Horses use their ears, eyes and nostrils to express their mood. They also communicate their feelings through facial expressions.
Amazing Facts About the Horse
- The Przewalski’s horse is the only truly wild horse species still in existence. The only wild population is in Mongolia. There are however numerous populations across the world of feral horses e.g. mustangs in North America.
- Horses use their ears, eyes and nostrils to express their mood. They also communicate their feelings through facial expressions.
- It is extremely unlikely to see all horses in a herd lying down simultaneously. This is because at least one horse will stand as a look-out in order to be able to alert the others of any potential dangers.
- Horses have near 360 degree vision. They do however have blind spots directly in front and behind them. It is extremely dangerous to stand behind a horse as they are liable to kick out if they get scared by anything as kicking out is their way of defending themselves.
- Horses use a range of different vocalisations to communicate. Whinnying and neighing sounds are elicited when horses meet or leave each other. Stallions (adult male horses) perform loud roars as mating calls, and all horses will use snorts to alert others of potential danger. Mares (adult female horses) use deep smooth sounds, whickering, when they are nursing a foal (infant horse).
- Horses and other equines have better senses of smell and hearing than humans. Their ears can turn in different directions to aid their hearing.
- Horses are undeniably clever animals. Beyond being proficient at relatively simple learning tasks, they are also recognised as having the capacity to solve advanced cognitive challenges involving categorisation learning and a degree of concept formation.
- The horse is one of the 12 Chinese signs of the zodiac. Anyone born in the year of the horse is seen to embody the characteristics of the animal, namely intelligence, independence and a free-spirit.
- Equine assisted therapy is a growing field where horses help people with a wide range of mental health issues. A relationship between the patient and the horse develops and allows the person to engage with nature through a beautiful and peaceful animal. This aids in building trust, respect, compassion, communication and self-confidence. The skills learned through building a meaningful relationship with the horse are transferable to other aspects of the individual’s life.
- Type: Mammal
- Diet: Herbivore
- Lifespan: 20-30 years
- Size: 76-18 cm high though varies greatly by breed
- Weight: 54-1000 kg, again varying with breed
- Habitat: Deserts, grasslands and woodland
- Range: Worldwide
- Scientific name: Equus ferus caballus