You might be familiar with some of these facts, but even we were surprised by quite a few of them!
#1: There are more than 58 million horses worldwide
According to the 2006 Global Horse Population report from the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations there are approximately 58,372,106 horses globally (source).
#2: Horses were domesticated more than 6000 years ago
Horses were domesticated near modern-day Ukraine over 6000 years ago! (source)
#3: A horse produces the equivalent of 4 cars by weight in poo each year
The average 1 ton horse produces more than 3000 litres of wee, and over 6000 kg of faeces a year! (source)
#4: “Old Billy” was the oldest horse ever recorded – 62 years old
Old Billy (picture above) (1760 – 1822) is said to have lived to the ripe old age of 62, in Lancashire, England. Old Billy was such a local celebrity that more than 200 years later his skull is still on display in Manchester Museum – (source).
#5: Humans and horses have almost the same number of bones
#6: The fastest horse ever recorded reached 44 mph
A thoroughbred named Winning Brew holds the record for the fastest horse ever recorded at an impressive 43.97 mph (source).
#7: Horses dream
Horses are known to experience REM (rapid eye movement), and EEG recordings from this stage of their sleep shows that their brain is almost as active during this period as when they’re awake. Considered with involuntary twitching of the eyes, nose, and mouth it is thought that horses do dream. Whether they’re dreaming of carrots or apples is not yet known, however! (source)
#8: Horses are related to rhinos and tapirs
Horses, rhinos, zebras, and tapirs all share a common early relative – the Perissodactyl (source)
#9: Horse manure killed 20,000 New Yorkers in 1908
Just before the advent of motor vehicles cities such as London and New York had so many horses that city planners didn’t know what to do with all of the manure. Appleton Magazine determined that 20,000 New Yorkers died from “maladies that fly in the dust, created mainly by horse manure.” (source & source).
#10: There were no horses in Australia until 1788
Horses were first brought to Australia by settlers from the Western world and put to use on farms. The tumultuous journey meant that only the strongest horses survived, which goes someway to explain the Australian horses’ reputation as hardy. (source)