GossipSloth

Horses

1

The horse is one of two extant subspecies of Equus ferus.

In biological classification, subspecies is either a taxonomic rank subordinate to species, or a taxonomic unit in that rank.

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2

It is an odd-toed ungulate mammal belonging to the taxonomic family Equidae.

Mammals are any vertebrates within the class Mammalia, a clade of endothermic amniotes distinguished from reptiles and birds by the possession of a neocortex, hair, three middle ear bones and mammary glands.

Odd-toed ungulates, mammals which constitute the taxonomic order Perissodactyla, are hoofed animals—ungulates—which bear most of their weight on one of the five toes: the third toe.

Equidae is the taxonomic family of horses and related animals, including the extant horses, donkeys, and zebras, and many other species known only from fossils.

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3

The horse has evolved over the past 45 to 55 million years from a small multi-toed creature, Eohippus, into the large, single-toed animal of today.

Eohippus is an extinct genus of small equid ungulates.

4

Humans began to domesticate horses around 4000 BC, and their domestication is believed to have been widespread by 3000 BC.

5

Horses in the subspecies caballus are domesticated, although some domesticated populations live in the wild as feral horses.

6

These feral populations are not true wild horses, as this term is used to describe horses that have never been domesticated, such as the endangered Przewalski's horse, a separate subspecies, and the only remaining true wild horse.

The wild horse is a species of the genus Equus, which includes as subspecies the modern domesticated horse as well as the undomesticated tarpan, and the endangered Przewalski's horse.

7

There is an extensive, specialized vocabulary used to describe equine-related concepts, covering everything from anatomy to life stages, size, colors, markings, breeds, locomotion, and behavior.

8

Horses' anatomy enables them to make use of speed to escape predators and they have a well-developed sense of balance and a strong fight-or-flight response.

The fight-or-flight response is a physiological reaction that occurs in response to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival.

9

Related to this need to flee from predators in the wild is an unusual trait: horses are able to sleep both standing up and lying down.

10

Female horses, called mares, carry their young for approximately 11 months, and a young horse, called a foal, can stand and run shortly following birth.

A foal is an equine up to one year old; this term is used mainly for horses.

11

Most domesticated horses begin training under saddle or in harness between the ages of two and four.

The saddle is a supportive structure for a rider or other load, fastened to an animal's back by a girth.

12

They reach full adult development by age five, and have an average lifespan of between 25 and 30 years.

13

Horse breeds are loosely divided into three categories based on general temperament: spirited "hot bloods" with speed and endurance; "cold bloods", such as draft horses and some ponies, suitable for slow, heavy work; and "warmbloods", developed from crosses between hot bloods and cold bloods, often focusing on creating breeds for specific riding purposes, particularly in Europe.

Warmbloods are a group of middle-weight horse types and breeds primarily originating in Europe and registered with organizations that are characterized by open studbook policy, studbook selection, and the aim of breeding for equestrian sport.

A draft horse, draught horse or dray horse, less often called a carthorse, work horse or heavy horse, is a large horse bred to be a working animal doing hard tasks such as plowing and other farm labor.

A gene is a locus of DNA which is made up of nucleotides and is the molecular unit of heredity.

14

There are more than 300 breeds of horse in the world today, developed for many different uses.

15

Horses and humans interact in a wide variety of sport competitions and non-competitive recreational pursuits, as well as in working activities such as police work, agriculture, entertainment, and therapy.

16

Horses were historically used in warfare, from which a wide variety of riding and driving techniques developed, using many different styles of equipment and methods of control.

17

Many products are derived from horses, including meat, milk, hide, hair, bone, and pharmaceuticals extracted from the urine of pregnant mares.

18

Humans provide domesticated horses with food, water and shelter, as well as attention from specialists such as veterinarians and farriers.

A veterinarian, also known as a veterinary surgeon or veterinary physician, is a professional who practices veterinary medicine by treating diseases, disorders, and injuries in non-human animals.

A farrier is a specialist in equine hoof care, including the trimming and balancing of horses' hooves and the placing of shoes on their hooves, if necessary.

Water is a transparent fluid which forms the world's streams, lakes, oceans and rain and is the major constituent of the fluids of organisms.

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