Please email or share this article!

Fun Facts about Horses

Have you ever ridden a horse, or fed a horse? Horses are really cool animals, and they love humans as much as we love them. Here is some cool information about horses for you! 

Horses are four legged animals that have been around us humans for a really, really long time.

They once represented a major way for humans to get around, as they were used for transport. They also performed many other jobs for humans over the years. 

What Does a Horse Look Like?

The words ‘Majestic’ and ‘Handsome’  are often used to describe horses. They are truly beautiful hoofed animals with good temperament. 

horse facts for kids

They have muscular torso, thick necks and elongated long heads. Their mane adds to their splendor.

Large horses are between 62 to 70 inches tall and weigh 1100 to 13300 lb. They have very good hearing and sight.

Where do Horses Come From?

Horses originated in North America 35-56 million years ago.  Modern horses were likely first domesticated in central Asia between 3000 and 4000 B.C., according to Oklahoma State University.

Breeds of Horses

There are well over 300 different horse breeds (types of horses). Wow, that’s quite a lot when you think of a horse.

So many different breeds of horses ensures that you can find horses of different colors, sizes and skills. 

horses different colors

There are three main types of horse breeds:

Hot bloods: These horses are fast and mostly used for horse racing.

Cold bloods: They are strong and used for heavy work.

Warm bloods:  These horses are a combination of the hot and cold breeds and are often used for riding competitions. 

The scientific name for the horse is Equus ferus caballus.

What are some names for horses? 

Did you know that there are lots of different names for horses? It all depends on whether they are male or female and how old they are. For example, a male horse is called a stallion, the female a mare.

Here they all are. Do you know all of these names?

Foal – Less than a year old baby horse.

Yearling – 1 to 2 year old young horse.

Colt – Less than 4 year old male horse.

Filly – Less than 4 year old female horse.

Stallion – Less than 4 year old male horse. that is not a gelding.

Gelding – A castrated male horse.

Mare – Greater than 4 year old female horse.

Horse Colors 

Horses with different coat colors have different names. Here are some of the main colors:

Grey – black skin, but a mixed coat of white and black hairs.

Black – entirely black.

Bay – light reddish-brown to dark brown with a black mane, tail, and lower legs.

Sorrel – a type of chestnut with a very reddish coat.

Chestnut – reddish color with no black.

Palomino – a light golden color.

Dun – yellowish or tan coat.

Pinto – a multicolored horse with patches of red, brown, white, and/or black.

What kind of food do horses eat? 

Horses are animals that graze and they mostly eat hay and grasses. They also like peas and beans, fruit like apples, and we’re sure many of you have fed them carrots…they like these too. 

horse eating

Considering it’s size, the horse’s stomach is rather small. So they cannot eat much at a single feeding, and instead prefer to eat little and often.

Horses drink 20 to 40 liters (5-10 gallons) of water a day.

Baby Horses

Baby horses are called Foals. Male foals are called colt and female foals aree called filly.

baby horse

A newborn foal can stand within 1 to 2 hours of birth. They can be weaned off their mothers mil in 3 to 6 months.

Horses have to be over 2 years old before they can be ridden by humans.

How long do horses live?

Domesticated horses have an average lifespan of 25 years. But some live over 30, with the rare ones living up to 40. Ponies (smaller horse breed)  live longer than large horses.

Without identifying paperwork, the only way to predict the age of a horse is by examining it’s teeth, and such predictions are not accurate.

Horse Behavior and Characteristics

Horses are social and gather around in groups called herd. They have good memory and remember their owners and caretakers long after.

Horses don’t like being alone. They are intelligent and emotional. It is often seen that they cry and are sad when they lose a companion.

Horses typically greet sand communicate by neighing and whinnying. When sounding alerts to other horses, they make a snorting sound.

Horses are also known to use facial expressions to communicate their feelings.  If a horse has its ears back with its nostrils flared, this usually means it might attack.

It is dangerous to stand behind them as their first defensive instinct is to kick, and it’s so powerful, a single kick can kill! 

Horse Speeds 

Horses can sprint at up to 50 mph, and can gallop long distances at 25-30 mph.

horse galloping

A fast run is called a gallop, slower gallop of a horse is called canter.

Horse Activities

Horses are an ideal companion on farms. Large strong horses can help pull carriages and carts. They can help control and steer cattle.

Hoses are also used to transport and travel, especially on terrains where vehicles cannot run.

polo pony

Horses are used for entertainment. In sports they are used for equestrian, horse racing and polo.

What is a Pony? 

There are certain horse breeds that are small and they are called ponies. 

pony is a small horse

Are there wild horses?

The Przewalski’s Horses, which dwell in China and Mongolia, are the only wild horses that have not gone extinct. They’re on the verge of extinction, and their survival is in jeopardy. That’s a tremendous bummer! These are wild horses that have a connection to (or are descended from) domesticated horses. Feral horses are what they’re called.

More Fun Facts!

Humans first tamed horses around 4000 BC. Wow, that’s a long time ago.

Horses have very good hearing sense, great eyesight, and a fantastic sense of balance. 

horse eye

The eyes of a horse are the largest of any land mammal.

The speed of a horse is classified into 4 basic gaits. From slowest to fastest they are: walk, trot, canter, and gallop. Have you tried any of these?

Horses can sleep even when they are standing up. Now that’s quite weird…imagine sleeping standing up!

horse asleep standing up

For people with disabilities, horse riding is said to be therapeutic.

Horses are still used today by the police. How cool is that?

A horse’s hoof is always growing and needs to be clipped. Farriers are people that specialize in taking care of horses’ hooves and putting on horse shoes. Now you know a new word!

Horses cannot throw up or burp.

They have very fast reflexes.

Another name for horses is “Equine”, this is why “Equestrians” is a name for people involved with horses.

There’s everything you need to know about cool horses…they are beautiful animals that can really help humans. Do you know any other facts about horses that you can share with your class?