No matter your opinion on horses, here are some fascinating facts about them that you may not be aware of! Read on to discover more!
They Can Sleep Both Lying Down and Standing Up
As a horse owner, you likely enjoy gazing upon your herd during the day. You might see horses sleeping standing up or lying down in one of two positions known as sternal recumbency: their legs tucked underneath and heads lifted off the ground.
Contrary to popular belief, horses are capable of sleeping both lying down and standing up! This remarkable ability is due to a special mechanism in their skeletal system.
They possess what’s known as a stay apparatus in both front and hind limbs, which allows them to securely lock their legs together with ligaments and tendons. This enables their skeleton to rest in an upright position without having to work out muscles, allowing them to relax and take rest breaks.
Additionally, standing while they nap is vital for their safety when in the wild or pasture. If they were to lie down when needing a break, they wouldn’t be able to rise quickly in case of attack by predators.
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- This rose colored rock salt is renowned for its high mineral content of iron, potassium and magnesium which are vital for equine health
- The high density of these pure Himalayan salt licks resist breakage and biting and last longer in weather elements
- The purest form of salt available and is safe to be left out for horses to access as desired. Rope (included) can be adjusted to the right height for your horse
- Salt blocks help reduce boredom while giving your horse a nourishing electrolyte replenishment
Another reason horses sleep standing up is that they cannot stay down for an extended period of time, as lying down restricts blood flow to their internal organs, which could prove fatal for them.
Experts believe horses can only sleep for short periods of time and that this rest must be broken up into smaller chunks throughout the day. This is because horses only require 30 minutes to three hours of REM sleep each night, not including their other sleep habits.
They Have Two Blind Spots
Horses possess remarkable eyes that provide them with an expansive field of vision, but also two blind spots: one directly in front of their nose which extends around four feet from it; and the other behind their tail, extending around ten feet away.
Horses’ retinas contain more rods to cones than humans do, giving them superior night vision. Furthermore, these retinas possess a reflective panel that gathers all available light in an area.
These rods are more sensitive to light changes than human eyes and thus can better adapt to sudden shifts in illumination. This adaptation is especially crucial in nature where there may be frequent dark periods.
Prey animals such as bears must have a keen vision in order to detect danger quickly and flee. Their horizontal pupil allows them to turn their eyes in order to scan the horizon even while grazing.
It helps them identify predators coming from behind, making it simpler for them to make a quick getaway. It’s best not to approach a horse directly from behind as this may scare them and cause them to spook or panic.
Another thing to keep in mind about horses’ eyes is that they do not see in the same hues and tones as humans do. While this does not preclude them from seeing colors like blue or green, horses’ eyes see shades of these hues along with related tones and hues.
Horses possess incredible vision, which allows them to discern between colors. But they must rely on instinct and rider trust when jumping, as their nose blocks their immediate vision, making it impossible for them to form a 3D picture of an object ahead of them.
They Can See All the Way Around Their Body
Horses must have the ability to see around their body in order to stay safe. This enables them to monitor the entire herd for any predators and react swiftly if one approaches their area of protection.
Horses possess a broad visual field composed of monocular and binocular vision. The monocular portion of their field helps them detect objects moving quickly, while the binocular part helps detect movement in different directions.
Their eyes are eight times larger than human eyes, magnifying everything they see. Additionally, they possess a special adaption called the tapetum lucidum which grants them better night vision than ours does.
They possess a visual streak, an area within their retina with more ganglion cells than the rest of their field of view. This helps them focus better when looking at something within this streak.
Their vision is also remarkable in that they can distinguish both color and texture. While they are adept at distinguishing shades of yellow, green, and blue; red isn’t as easily distinguished – an essential color for recognizing prey animals.
Their vision is mainly dependent upon their retinas, which consist of cones and rods. The cones enable them to see bright lights while the rods provide contrast for low light conditions. Their vision ratio is 20:1 for both cones and rods compared to 9:1 in people.
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They Can Run Fast
Horses are able to run quickly due to their body structure and capacity for rapid breathing. Horses breathe more air than other animals and possess a larger lung capacity, enabling them to take in more air with each breath. This enables them to run faster.
The speed of a horse depends on many factors, including its breed, age, weight, and health. Furthermore, the environment where they run, as well as the rider’s skill level and experience all contribute to speeding determination.
For horses to run fast, they require the correct training and nutrition. Furthermore, their focus and motivation while running must also be maintained. Furthermore, the type of terrain they run on as well as how long they spend running are all important factors.
Another thing that makes a horse run fast is its heart. Horses possess powerful hearts, capable of pumping out an impressive amount of blood – some even have hearts that weigh 22 pounds!
The heart is essential in keeping a horse’s blood pumping and its muscles toned. Furthermore, it distributes oxygen-rich blood throughout the brain and body.
Horses’ heart can help them run quickly, as it pumps more blood than other animals can. This allows them to move more quickly and keeps their muscles healthy.
Maintaining a horse’s health by preventing them from becoming injured. Additionally, exercising helps regulate their weight, making them more efficient when running.
Horses can run at speeds of 88 mph or 90 km/h, but this speed is only sustained for a few seconds before fatigue sets in.
They Have Lots of Teeth
Horse teeth are vitally important for their well-being. Not only do they play a vital role in digestion, but when dental issues arise it can cause major issues for horses.
Like humans, dogs, and cats, horses too need routine dental exams. Most veterinarians recommend having your horse’s mouth examined once to twice annually depending on his age and lifestyle.
Horses possess two sets of teeth: a set of milk teeth (also known as caps) which emerge within one week after birth and another set of permanent ones that form during their first year. The front teeth (incisors) clip grass while they graze, while the back teeth (molars and premolars) grind food for digestion.
Adult horses possess 12 incisors–six uppers and six lower–and 12 molars (also known as cheek teeth or jaw teeth). Young horses’ molars tend to be short and straight while those of older horses are longer and slanted at a forward angle.
The horse’s molars are designed to grind fibrous roughage and hard grain kernels before ingestion. Additionally, they grind hay or other grain that bits off by the incisors before it is swallowed.
The grinding surfaces of molars are composed of three materials: enamel, dentin, and cementum. Each has a distinct density level with enamel being the hardest. During an equine dental exam, your veterinarian can identify which teeth your horse has: incisors, premolars, or molars.