Are you horse crazy and just can’t get enough of horses? Horses have been one of the most useful animals throughout history, doing everything from fighting in battle to pulling trains – and they're also one of the most beloved companions in the world. From farming to competition to police work, horses are still a huge part of modern day life.
Pony up to these awesome facts!
Did you know?
- The only surviving species of the wild horse is the Przewalski’s horse.
- In the eighteenth century, mustangs and early Thoroughbreds were bred to create the Quarter Horse. They're called Quarter Horses because they were meant to run very quickly over a short distance – a quarter mile, to be exact!
- Shetland ponies are the strongest of all breeds relative to their size and can pull loads twice their own weight.
- Horses’ ears tell you what they are thinking. Ears that are pricked forward mean that the horse is happy, alert, and listening. If ears are pinned back flat against the head, back away because the horse is angry and defensive, and it may bite you.
- White horses were considered sacred by the Celtic tribes of ancient Britain. Cut into the chalk hills of southern England, the Uffington White Horse is 360 feet long and is at least 3,000 years old. It is believed to be Epona, the Celtic horse-goddess of health, fertility, and death.
- There are around 400 breeds of domestic horses.
- Horses cannot breathe through their mouths because a flap of tissue blocks the pharynx, the cavity behind the nose that connects the nose and mouth. This also prevents horses from throwing up, and they get colic instead.
- In 1945, a horse named Big Racket ran a quarter mile race in 20.8 seconds at a speed of 43.2 mph.
- The first mounted police horses were London’s Bow Street Horse Patrol, formed in England in 1760
- Arabian horses have very distinct features. They have dainty, dished faces and their tails stick up high in the air when they run, like a banner. They also only have seventeen ribs while other breeds have eighteen.
Want to know more? Here are some great DK books for horse lovers:
DK Eyewitness Books: Horse
Complete Horse Care Manual
DK Adventures: Horse Club
Pocket Genius: Horses
Ultimate Sticker Book: Horse
Eye Wonder: Horses and Ponies