What did you know about the horse?

You think you know everything about horses. Mh... I don't think so, there are interesting curiosities, clichés, and myths to debunk that I would like to share with you.

image sources - equine fusion
What did you know about the horse?
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You think you know everything about horses. Mh… I don’t think so, there are interesting curiosities, clichés, and myths to debunk that I would like to share with you.

The horse does not forget!

He has a memorization capacity equal to that of an elephant, so much so that some of his behaviors are the result of situations, perhaps even unpleasant, experienced during his life. When relaxing in his sleep, the horse reviews everything he has done and learned during the day, storing it in his memory.

It’s an animal that wants to know

Insecurity and shyness, typical characteristics of this animal, lead the horse to try to understand each situation and to get acquainted with a new environment. The horse must foresee all possible threats to himself.

For himself and for others

A herd animal, the horse is disinterested and generous, ready to give his life to protect his fellow human beings. For example, when a foal is born in a herd of free-range horses, the mares form a circle around it, both to protect the unborn child and to allow the new mother to recover serenely after childbirth.

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It’s enteropathic

You want to know if a storm is coming. Try to join a stable. You will probably perceive at that moment a climate that is anything but serene. Horses sense dangers and threats in advance and their mood changes accordingly… yes, depending on the weather! They will be nervous, unstable, and sometimes even aggressive.

The horse communicates! Even through the ears

Neighing is just one of the many ways for the horse to communicate, perhaps the most extreme gesture. First, in fact, there are other systems that are imperceptible to us humans. It is through the eyes and ears that the horses communicate information to their companions, from the series to the good connoisseur, a few words. Imagine that up to 16 muscles manage and govern each movement of the horse’s ears! By the movement of the ears, supported by the gaze, the horse feels, alerts, and expresses a myriad of emotions, such as anger, fear, joy, surprise, and serenity … By touching the horse’s ears we can even tell if he is cold or hot when the ears are cold, the horse is cold.

One vision, or even two very particular visions!

The field of vision of the horse is gigantic, indeed it has a 340 ° vision thanks to the position of the eyes. A monocular vision that even allows him to see a different image with each eye: what he sees with the right eye is not seen with the left eye. Scientific research also supports that both visions are sent as electrical impulses to two separate cerebral hemispheres.

But does the horse sleep upright?

Who has never heard that the horse sleeps upright? We all know this weird habit… but is it really like that? No, or rather partially true. The horses sleep lying down if they can, most of the time lying on their side. Then, if for some reason they don’t have the opportunity, yes, they can take a nap even standing up.

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Horses are kind animals: they laugh

Let’s talk about flehmen, this is called what can appear to the human eye as a kind of smile. In reality, when the horse shows his incisors showing off his most beautiful smile, he does it to sniff, because there is a smell in the air that he likes, which intrigues and attracts him and he wants to know more. In doing so, the horse catches this smell in its nostrils, thus being able to appreciate it better, which stallions do when they see a female in heat … even miles away!

A titanic force

After the elephant, the draft horse is considered one of the strongest animals on earth, being able to exert a force equal to its weight.

During the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley, tests were carried out on the real strength of the Shire, a breed of horse, using a dynamometer, an instrument used to measure force, attached to a stationary object. Well, Vulcan, as the horse was called, exerted a force equal to 29 tons on his own and in torque, he reached 50, only because the dynamometer was not able to measure beyond that!

Teeth that grow for a lifetime

The horse’s teeth keep growing, for at least up to 20 years of life. To determine the age of a horse we look at the incisors, they will tell us a lot about his diet and how he spent his life.

A horse never vomits!

The horse, unlike its other herbivorous cousins, has only one stomach, it is monogastric as they say in the jargon. In addition, the cardia, the muscular valve that connects the esophagus and the stomach, only opens in one direction, allowing food to enter but not to exit. For this reason, the horse never regurgitates.

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An endless thirst

Horses drink a lot, up to 2530 liters of water per day, due to their size. A thirst that increases in the summer and on days of intense physical activity.

Long-lived animal

The horse is an animal that lives for a long time. His life expectancy is 2530 years. The longest-lived horse, who died at the age of 62, from 1760 to 1822, was named Old Billy and was from Lancashire, England.

He feels your breath

The animal, being an animal of prey, perceives many things. He can also feel what a person feels, simply through his breathing.

They have a knowledge of time and space

Horses have the perception of time, they are creatures of habit and punctual. If you always visit a horse at the same time, at some point you will find it there, ready to wait for you. They also understand the environment around them and are constantly developing strategies to improve the quality of their lives.

They know how to distinguish emotions

The horse, a sensitive animal par excellence, is able to distinguish many feelings such as love, happiness, sadness, frustration, fear, or anxiety. The horse suffers from loneliness, understands death, and can feel sorry and sad for months, for the loss of a horse companion or even his rider.

An ancient animal

The origins of the horse are millionaires. The evolution of the horse began between 55 and 45 million years ago, starting with the small Hyracotherium, a small horse with several fingers, until the large animal of today which now has only one finger.

If you want more data on the equestrian world, think of horsecare24.

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