There is always something new to learn in the equestrian world. Here are the top 20 most asked horse questions of all time!
20: Why Do Horses Need Shoes?
It’s quite a common question: horses don’t wear shoes in the wild, so why do most domesticated horses need them?
Essentially, it comes down to a few things:
- Protection against damage
- Preventing the hoof from wearing down
- Traction improvement
- Injury prevention
- Lameness prevention
19: Are Horses Color Blind?
No, horses aren’t color blind; but they do see colors differently than humans do.
Horses have dichromatic vision, meaning that they have two types of cones in their eyes. Horses can register different variations of blue and green, but they are not able to register red.
18: What Do Horses Like To Eat?
While horses require a large amount of forage in their diet, they typically have quite a strong sweet tooth. They typically strongly enjoy fruits and vegetables.
Some favorite foods and treats include:
17: Can a Horse Swim?
Yes, horses are actually quite good at swimming! Since crossing large bodies of water is often essential for survival in the wild, horses are actually born with a natural instinct for swimming. They have very large lungs, which enable them to easily float.
16: Does a Horse Sleep Standing Up?
Horses are flight animals; they are naturally hardwired to keep themselves safe from predators.
Because of this, horses are able to comfortably doze off while standing. Laying down places them in a bit of an exposed and vulnerable position, so they typically reserve laying down to rest for bits of deep sleep - usually with another horse nearby for added security.
15: Can You Give a Horse Ibuprofen?
Yes, you can give your horse ibuprofen. Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory NSAID drug that is used to reduce fever, pain, and inflammation. Small amounts may be given to help alleviate muscle pain or soreness - just be sure to check with your veterinarian beforehand.
14: Will Horses Eat Themselves to Death?
Horses need to graze continuously to aid in healthy digestion, but it is possible for them to eat excessively until they are sick - or even dead.
For this reason, it is important to monitor how much your horse is grazing and ensure that they receive a balanced amount of grain each day.
13: Do Horses Lay Down To Sleep At Night?
Yes, when a horse is in need of some deep sleep and feels safe in its environment, it will lay down to sleep. Horses are able to sleep both standing up and laying down.
12: Why Do Horses Neigh?
A neigh can have a wide variety of meanings, including:
- Locating other horses
- Greeting humans or horses
- Displaying anxiety or fear
- Displaying confidence
- Displaying excitement
11: How Much Horsepower Does a Horse Have?
The average horse exerts up to 15 horsepower.
10: Why Does a Horse Paw at the Ground?
Horses may paw at the ground for a number of reasons, including:
- Anxiety, fear, or emotional distress
- Wanting attention
- Assertion of dominance
9: Why Does a Horse Lick You?
While it may seem a bit funny or strange, there may be a number of different reasons why your horse has licked you:
- The salty taste of our skin
- To be playful or social
- To show affection
- Exploring taste
8: Do Horses Eat Pumpkins?
If you are looking for a festive fall treat to give to your horse, you may be happy to hear that horses can indeed eat pumpkins.
Orange pumpkins - including the seeds - are a safe and healthy treat for your horse.
Of course, be sure that you are not overfeeding this treat to your horse, and do not feed them pumpkins that have had wax inside them or are beginning to rot.
7: How do Horses Mate?
Horses typically mate by following these steps:
- Males work to attract females by arching their necks and letting out mating vocalizations
- The male performs a “courtship dance”, where they will lift their hooves high off the ground and turn in circles while arching their neck
- If the female is receptive, she will raise her tail in order to signify that she is ready to mate
- The male will mount the female and complete the mating process
6: Can a Horse Sit Down?
Although the odd horse like the one above can do it, generally speaking, no, horses cannot sit down in the same fashion that cats and dogs do; their hind legs are incapable of bending in such a manner without causing injury.
5: How Long is a Horse Pregnant For?
Horse gestation periods typically last anywhere between 10-12 months.
4: How Far Can a Horse Run?
A healthy horse can typically run a full 2 miles at a gallop before needing to stop or rest. At the slower paces of a walk or trot, horses are typically able to travel upwards of 20 miles in one day before needing to rest.
3: How Long Does a Horse Sleep For?
While horses spend a large amount of time resting, they typically only actually sleep anywhere between 2-5 hours each day.
2: How Fast Can a Horse Run?
While the average horse gallops at 43-48km/h, the fastest Thoroughbred has been clocked at 70km/h, and the fastest Quarter Horse has been clocked in at 88km/h.
Horses are individuals and perform differently based upon their confirmation, training, feed schedule, and general health.
1: Do Horses Get Lonely?
Yes, it is possible for horses to get lonely. Horses are herd animals, meaning that they are hardwired to take comfort in the presence of other horses.
It is quite common for equestrians who only keep one horse to get their horse a companion animal, such as a donkey, to keep them from getting lonely and developing behavioral or even health issues.
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