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7 Wonderful and Fun Facts About Horses

Updated on January 21, 2016

Horses can be traced back to millions of years ago to a small, multi-toed creature called a hyracotherium. The ones we know today? They've been domesticated by humans around 4,000BC and, over the years, have developed some of their own unique and amazing traits that truly set them apart in the animal world. And that brings me to my wee collection of wonderful and fun facts. Want to know more about these gentle giants? Read on.

1. There’s a whole industry built around them.

It’s always fun to talk about money so let’s see how much economic effect do horses have in the United States alone? If you say $39 billion then you’re correct! That’s a whole lot of moolah going around these horses. That figure involves horse competitions, healthcare, grooming, recreation, and also in the entertainment business. It’s also a big business just to keep horses warm and safe.

2. They can run within hours of giving birth.

Humans certainly can’t do that and equally wonderful is the fact that a foal (that’s what they call a baby horse) can stand and run shortly following birth.

3. They help to serve and protect.

Police horses can be traced back to the 17th century as they were used to transport police officers around towns and cities. And they are not merely as a mode of transportation. Just imagine how much commanding presence a policeman has over you if he goes right next to you while on top of his horse.

Sadly, the number of these horses serving the police force is dwindling because of more efficient forms of transportation like cars and motorcycles.

4. A horse may seem like laughing, but it’s not.

Sometimes you can see a horse as if he’s laughing at something, even maybe at you. However, the reality is it is just a flehmen response; he is merely directing the smell in the air towards his olfactory glands so he can determine the odor. So it’s not really a laugh, he’s simply trying to smell something (hopefully something good).

5. Horses can run really fast!

The Guinness Book of World Records clocked the fastest horse at 70.76 km/h (43.97 mph). The horse’s name was Winning Brew and it was recorded on 14 May 2008. There are many people who drive a lot slower than that.

6. Their great big eyes.

Their eyes are the largest of any land mammals measuring at around 5 centimeters in diameter. They also have three eyelids with the third one located in the inner corner of the eye with the purpose of lubricating and sweeping it. Also, because their eyes are located on the sides of their head, they are capable of seeing nearly 360 degrees.

7. They have their individual personalities, just like people.

Like us, horses also have their own quirks and characteristics. There are the ‘Eager Beavers’, these are horses that are always ready and happy to be trained and will respond splendidly to your commands. There are also the ‘Nervous Nellie’ types who get spooked easily that even as simple as a shadow can get them worried or irritated.

They’re really an amazing bunch!

Horses may not hold the title of being man’s best friend (dogs beat them to it), but they really come close. They’re very friendly and useful to have around that it is hard to imagine the human civilization evolving without their help.

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