Fun Facts About Horses You Wish You Knew

Date Wed 11 October 2017 By Dino Category misc.

There are some amazing facts in the world about horses that you didn’t know, and when you start your riding lessons with, you’ll get to learn a lot about horses! We’ve put together some interesting facts for you!

  • The average horse weighs about 1200 lbs
  • Horses eat 1.5 to 1.75lbs of hay per 100lbs of body weight per day. So that 1200 lb horse would eat about 18-21lbs of hay per day, usually divided into 2 feedings of 9-10.5lbs each
  • The earliest evolutionary horse was Hyracotherium, also called eohippus or the "dawn horse" was only about a foot tall and had 3 toes in front and 4 toes on the rear legs. He lived almost 55 Million years ago.
  • The horse was domesticated around 2500 B.C. Read more about that history here.
  • Male horses have 40 teeth and and females have 36. Horses' teeth grow throughout their lifetime, making it possible to judge their age by looking at their teeth.
  • A horse's stomach holds between eight and seventeen quarts. This is not very big considering their size and shows that they are meant to graze, taking in small meals and move around freely 24 hours a day.
  • Horses can't throw up. Once food is swallowed, the valve between the throat and stomach is so strong it doesn't allow food to come back up. 
  • A horse's shedding in the spring is triggered by longer daylight hours, not the temperature outside. 
  • Research has shown that horses' favorite flavors are Fenugreek, banana, and cherry, in that order.
  • Horses are measured from the ground to the tallest point of the withers in "hands or hh". A hand was estimated as the width of a man's hand, but is now equal to 4". 
  • The largest horse recorded stood at 21 hands, and was a Percheron, which is a draft breed.
  • Ponies are up to 14.2hh (hands), with horses being any animal over 14.2hh.
  • Horses have four gaits; walk, trot, canter, and gallop. There are gaited breeds that have have additional special gaits.
  • Horses are prey animals. They run to survive, and only fight if they have to. 
  • A mare's gestation period is 11 months, making them slow reproducers.
  • When a foal is born, it stands almost immediately and can run.
  • Their brain is about the size of a walnut, but they are definitely intelligent!
  • The lifespan for our equine friends is about 25 years, but the oldest horse recorded was 62 years old!
  • You must "cool out" a horse after exercise. You can't put them right into their stall when they are all hot and sweaty or they can become sick. They must be walked until their respiration rate is normal.
  • The hoof of the modern horse is his third toe. The chesnuts on his legs are remnants of another toe. 
  • The mane and tail are for protection from insects. Whiskers around the muzzle are for feeling things.