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The world still has a lot to learn about horses, despite their domestication many moons ago. Horse lovers continue to uncover more facts. Some more bizarre and shocking than others. They’re an interesting species with a lot of unique qualities.

Shocking Horse Facts

  1. Horses have the largest eyes of any land mammal.
  2. A horse’s teeth take up more space in their head than their brain.
  3. Horses have better memories than elephants.
  4. Horse hooves are made from the same protein that comprises human hair and fingernails.
  5. Horses can sleep both lying down and standing up.
  6. The fastest recorded sprinting speed of a horse was 88 kph (55 mph). Most gallop at around 44 kph or 27 mph. 
  7. An adult horse’s brain weights 22 oz, about half that of a human.
  8. A horse can see better at night than a human. However, it takes a horse’s eyes longer to adjust from light to dark and from dark to light than a human’s.
  9. Horses produce approximately 10 gallons of saliva a day.
  10. The first cloned horse was a Haflinger mare in Italy in 2003.
  11. The average horse’s heart weighs approximately 9 or 10 pounds.
  12. Scientists believe that the first known ancestor of the horse lived about 50 million years ago. This prehistoric horse is called Eohippus and had four padded toes on the front legs and three padded toes on the back legs.
  13. Horses with typical anatomy are “obligate nasal breathers” which means they must breathe through their nostrils and cannot breathe through their mouths.
  14. Horses have 16 muscles in each ear, allowing them to rotate their ears 180 degrees.
  15. Horses drink at least 25 gallons of water a day.
  16. It takes 9-12 months to re-grow an entire horse hoof.
  17. On the underside of a horse’s hoof is a triangular shaped area called the “frog,” which acts as a shock absorber for a horse’s leg, and also helps to pump blood back up the leg.
  18. Horses like sweet flavors and will usually reject anything sour or bitter.
  19. Arabian horses have one fewer vertebrae and one less rib than other breeds.
  20. A horse’s knee joint is the equivalent to a human wrist, and their hock joint is equivalent to the human ankle.

You learn something new everyday!