December 13th is the Day Of The Horse! Silver definitely deserves a special day of his own, and perhaps a carrot or sugar cube as a special treat. After all, our equine companions literally carried civilization on their backs, right up until the 20th century. Read on for some fun facts about horses from a local Dawsonville, GA veterinarian.
They Sleep Standing Up
Horses’ tendons and ligaments have a feature that allows them to lock their legs in place, even when they’re snoozing. Silver probably won’t always sleep standing up, though. Most horses do lay down for at least part of their daily sleep.
Silver can see almost 380 degrees, and his ears rotate about 180 degrees. This helps him stay alert to what’s around him. Horses are prey animals in the wild, so they need to stay aware of potential predators … and the occasional runaway plastic bag.
They’re Very Smart
We all know that horses are extremely trainable. Some studies have shown that Silver can also communicate specific needs. In one study, horses were able to communicate whether they wanted their blankets on or off by touching specific figures drawn on a board.
The horse’s earliest known ancestor lived about 55 million years ago. This proto-horse, the Diminutive Hyracotherium, lived in the Eocene Epoch. It was the size of a Labrador retriever, but probably looked more like a goat or deer than the horses of today.
They Can Run As Newborns
One of the first things that foals do after being born is stand up. Silver’s first walk may be a bit shaky, but it won’t take him very long to figure out how to work all those legs.
They Can’t Burp
While many herbivores, such as cows, have compartmentalized stomachs, horses do not. Plus, Silver’s digestive system only goes one way. He can’t burp or vomit, which is one reason colic can be so dangerous.
We’ve Been Friends For A While
Although no one knows the exact date of our friendiversary with Silver, it seems that horses became our buddies about 6000 years ago. In comparison, we became friends with Fido about 14,000 years ago. Fluffy took her time, and may have only entered our lives about 8500 years ago.
Happy Holidays from Petwise, your Dawsonville, GA animal clinic. Give your horse some neck scritches for us!