the horse

 

Humans domesticated horses long ago for meat and milk, and with the passage of time they became more able to meet human needs such as using them as a means of transportation, or using them in races as a form of entertainment.

 

According to researchers, horses walked on Earth for the first time 50 million years ago, and all types of horses belong to the genus Equus caballus; Which includes both feral and wild species, and horses evolved biologically in North America before their extinction from this region about 10,000 years ago, long before the start of human domestication of these animals, which probably began for the first time in Central Asia between 3000-4000 BC .

 

Horse domestication and selective breeding led to a great variation in the characteristics of horse breeds, which is noted in the emergence of different colors of horses, from white to black and include red, brown and yellow, in addition to a variety of patterns, such as spots.

 

 An adult male horse is called a stallion, an adult female is called a mare, and a young horse is called a foal, and the period between April and June is the breeding period for horses, and it takes 11 months for horses to become pregnant, after which they give birth to foals, which within an hour of their birth can stand, and start eating Feeding within a week as well as breastfeeding from their mothers for sometimes more than two years.

 

Horses live for about 25-30 years, including those who reach the age of 61, and one of the important information about horses is that they can sleep while standing, and that they switch legs so that they do not feel tired while standing while they are asleep.

 

 

horse naming

 

It is noteworthy that the term horse is called the male of the horse, while the mare is one of the horse, while the female is called the stone – without ha’ -; Because the male does not share it with her, the dowry is the first produced from horses, domestic donkeys, and others.

 

  It is noteworthy that Asian nomads had used horses for various purposes four thousand years ago, and despite the invention of locomotives and engines, they did not lose their cultural status among peoples.

 

horse rating

 

The horse is known by the scientific name (Equus ferus caballus), as it belongs to the genus of horses, from which several subspecies are subdivided, and it belongs to the family Equidae, which consists of one sex, and falls under the order Ordactyla, belonging to the class of mammals below Phylum Chordata, which belongs to the animal kingdom.

 

Average lifespan of a horse

 

Horses range in age from 33 to 50 years, but there is no accurate way to determine which horses are the longest, and Shine is the longest-lived horse, according to the Guinness Book of Records, with an approximate age of 51 years.

 

horse characteristics

 

  The domestication of horses contributed to the development of horses from wild and feral horses to horses that can be benefited from, in addition to the development of the level of behavior, domestication and selective breeding contributed to the development of the physical characteristics of horses, and the acquisition of different breeds bearing different characteristics, and the following is a mention of the most important physical characteristics of horses:

 

 

horse sizes

 

  The sizes and weights of horses vary from one breed to another, and the height of horses is measured from the shoulder to the hoof. Some breeds of horses may have a height of approximately 175 cm, and the weight of some horses may reach 998 kg, while the height of some small breeds may reach approximately 76 cm.

She weighs about 54 kilograms

 

The main breeds of the horse

 

Horses were domesticated a long time ago in Central Asia, and horses evolved from just horses with similar characteristics to modern breeds with different characteristics, ranging from fast, slow, large and small.

 

Horse breeds can be divided into three main breeds; According to their size and shape, they are: light breeds, heavy breeds, and dwarf breeds

 

light strains

 

Light breeds ( Light Horses) earned their name from their use in light work, such as riding and pulling wagons, and the regions of the Middle East and North Africa are the main home of these breeds, and light breeds include the following

 

  • Arabian horses.

 

  • Thoroughbred English horses.

 

  •  Turkoman horses, Akhal-Teke horses, and others.

 

  •  Anglo-Arab Breed.

 

  •  American Breeds. Other horses, such as: German Holstein horses, and Andalusian horses.

 

Heavy Breeds

 

  Heavy Breeds mean large horses; Some of these strains may reach a height of approximately 162.6 cm and more, while others reach a height of 193 cm.

These strains were used in the Middle Ages for agricultural and loading purposes, and were dispensed with when tractors were invented.

 

  It is worth noting that most of the horses of heavy breeds are threatened with extinction, and the most famous horse of these breeds is the English Shire, which is the largest horse in the world.

 

the horse

the horse

 

dwarf breeds

 

  The dwarf breeds (Ponies) are distinguished by their small size, less than 147 cm in height.

They are non-Arabian horses characterized by their multiple dark skin colors, crests, and full tails, and they are also used to pull carts, load, and ride.

 

It is noteworthy that they are spread in India, Java, Manila and Argentina, and the most famous are: Welsh horses, and Dartmoor horses.

 

Horse’s home

 

Oklahoma State University indicated that horses are found all over the world except for Antarctica.

For example, the Abyssinian horses are from Ethiopia,

Deliboz horses are from Georgia and Armenia, Budyonny horses are found in Russia, and many others.

 

  Wild horses also differ in their locations.

Shetland ponies are found near small swamps with scarce trees, while Arab horses live in arid and dry areas, such as the climate of the Arabian Peninsula. It is worth noting that horses move from one place to another in search of water and food.

 

horse body

 

  Horses are similar in their general characteristics despite their different breeds, sizes, and weights.

They all have four long legs that carry a barrel-like body, and their eyes and ears are large, in addition to their large and long head that carries a long neck.

 

Its body colors vary between black, gray, and brown, and may be mixed with two different colors, in addition to having short tails covered with thick hair along its length, with hair on the upper part of the neck.

 

the horse

the horse

 

External installation

 

 The external structure of the horse’s body includes a number of parts, which are as follows:

 

  • snout

 

(Muzzle), which is a cartilaginous area that includes the mouth, lips, chin, nose and around it, and it is covered with bristles that make the horse feel things near its nose.

 

  •  vertex

 

 (Poll), as the top of the head is located directly behind the ears, and contains the bones of the skull, the bones of the neck of the neck, and there are nerve endings in it.

 

  • bangs

 

(Forelock), a tuft of hair that covers the front of the horse’s head, protecting it from weather and biting insects.

Ears The horse’s ear is a very flexible part, as it moves in all directions to pick up sounds, and it should be noted that some ear movements have certain connotations, such as the horse’s fear or relaxation.

 

  •  nostril

 

 (Nostril), which is the flexible part through which the horse breathes, and it contains cartilage that controls the amount of air entering, and bristles that contribute to purifying the air that enters the nose.

 

  • front

 

(Forehead), which is the area between the eyes and above, and this area may be concave in some horses and prominent in others or flat.

 

  • the eyes

 

 The horse’s eyes are slightly to the sides of its head; To give him more viewing area.

 

  •  cheek

 

(Cheek), the cheek is flat on both sides of the horse’s face, and its bone is curved along the face.

 

  • the neck

 

 (Neck), which is the area connecting the horse’s head through the top of the shoulder and up to the top of the horse’s shoulder, and it contains seven vertebrae that give it flexibility of movement.

 

  • top of the neck

 

 (Crest), which is the convex upper part of the neck, and it may be thick or thin depending on the size and weight of the horse.

 

  • the stirrer

 

(Withers), the stirrup is considered a prominent thoracic vertebra located above the shoulder at the meeting of the horse’s neck with its body, knowing that the height of horses is measured from the top of the withers.

 

 

the horse

the horse

 

 

  • the shoulder

 

It is the part that connects between the top of the withers and the chest, and the shape of this area affects the horse’s gait and speed.

 

  • forearm

 

(Forearm), and the longer the forearm bone, the longer and smoother the horse’s stride.

 

  • knee

 

The knee consists of several small bones connected to each other by muscles, ligaments, and tendons, similar in structure to the bones of the human wrist.

 

  • anterior tibia

 

 (Front Cannon Bone), which is the bone that connects between the knee and the bottom of the horse’s leg, and along it extends a small bone called the Splint Bone.

 

  •  bump down horse leg

 

(Fetlock Joint), and this protrusion is located between the front tibia bone and the carpal bone (Pastern Bone), and in the back of it is located a small sesamoid bone.

 

  •  carpal bone

 

It represents two bones of varying lengths located under the ridge below the horse’s leg, with the shorter bone connected to the hoof through the pedal bone.

 

  •  back

 

 (Back), which is the part that follows the area of ​​​​the Harek down to the loin, and the shorter the horse’s back, the better for riding.

 

  • the trunk

 

 (Barrel), which is the area between the saddle and flank, and it contains the rib cage of the horse.

 

  • loin

 

Loins, which is the area just behind the saddle position.

 

  • the two sides

 

(Flanks), this area is behind the torso, and is the main indicator of the health of the horse; If it is sunken, this indicates the horse’s need to drink water.

 

  •  thigh

 

Gaskin, the muscular area above the outer tibia and tibia.

 

  • the daffodil

 

(Stifle), and this area contains the scapular joint that separates the hip and shin bones, and is similar in structure to the human knee.

 

  •  hock joint

 

(Hock), which is the largest and most active joint in a horse’s hind legs; It contains several small bones that give it a prominent shape.

 

  • tibia bone

 

 (Hind Cannon Bone), which represents the metatarsal between the hock joints and the bump at the bottom of the horse’s leg.

 

  •  rump or rump

 

Croup, which is the point attached to the top of the tail, and is the highest point in the back of the horse.

 

  • tail base

 

 Dock, which is above the horse’s tail, and contains the muscles and vertebrae of the spine.

 

  •  the tail

 

(Tail), and the tail is an extension of the horse’s spine; It contains about 15 small vertebrae that give it the ability to move and control it.

 

  •  skin and hair

 

 Hair is responsible for protecting the skin, regulating the horse’s body temperature, and its characteristics change with the change of seasons.

As for the skin, it contains sebaceous glands that secrete oils during the winter to protect it from weather factors.

 

  •  mouth and teeth

 

 Horse teeth consist of two parts; The first of them represents the front molars responsible for cutting grass, and the second represents the rear molars and compressors responsible for the grinding process, and it should be noted that the horse’s teeth continue to grow throughout its life, and the number of these teeth ranges between 40 to 42 teeth for adult horses, while the mouth contains salivary glands It helps digest food, while the tongue pushes food towards the throat to be swallowed, in addition to having a role in collecting the largest amount of herbs inside the mouth, drinking water, and tasting.

 

the horse

the horse

 

Internal installation

 

 The horse’s inner body consists of the following parts:

 

  • Digestive

 

(Digestive System), despite the simplicity of the installation of the horse’s stomach, but its digestive system includes more than one stomach, and it should be noted that this installation is necessary for the digestion of herbs; When food reaches the stomach, which is small in size, it is digested and moved to the cecum and the colon, and then converted by bacteria into fatty acids that are absorbed and get energy from them.

 

  • Urinary tract

 

 (Urinary System), the horse’s kidneys are very active; They are excreting waste from the horse’s blood.

 

  •  Respiratory system

 

(Respiratory System), as the respiratory system in horses is one of the most important systems in its body; This is due to its great role in providing the body with the oxygen necessary for running.

 

  • skull

 

(Skull), as in the skull contains the brain, which controls muscle movement.

 

  •  Musculature

 

The muscular system is the main engine of the horse’s body; Muscles make up the bulk of his body, and each muscle is responsible for a specific function through the processes of contraction and elongation.

The muscular system consists of three main types; They are: smooth muscles, cardiac muscles, and skeletal muscles.

 

  •  heart muscles

 

They are non-skeletal and involuntary muscles that are divided into atrial muscle, ventricular muscle, and muscle fibers, and these muscles receive commands from the central nervous system.

 

  • skeletal muscle

 

It includes a huge number of muscle fibers, and receives commands from the brain through nerves.

It also consists of two types; The first is used when doing non-strenuous activities, and the other when doing strenuous activities that require a greater amount of effort and energy, such as jogging.

 

Oxygen is the fuel that supplies the muscles with the energy needed for movement; Where it is sent to the muscles through the bloodstream, and each horse is given the appropriate function for him according to the shape, mass and structure of his muscles, such as allocating horses with long and strong legs to pull loads regardless of their speed.

 

the horse

the horse

 

Horse senses

 

 Horses, like other animals, have five senses, each with specific functions, as follows:

 

  •  sight

 

 The eyes and pupils of the horse are distinguished by their large size, and the eyeballs are slightly inclined to the sides of the head; To contribute to the expansion of the horse’s vision, which gives it the ability to monitor and deal with the dangers surrounding it, and it should be noted that the horse can see most of what surrounds it through one eye, which is called monovision, but all horses suffer from the presence of a blind spot that she cannot see, and this point is located directly behind the horse; Therefore, it is necessary to avoid approaching horses behind them.

 

  •  Sense of hearing

 

Horses are among the animals that are severely affected by noise, by releasing stress hormones that lead to the horse’s entry into a bad state so that it is difficult to control and calm him down; Therefore, it is advised to avoid making loud sounds when dealing with horses, and it should be noted that the sound reaches each ear at a different time from the other, which helps the horse to better identify the source of the sound.

The horse can also move each ear independently for more than 180 degrees, and some ear movements may indicate a specific feeling for the horse.

 

  •  sense of smell

 

 The horse has a sharp sense of smell that helps it distinguish between different smells, and also uses it as a means to distinguish the young among the herd, in addition to the important role of this sense in the mating process; Where the male searches for a female to mate using the sense of smell, and the horse can use this sense to reach the places of water and forage.

 

  •  Sense of taste

 

 The horse uses the sense of taste to distinguish between different types of feed, and the tongue, palate and throat contain taste buds that help it distinguish between some tastes, such as sweet, salty, bitter, and sour.

 

  •  Sense of touch

 

 This sense is the link between the horse and the human, where the horses interact through it.

It is worth noting that some parts of the horse’s body respond to the sense of touch more than others; The hooves, for example, are poorly responsive to the sense of touch, while the nose, lips, mouth, ears, flanks and ribs are among the most sensitive areas to touch.

 


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