15 Fun Facts About Horses

1)      Horses are the third domesticated animal, after dogs and cats. There is clear evidence of the use of horses for transport at about 2000 BC, however, it is believed that domestication took place even earlier, probably about 3500 BC. Genetic data suggests that the first domestic horses come from the grasslands of Ukraine, southwest Russia and west Kazakhstan.

2)      World horse population is approximately 58 million according to the 2006 Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Most of them are cared for by humans. By far, the country with most horses is the US (9,500, 000) followed by China and Mexico.

3)      Currently, the richest horse in the world is Gunrunner, the latest winner in Pegasus World Cup, where he won 16 million dollars last year.

4)      Betting on horse racing is one of the oldest forms of gambling. Today, it is a beloved pastime around the world. You can try it out with this 12BET bonus.

5)      Foals are able to run within a few hours after birth.

6)      Horses are very social creatures and they can feel very lonely without a companion. In nature, they live in groups of 3 to 20 animals, consisting of a stallion (mature male), mares (females) and young foals. The most dominant mare leads the group. The stallions protect the herd from predators and fight other stallions if they attempt to claim his mares.

7)      Horses communicate emotions with their ears, eyes, nostrils and facial expressions. Vocalizations, such as neighing, roaring and snorting are used as a greeting, mating call, and danger alert, respectively.

8)      Horses have excellent eyesight. Because their eyes are positioned at both sides of its head, they can see nearly 360 degrees at one time.

9)      Horse hooves are similar in composition and function to human fingernails, and just like these, they are always growing. A horse can re-grow an entire new hoof in 9-12 months. Domestic horses need regular foot care to stay healthy.

10)   In general, horses live around 25 years, however, some can live much longer, especially ponies. According to The Guinness Book of World Records, the longest living horse was Old Billy, living to the age of 62.

11)   The fastest recorded speed of a horse over two furlongs was 43.97 mph. In comparison, most horses run at around 27 mph. This feat was achieved by a 2-year-old filly thoroughbred Winning Brew in 2008. (Source: http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/fastest-speed-for-a-race-horse)

12)   A horse named Something holds the record for the longest jump over water, jumping 27 feet, 6 and 3/4 inches on April 25, 1975 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

13)   The record for the highest jump is 8 feet, 1 and 1/4 inches, held by a horse named Huaso, who jumped on February 5th, 1949 at Viña del Mar, Santiago, Chile.

14)   There are around 350 horse and pony breeds around the world today. They fall in four major groups: light horses (e.g. American Quarter Horse, Arabian horse, Thoroughbred), heavy horses (e.g. Belgian, Percherons, Clydesdale) and ponies (e.g. Shetland, Haflinger, Caspian).

15)   The Przewalski’s horse, or Mongolian wild horse, is the only remaining horse species that has never been domesticated. Mustangs and other horses that we regard as ‘wild’ are actually feral horses, whose ancestors escaped from captivity.