Have you ever had the pleasure of feeding a horse? If so, you may have stroked their velvety nose and had their lips tickle your palm as they scooped up whatever treats you offered them.
There are over 300 breeds of horse in the world and they are used by humans in many varied ways. From horseracing, such as the Grand National, to therapy, agriculture and police work. They were even used during World War One – this recent blog of ours is all about war animals.
There is only one type of horse that is truly still wild (meaning it has never been domesticated). This horse is called Przewalski’s horse and is native to central Asia. Sadly it is endangered but conservation efforts are being made to protect this horse.
Generally speaking, horses can live for up to 30 years so if you desperately want a horse, bear in mind you will need to look after it for a very long time. The oldest-known horse was called Old Billy and lived for 62 years!
Horsespeak can be quite exclusive if you’re not in the know. Below are the meanings of various horsey words.
Foal – male or female horse less than one year old
Yearling – male or female horse between 1-2 years old
Colt – male horse under five years old
Filly – female horse under the age of five
Gelding – a castrated male horse of any age
Stallion – a non-castrated male horse aged 5-plus
Mare – a female horse over the age of five
Horses are measured in hands – a hand is equivalent to just over 10cm. An average horse is around 16 hands high. The largest horse was a Shire horse (those big horses with white fluffy socks) appropriately named Mammoth. He was over 21 hands high which equates to 219cm. The smallest horse is a fully-grown horse who has dwarfism. She is only 43cm tall and is, again, appropriately named Thumbelina.
Next time you are out & about walking in nature, make sure to take a few carrots and perhaps a couple of apples, just in case you come across a horse or two. There’s nothing quite as lovely as connecting with our fellow-creatures!