's legs are already 90% of the length they will be when full grown.
  • A foal is able to stand just one hour after birth.
  • A foal can walk, trot, and run just two hours after birth!
  • The first milk the mare makes is called colostrum. This is a rich milk and it is very important for the foal, because it helps protect it against disease.
  • Most foals will start to nurse less than two hours after being born.
  • A female foal is called a filly.
  • A male foal is called a colt.
  • More foals are born between April 15- May 15 than any other time.
  • Mares usualy foal at night.
  • Mares don't like to be watched when they foal. If someone is watching, they might stop foaling and wait till the the person goes away.
  • A mare may give birth in as little as 15 minutes, but no longer than an hour. If she is still straining after an hour has passed, something is seriously wrong.
  • If you have to help pull a foal out, NEVER pull up! Always pull down, toward the horse's feet.

Strange Facts


  • Horses like classical music.
  • The oldest horse was named Old Billy. He was a cross breed, he was born in 1760 and he lived to be 62.
  • The World's Largest Horse was a Shire gelding named Samson, bred by Thomas Cleaver of Toddington Mills, England. Foaled in 1846, this horse measured 21.2 1/2 hand high in 1850, and weighed 3,360 pounds.



    Did you know....


    Here are some words that are derived from the latin word for horse, equus, and the Greek word for horse, hippos. From the American Heritage Dictionary:


    • e·quine adj. 1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of a horse. 2. Of or belonging to the family Equidae, which includes the horses, asses, and zebras.

    • e·ques·tri·an adj. 1. Of or relating to horseback riding or horseback riders. 2. Depicted or represented on horseback: an equestrian statue of a famous monarch. --e·ques·tri·an n. One who rides a horse or performs on horseback. [From Latin equester, equestr-, from eques, horseman, from equus, horse.

    • eq·ui·ta·tion n. The art and practice of riding a horse. [Latin equitatio, equitation-, from equitare, to ride horseback. See EQUITANT.]

    • eq·ui·tant adj. Overlapping at the base to form a flat, fanlike arrangement in two ranks, as the leaves of some irises. [Latin equitans, equitant-, present participle of equitare, to ride horseback, from eques, equit-, horseman, from equus, horse.

    • eq·ui·se·tum n., pl. eq·ui·se·tums or eq·ui·se·ta. See horsetail.

      horse·tail n. Any of various nonflowering plants of the genus Equisetum, having a jointed, hollow stem and narrow, sometimes much reduced leaves. Also called equisetum.

    • e·o·hip·pus n. A small, herbivorous, extinct mammal of the genus Hyracotherium (or Eohippus) from the Eocene Epoch of the western United States, having four-toed front feet and three-toed hind feet and related ancestrally to the horse. [New Latin : eo- + Greek hippos, horse]



 

 

Ask us your horse questions! Read other horse FAQs



Share This Page!

Free Horse Newsletter
No spam, totally free! Fun horse articles, games, & news.
Email:


About / Contact
- Submit Your Writing - Advertise

© COPYRIGHT Ultimate Horse Sites Inc. 2000-2005
Content is copyright and not to be taken, copied, or used in any way without written permission.

Want to use our content? Write for permission please: info@ultimatehorsesite.com



Use of the terms "Ultimate Horse Site", "The Ultimate Horse Site", "Ultimate Horse", "UltimateHorse", "The Ultimate Horse" have been in use since 2000 and use of variations of our name for any reason is prohibited.

COPYRIGHT - DISCLAIMER - PRIVACY POLICY - LINKING - USING OUR CONTENT - CONTENT SUBMISSIONS

The ultimate source for everything horse-- from informative articles on training and horse care, to horse games, names, and jokes! Free horse games