Is your child a horse lover? We have some fun basic horse facts for kids that are sure to impress kids and adults alike. Check it out!
Basic Horse Facts for Kids
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Have you ever had the opportunity to ask your child if they want to go horse riding and seen the light shine in their eyes?
Children love horses! There is definitely a special bond between children and horses that is unexplainable. Horses, too, behave very differently when they are with children compared to their behavior with adults.
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Horses have been around many millennia and have evolved over time. Humans have domesticated horses for thousands of years. They have been extensively used for the purpose of agriculture, construction, means of transportation of people and goods.
Horses are also used for recreational purposes as well as in sports. Some of the latest studies show that horses are one of the best to work within animal therapy for a host of mental health issues.
Below we have a few fun basic horse facts and other useful trivia you can discuss with your child. You can have your child read it to you or read it out loud to them. Either way, it will be fun for them to show off their knowledge of basic horse facts to their friends!
What are different horses called?
Based on the stage of its life as well as its gender, a horse is addressed differently throughout its lifespan.
- When the horse is less than a year old, regardless of its gender, it is called a Foal. A Foal that is still nursing, is called Suckling. A Foal that has been weaned is called Weanling. Most can be weaned at a minimum of four months and a maximum of seven months.
- What the horse is above a year old but is less than two years old, it is called a Yearling regardless of its gender.
- A male horse, less than four years old is called a Colt. A common mistake made by many is that they refer to any young horse as a Colt without any regard for the gender.
- A female horse less than four years old is called a Filly.
- A female horse more than four years in age is called a Mare.
- A male horse more than four years in age and is non-castrated is called a Stallion.
- A male horse of any age, if castrated is called a Gelding.
- Contrary to popular belief, a Pony is not the young of a horse. A Pony is a type of horse, whose height remains stunted even at full maturity.
Differences and Similarities Between Baby Horses and Children
You know how toddlers can learn to walk on their own? Running comes naturally and is an instinct to horses. They don’t need to be taught or trained to run. In fact, they are able to run within a few hours after their birth.
It is fun to observe the similarities and differences between children and horses.
Just as a child’s height increases as they grow older, a horse’s height increases as well with age. A horse’s height is measured at the peak point of withers (the ridge between the shoulder blades). This is because the withers are the stable part of a horse’s anatomy, unlike its neck or head that move in tandem with the movements of their lower body.
Children grow two sets of teeth during their childhood, whereas horses keep growing new teeth throughout their lifespan. The older ones get worn out due to grazing. Looking at a horse’s teeth is one way to estimate their age.
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Children are able to learn the sense of balancing their body when they are a few months old. However, horses can balance themselves from the time of birth. They have an excellent body balance! In fact, they are even able to sleep in a standing position as well as lying down.
Fun Facts About the Body of a Horse
- Horses are often classified based on the color of their coat before its breed or gender is considered.
- There are two hundred and five bones in the skeleton of a horse.
- Children who are familiar with the human anatomy will find it interesting to learn, if we were to compare the horse’s skeleton with a human skeleton, the striking differences would be that the horses don’t have a collarbone, which is why the limb bones begin from the spinal column.
- Also, in comparison to a human’s anatomy, the joint that we refer to as a wrist corresponds to that of the knee of the horse as it is made of carpal bones. The hooves of a horse comprise the same protein as that of human fingernails and hair.
- In the head of the horse, the teeth take up more space than the brain.
- Horses are herbivores and feed mainly on grass and plant material throughout the day.
- Horse’s eyes are the largest in size amongst all terrestrial mammals.
- Horses have excellent vision during the day as well as at night.
- Horses are not color blind. They have dichromatic (two colors) vision.
- Horses have a keen sense of smell. It is better compared to the sense of smell humans have. But not as sharp as the sense of smell of a dog.
- Horses have a sharp sense of audio. Children find it amusing that horses are able to rotate their ears up to one hundred and eighty degrees. This offers them the ability to pick up sound from all sides (three hundred and sixty degrees) without moving their head.
- The sense of taste is advanced in horses. This helps them sort the fodder and decide what they want to eat.
- Horses get better sleep when they are in a group. This is because while a part of the group sleeps, the rest will stand guard watching for predators. A horse kept in isolation does not sleep properly as its natural instinct is to be vigilant at all times.
- They have a heightened sense of touch. So much so that they are able to feel touches as gentle as the landing of an insect anywhere on their body. The area around their eyes, nose, and ears have the highest sensitivity.
- Though gentle, horses are very assertive creatures. For example, horses love to be ridden. However, if they do not wish to be ridden, they will not let themselves be ridden.
- Horses by nature are herd animals, with a distinctive sense of hierarchy and rank. They are usually led by a Mare.
How Equine Therapy Can Help Children with Special Needs
Horses are very friendly with other animals as well as with humans. If your child has any pet like a dog or a cat, they will mingle well with a horse.
Over the last few decades, horses have been extensively used in the field of medical and mental health to treat people with various physical and mental health issues. The therapy, that involves horses for treatment is known as Equine Assisted Therapy or Equine Therapy.
Horses are able to positively impact healing. Horses are able to establish a better bond with patients than therapists. Equine therapy helps patients feel more comfortable being around a horse and are able to overcome their reluctance and shyness. Patients are able to bring back their self-esteem and self-confidence, which later spills over into the counseling sessions with therapists. Equine therapy helps these patients receive more accurate treatment.
Horseback riding has proven to be very beneficial for individuals who struggle with sensory processing.
We hope you found this article on fun basic facts about horses to be enjoyable and informative!
Please tell us about your experiences and love for horses in the comments!
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