It all began when i was young .. very very young… I dont exactly remember when i was introduced to a horse but i do remember horse-riding with very little or none assistance at the tender age of 7. Yes! At 7 I was fully accustomed with the manners of handling an adult horse. The reasons why I was sensitized with a hot blooded horse at a very young age summoned to just one. My parents told me that its in my blood. Having been born as a Taimuri blue blood , the ladies of our family , were taught horse back riding, archery and sword fighting as a family customs in not so long ago past. Both of my grandmothers were taught these skills when young while it was the times of “palkis” and victorias. Nevertheless, as a teenager and young adult , i was known as the avent lover of mangoes and horses. My mom often teased me for my obssession for horses and threatened me many times that she will get me married to an Ostler ! but nothing stopped me from loving horses or mangoes . My choice had been very selective in both .. Mustangs and Sindhiris … thats it !
For my today’s blog, I have decided to stick to horses only.
Horses are considered as the 4th most loved animal in the whole world. The Food and Agricultural Organization FAO estimates that the total horse’s populations as 58,000,000 in 2008 with 33,500,000 in Americas , 13,800,000 in Asia and 6,300,000 in Europe. The horse is measured in ” hands ” and “inches ” . A hand is about 4 inches . So a horse to be considered as a horse , has to have a minimum height of 14 hands ;otherwise its called a Pony.
Generally , all tall horses are called horses and all short horses despite of their age are called ponies .. well thats a misconception. The best way to describe horses by their age is as under :
1)FOAL : a horse of either sex less than 1 year old . they have two types : Nursing Foals or Suckling foals and Weanling foals.
2)YEARLING : a horse of either sex between 1 and 2 years old .
3)COLT: a male horse under the age of 4 .
4) FILLY : a female horse under the age of 4 years.
5)MARE : a female horse 4 years old and older .
6) STALLION : a non – castrated male horse , 4 years and older.
7) GELDING : a castrated male horse of any age.
There is a little difference in these terms in horse racing. In British Aisles, Thorough breds are Colts and fillies less than 5 years old. In Australian Thorough bred racings, colts and fillies are less than 4 years old.
All horses are naturally provided with 4 basic gaits :
a) Four- beat walk : which averages 4 miles per hour.
b) Two -beat trot or jog: which averages 8.1 to 12 miles per hour.
c) Three beat gait also knowns as Canter lope : averages 12 to 15 miles per hour
d) Gallops : averages 25 to 30 miles per hour.
Behaviour vice , they have strong fight or flight response. If they are teased they get startled, but they strongly hold their ground especially if their youngs are endangered. They like to live as a herd which is often led by a mare. Horses are known for their agility , speed, alertness and endurance . They can be trained to be domesticated. They like to live with other horses, sticking close together, but can get accustomed to be with human singly , if the human assures to keep him stimulated with regular exercise.
From intelligence and learning point of view ,horses learn by habit. IF you want to teach them something,repeat the same routine and technique over and over again , with consistency. Horses are also classified by their temperaments i.e. Hot blooded, cold blooded and Warm blooded . Yes they are mammals but hot blooded doesnt refer to being the opposite of cold blooded like rest of animal kingdom. By Hot blooded, it means that the horse is more sensitive and Energy. Examples of these types are usually Race horses . Domesticated horses or draft horses are usually cold blooded because they are quiter and calmer. Whereas warm blooded is a cross between hot blooded and cold blooded breeds.
Hot blooded are sometimes called as”light horses” and the breed includes “Oriental horses” like Akhal-Teke , Arabian horse, Barb and now extinct Turkoman horse as well as Thorough breds.They are thin skinned, slim and have long-legged. Their spirits are high and are quick learners.These breeds were brought to Europe from Middle East and North Africa.
Cold blooded are muscular and heavy draft horses.They are strong, calm and have the temperament to pull carriages full of people and heavy logs.Well known draft breeds are Belgian and Clydesdale.They also include some pony breeds.
Warm blooded are riding horses more refined than a draft horse but greater size, and lighter temprament than a lighter breed.Such as Trakehner and Hanoverian .Now adays , the warm blooded horses group participates in Show jumping and Dressage competitions.Examples include Irish Draught and Cleveland Bay.
Horses require to sleep from about a couple of minutes to several hours in a 24 hr day. They can sleep while standing but do require to sit and have a quick doze off or their efficiency would be affected.To be precise , they spent about 4 to 15 hours a day in standing and from a few minutes to several hours in lying down. A horse alone in a stable may not sleep well as its his instinct to stay alert hence they sleep well , when in herd.
Over centuries, horses have helped human race in many ways. We use horses in equestrian sports, to carry heavy loads, to fight shoulder by shoulder in wars and also in creating certain drugs and musical instruments. For certain psychological disorders, the therapists are seeking the help from the horses to treat their patients. Horses are part of the culture of many civilizations and still today , we celebrate many cultural events by ornamenting them.
If you own a horse or ever planning to in future , like myself , you need to provide regular hoof care, dental visits and vaccinations but above all they need your love and attention the most.