Horses are such fascinating creatures. Even if you never learned to ride one, you could spend your whole life studying them and still have plenty to explore. Here are 15 interesting facts about horses.
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Horses Can't Burp
That's right! Horses can't burp, at least not the way humans do. They can't vomit or breathe through their mouths like humans do either. A horse's digestive system is a one-way street, unlike cattle and other ruminants who regurgitate food to re-chew it. Although they have a pretty efficient way of processing the tough fibrous foods that make up their forage, this long, one-directional system can cause problems that result in colic.
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One of the most common questions about horses is "how long does a horse live?" The answer may surprise you. Knowledge of horse nutrition, horse care, and veterinary medicine has increased. Because of this, just as human life expectancy has increased, so has equine longevity.Continue to 5 of 15 below.
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Appreciated by beginner riders and professional horsemen alike, the American quarter horse is the world's most popular breed. Learn more about the American quarter horse.
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The Arabian horse is the foundation of many other light horse breeds. They also possess some unique characteristics. Arabian horses have one fewer vertebrae, rib bone, and tail bone than other horses.
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Humans are omnivores, lions are carnivores, and horses are herbivores. The way their teeth are formed, the position of their eyes, and the type of digestive system are all typical characteristics of herbivores.
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Horses in the wild live in small herds, and domestic horses feel more comfortable if they have companions too. It can be quite stressful for a horse to live alone. To keep your horse happy, it will need a (preferably equine) friend.Continue to 9 of 15 below.
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Dogs may have become domesticated around 14,000 years ago. Cats became human companions about 8,500 years ago. Humankind's relationship with the horse began a little more recently, around 6,000 years ago, although some evidence has come to light that horses may have been domesticated even earlier.
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Most of the white horses that you see were actually a much darker color at birth and gradually turn white. These "white" horses may start as bay, chestnut, or almost black. These horses aren't called white, but gray.
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It's important to know the resting pulse and respiration rate of your horse. While the resting respiration rate of a horse can be as low as eight breaths per minute, that can quickly increase with work or distress. Learn your horse's resting pulse and respiration rate (TPR).Continue to 13 of 15 below.
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Horses Are Not Native to North America
Every horse on the North American continent is a decedent of European horses. Even the horses that we regard as "wild" are actually feral horses, whose ancestors escaped from captivity. Horses disappeared from the Americas more than 11,000 years ago, and there is ample fossil evidence that the horse's ancestors lived here previous to that.
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The Original "Horse" Was the Size of a Golden Retriever
The original horse was no larger than a golden retriever. Diminutive Hyracotherium may have looked more like a small goat or deer than a modern-day horse. Hyracotherium lived during the Eocene Epoch about 50 million years ago.
Horse Colic Can Be a Real Pain! Kentucky Equine Research.
Behavioral Problems of Horses. Merck Veterinary Manual.
Measuring Temperature, Pulse, & Respiration (TPR): What's Normal For My Horse? Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station.