Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Information about horses

A mare is in foal for little over 11 months. In nature foaling is geared to coincide with the growth of nutritious spring grasses. Most breeds have an official spring birth date. Some breeds, such as the Thoroughbred, have a mid winter birth date (January 1 in the northern hemisphere and August 1 in the southern hemisphere). Thoroughbreds have their reproductive year brought forward artificially in order to have foals born as soon after that date as possible. as a prey animal, a foal has to be able to keep up with the herd within a day. Most births take place at night to give the foal time to get to its feet, find its balance, and be able to run by day break. In the wild foal suckle their dams for about a year, or so. Grass gradually replaces milk as the main foodstuff in the first year. Domestic foals are usually weaned at about six months. A horse matures between five and seven years of age, depending on the breed and the individual. A foal matures roughly from the ground up. The feet bones and legs mature at about two to three years, and the spine is fully developed by five to seven years. A reasonable age for a horse to begin real training for work is three years, when the work should be kept very light, gradually increasing as the horse matures, and can be put into full work at six. A horse is considered to be in his prime between the age of 8 and 12 years old. After about 17 years of age, his capacity for work will gradually wane.
Old horses are prone, like old humans, to diseases of old age such as arthritis and rheumatism. An old horse may also become more sensitive to the weather and pests, and may slip down the herd hierarchy. Complete retirement may not always be the best option the horse may fell unwanted and bored, particularly if he has been stabled for much of his life. In some cases it may actually be kinder to put down a horse, rather than to send him to a miserable retirement.

Posted by Joanna 

No comments: