JUST THE FACTS
Scientific Classification of the Horse
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Subphylum: Vertebrata
- Class: Mammalia
- Subclass: Theria
- Infraclass: Eutheria
- Order: Perissodactyla
- Family: Equidae
Horses belong to the equus family, which is derived from the ancient Greek word meaning
The first horse, as we know and see it today, appeared 10,000 years ago.
Horses were first domesticated in Central Asia about 4,500 BC.
Although horses disappeared from the Americas for unknown reasons, they were re-introduced
by European explorers in the early 1500.
A stallion is a male horse.
A mare is a female horse.
A foal is a baby horse.
A filly is a young female horse.
A colt is a young male horse.
A foal is a yearling after its first birthday.
A sire is the word used for the father of a horse.
A dam is the word used for the mother of a horse.
A a pony is not a baby horse. It is a fully grown small horse.
A a horse’s height is measured in hands. One hand = 10 cm
There are over 350 different breeds, with four main groups:
Horses are measured by the width of a human hand (10 cm), which is why people
say horses are so many "hands" tall. Measurement starts from the ground and goes
up to the wither, the highest point on a horse’s shoulder.
- Light: small bones, thin legs and weighing less than 1,300 pounds; e.g. Thoroughbreds,
Quarter Horses, Morgan horses and Arabians.
- Heavy: large bones, sturdy legs and weighing up to 2,000; e.g. Percherons, Draft, Clydesdale
and Shire horses
- Ponies: not more than 58 inches tall (14.2 hands and under), making them smaller than
a horse; e.g. Shetland, Haflinger, and Caspian ponies
- Feral: wild or semi-wild horses; e.g Mustang
Smallest breed: Falebella of Argentina.
Tallest breed: about 74 cm at the shoulder.
Smallest recorded pony in history: a stallion named "Little Pumpkin." He stood
35.5 cm and weighed only 9 kg
Tallest record horse in history: a Shire named Samson. He stood 2.2 m Heaviest recorded horse
in history: also Samson, weighing 1,524 kg
Heart’s weight: about 4.5 kg
Average weight of head: 5.4 kg
The teeth take up more room in a horse’s head than its brain does.
Horses have 36-42 teeth, with females usually having 36 and stallions and geldings having
Horses have about 175 bones in their body.
Horses eat: juicy grass, hay, barley, oass, maize, chaff, bran.
An average life span:20-25 years
The oldest recorded horse was "Old Billy," an English barge horse, who lived to
Horses can drink up to 44 litres of water a day
Horses use more energy lying down than they do when they are standing up. Horse’s legs are
built so that they can sleep standing up, but to get a good rest they need to be lying
China not only has the most people in the world, but also has the most horses with 10,000,000
Horses cannot vomit
Hippophobia/equinpphobia: fear of horses
Horses cannot breathe through their mouths. That’s why you’ll never see one panting like
Horse’s hooves grow at a rate of about 1 cm per month
Horses make 8 basic sounds: snort, squeal, greeting nicker, courtship nicker, maternal nicker,
neigh, roar, blow.