Horse Facts

Horses Guide


Sure, you may be a horse lover, but exactly how much do you know about a horse’s body and its behavior? Do you know about their bone structure, the weight of their heart, or their ideal heart rate? Take a look at this fun collection of horse statistics, to test your own knowledge about horses.

Facts About Horses’ Bodies

  • Horses have 205 bones in their body—one less than humans!
  • Horses hooves grow one-quarter of an inch every month.
  • An adult horse takes 8-16 breaths a minute.
  • The heart of an adult horse weighs 9 pounds.
  • While resting, an adult horse has a heart rate of about 36-40 beats per minute.
  • Arabian horses’ skeletons are different than other horses’; they have a few less tail vertebrae, one less lumbar bone, and one less rib.
  • The placement of a horse’s eyes means it can see almost 360 degrees, making it great at detecting potential danger.
  • Horses have better night vision than humans’.
  • A horse’s hearing abilities are similar to humans’.
  • Horses are especially good at smelling; they have an extra olfactory organ to help them analyze smells.

Facts About Horse Behavior

  • Horses only sleep two to three hours a day–standing up, of course!
  • Horses spend about 45 minutes a day lying down.
  • During the summer, horses sleep longer than they do in the winter.

A horse can’t see directly under its head—that’s why it might mistake your finger for a carrot!

  • When a horse raises its nose, curls its upper lip, and pulls air into its nose, it is using its extra olfactory organ to analyze a smell.
  • In the wild, feral horses form small herds to help detect danger.
  • When horses groom one another, they are strengthening the social bonds between them.
  • Horses living in groups form a complicated hierarchy of importance.
  • Domestic horses may be anxious when they are separated from the other horses they live with and engage in repetitive movements, like bobbing their head, shifting their weight from foot to foot, or walking in a set pattern.

Baby horses and their mother form tight bonds, and do not like being separated from one another.

  • Groups of domestic horses can show the same behavior of feral herds; if one horse senses danger and begins running or assessing the danger, the others may as well.

Adding new horses to domestic groups can be difficult, due to the pre-established hierarchy of the herd.

Other interesting facts about horses

  • Horses have bigger eyes than any other mammal that lives on land.
  • When horses look like they’re laughing, they’re actually engaging in a special nose-enhancing technique known as “flehmen,” to determine whether a smell is good or bad
  • Horse hooves are made from the same protein that comprises human hair and fingernails

Horses with pink skin can get a sunburn

You can tell if a horse is cold by feeling behind their ears. If that area is cold, so is the horse

  • Horse’s ears have the ability to rotate 180 degrees
  • You can tell the approximate age of a horse by its teeth.
  • Horses Are Not Native to North America
  • Horses are herbivores.
  • Horses Were Domesticated by Humans More Than 3,000 Years Ago
  • Horses Are Measured in “Hands”
  • The Original “Horse” Was the Size of a Golden Retriever


Understanding Your Horse’s Behavior. (2006). Auburn University Extension.

Fun Horse Facts. (2011) All About Horses. Boston College.

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