I always begged for a horse. Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted a horse of my own. My dad always asked the “stopping question”: “Where would we put him, Cheryl? He wouldn’t be happy in our little yard. Horses need a lot of room to run.” I never got my horse, but that didn’t mean I quit wanting one!
Maybe that’s why I wanted to write westerns–my early, unrequited love for horses. I had a good friend who knew someone who had horses, and she would get to ride them sometimes. I envied her! As an adult, I never was in the position to be able to indulge my love of horses–as my dad had so often asked, “Where would we put him?”
I don’t really know a lot about horses, since I never owned one–and I found out later my mom had been the driving force behind not ever letting me have one–her cousin had gotten kicked in the head as a child and was never “right” after that–it was a huge fear for her.
But when I came across these facts about horses on Rick Gore’s site, I wanted to share them, because I found so many of them just fascinating–especially for someone like me who really doesn’t know much about these beautiful creatures and may want to learn more.
The normal horse’s small intestine is about 75 feet long. The normal horse’s large intestine is about 12 feet long.
A horse will produce 12 gallons of saliva a day to aid in digestion of hay.
Horse’s cannot breathe through their mouths and cannot vomit.
The top speed of a horse is about 45 Mph (70 Kph). A horse walks at about 3 to 4 miles per hour, so a three hour ride will cover about 9 to 12 miles.
Horses have the largest eyes of any land animal.
Horses and humans are the only animals that sweat through their skin for cooling.
While walking a horse consumes 1 Liter (.25 gallon) of oxygen a minute but at racing gallop the horse takes exactly 1 breath per stride and consumes nearly 60 Liters (15 gallons) of oxygen per minute
Horse of average size has approximately 50 pints of blood (28 liters) which circulate through his system every 40 seconds.
A horse uses more energy while lying down than it does while it is standing up.
Horses have a stay apparatus in their legs which allow them to sleep while standing without falling over.
A horse uses much more energy swimming than running. A 500 yard swim is like a mile run for a horse.
Horses have spiral shaped patterns in their hair that is called Whorls. These are unique as fingerprints. Some horse registry still use this for identification of horses.
Camargue horses are completely white as adults, but their babies are pure black when they are born.
Horses can communicate how they are feeling by their facial expressions. They use their ears, nostrils, and eyes to show their moods. Beware of a horse that has flared nostrils and their ears back.
Courtesy Rick Gore Horsemanship Site