Horses have played a large role in human history, both in America and worldwide.  They are used for working, for sporting events and for leisure activities.  They come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and temperaments.  By 2008, the Food and Agriculture Organization estimated that there were nearly 59,000,000 in the world.  9,500,000 are estimated to be in the United States alone.  We’ve compiled a list of 10 things you might not know about horses.  Here they are:

1) Horses: a pillar of American History

As you probably know, horses were used to carry our ancestors’ wagons across the plains, deserts and mountains; westward to new frontiers.  They’ve also played a huge part in war, carrying soldiers into battle well into the 20th century.  Plus, how cool were cowboys?

2) Horses have almost 360 degree vision.  Directly in front and behind are their blind spots.  Wonder what they’re looking at?  A horse’s ears will point in the direction it is looking.  Horses can see better at night than people.  Also, they see two different images- one from each eye.  Just like a lizard, only completely different.

3) In the wild, it is the mare’s decision where the herd goes, not the stallion.  So, yeah- you can draw many parallels to humans: “Sure we can go shopping now, Honey!”  Not saying I’m a stallion, or anything.

4) Horses will not all lie down together at the same time.  One will stay standing, watching for danger so that it can alert the rest of the herd.  They will usually only sleep 3-4 hours a day, then it’s back to the office to do it all over again.

5) A horse’s brain is about the size of a potato, but their hearts weigh 9-10 pounds.  This also describes my cousin, Frankie.  He really means well, though.

6) Horses can’t breathe through their mouths, only their nostrils.  Also, horses are physically unable to vomit.

7) A horse’s age can be determined by its teeth, until it’s 9 years old.  Then you have to ask them.  Nicely.

8) In horses, one front leg is shorter than the other one.  That is generally the side that the mane falls to.  Humans make special shoes for that kind of thing; but then again, humans can’t run 40 mph.  Enough said.

9) Horses often sleep standing up.  They actually lock their legs so that they don’t fall over, because that’s not a good way to wake up no matter what kind of animal you are.

10) Horses can poop up to 15 times a day.  I’m not sure why this is, but it certainly makes for interesting conversation and qualifies for our top ten list!  If you’ve smelled a barn, you can confirm this to be true.  Horses do need cleaning up after.

Horses are magnificent, noble creatures.  They continue learning for their whole lives.  I hope that you learned something interesting about horses by reading this.