Posted on 18th March 2021

20 interesting horses and pony facts you may not know

Did you know…

1. Horses have the largest eyes of animal mammals on the planet. 2. Horses lock their legs to avoid collapsing when sleeping standing up. 3. Horses will not all lie down at the same time, at least one horse will stand standing to act as a look-out for potential danger. 4. The height of a horse is measured in a unit known as ‘hands’, one hand is 4 inches. The tallest horse recorded was a shire horse named Sampson and came in at a staggering 21.2 hands, that’s an amazing 7 feet and 2 inches! Sampson was born in England in Toddington Mills during 1846. 5. Horses cannot vomit. 6. Horses are social animals and will get lonely if left on their own, they are known to mourn companions that have passed. 7. Horses are known as obligate nasal breathers. This means they breathe through their nostrils and cannot breathe through their mouths. 8. A horse in the 19th century is reported to have lived 62 years – he is said to have been called ‘Old Billy’. 9. Horses can see nearly 360 degrees at any one time due to their eyes being on the side of their heads. 10. Vocalisations are highly important to horses, they whinny and neigh when meeting or saying goodbye, stallions will emit loud roars as a mating call, and all horses will perform snorts to alert others around them to potential threats. 11. The first horse that was cloned was in Italy in 2003. 12. When horses look like they’re ‘laughing’, they are engaging in a technique known as ‘flehmen’ a nose-enhancing technique that allows them to determine if a smell is good or bad. 13. Horses with pink skin have the potential for getting sunburn. 14. It can take up to a year to re-grow a horse’s hoof. 15. Horses like sweet flavours and are extremely likely to turn their heads away from anything bitter or sour. 16. You can tell a horse is cold by feeling behind their ears – if the horse is cold, that area will be too. 17. Racehorses can reach speeds of up to 41 mph when galloping! 18. If a horse has a ribbon on its tail – it means something! Red – I kick, Green – inexperienced, Blue – I’m a stallion and White – for sale. 19. The only remaining wild horse species lives in Mongolia. 20. Horses are not colour-blind, though at one time we did think they were. They can see yellows and greens more vividly than violets and purples.

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