If you love horses as much as we do, you enjoy learning as much as you can about them. Horses are fascinating creatures, and there are many things that people don’t know about them. In today’s post from Pink Flamingo Stables in Fort Worth, we’re going to talk about ten fun facts that you may or may not know about horses. Keep reading, and if you’re longing to interact with a horse, contact our stable for horse riding lessons.
Fun Fact #1 — Horses Can Sleep Standing Up Or Lying Down
When you look out at a pasture full of horses, have you noticed that you rarely see one lying down? That’s because horses often sleep standing up! Horses have the ability to lock their knees which allows them to stay standing even when they’re completely asleep. This unique trait allows horses to fend off predators since they don’t have to get up and on their feet before running away from impending danger.
Fun Fact #2 — Horses Have Very Good Vision
The eyes on a horse are located on each side of their head, making it easy to see things coming at them in just about all directions. The only places they can’t see, directly in front or behind them, is important to know because if you sneak up on a horse from behind and scare him, you could cause him to jolt or kick — and you don’t want to be within reach when that happens!
Fun Fact #3 — Horses Love Their Veggies
You would think that an animal as big as a horse would have to eat a lot of meat. But, on the contrary — horses are actually strict herbivores! A horse’s diet primarily consists of grass, hay, and sometimes oats. You can also feed them a few other fruits and vegetables as a treat. Every horse is different, but most enjoy apples and carrots every now and then.
Fun Fact #4 — Horses Are Not Native To North America
When you think of the wild west and herds of horses running free, you tend to think that horses have always been here — not that’s not the case. There were several horse breeds originating from Europe and Asia that created the breed of horse found in ancient fossils in America. Unfortunately, even the American horses that we around during those times no longer exist because they became extinct. So, where did the horses we know and love come from? They were actually introduced into the America’s during the time of the explorers in the early 16th century!
Fun Fact #5 — Most Horses Start Trotting Within Hours of Birth
It’s amazing to think about how it can take a human baby almost a year to learn to walk, but a foal can stand almost immediately and will begin to start trotting within a couple of hours! This amazing ability is another survival instinct that allows a recently-born foal to outrun its predators.
Fun Fact #6 — Horses Aren’t Measures in Inches…Or Centimeters
Different types of horses are classified by size, but there’s a unique way to measure them. Horses are measured by “hands”. This is the way they’ve been measured for centuries and it still continues today. A hand is equal to four inches, or roughly the size of an adult male hand. When a horse is measured, it’s done from the ground behind one of their front legs to the top of their shoulders. The measurement is then reported as so many HH or “hands high”.
Fun Fact #7 — Baby Horses Are Not Called Ponies
If you grew up thinking that the term for a baby horse was a pony, then you’re not alone. This is a common misconception. Baby horses are actually called foals, while the term “pony” actually refers to a smaller breed of horse — one that is less than 14.2 hands or under 56 inches.
Fun Fact #8 — The Term “Horsepower” Relates Horses To Engine Power
You’ve surely heard someone using the term “horsepower” to describe the power of their car’s engine, but did you know that this term is actually related to horses? In the mid 18th century, the inventor of the steam engine used the term to compare the output of steam engines with the power of draft horses. An engine with 10 horsepower was equal to the power provided by 10 horses.
Fun Fact #9 — Horses Have Four Speeds
The speed at which a horse moves is called its gait, and horses are known to have four speeds described (in order from slowest to fastest) as walking, trotting, cantering, and galloping. On average, most horses can gallop at around 27 miles per hour. The fastest gallop ever recorded was 55 miles per hour.
Fun Fact #10 — You Can Estimate a Horse’s Age By Its Teeth
You may not be able to tell the exact age of a horse, but you can get a pretty close estimate by taking a close look at their teeth. Like humans, horses have baby teeth called “milk teeth”. They’re paler in color and shorter than adult teeth. Over time they will shed their milk teeth for adult teeth that are longer and very concave. Over time, adult teeth will get worn down and actually flatten out and become more angular. This change in appearance, along with staining and yellowing of the teeth that comes with years of eating grass and hay will indicate that the horse is higher in age. With proper care, most horses can live to be 30 years old or more.
Contact Pink Flamingo Stables For More Fun With Horses
If you love learning about horses and would like to take horse riding lessons, Pink Flamingo Stables in Fort Worth is just the place for you. We offer a fun and safe place to learn about horses and provide opportunities for trail riding, beginning and advanced horse riding lessons, and even horse-themed birthday parties! Visit our website to learn more about our horses and to schedule a time to visit. We look forward to seeing you!