ALL MEMBERS OF THE HORSE family,which includes zebras and asses, are social animals. In the wild, they live in family groups which join to form a herd. People first tamed horses about 6,000 years ago, and today there are more than 300 breeds of domestic horse. They can be divided into three groups: heavy horses, light horses, and ponies, which are less than 14.2 hands high (1.47 m or 4.8 ft).

The HorsesThe horse : Naturally grazing animals, horses in the wild eat grasses and shrubs. In each jaw, they have six incisor teach for cutting and 12 molars for chewing. They rely on their sharp senses to survive, using taste and smell to check their food, and hearing and sight to detect danger. If they face possible danger, their first defence is to run away.
horses ear positionEar positions : Horses can move their ears separately to pick up sounds, and the position of their ears is a good indication of their mood. Ears forward show interest: one ear forward and one back means the horse is not sure; ears back show aggression or fear,
Horses Hooves and feetHooves and feet : Modern horses have one toe on each foot, protected by a hoof. It has taken 50 million years for them to evolve. The first horses, which were the size of small dogs, had a pad with four toes on the forefeet and three on the hind.
Movement Horses : can travel using four main patterns of leg movements, called gaits. These are the walk, trot, canter, and gallop. The gallop is the fastest, but a horse can gallop only short distances. Humans have bred horses to perform other artificial gaits, such as the paso done by the Peruvian paso, and the tölt done by the Icelandic pony.
horse movement 1Horse movement 2Horse movement 3Horse movement 4
Colours : Originally, the colour of a horse’s coat may have provided camouflage. Today, horses are bred in several colours. In some, the legs, mane, and tail are a different colour from the rest of the body. Some horses have white markings on the face and legs. Horses color

Horse family : The horse belongs to the family of mammals called the Equidae. Also in this family are donkeys, zebras, the wild asses of Africa and Asia, Przewalski’s wild horse of Mongolia, and the recently discovered Riwoche wild horse of Tibet.

  • Zebras There are three species of zebra, each with a different pattern of stripes. Herds of all species live wild in tropical Africa.
  • Wild asses The three species of wild ass are the African wild ass, and the onager and kiang of Asia. This kulan is a type of onager.
  • Donkey Descended from the African wild ass, donkeys have great strength and stamina.
  • Przewalski’s An ancient breed of horse, it has been reintroduced into the wild.

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