The horses are a mammal. Its scientific classification is as:
Species: E ferus
Subspecies: E. f. caballus
It evolved from a multi-toed creature into the large, single-toed animal of today over the past 45 to 55 million years. The horse is a domesticated animal. Modern domestic horses have a life expectancy of 25 to 30 years.
Horses are given the following names at various ages.
Foal: Foal is a horse of either sex which is less than one year old.
Yearling: A yearling is a horse of either sex who is between one and two years old.
Colt: Colt is a male horse who is under the age of four.
Filly: A female horse four years old.
Mare: A female horse of four years old or older.
Stallion: A male horse four years old or older.
Gelding: A castrated male horse of any age.
Size and Measurement Of Horses
The size of horses varies by breed and is also influenced by nutrition. Normal horses range in height from 142 to 163 cm. These horses can weigh usually from 380 to 550 kilograms.
Colour and Markings
Horses have a diverse array of coat colours and distinctive markings. Current genetic tests can identify at least 13 coat colours.
The horse skeleton averages 205 bones. The hoof continuously grows, and most domesticated horses need to be trimmed every five to eight weeks. There are 24 teeth that chew the grass. An estimate of a horse’s age is made from looking at its teeth.
Horses are herbivores. They eat grass and other plant material. A 450-kilogram horse mostly eats 7 to 11 kg of food per day. Horses can’t vomit, so digestion problems can quickly cause colic, a leading cause of death.
Their sense of smell is better than that of humans. A horse’s hearing is also good. Horses have a great sense of balance. A horse has an advanced sense of taste, which allows him to sort through fodder. Horses generally will not eat poisonous food.
Walk of a Horse
All horses move naturally with four basic gaits.
1- The four-beat walk, which averages 6.4 km/h.
2- The two-beat jog, which averages 13 to 19 km/h.
3- The lope, a three-beat gait that is 19 to 24 km/h.
4- The gallop, which is 40 to 48 km/h. The World record for a horse galloping is over a short, sprint distance of 70.76 km/h.
Behaviour, Temperament and Intelligence of a Horse:
Horses are prey animals with a strong flight or fight response. Horses are herd animals, with a clear hierarchy of rank, led by a dominant individual, usually a mare. Studies indicate that horses have spatial discrimination abilities. They are curious and investigate things they have not seen before. They are fast learners. They show a great temperament and exhibit more sensitivity and energy when required.
Before the advent of mechanical vehicles, the horse was used for riding and transportation on a large scale. In prehistoric times horses were used for food also. Research suggests that humans started petting horses almost 5500 years ago. It is supposed that a horse was first used by a tribe of Indo- European origin. The relationship between humans and horses has been unique. It ploughed fields, brought in the harvest and conveyed passengers.
The horse is a partner and friend. Horses carried combatants into battle and tracked cattle. The horse was a partner of the man to unknown lands. It has provided recreation in the fronts of jousts, tournaments and sport of riding. The horse is expressed in a term as chivalry which means honour, respect, food manners and straightforwardness. Many early human cultures were centred on the ownership of horses. These horses in life have served people in travels, wars, and labours.
Islam and Horse
Apart from being fun, horse riding and working with horses is useful physically, mentally, economically and spiritually. God says, ” And ( He created ) the horses, mules and donkeys for you to ride and as adornment. And He creates that which you don’t know. ( Quran: Chapter 16, Verse 8).
Islamic history is full of adventures with horses. More Info