Portal:Horses

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Horse and foal

The horse (Equus ferus caballus) is a domesticated, one-toed, hoofed mammal. It belongs to the taxonomic family Equidae and is one of two extant subspecies of Equus ferus. 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. Humans began domesticating horses around 4000 BCE, and their domestication is believed to have been widespread by 3000 BCE. Horses in the subspecies caballus are domesticated, although some domesticated populations live in the wild as feral horses. These feral populations are not true wild horses, as this term is used to describe horses that have never been domesticated. 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.

Horses are adapted to run, allowing them to quickly escape predators, and possess an excellent sense of balance and a strong fight-or-flight response. 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, with younger horses tending to sleep significantly more than adults. 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. Most domesticated horses begin training under a saddle or in a harness between the ages of two and four. They reach full adult development by age five, and have an average lifespan of between 25 and 30 years.

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

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Black Allan at James Brantley's farm, c. 1905
Black Allan or Allan F-1 (1886 – 1910) was the foundation sire of the Tennessee Walking Horse. He was out of a Morgan mare named Maggie Marshall and by Allendorf, a stallion descended from Narragansett Pacer, Canadian Pacer, and Gaited Spanish Mustang imported from Texas. Black Allan was registered as No. 7623 by the American Trotting Registry. Although Black Allan was supposed to be a trotter, he preferred to pace and so never raced. Besides the pace, he performed a lateral ambling gait now known as the running walk. He was a black stallion standing 15 hands (60 inches, 152 cm), 5 feet high. He was given the designation Allan F-1 when the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' Association, precursor to the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' and Exhibitors' Association, was formed in 1935. He had multiple owners throughout his life, but his last owners, James Brantley and Albert Dement, were the only ones to recognize Black Allan's use as a breeding stallion. Black Allan sired 111 known foals in his lifetime, among them Roan Allen, registration number F-38, Hunters Allen F-10, and Merry Legs F-4. Black Allan died September 17, 1910, at the age of 29. (Full article...)

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Credit: Stano Novak

Burchell's Zebra (Equus quagga burchellii) is a southern subspecies of the Plains Zebra.

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Silver dapple-colored Rocky Mountain Horse
The Rocky Mountain Horse is a horse breed developed in the state of Kentucky in the United States. Despite its name, it originated not in the Rocky Mountains, but instead in the Appalachian Mountains. A foundation stallion, brought from the western United States to eastern Kentucky around 1890, began the Rocky Mountain type in the late 19th century. In the mid-20th century, a stallion named Old Tobe, owned by a prominent breeder, was used to develop the modern type; today most Rocky Mountain Horses trace back to this stallion. In 1986, the Rocky Mountain Horse Association was formed and by 2005 has registered over 12,000 horses. The breed is known for its preferred "chocolate" coat color and flaxen mane and tail, the result of the relatively rare silver dapple gene acting on a black coat, seen in much of the population. It also exhibits a four-beat ambling gait known as the "single-foot". Originally developed as a multi-purpose riding, driving and light draft horse, today it is used mainly for trail riding and working cattle. (Full article...)

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HorsePonyAsinusEquus (genus)EquidaeZebraGlossary of equestrian termsList of horse breedsEvolution of the horseDomestication of the horseHorse careStableHorse trainingEquestrianismHorse tackSaddleEquine nutritionEquine anatomyEquine conformationEquine coat colorEquine coat color geneticsHorse markingsEquine visionHorse hoofHorseshoeHorse gaitHorse behaviorHorse breedingBreed registryEquine infectious anemiaHorse colicLamenessLaminitisHorse slaughterHorses in warfareArabian horseThoroughbred

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