Here’s some weird facts you probably didn’t know about our four-legged friends…
1. In Wilbur, Washington, it is illegal to ride an ‘ugly horse.’ Do so and you risk a $300 (£228 with today’s exchange rate) fine.
Wilbur, Washington sounds like a very shallow sort of a place. Probably best for horse-lovers to give Wilbur, Washington a wide berth.
2. In Oklahoma, it’s illegal to let a donkey sleep in a bathtub after 7pm.
Better wake your donkey up – it’s getting perilously close to curfew time! Anyway, he’s used up all the Radox.
3. The longest tail ever recorded on a horse, according to the Guinness Book of Records, belonged to a mare in Kansas, USA, called JJS Summer Breeze and measured 381cms (12 foot 6 inches) on 23rd August 2007.
Imagine plaiting that up for a dressage competition.
4. In New York, it’s illegal to open or close an umbrella in the presence of a horse.
Actually fairly sensible, although may pose something of a problem for those New Yorkers practising de-sensitising Natural Horsemanship techniques with their steed. Maybe they can compromise with a parasol.
5. Horses in Burns, Oregon, are allowed into the town’s taverns with their owner – provided their owner has paid for their admission, of course.
Your round then, horsey! Make mine a double.
6. There were no horses in Australia until 1788.
They arrived with the first Western settlers, and were used for farming and utility work. As only the strongest and fittest horses survived the hard sea journey over from Europe, Australian horses still maintain a reputation for being amongst the hardiest equines in the world.
7. Horses’ eyes are the biggest of any land mammal. They also have a third eyelid which lies on the inside of the eye and closes diagonally over it.
Well eye’ll be damned!
8. Arabian horses have fewer ribs and lumbar vertebrae than other species of horse. At least, some do – 5 lumbar vertebrae rather than 6 and 17 pairs of ribs rather than 18.
Why? The customary answer is something to do with it better equipping them to traverse the desert – but the real answer is that nobody really knows.
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9. Horses’ teeth take up more space in their heads than their brains. Male horses have 40 teeth, and mares 38.
Explains a lot.