Interesting Facts About Horses
Horses are fascinating and gentle animals that are able to form an incredible bond of trust with humans.
Horses are prey animals which live together in large herds for safety from predators. They are able to sleep both lying down and standing up and tend to sleep in short bursts – no more than three hours per day.
They have highly developed senses, including a heightened perception which is rare in humans but key to their survival. For horses communication is key, as well as vocally they are capable of expressing their emotions through their facial expressions, ears, and nostrils. There are ten muscles in each ear allowing 180 degree rotation to express emotions.
Horses are herbivores
This means they eat plant matter, and have large flat teeth specially for grinding up their food. They eat a diet made up mostly of grass but also enjoy hay, grains and treats.
Ridden horses are often fed grains such as oats, barley and corn for extra energy. For treats they enjoy sweet fruits such as apples, bananas (peel and all), pears and oranges as well as some vegetables like carrots and celery.
They are built to graze constantly and all that eating requires lots of saliva, horses produce about 35 litres per day. Coincidentally that is about the same amount of water they need to drink each day.
Horses have the largest eyes of any land mammal.
They are placed on the side of their head to give them a nearly 360 degree field of vision with the only blind spots directly in front and directly behind them.
Horses mostly use monocular vision, meaning each eye is used separately to see things happening on different sides of their body. However a horse can also use binocular vision (both eyes) when looking ahead by raising their head to focus both eyes on a single object in front of them.
Horses are able to see colour – particularly greens and yellows – and have better night vision than humans, though their eyes take longer to adjust to changes in light levels.
The horses’ closest relative is not the cow, pig, or goat – but the rhinoceros
Horses experience REM (rapid eye movement) during sleep, which means they most likely dream
Horses with pink skin can get a sunburn so be sure to slap on some sunscreen