If it weren’t for horses, we’d all still be walking around in robes – or walking around period.

Horses were instrumental in the invention of pants, and have served mankind faithfully through the ages. They’ve fought battles alongside us, helped us cultivate the land, and carried us get around for centuries.

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Without the horse, it’s doubtful whether civilization would have progressed as much as it has. Keep reading to find out more facts about horses.

1. Horses Digestion Is a One-Way Street

Horses have a monogastric digestive system. That means they have one stomach and can’t vomit or burp. 

When compared to the rest of the herbivores on Earth, they also have the smallest stomach in relation to their body size.

2. Mares Rule

Horses are herd animals by nature. In the wild, they live in groups of mares and youngsters, all dominated by a senior lead mare. They keep one or two stallions around for breeding purposes and to protect them from other stallions. 

3. The First Horse Was Tiny

Horses descend from a single ancestor, namely eohippus. This creature was about as big as a golden retriever and had four toes on its feet. 

4. There Are 400 Different Breeds of Horses

Although horses are a single species, we’ve altered them to suit our needs by selective breeding. Today we can distinguish between the various breeds based on size, color, abilities, and general appearance.

5. Extreme Horse Breeds

The smallest horse is the Falabella, which stands just 25 to 30 inches tall. The Shire horse is the world’s largest breed, with one specimen, called Mammoth, reaching 7 feet tall at the shoulder. 

The Arab is another unusual breed in that it has one less rib than other breeds of horses!

6. Facts About Horses and Mankind

Mankind first domesticated the horse as a source of meat and milk. However, like cats and dogs, the horse soon proved its usefulness to man. Today horses still occupy the middle ground between companion animals and livestock. 

7. Horses Are Exceptionally Athletic

Nowadays, horses are more commonly used in a wide range of equestrian sports. The eighteen recognized equestrian disciplines feature everything from showing to showjumping.

Horses can pull carts and carriages, run at speeds of 55 mph, perform complex dressage maneuvers, and jump exceptionally high for their size.

8. Most Horses Can Jump Three Feet High

Most horses can jump although they need a good reason to do this on their own. Food or danger is usually their main motivator, but they willingly submit to jumping training too. 

9. A Horse Once Jumped Over Eight Foot

Hauso, owned by the US Cavalry Academy, entered the showjumping circuit after an officer saw him jump an eight-foot fence on his own. He started training Hauso with pole work exercises for horses and two years later, the horse broke the world equine high jump record. 

Keep Learning

Whether you love horses or simply enjoy knowing interesting things, we hope you’ve enjoyed these facts about horses and trust you’ve learned something in the process.

Are you interested in a wide range of topics? Browse our blog for more interesting snippets about animals and outdoor sports.

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