The more you know about horses, the more you realize how amazing these animals are. Here are six fascinating horse facts about the noble four-legged beasts we share our lives with.
For years, people believed that horses, along with many other animals, were color blind. In fact, they are what is known as dichromatic, meaning they only have two types of color cones in their eyes. Humans have three, which makes us trichromatic. As a result, horses do see color, but to them green and red both appear as a yellowish color.
More than just interesting trivia, knowing how your horse views color can help you better plan what color to paint equipment such as jumps or be a little more understanding when a bright color alarms your horse.
Speaking of vision, there are some areas where your horse’s vision is actually better than yours. Due to a higher number of rods in your horse’s eye, he can see better than you can in dim light. His vision on a dark, dreary day is comparable to yours on a sunny day, while his night vision is far better than yours.
Despite your horse’s impressive night vision, it takes him longer to adjust when you suddenly go from light to dark or dark to light. If you walk abruptly into or out of a dark barn on a sunny day, your horse will have a harder time seeing right away than you do. This may be especially noticeable when leading a horse into a trailer, which is already a source of anxiety for many horses. Walking slowly or pausing to give your horse’s eyes time to adjust would be a kind thing to do, and may alleviate any refusal caused by your horse not being able to see.
From the moment horses swallow, their food enters a one-way street. Even if what they have eaten makes them sick or, heaven forbid, blocks their digestive tract, they can’t throw up and clear the problem. Any issues create a traffic jam in their digestive tract, which is why colic is such a problem for horses: If you can’t get things moving again on their own, the only other option is surgery.
You may have heard of a “gag bit,” which some horse people claim makes it hard for a horse to breathe. Actually, horses only breathe through their noses, so a bit won’t have an impact on their breathing. A too-tight noseband, on the other hand, can cause difficulty breathing, especially during an active ride.
Have you ever paid attention to how much water your horse drinks? Many owners recognize when their horse isn’t drinking as much as usual, but may not realize how much a horse needs to drink on a daily basis. On average, a horse drinks between 5 and 10 gallons a day. Like people, they drink more in hot weather, but for horses this can mean a danger of colic during the winter, when they’re not drinking as much.
Horses can be needy, but these horse facts will help to take the mystery out of proper care. A good diet is another great place to start. For more information about how our feeds support your horse’s health, please contact Sacate Pellet Mills.