They are majestic, big, powerful, smart and amazing animals but you already knew all of that. We have had a fascination about horses for nearly as long as mankind has kept records, even on the Egyptian walls we see hieroglyphics telling us of our long history with these incredible animals. Of course, anything we have a love affair with we want to know more about, so here are a few interesting facts about horses that you might not know. Hopefully, you’ll find a laugh, a surprise and perhaps one or two more reasons to love these beautiful creatures…
My What Big Eyes You Have!
They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder but sometimes the eyes belong to the beauty and horses certainly have something special about their eyes. It is hard to argue that sense of know or understanding that we get when we see a horse looking back at us. Of course, part of that mystique might be because horses have such big eyes. Literally, horses have the largest eyes of any land mammal. So the next time you are face to face with black beauty, remember that those beautiful eyes don’t simply look big, they are big.
Not to be Gross but…
Were you aware that horses are unable to vomit? This might seem like a matter of propriety or manners but quite honestly this has everything to do with their physical structure. By design, the way their esophagus is shaped and the strength of their valves do not permit this human reflux action and capability. While this might be an interesting fact, it may not be one as palatable as the others, so to speak. The next fact, however, is much more reminiscent of the nobility that is often associated with our amazing equine friends.
A Horse by Any Other Name
Words like strength, regality and even chivalry might come to mind when we think of the many historic images of our trusted steed leading a warrior into battle or even powering the plow in the field. An interesting fact about horses can be found in their name. The word cheval is French for horse. It also happens to be the origin of the word, chivalry. So maybe there is more to why we think of horses with such high esteem than we ever knew? Perhaps there really is something spiritual about these special animals…
Sometimes if we tie interesting bits of information together, we can sometimes project a picture, idea or theory. Did you know that horses are suggested in some writings to be spiritual representations of the end of the world? The four horses of the Apocalypse is only one such spiritual tie, however, as the Arabian horse is also tied to spiritual roots. According to the prophet Mohammed, the Arabian horse was “…created by God and that good horsemanship would be rewarded in the afterlife.”
This sounds like it could be one of those great Jeopardy questions or that one trivia pursuit answer that nobody else might know – but do you have any idea what the closest relative to the horse is according to American Museum of Natural History might be? It isn’t the cow, the zebra or anything likely to be on the forefront of your mind. Based on what the experts have learned and some intelligent discussion about “perissodactyls” the answer is the rhinoceros. Yeah, that wouldn’t have been our first guess either.
Just Horsing Around
These aren’t life and death facts, they aren’t even important facts. They are facts, though, and although we are just horsing around with these interesting pieces of information somehow they can still draw us closer. We spend a great deal of time feeding, exercising and keeping our horses clean and healthy, as we should. We should also remember to just spend time with our equine friends too, even if it is just talking with them or simply playing around. Sure, it may seem like nothing more than horseplay to me and you but our horses might be more likely to perceive it as love and affection. These are special animals and for some of us they are family and they deserve some of our time too.