Fascinating Facts about Horses

Fascinating Facts about Horses

Horses are fascinating animals with interesting habits and things that mere mortals do not understand.  This article will cover a few fascinating facts about these beautiful animals and the horse industry.

Is the Horse Smiling?

Everybody has seen a horse make an expression, like it is smiling.  The horse will curl its upper lip and bare its teeth almost like a big smile.  This expression makes the horse look as though it is laughing.  What this expression actually is, is a nose-enhancing technique known as a flehmen response.  Horses will make this expression to direct scents that are floating in the air to olfactory glands found at the end of the nasal passage.  The curling of the lip and tilting their head assists the horse in wafting these smells toward the glands.  The horse is not laughing, but rather trying to figure out how something smells, good or bad.  This response is mostly found in males.

Horse Industry is Much More

For most people who have had no involvement in this industry it may seem easy to look after horses, but what most people do not realise is that horses are used for many different things, for breeding, various sports as well as recreation and some are used for work.  The horse industry is massive and it has been estimated that 4.6 million Americans work in this industry and bring in revenue of around $39 billion each year, so if you want to invest, you may need to up your live AFL betting game considerably..

Use of Police Horses

Horses that are used as part of policing have been around since the 1600s. The first police unit was founded in 1805 in London and was very successful and not long after that Australia and the USA had implemented police horses.  These horses are so much more than just a mode of transportation and have huge benefits.  A police officer riding a horse will command a different kind of respect to a foot patrol officer for example.  Police horses are usually large geldings, which have been castrated and have a level headed temperament needed for a sometimes stressful job.  Unfortunately police horses are less visible these days because of other modes of transport, but there are still countries using these units especially for crowd control.

What do Horses See?

What most people do not know is that horses have good eyesight.  Their eyes are about 5cm and are the largest of all of the land mammals.  When looking at horses eyes in terms of volume they are nine times bigger than a human’s.  The horse eye has three eyelids, two normal ones and a nictitating membrane found in the inner corner and this membrane keeps the eye lubricated and clean by sweeping across it.  Unlike humans, horses are unable to focus on things; the lower section of their retina sees things at a distance while the upper ones are used for up close sight.  If a horse is holding its head up high and ears forward it is most likely seeing something of interest in the distance.

Shoes for Horses

All horses have horse shoes but what most people do not know is that the metal is not only to protect the hoof but also to provide traction and absorbs shock, very similar to the shoes that humans wear.  There are also a wide range of different horse shoes including correcting support shoes, natural balance shoes as well as special racing shoes which are lightweight.

These are just a few interesting facts that most people do not know about, there are many more things about horses which will help people learn more about them and understand them.

About Doreen Cohen