10 Horse Facts Every Equinest Should Know

Horse people tend to collect cool and interesting horse tidbits like hooves collect dirt, packing them into their minds for future reference on random occasions. Here are a few cool horse facts you may not know.

Did you know that…

1. You Can Tell Where Your Horse is Looking

Horse Ears
Most of the time a horses ears point where they are looking. If a horses ears are pointed in different directions, then chances are they are looking at two different things at the same time.

2 You Can’t Plug Your Horses Nose

Horse Mouth
Horses can’t breath through their mouth, they can only breath through their nose, so make sure that noseband fits properly.

3. All Horses Share One Birthday

Thoroughbred horses have a common birthday of January 1st, (Aug 1st in Australia) regardless of when they are actually born. This means that technically a horse born on Christmas Day celebrates it’s first birthday a week later on New Years day.

4. One Side is Shorter Than the Other

Horse Mane
Like humans, horses have one leg / side a tad shorter than the other. You can tell which side it is by which side their mane lies on naturally.

5. Arabians Were Shorted A Few Bones

Arabian Horse
Arabian horses have shorter backs than most breeds. This is because they have one less tail vertebre, one less lumbar bone and one less rib than all other breeds.

6. Some Breeds Are Hardier Than Others

Akhal-Teke Horse

The Turkmen breed Akhal-Teke can go days without food or water.

7. Laying Down is Taxing

Horse laying down
Horses consume more energy when they lay down than when they stand up.

8. China Loves Horses

Horse in China
China has the most horses of any country the world. Which makes sense when you consider they have more people too.

9. There is No Horse Statue Code

Horse Statue
The leg position of the horses has no universal significance in statues of famous riders with their mounts. Statue makers don’t hold conventions – there are too many cultures that erect equestrian statues for them to follow any code. Check out what Snopes says about it.

10. Horsepower is Scottish

The term ‘horsepower’ was coined by a Scottish engineer named James Watt. He used it in his experiments to define the power of an engine, and based his definition on the power of draft horses.

More Facts

These were fun to research, so I did another post with even more horse facts.

62 Comments on “10 Horse Facts Every Equinest Should Know

  1. Em

    Technically, if both legs are up on a statue, the rider died in battle. If one leg is up, the rider died later of wounds sustained during battle and if all four are on the ground, the rider died of natural causes.

      1. d

        well no, as mentioned in another article by the equinest (very good one) basically it says it would be impossible to get evey single artist in the world to come together and make these and especially because they were born and did thier works at different times and also there are waay too many ‘wrong’ statues that don’t fit the ‘code’

    1. Steve

      This is a common myth and is not true (which is exactly what that part of the article was trying to say).

    2. Corey

      Technically, you’re wrong as fuck. In fact, that myth was outlined in this very article. Even had a link to a website where you could read all about how wrong you are.

  2. Sharon

    Actually, manes are trained to be on one side or another. Typically, they’re on the right so they’re out of the rider’s way when mounting. Roping horses’ mane are on the left to avoid interfering with the rope.

  3. Nicola

    Good facts. i never knew any of them. Also, Horse can’t Vomit!. If a horse ever did vomit on the rare occassion that it does, Its stomach would rupture and it would die soon after!.

  4. sara

    The reason why a horse can’t vomit is because they have no gag reflex. So that is why it is so dangerous when a horse chokes, because they can’t do anything about it.

  5. Mary

    Actually, Akhal Teke is not a Russian but a Turkmen breed. (Turkmenistan is a Central Asian country bordering Afghanistan.)

  6. montanaNancy

    We had a horse choke once on pellets. Had to use a garden hose to back flush the pellets out (a desperate move but the horse was going to die). The horse regained enough use of his airway to cough out the rest of the pellets. He went on to live a long normal life. :)

  7. kaycie

    racehorses birthdays are on january 1st. and the horses birthday doesnt have 2 be a week later it can be on the exact day the horse was born.

  8. kaycie

    and the akhal teke is not a russian breed. it is a turkmen breed. and the mane is also tamed to be on 1 side.and some statues actually have “universal significance” you really need to know about horses before putting up false facts and confusing yourself and other people.

  9. person

    only racehorses have a jan. 1st birthday and the manes can be tamed one way if your going to use it for something and you want it on a particular side. the horse doesn’t know if its going to be a roping horse and it lays on that side duh!

    1. Colleen

      Quarter Horses all have the same birthday also, January 1st, they are a year older. Yes manes can be tammed, but they also can be left all natural. As for the statue it all depends on the source, I have heard it both ways.

  10. Jim Giffin

    Point of fact there is no categoric answer as to where the 3,500 – 4000 yr old breed Akhal Teke came from originally (Kazakhstan is also considered); also after the last World War it was Russia whom identified that this magnificent breed was in danger of dying out with only 300 individual numbers left…there are now 7000 globally! Not Russian?

  11. Jon

    The horse statue with a solder of it has a code. If the horse has two legs in the air the solder died in battle. If the horse has one foot up in the air he/she died from battle wounds. All four feet on the ground means that the solder died of natural causes.

    1. Paige

      I thought the same thing until I started doing some research & it turns out that this folk knowledge is only true of Gettysburg equestrian statues, & there are even exceptions there.

      This Snopes link explains it really well & they offer a list of equestrian statues (in Washington DC alone) that don’t follow said code. It’s pretty interesting actually & a great trivia question for horse lovers. 😉


    1. Jason

      Please DO read before posting morons. It can cost a lot to post a moron, especially if you overnight them. Seriously though; read the link about military horse statues before posting, they don’t follow that “rule” more than they do 3-1.

  12. Bg

    Russians did not rescue Akhal-Tekes. Else, they caused akhal-tekes to separate from the Turkmenian people for 117 years. They slaughtered thousands of horses as well as people. All the countries and governents have similar crualities in their lives. However, one Russian man called Vladimir Schamborant could breed pure Akhal-Tekes for a time. However, Russian rules and politics again caused totally pure Akhal-Tekes to diappear by exchainging horses with other cheap goods etc. Some information could be found at:

  13. Steve

    What I don’t understand is… if horses only breathe through the nose, why does mine yawn with his mouth wide open?

  14. Melody

    Actually theres a point with that, yawning is taking a big breath in. Horses yawn through their noses. Maybe its just your horse (steve) that opens his mouth.

  15. Nativehorse101

    i go with steves point. i breed horses and own a whole equestrian center and every single horse i own and have owned have yawned with their mouth open!

  16. angel

    i’ve always wanted a horse though im in the middle of texas and all i have is a back yard and im only 9 i’ll just have to wait :(

  17. Mad Mare

    Ah, why title #3 with “All Horses Share One Birthday” when it’s not true? It’s true for thoroughbred race horses and racing quarter horses, but NOT true of other breeds. My Lipizzan’s birthday is in May, NOT January.

    1. Cris heller

      Actually.. Most Horses that show have their so called “birthday” on january 1st, for competition purposes, that’s the day they turn a year older according to FEI (Federation Equestre Internationale), USEF or the federation your horse is registrated on, however, the date of Birth is still always important for veterinary, sale, and official documentation purposes. So the “All horses share the same birthday” rule applies to competitive horses only and it also depends on the discipline.
      (I know because I own FEI and USEF/USJHA registered horses.)

  18. janie

    Are there any references you can site to substantiate this: “Like humans, horses have one leg / side a tad shorter than the other. You can tell which side it is by which side their mane lies on naturally?” I know the equine’s musculature is usually favored on one side more than the other, but never heard this before. Just curious…

  19. Ella

    If your horse yauns with its mouth open it means it is streaching it’s mouth I have had that trouble as well

  20. jessamine

    first off, some people are posting rude crap… and if you have nothing nice to say don’t say anything… also, if you know 100% that a fact on here is wrong, all you have to do is politely say something like… “I heard from a couple respectable sources that ……….. really is ………. ” not YOU MORONS WHAT THE HECK!!!!!! and does it really matter about horse statue code??? if you really want to know more about the person, research him, don’t rely on the way his horse is standing. Im 21 and seeing this is kinda disheartening about todays society. :/

  21. logan

    hey i love horses and i want to learn as much as i can about horses and i want to see if i can do more with a horse then some people say you can only do certain things with a horse and i want to prove that they can do much more.

  22. Mary

    Just reading comments & replies. Why do people feel they have to swear and cuss to make a statement or be derogatory? Pure rudeness with nothing better to do.

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