About Horses for Kids
Horses are really wonderful animals that should command respect and admiration from everyone. They bond well with humans and are great fun to ride in a show ring or in the open country. While many kids know what horses are, there are lots of interesting facts about horses that most people do not know.
Do you think that a horse's tail is just a tail? There is a lot more to learn about this extremely important and useful part of a horse. Horses use their tails to warm their rear quarters and to keep away flies and insects. To a horse, a natural, uncut tail is the best kind of all, but owners often treat this tail in some very strange ways. Some horses that have naturally thin tails get a "banged" tail treatment. This is when the tail is cut in a square shape at the bottom to make it appear bigger and fuller when people look at it. The dock is the top of the tail where it joins the body and for horses that are used for the hunting classes, the dock is usually thinned by pulling out some of the hair, and then the hair around the dock is braided. Show horses also have hair pulled out from the dock to give what some people consider a better appearance for the tail. There are even some harness horses that have their tail docked to only about a foot in length so that it cannot tangle in the harnesses. This is illegal in many places throughout the world and is considered very cruel treatment for horses.
You might have seen horses with different white marks on their faces or muzzles, but did you know that these all have names to identify the shape of the mark? A "star" is a white mark found high on the head, between the eyes, and it is usually in the shape of a diamond. A "blaze" is a broad white facial marking that is seen on the centre of the horse's face and usually starts at the forehead and extends toward the muzzle. A small white muzzle mark is known as a "snip". If a horse is said to have a "bald face", it means that the white facial mark covers most of his face. A long and curvy white face mark is known as a "race". If a horse has a long, narrow, straight face mark then it is called a "stripe".
Interesting Horse Bits and Bites:
- There are about 75 million horses in the world and No two horses are identical
- A newborn horse is called a foal, and they are almost always born at night.
- A horse has approximately 205 bones
- A horse's knee is really the human equivalent of a wrist.
- A horse’s stifle (the bit by the back leg that joins the body) is the human equivalent of a knee
- A horse’s heart weighs nine pounds
- Foals have milk teeth, which are replaced by permanent teeth around 3-5 years old
- Horses' hooves grow approximately 0.25 in a month, and take nearly a year to grow from the coronet band to the ground.
- In the state of Arizona, it is illegal for cowboys to walk through a hotel lobby wearing their spurs
- Arabians (a type of horse) have one less rib, one less lumbar bone, and one or two fewer tail vertebrae than other horses.
- Horses are traditionally measured in ‘hands’ a hand is 4 inches and was the average span of a male Roman's hand
- A horse typically sleeps two and half to three hours a day
- Horses lie down only about 43.5 minutes a day
- Horses generally dislike the smell of pigs
- Boy horses are known as "colts" and girls are "fillies" and they can be referred to by these names until they are 3 years old. They can also be called yearlings when they have their 1st year birthday.
- All thoroughbred horses are given the same birthday, no matter when they were born. This was done to make record keeping easier for owners, horse breeders, and trainers.
This is an original news article © The Kids Window