Horse (Equus ferus caballus) - Are horses really useful for humans ..?

Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Perissodactyla
Family: Equidae
Genus: Equus
Trinomial name - Equus ferus caballus

         The horse (Equus ferus caballus) one of a domesticated one-toed hoofed mammal. It is one of two existing subspecies of Equus ferus and belongs to the taxonomic family Equidae. Over the last 45 to 55 million years, the horse has evolved from Eohippus, a little multi-toed species, to the big, single-toed animal it is today. Horses were first domesticated by humans in 4000 BC, and their domestication was commonplace by 3000 BC. Although some domesticated populations live in the wild as feral horses, horses in the subspecies caballus are tamed. Wild horses are horses that have never been tamed, thus these feral populations are not truly wild horses. Equine-related ideas are described using a large, specialized language that covers everything from anatomy to life phases, size, colors, markings, breeds, mobility, and behavior.

Horses have evolved to run, allowing them to flee predators swiftly. They also have a good sense of balance and a powerful fight-or-flight reaction. Which is related to their need to run from predators in the wild. Horses may sleep both standing and lying down, with younger horses sleeping substantially more than adults, Between the ages of two and four, most domesticated horses begin saddle or harness training. They acquire complete adult development by the age of five and live for 25 to 30 years on average.

Based on overall disposition, horse breeds are categorized into three categories: spirited "hot bloods" with speed and endurance; "cold blood," such as draft horses and certain ponies, appropriate for slow, heavy labor; and "warmbloods," developed from crosses between hot bloods and cold bloods, frequently focused on establishing breeds for specialized riding uses, notably in Europe. There are around 300 horse breeds in the world today, designed for a variety of purposes.

Horses and humans engage in a wide range of sporting events and non-competitive leisure hobbies, as well as in professional settings including police work, agriculture, entertainment, and therapy. Horses have long been employed in combat, and as a result, a diverse range of riding and driving strategies have evolved, employing a variety of equipment and control systems. Meat, milk, hide, hair, bone, and medications collected from the urine of pregnant mares are just a few of the items generated from horses. Domesticated horses get food, drink, and shelter from humans, as well as medical treatment from experts like veterinarians and farriers.

life stages Lifespan

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The contemporary domestic horse has a life expectancy of 25 to 30 years, depending on breed, husbandry, and habitat. A few animals live beyond their 40s and, on rare occasions, beyond. "Old Billy," a 19th-century horse that lived to be 62, has the oldest provable record. Sugar Puff, who was the world's longest-living pony according to Guinness World Records, died in 2007 at the age of 56.

Horses of varying ages are described using the following terminology:

Foal -
A horse of any sex under the age of one year. Suckling is a foal that is still nursing, whereas a weanling is a foal that has been weaned. Most domesticated foals are weaned between the ages of five and seven months, while foals as young as four months can be weaned without causing bodily harm.

Yearling -
A horse between the ages of one and two years old, of any sex

Colt -
A horse that is under the age of four years old. A frequent grammatical blunder is to refer to any young horse as a "colt," while the term applies primarily to young male horses.

Filly -
A female horse under the age of four.

Mare -
A female horse four years old and older.

Stallion -
A four-year-old or older non-castrated male horse. The term "horse" is occasionally used in a colloquial sense to refer to a stallion.

Gelding -
A castrated male horse of any age

Measurement, Size

The highest point of the withers, where the neck joins the back, is used to determine a horse's height. This point is utilized because, unlike the head or neck, which move up and down in relation to the horse's body, it is a stable point of anatomy.

Horses' height is frequently expressed in hands and inches: one hand equals 4 inches (101.6 mm). The height is given as the number of complete hands, a point, the number of extra inches, and the abbreviation "h" or "hh" at the end (for "hands high"). A horse defined as "15.2 h" is 15 hands plus 2 inches tall, for a total height of 62 inches (157.5 cm).

Horse size varies by breed, but it is also affected by diet. Light riding horses typically stand between 14 and 16 hands tall (56 to 64 inches, 142 to 163 cm) and weigh between 380 and 550 kilos (840 to 1,210 lb). Larger riding horses range in size from 15.2 hands (62 inches, 157 cm) to 17 hands (68 inches, 173 cm), weighing between 500 and 600 kilos (1,100 to 1,320 lb). Heavy draft horses are at least 16 hands tall (64 inches, 163 cm) and can reach up to 18 hands tall (72 inches, 183 cm). They may weigh anything between 700 and 1,000 kilos (1,540 to 2,200 lb).

Mammoth, a Shire horse born in 1848, was most likely the biggest horse in recorded history. He was 21.2 14 hands tall (86.25 inches, 219 cm) and weighed 1,524 kilos at his peak (3,360 lb). Thumbelina, a completely adult miniature horse with dwarfism, holds the record for the tiniest horse ever. She stood 17 inches tall (43 cm) and weighed 57 pounds (26 kg).

The largest horse in history ( Named Mammoth )
Smallest horse in recorded in the world ( NamedeThumbelina )


Ponies and horses have the same taxonomic classification. The height difference between a horse and a pony is widely depicted, especially for competitive purposes. The distinction between horses and ponies may also include features of phenotypic, such as shape and temperament, in addition to height.

The typical height criterion for a mature horse or pony is 14.2 hands (58 inches, 147 cm). A horse is normally defined as an animal with a length of 14.2 hours or more, and a pony as one with a length of less than 14.2 hours, however, there are several exceptions to this rule. Ponies under 14 hands are termed ponies in Australia (56 inches, 142 cm). The cutoff for competing in the United States Equestrian Federation's Western division is 14.1 hands (57 inches, 145 cm). The International Federation for Equestrian Sports (IFES), the world governing body for horse sport, uses metric measurements and defines a pony as any horse that measures less than 148 centimeters (58.27 in) at the withers without shoes, or just over 14.2 h, and 149 centimeters (58.66 in), or just over 14.2 h, with shoes.

Ponies have thicker manes, tails, and coats in general. Their legs are proportionately shorter, their barrels are larger, their bones are heavier, their necks are shorter and thicker, and their heads are short with broad foreheads. They may have a more calm temperament than horses, as well as a high level of intellect that they may or may not use to work with human handlers. Small stature isn't the only factor to consider. The Shetland pony, for example, is a pony with an average height of 10 hands (40 inches, 102 cm). Breeds like the Falabella and other tiny horses, which may only stand 30 inches (76 cm) tall, are categorized as very small horses, not ponies, by their registries.

Genetics of horses

Horses are made up of 64 chromosomes. In 2007, the horse genome was sequenced. It has 2.7 billion DNA base pairs, making it bigger than a dog's genome but smaller than a human or bovine genome.


Gestation lasts around 340 days, with a range of 320–370 days on average, and normally produces only one foal; twins are uncommon. Horses are a precocial animals, with foals capable of standing and running as soon as they are born. In most cases, foals are born in the spring. A mare's estrous cycle lasts around 19–22 days and lasts from early spring to late fall. During the winter, the majority of mares enter an anestrus phase and do not cycle. Between the ages of four and six months, foals are weaned from their mothers.

A pregnant horse (Mare)

       Horses, especially colts, are occasionally physiologically capable of reproduction at around 18 months, but domesticated horses, especially females, are rarely permitted to mate until the age of three. Horses are considered mature when they reach the age of four, while the skeleton continues to develop until they reach the age of six; maturity is also influenced by the horse's size, breed, sex, and quality of care. Larger horses have larger bones, which take longer to generate bone tissue, as well as larger epiphyseal plates, which take longer to convert from cartilage to bone. These plates are vital to development since they convert after the other portions of the bones.


System of Skeletal

Horse skeletal systems -Copyright ©- Wikipedia 

The skeleton of a horse has an average of 205 bones. The absence of a collarbone in the horse's bones is notable—the horse's forelimbs are joined to the spinal column by a strong complex of muscles, tendons, and ligaments that connect the shoulder blade to the torso. The four legs and hooves of a horse are likewise unique structures. Their leg bones are not proportioned the same as a human's. The "knee" of a horse, for example, is really made up of the carpal bones that correspond to the human wrist. The hock also has bones that are similar to those found in the human ankle and heel. The fetlock (incorrectly termed the "ankle") is really the proximal sesamoid bones between the cannon bones (a single equivalent to the human metacarpal or metatarsal bones) and the proximal phalanges, which correspond to the human "knuckles." Below the knees and hocks, a horse's legs are made up entirely of skin, hair, bone, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and several specialized tissues that make up the hoof.


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  The classic proverb "no foot, no horse" sums up the crucial role of the feet and legs. The distal phalanges, which are the equivalent of a human fingertip or toe, are surrounded by cartilage and other specialized, blood-rich soft tissues such as the laminae in the horse foot. Keratin, the same substance as a human fingernail, is used to make the external hoof wall and the horn of the sole. As a result, a horse weighing on average 500 kilograms (1,100 pounds) moves on the same bones as a human walking on tiptoe. Some horses have horseshoes applied on their feet by a skilled farrier to preserve the hoof under particular situations. Most domesticated horses' feet need to be trimmed (and horseshoes reset, if used) every five to eight weeks, but wild horses' hooves wear down and regenerate at a rate appropriate for their environment.


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     Horses have evolved to graze. There are 12 incisors at the front of an adult horse's mouth, which are designed to chewing grass or other plants. The premolars and molars, the 24 rear teeth of the mouth, are designed for chewing. Stallions and geldings have four extra teeth right behind the incisors, known as "tushes," which are a form of the canine tooth. Some horses, both male and female, can grow one to four extremely small vestigial teeth in front of the molars, referred to as "wolf" teeth, which are usually removed because they might interfere with the bit. When the horse is bridled, the bit sits directly on the horse's gums, or "bars," in the vacant interdental region between the incisors and molars.

Digestion system

Horses are herbivores with a digestive system that has evolved to handle a forage diet of grasses and other plant material that is devoured throughout the day. As a result, they have a tiny stomach compared to humans but incredibly lengthy intestines to ensure a consistent flow of nutrition. A 450-kilogram (990-lb) horse will consume 7–11 kilos (15–24 lb) of food per day and drink 38–45 liters (8.4–9.9 imp gal; 10–12 US gal) of water under typical conditions. Horses are not ruminants; they have only one stomach, much like people, but they can eat cellulose, which is a key component of grass.Horses are fermenters of the hindgut. Symbiotic bacteria digest cellulose in the cecum, or "water gut," where food passes before reaching the large intestine. Because horses are unable to vomit, digestive issues can swiftly escalate to colic, which is a primary cause of mortality. Horses do not have a gallbladder, yet they appear to handle high-fat levels in their diet despite their absence of one.

The horses' senses are predicated on their prey status, which requires them to be constantly alert of their surroundings. They have the biggest eyeballs of any land mammal, and their eyes are lateral-eyed, meaning they are on the sides of their skulls. This indicates horses have a visual range of more than  350°, including 65° of binocular vision and 285° of monocular vision. Horses have great day and night vision, but their color vision is two-color or dichromatic, similar to red-green color blindness in humans, in which some hues, particularly red and related colors, appear as a shade of green.

While their sense of smell is superior to that of humans, it falls short of that of a dog. It is thought to play an important part in horse social relationships as well as recognizing other important odors in the surroundings. A horse's hearing is excellent, and the pinna of each ear can spin up to 180 degrees, allowing for 360°  listening without moving the head. Horses' behavior is influenced by noise, and some types of noise can cause stress.

Horses have a sophisticated sense of taste that helps them to pick among the feed and select the foods they prefer, and their prehensile lips can effortlessly sort even microscopic grains. Although most horses will not consume deadly plants, there are exceptions; horses will occasionally eat lethal amounts of harmful plants even if there is plenty of nutritious food available.


In recent times, the notion of purebred bloodstock and a regulated, recorded breed registry has become especially vital and crucial. Purebred horses are sometimes mistakenly or wrongly referred to as "thoroughbreds." A "purebred" horse (or any other animal) has a specified lineage recognized by a breed registry, whereas a "thoroughbred" is a specific breed of horse. Horse breeds are groupings of horses that share different features, such as conformation, color, performance ability, or disposition, that are passed down to their offspring.

Breeds arose from the requirement for "form to function," or the need to create certain qualities in order to execute a specific task. As a result, a strong yet elegant breed like the Andalusian evolved into riding horses with a flair for dressage. Huge draft horses were created to help farmers with difficult farm work and to carry heavy carts. Other horse breeds were created for light agricultural labor, carriage and road work, various sporting activities, or just as pets.

Horse Movement

Walk 5–8 km/h (3.1–5.0 mph)
Trot 8–13 km/h (5.0–8.1 mph)
Pace 8–13 km/h (5.0–8.1 mph)
Canter 16–27 km/h (9.9–16.8 mph)
Gallop 40–48 km/h (25–30 mph), record: 70.76 km/h (43.97 mph)
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Relation with humans

Horses have played an important part in human civilizations for millennia all throughout the world. Horses are utilized for a variety of purposes, including recreation, sports, and employment. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), there were about 59 million horses in the globe in 2008, with roughly 33,500,000 in the Americas, 13,800,000 in Asia, 6,300,000 in Europe, and lesser amounts in Africa and Oceania. In the United States alone, there are projected to be 9,500,000 horses. More than 50,000 viewers from 73 countries voted for the horse as the world's fourth favorite animal in a 2004 "poll" sponsored by Animal Planet.

Historically, equestrians honed their skills through games and races. Equestrian sports provided entertainment for crowds and honed the excellent horsemanship that was needed in battle. Many sports, such as dressage, eventing, and show jumping, have origins in military training, 

Horses excel at specific tasks, and no technology has been evolved to completely replace them. Mounted police horses, for example, are still useful for some sorts of patrol work and crowd control. Cattle ranches still rely on horseback riders to round up cattle strewn across remote, rugged terrain. Mounted teams are used by search and rescue agencies in several nations to locate persons, notably hikers and children, and to give disaster relief. Horses can also be utilized in situations where vehicular disruption of sensitive soil is required, such as nature reserves.

For the majority of recorded history, horses have been utilized in battle. The first archaeological evidence of horses being employed in warfare comes from between 4000 and 3000 BC, and by the end of the Bronze Age, horse warfare was prevalent. Despite the fact that automation has essentially supplanted the horse as a weapon of war, horses are still used in limited military applications today, usually for ceremonial purposes or for reconnaissance and transport tasks in places where motorized vehicles are useless. The Janjaweed militias employed horses in the Darfur War in the twenty-first century.
Pulling Heavy wagon
War horse
Horse riding sport events 
Police mounted horse

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