Fun Facts about Horses

Evolving from a small, multi toed creature for more than 50 million years, horses first became domesticated around 4,000BC and have continued to work and provide companionship for the human race ever since. Despite such a lengthy history and connection, there are still many things about this extraordinary animal that are unknown to the common enthusiast, with the following collection providing a snapshot of some of the horse’s most interesting peculiarities.

1) Horses have the largest eyes of any land mammal, boasting a vision of almost 360 degrees, and their teeth occupy more space in their head than their brain.

2) A horse’s hoof is constructed from the same protein as that of human fingernails and hair.

3) Horses are able to sleep both standing up and lying down.

4) The average life span of a horse is between 25 and 30 years, although the longest living specimen, known as ‘Old Billy’, was reportedly 62 years of age when he passed in the early 1800s.

5) It is physically impossible for these equine creatures to vomit.

6) Whilst feral populations of horse are still found across the US and in other parts of the world, the only surviving wild species is the Przewalksi’s horse, which is on the brink of extinction, and native to the steppes of Mongolia.

7) A horse’s ear is comprised of 10 muscles and can move 180 degrees.

8) The tallest specimen on record was a Shire horse named Sampson, who stood at an impressive 21 hands high or 7 feet and 2 inches.

9) Recent studies claim that horses have exceptional memories, which is said to rival or even surpass that of an elephant.

10)  The sport of horse racing used to be regarded as a pastime much more than an athletic challenge. Due to this, it was only recently that people started betting on it like on any other, but this hasn’t prevented it from flourishing at a rapid pace. And now horse race betting has become one of the most popular sports to bet on in the UK with annual events such as Cheltenham Festival and The Epsom Derby.

11) The typical image of a horse curling his upper lip, exposing his teeth and ‘laughing’ is actually known as the flehmen response, which allows compounds such as pheromones to move around the nasal cavity.

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