Horse Facts

28 Interesting Facts About Horses

Horses are beautiful creatures to look at, and thousands of fanatics enjoy riding them or showing them every year.


Here are some important (and some very interesting!) facts you might like to know about horses.

  1. A male horse is called a stallion and a female horse is a mare. A male horse which has been castrated is known as a gelding.
  2. Young horses have different names – a young male is called a colt and the young females are fillies.
  3. Baby horses can walk and run after just a few hours of being born.
  4. In total, there are 205 bones in the skeleton of a horse.
  5. Horses which have been tamed usually live to be around 25 years old. However, the oldest domestic horse on record was Old Billy, who died at the age of 62.
  6. When a horse is seen standing up, don’t assume it’s awake! These creatures can sleep either standing up or lying down.
  7. A group of horses will not go to sleep at the same time – at least one of them will stay awake to look out for the others.
  8. Horses are often seen in photographs ‘laughing’ or ‘smiling’, but this movement is actually to help them smell better.
  9. They only eat plants, making them herbivores.
  10. For a regular horse, their top speed is approximately 27 miles per hour, although the fastest horse ever recorded could reach 55 miles per hour!
  11. There are an estimated 60 million horses in the world, combining wild and domesticated horses.
  12. The eyes of a horse are bigger than those of any other land mammal, and the fact they are located on the side of their heads means they can see almost 360 degrees.
  13. Experts used to believe that horses were completely colour-blind, although this has now been disproven. They can, however, see certain colours a lot clearer than others.
  14. A horse has huge teeth! The space occupied by the teeth is greater than that occupied by the brain.
  15. Its brain only weighs around 22 ounces, making it just half the weight of a human brain.
  16. Like humans, horses have different facial expressions to express their moods.
  17. Unlike many other mammals, it is impossible for horses to vomit.
  18. There are more than 300 different horse breeds in the world.
  19. Rather than being measured in feet and inches, horses are measured in hands. A hand is equivalent to four inches. Ponies are horses which are under 14.2 hands high.
  20. Sampson was a Shire horse and the tallest on record. He stood at a staggering 21.2 hands high.
  21. By contrast, the smallest horse ever was a tiny 14-inch pony from New Hampshire. His name was Einstein.
  22. Horses are big fans of water, and will drink a minimum of 25 gallons every single day. In warmer countries, this amount is even higher.
  23. While zebras and horses are often considered to be totally different animals, they can breed with each other to create ‘zebroids’. Zebras will also mate with donkeys and produce ‘zonkeys’.
  24. In 2003, a horse was cloned for the first time. The cloning took place in Italy.
  25. If you feel behind the ears of a horse and they appear to be cold, this means that the horse itself is feeling cold.
  26. Horses have been used in the police force since the 17th century, and although they became less popular with the introduction of the automobile in the early 20th century, hundreds of horses are still used by the police today.
  27. The Arab is thought to be the oldest surviving breed of horse. Experts believe they first appeared about 4,500 years ago.
  28. In certain countries, including France, horse meat is considered an expensive delicacy. Although it is illegal in several other countries, the French enjoy eating horse heart and horse brains.