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Horses are four legged animals that have had a long relationship with humans. They were once a major form of transportation for humans. They also performed many jobs for humans over the years. The scientific name for horse is Equus ferus caballus.
Breeds of Horses
There are over 300 different breeds of horses. Horse breeds come in a number of different sizes, colors, and skill sets. There are three main types of horse breeds: Hot bloods are fast horses bred for speed and racing. Cold bloods are generally bred for strength and heavy work. Warm bloods are a combination of the other two types and are often used for riding competitions.
What are all the different names for horses?
Wild horse on beach
Depending on whether horses are male or female and how old they are, they have different names:
- Foal - a baby horse less than a year old.
- Yearling - a young horse between the ages of one and two.
- Colt - a male horse less than four years old.
- Filly - a female horse less than four years old.
- Stallion - a male horse older than four years old that is not a gelding.
- Gelding - A castrated male horse.
- Mare - a female horse older than four.
Horses with different coat colors have different names. Here are some of the main colors:
What do horses eat?
- Bay - light reddish-brown to dark brown with a black mane, tail, and lower legs.
- Chestnut - reddish color with no black.
- Grey - black skin, but a mixed coat of white and black hairs.
- Black - entirely black.
- Sorrel - a type of chestnut with a very reddish coat.
- Dun - yellowish or tan coat.
- Palomino - a light golden color.
- Pinto - a multicolored horse with patches of red, brown, white, and/or black.
Horses are grazing animals and mostly eat hay and grasses. They also like legumes like peas and beans, fruit such as apples, and even carrots. Sometimes they are fed grains such as corn or oats.
What is a Pony?
Wild horse running
A pony is just a small horse. There are certain breeds of horses that are small and these are generally called ponies.
Are there wild horses?
The only truly wild horses that are not extinct are the Przewalski's Horses which live in China and Mongolia. They are nearly extinct and are classified as critically endangered. There are also horses that live in the wild that came from domesticated horses. These are called feral horses.
Fun Facts about Horses
- Horses have excellent senses including good hearing, eyesight, and a tremendous sense of balance.
- There are four basic gaits that indicate the speed a horse is moving. From slowest to fastest they are: walk, trot, canter, and gallop.
- Horses can sleep standing up or lying down.
- Humans first domesticated horses around 4000 BC.
- Horse riding is often used as a form of therapy for people with disabilities.
- Horses played an important role in warfare throughout human history. They are still often used by police forces.
- A horse's hoof is always growing and needs to be clipped. Farriers are people that specialize in taking care of horses' hooves and putting on horse shoes.
For more about mammals:
African Wild Dog
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