Sunday, April 15, 2012

More information about horses

A hand is 4in (10cm), the approximate width of a man's hand. Horses and ponies are measured from the highest  point of the withers down to the ground in a perpendicular line. Measuring sticks are calibrated in hands and inches. The animal is stood on level ground with both forelegs together and the stick placed next to its shoulder with the arm touching the top of its wither. The measurement is read in hands and inches, for example, 15.2hh (hands high) means 15 hands and 2 inches. Horses are measured from the highest point of the withers. Exercise is extremely important for a horse's wellbeing . Horses are designed for life on the move. The natural lifestyle of a horse is almost constant walking, eating as it goes, and domestic horses should be allowed to mimic this as far as possible, even if they are stabled. Two hours exercise a day, mostly walking with some trotting and perhaps cantering, is the minimum required to keep most stabled horses healthy and happy. Horse communicate with each other, and with other animals and people, mainly by body language and facial expressions. They do, though, also use their voices. Anger, dislike, or threat toward a particular individual is shown be head outstretched, ears flat back, eyes angry, nostrils drawn back and wrinkled, and perhaps the teeth being bared ready to bite or warn. Interest is shown by ears pricked (pointed) toward the interesting object or person, the eyes alert, the head held high if the object is distant or more flexed inward if it is near, and nostrils open (flared)
and perhaps quivering if the horse is near enough to smell the object or person. Fear is shown by ears being directed toward whatever the horse is afraid of. The eyes will look wide and alarmed, the nostrils will be wide open, and the skin will appear tightly drawn across the face. A sign of submission in youngsters, is the head outstretched and held fairly low, with the front teeth being gently snapped repeatedly together. this is called mouthing. The attitude of flehmen is when a horse is closely examining an odor. it breathes in the smell, then raises its head and turns its upper lip up to hold the smell in its air passages where the sensory Jacobsen's organ analyzes the odor. Stallions herd their mares and offspring with a peculiar snaking motion. the head and neck are outstretched and held low as he goes along, usually at a trot, snaking his head and neck from side to side.

Posted by Joanna and Rebecca     

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