(Plus some questions no one really asks)

How do horses sleep?

Horses get most of their sleep while standing up. A completely relaxed horse will lower its head, shift its weight, and take a delicious nap – just like Rambo is doing here in this video.

A telltale sign: a rear leg that is slightly bent, or cocked, and not bearing any weight. The hoof will be tilted and gently resting on the ground. 

Don’t be fooled by the eyes. Horses sometimes sleep with their eyes open!

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How many teeth does a horse have?

Say Cheese!

Adult horses have between 36 and 42 teeth. (Adult humans have 32). Like humans, horses develop baby teeth that are later pushed out by a set of adult teeth. The dental action, however, doesn’t stop there. Horses are hypsodonts like rabbits, sheep, and cows. Their teeth keep growing. At the same time, however, the size of their teeth is checked somewhat by the process eating: they are worn down by the chomping and chewing and grinding. Read more:

Where did horses originally come from?

Most experts believe the horse evolved from a group of small leaf-eating mammals that emerged in North America about 50 million years ago.

Eohippus, also called the “dawn horse,” was a thin-limbed animal that foraged in forests and was about the size of a fox. It walked on toes that had small hooves: four on the front legs, three on the hind legs. 

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How do horses drink?

Lead a horse to water – and he or she most likely will drink it, loudly. A horse will drink 15 to 20 gallons of water on an average day – more when the weather is hot. They don’t lap it up with their tongues like cats and dogs. Instead, they suck water in through their lips. 

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Aren’t they Cold in the Winter?

Horses grow a winter coat enabling them to tolerate cold weather – even temperatures below zero – without a problem. The thicker and coarser winter hair encapsulates a thin layer of air that serves as insulation. Think of it as an all-natural parka. Read more:

Do horses talk to each other?

Except for Mr. Ed, of course, horses do not speak any human language. (Google it, kids). Horses do, however, communicate with each other through sounds and body language

If you hear a horse whinny, it could be saying hello or goodbye to another horse. It’s a greeting. A snort, blowing air out of the nose, can signify curiosity or interest in something. Read more:

Why are horses measured in hands?

People wanted to measure and quantify the size of horse before their early societies had developed uniform measuring tools and systems. So, people used the width of a hand as the unit of measurement. That tradition continues with a hand equaling four inches. A horse that is 15 hands tall, from the ground to the withers, is 60-inches tall (5 feet). The withers is the highest point of the back at the base of the neck.

The hand was an imprecise measurement (not everyone has the same size hand) until England’s King Henry VIII decreed in 1541 that the unit forevermore would equal four inches. Henry VIII standardized the hand measurement at 4 inches in the 1500s.

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Do horses dress up for Halloween?

Yes, yes they do. In this photo, Nick is dressed as a certain blue-haired carriage drivers with the traditional top hat, white shirt and black button-up vest.

Where else are there horses in NYC?

While horses once were ubiquitous in America’s cities and towns, they are now relatively few in number in NYC. 

In addition to the Central Park Carriage horses, the New York Police Department and the NYC Parks Department have mounted units that do patrols and crowd control duties. There also are some privately operated stables, like the Pelham Bay Equestrian Center in the Bronx, offering trail rides and riding lessons.  Read more:

Why does a horse wear shoes?

A horse’s hoof is made up of keratin, which is the same material as our fingernails. It’s tough stuff, but it will wear down over time as a horse walks on hard surfaces, like packed earth, rocky terrain, or pavement. The curving u-shaped shoe prevents the hoof from quickly wearing down. It also prevents the bottom center of the hoof, which is soft and tender, from making contact with the ground.

A worker who outfits horses with shoes, most often forged from steel, is called a farrier. The farrier uses small nails, but the process does not hurt a horse. The outer ring of a hoof does not have nerve endings. A horse does not feel the shoes being attached to its hooves.