Horse: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Domestic horse
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Perissodactyla
Family: Equidae
Genus: Equus
Species: E. ferus
Subspecies: E. f. caballus
Trinomial name
Equus ferus caballus
Linnaeus, 1758[1]


The horse (Equus ferus caballus)[3][4] is a hooved (ungulate) mammal, a subspecies of the family Equidae. The horse has evolved over the past 45 to 55 million years from a small multi-toed creature into the large, single-toed animal of today. Humans began to domesticate horses around 4000 BCE, and their domestication is believed to have been widespread by 3000 BCE. Although most horses today are domesticated, there are still endangered populations of the Przewalski's Horse, the only remaining true wild horse, as well as more common populations of feral horses which live in the wild but are descended from domesticated ancestors. 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' anatomy enables them to make use of speed to escape predators and they have a well-developed sense of balance and a strong fight-or-flight instinct. 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. 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 saddle or in 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 over 300 breeds of horses in the world today, developed for many different uses.

Horses and humans interact in a wide variety of sport competitions and non-competitive recreational pursuits, as well as in working activities such as police work, agriculture, entertainment, and therapy. Horses were historically used in warfare, from which a wide variety of riding and driving techniques developed, using many different styles of equipment and methods of control. Many products are derived from horses, including meat, milk, hide, hair, bone, and pharmaceuticals extracted from the urine of pregnant mares. Humans provide domesticated horses with food, water and shelter, as well as attention from specialists such as veterinarians and farriers.



Diagram of a horse with some parts labeled.
Parts of a horse

Horse anatomy is described by a large number of specific terms, as illustrated by the chart to the right. Specific terms also describe various ages, colors and breeds.


Depending on breed, management and environment, the domestic horse today has a life expectancy of 25 to 30 years.[5] It is uncommon, but a few animals live into their 40s and, occasionally, beyond.[6] The oldest verifiable record was "Old Billy", a 19th-century horse that lived to the age of 62.[5][7] In modern times, Sugar Puff, who had been listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's oldest living pony, died in 2007, aged 56.[8]

Regardless of a horse's actual birth date, for most competition purposes an animal is considered a year older on January 1 of each year in the northern hemisphere[5][9] and August 1 in the southern hemisphere.[10] The exception is in endurance riding, where the minimum age to compete is based on the animal's calendar age.[11] A very rough estimate of a horse's age can be made from looking at its teeth.[5]

The following terminology is used to describe horses of various ages:

  • Foal: a horse of either sex less than one year old. A nursing foal is sometimes called a suckling and a foal that has been weaned is called a weanling.[12] Most domesticated foals are weaned at 5 to 7 months of age, although foals can be weaned at 4 months with no adverse effects.[13]
  • Yearling: a horse of either sex that is between one and two years old.[14]
  • Colt: a male horse under the age of four.[15] A common terminology error is to call any young horse a "colt", when the term actually only refers to young male horses.[16]
  • Filly: a female horse under the age of four.[12]
  • Mare: a female horse four years old and older.[17]
  • Stallion: a non-castrated male horse four years old and older.[18] Some people, particularly in the UK, refer to a stallion as a "horse".[19]
  • Gelding: a castrated male horse of any age.[12]

In horse racing, these definitions may differ: For example, in the British Isles, Thoroughbred horse racing defines colt and fillies as less than five years old.[20] However, for Australian Thoroughbred racing, colts and fillies are less than four years old.[21]

Size and measurement

The height of horses is measured at the highest point of the withers, where the neck meets the back. This point was chosen as it is a stable point of the anatomy, unlike the head or neck, which move up and down.

The English-speaking world measures the height of horses in hands (abbreviated "h" or "hh", for "hands high") and inches. One hand is equal to 101.6 millimetres (4 in). The height is expressed as the number of full hands, followed by a decimal point, then the number of additional inches. Thus, a horse described as "15.2 h" is 15 hands (60 inches (152.4 cm)) plus 2 inches (5.1 cm), for a total of 62 inches (157.5 cm) in height.[22]

A large brown horse is chasing a small horse in a pasture.
Size varies greatly among horse breeds, as with this full-sized horse and a miniature horse.

The size of horses varies by breed, but also is influenced by nutrition. Light riding horses usually range in height from 14 to 16 hands (56 to 64 inches, 142 to 163 cm) and can weigh from 380 to 550 kilograms (840 to 1,200 lb).[23] Larger riding horses usually start at about 15.2 hands (62 inches, 157 cm) and often are as tall as 17 hands (68 inches, 173 cm), weighing from 500 to 600 kilograms (1,100 to 1,300 lb).[24] Heavy or draft horses are usually at least 16 to 18 hands (64 to 72 inches, 163 to 183 cm) high and can weigh from about 700 to 1,000 kilograms (1,500 to 2,200 lb).[25]

The largest horse in recorded history was probably a Shire horse named Mammoth, who was born in 1848. He stood 21.2½ hands high (86.5 in/220 cm), and his peak weight was estimated at 1,500 kilograms (3,300 lb).[26] The current record holder for the world's smallest horse is Thumbelina, a fully mature miniature horse affected by dwarfism. She is 17 inches (43 cm) tall and weighs 27 pounds (12 kg).[27]


The general rule for height between a horse and a pony at maturity is 14.2 hands (58 inches, 147 cm). An animal 14.2 h or over is usually considered to be a horse and one less than 14.2 h a pony.[28] However, there are many exceptions to the general rule. In Australia, ponies measure under 14 hands (56 inches, 142 cm).[29] The International Federation for Equestrian Sports, which uses metric measurements, defines the cutoff between horses and ponies at 148 centimetres (58.27 in) (just over 14.2 h) without shoes and 149 centimetres (58.66 in) (just over 14.2-1/2 h) with shoes.[30] Some breeds which typically produce individuals both under and over 14.2 h considered all animals of that breed to be horses regardless of their height.[31] Conversely, some pony breeds may have features in common with horses, and individual animals may occasionally mature at over 14.2 h, but are still considered to be ponies.[32]

The distinction between a horse and pony is not simply a difference in height, but other aspects of phenotype or appearance, such as conformation and temperament. Ponies often exhibit thicker manes, tails, and overall coat. They also have proportionally shorter legs, wider barrels, heavier bone, shorter and thicker necks, and short heads with broad foreheads. They may have calmer temperaments than horses and also a high level of equine intelligence that may or may not be used to cooperate with human handlers.[28] In fact, small size, by itself, is sometimes not a factor at all. While the Shetland pony stands on average 10 hands (40 inches, 102 cm),[33] the Falabella and other miniature horses, which can be no taller than 30 inches (76 cm), the size of a medium-sized dog, are classified by their respective registries as very small horses rather than as ponies.[34]

Colors and markings

Two horses in a field. The one on the left is a dark brown with black mane and tail. The one on the right is a light red all over.
Bay (left) and chestnut (sometimes called "sorrel") are two of the most common coat colors, seen in almost all breeds.

Horses exhibit a diverse array of coat colors and distinctive markings, described with a specialized vocabulary. Often, a horse is classified first by its coat color, before breed or sex.[35] Horses of the same color may be distinguished from one another by white markings,[36] which, along with various spotting patterns, are inherited separately from coat color.[37]

Many genes that create horse coat colors have been identified, although research continues to further identify factors that result in specific traits. One of the first genetic relationships to be understood was that between recessive "red" (chestnut) and dominant "black", which is controlled by the "red factor" or extension gene. Additional alleles control spotting, graying, suppression or dilution of color, and other effects that create the dozens of possible coat colors found in horses.[38]

Chestnut, bay, brown, and black are the basic equine coat colors. These colors are modified by at least ten other genes to create all other colors, including dilutions such as palomino and spotting patterns such as pinto.[38] Horses which are white in coat color are often mislabeled as "white" horses. However, a horse that looks white is usually a middle-aged or older gray. Grays are born a darker shade, get lighter as they age, and usually have black skin underneath their white hair coat (with the exception of pink skin under white markings). The only horses properly called white are born with a white hair coat and have predominantly pink skin, a fairly rare occurrence.[39] There are no truly "albino" horses having both pink skin and red eyes.[40]

Reproduction and development

Gestation lasts for approximately 335–340 days[41] and usually results in one foal. Twins are rare.[42] Horses are a precocial species, and foals are capable of standing and running within a short time following birth.[43]

Horses, particularly colts, sometimes are physically capable of reproduction at about 18 months, but domesticated horses are rarely allowed to breed before the age of three, especially females.[41] Horses four years old are considered mature, although the skeleton normally continues to develop until the age of six; maturation also depends on the horse's size, breed, sex, and quality of care. Also, if the horse is larger, its bones are larger; therefore, not only do the bones take longer to actually form bone tissue, but the epiphyseal plates are also larger and take longer to convert from cartilage to bone. These plates convert after the other parts of the bones, and are crucial to development.[44]

Depending on maturity, breed, and work expected, horses are usually put under saddle and trained to be ridden between the ages of two and four.[45] Although Thoroughbred race horses are put on the track at as young as two years old in some countries,[46] horses specifically bred for sports such as dressage are generally not put under saddle until they are three or four years old, because their bones and muscles are not solidly developed.[47] For endurance riding competition, horses are not deemed mature enough to compete until they are a full 60 calendar months (5 years) old.[11]


Skeletal system

Diagram of a horse skeleton with major parts labeled.
The skeletal system of a modern horse

Horses have a skeleton that averages 205 bones.[48] A significant difference between the horse skeleton and that of a human, is the lack of a collarbone—the horse's forelimbs are attached to the spinal column by a powerful set of muscles, tendons, and ligaments that attach the shoulder blade to the torso. The horse's legs and hooves are also unique structures. Their leg bones are proportioned differently from those of a human. For example, the body part that is called a horse's "knee" is actually made up of the carpal bones that correspond to the human wrist. Similarly, the hock contains bones equivalent to those in the human ankle and heel. The lower leg bones of a horse correspond to the bones of the human hand or foot, and the fetlock (incorrectly called the "ankle") is actually the proximal sesamoid bones between the cannon bones (a single equivalent to the human metacarpal or metatarsal bones) and the proximal phalanges, located where one finds the "knuckles" of a human. A horse also has no muscles in its legs below the knees and hocks, only skin, hair, bone, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and the assorted specialized tissues that make up the hoof.[49]


The critical importance of the feet and legs is summed up by the traditional adage, "no foot, no horse".[50] The horse hoof begins with the distal phalanges, the equivalent of the human fingertip or tip of the toe, surrounded by cartilage and other specialized, blood-rich soft tissues such as the laminae. The exterior hoof wall and horn of the sole is made of essentially the same material as a human fingernail.[51] The end result is that a horse, weighing on average 500 kilograms (1,100 lb),[52] travels on the same bones as would a human on tiptoe.[53] For the protection of the hoof under certain conditions, some horses have horseshoes placed on their feet by a professional farrier. The hoof continually grows, and needs to be trimmed (and horseshoes reset, if used) every five to eight weeks.[54]


Horses are adapted to grazing. In an adult horse, there are 12 incisors, adapted to biting off the grass or other vegetation, at the front of the mouth. There are 24 teeth adapted for chewing, the premolars and molars, at the back of the mouth. Stallions and geldings have four additional teeth just behind the incisors, a type of canine teeth that are called "tushes". Some horses, both male and female, will also develop one to four very small vestigial teeth in front of the molars, known as "wolf" teeth, which are generally removed because they can interfere with the bit. There is an empty interdental space between the incisors and the molars where the bit rests directly on the bars (gums) of the horse's mouth when the horse is bridled.[55]

The incisors show a distinct wear and growth pattern as the horse ages, as well as change in the angle at which the chewing surfaces meet. The teeth continue to erupt throughout life as they are worn down by grazing, so a very rough estimate of a horse's age can be made by an examination of its teeth, although diet and veterinary care can affect the rate of tooth wear.[5]


Horses are herbivores with a digestive system adapted to a forage diet of grasses and other plant material, consumed steadily throughout the day. Therefore, compared to humans, they have a relatively small stomach but very long intestines to facilitate a steady flow of nutrients. A 450-kilogram (990 lb) horse will eat 7 to 11 kilograms (15 to 24 lb) of food per day and, under normal use, drink 38 litres (8.4 imp gal; 10 US gal) to 45 litres (9.9 imp gal; 12 US gal) of water. Horses are not ruminants, so they have only one stomach, like humans, but unlike humans, they can also digest cellulose from grasses due to the presence of a "hind gut" called the cecum, or "water gut", which food goes through before reaching the large intestine. Unlike humans, horses cannot vomit, so digestion problems can quickly cause colic, a leading cause of death.[56]


Close up of a horse eye, with is dark brown with lashes on the top eyelid
A horse's eye

The horse's senses are generally superior to those of a human. As prey animals, they must be aware of their surroundings at all times.[57] They have the largest eyes of any land mammal,[58] and are lateral-eyed, meaning that their eyes are positioned on the sides of their heads.[59] This means that horses have a range of vision of more than 350°, with approximately 65° of this being binocular vision and the remaining 285° monocular vision.[58] Horses have excellent day and night vision, but they have two-color, or dichromatic vision; their color vision is somewhat like red-green color blindness in humans, where certain colors, especially red and related colors, appear more green.[60]

Their hearing is good,[57] and the pinna of each ear can rotate up to 180°, giving the potential for 360° hearing without having to move the head.[61] Their sense of smell, while much better than that of humans, is not their strongest asset; they rely to a greater extent on vision.[57]

Horses have a great sense of balance, due partly to their ability to feel their footing and partly to highly developed proprioceptive abilities (the unconscious sense of where the body and limbs are at all times).[62] A horse's sense of touch is well developed. The most sensitive areas are around the eyes, ears, and nose.[63] Horses sense contact as subtle as an insect landing anywhere on the body.[64]

Horses have an advanced sense of taste that allows them to sort through fodder to choose what they would most like to eat,[65] and their prehensile lips can easily sort even the smallest grains. Horses generally will not eat poisonous plants. However, there are exceptions and horses will occasionally eat toxic amounts of poisonous plants even when there is adequate healthy food.[66]


Film showing a horse running.
The gallop

All horses move naturally with four basic gaits: the four-beat walk, which averages 6.4 kilometres per hour (4.0 mph); the two-beat trot or jog at 13 to 19 kilometres per hour (8.1 to 12 mph) (faster for harness racing horses); the canter or lope, a three-beat gait that is 19 to 24 kilometres per hour (12 to 15 mph); and the gallop.[67] The gallop averages 40 to 48 kilometres per hour (25 to 30 mph),[68] but the world record for a horse galloping over a short, sprint distance is 88 kilometres per hour (55 mph).[69] Besides these basic gaits, some horses perform a two-beat pace, instead of the trot.[70] There also are several four-beat "ambling" gaits that are approximately the speed of a trot or pace, though smoother to ride. These include the lateral rack, running walk, and tölt as well as the diagonal fox trot.[71] Ambling gaits are often genetic in some breeds, known collectively as gaited horses.[72] Often, gaited horses replace the trot with one of the ambling gaits.[73]


Horses are prey animals with a strong fight-or-flight instinct. Their first response to threat is to startle and usually flee, although they will stand their ground and defend themselves when flight is not possible, or if their young are threatened. They also tend to be curious; when startled, they will often hesitate an instant to ascertain the cause of their fright, and may not always flee from something that they perceive as non-threatening. Most light horse riding breeds were developed for speed, agility, alertness and endurance; natural qualities that extend from their wild ancestors. However, through selective breeding, some breeds of horses are quite docile, particularly certain draft horses..[74] Horses are herd animals, with a clear hierarchy of rank, led by a dominant animal (usually a mare). They are also social creatures who are able to form companionship attachments to their own species and to other animals, including humans. They communicate in various ways, including vocalizations such as nickering or whinnying, mutual grooming, and body language. Many horses will become difficult to manage if they are isolated, but with training, horses can learn to accept a human as a companion, and thus be comfortable away from other horses.[75] However, when confined with insufficient companionship, exercise, or stimulation, individuals may develop stable vices, an assortment of bad habits, mostly psychological in origin, that include wood chewing, wall kicking, "weaving" (rocking back and forth), and other problems.[76]

Intelligence and learning

In the past, horses were considered unintelligent, with no abstract thinking ability, unable to generalize, and driven primarily by a herd mentality. However, modern studies show that they perform a number of cognitive tasks on a daily basis, with mental challenges that include food procurement and social system identification. They also have good spatial discrimination abilities.[77] Studies have assessed equine intelligence in the realms of problem solving, learning speed, and knowledge retention. Results show that horses excel at simple learning, but also are able to solve advanced cognitive challenges that involve categorization and concept learning. They learn from habituation, desensitization, Pavlovian conditioning, and operant conditioning. They respond to and learn from both positive and negative reinforcement.[77] Recent studies even suggest horses are able to count if the quantity involved is less than four.[78]

Domesticated horses tend to face greater mental challenges than wild horses, because they live in artificial environments that stifle instinctual behavior while learning tasks that are not natural.[77] Horses are creatures of habit that respond and adapt well to regimentation, and respond best when the same routines and techniques are used consistently. Some trainers believe that "intelligent" horses are reflections of intelligent trainers who effectively use response conditioning techniques and positive reinforcement to train in the style that fits best with an individual animal's natural inclinations. Others who handle horses regularly note that personality also may play a role separate from intelligence in determining how a given animal responds to various experiences.[79]


Horses are mammals, and as such are "warm-blooded" creatures, as opposed to cold-blooded reptiles. However, these words have developed a separate meaning in the context of equine terminology, used to describe temperament, not body temperature. For example, the "hot-bloods", such as many race horses, exhibit more sensitivity and energy,[80] while the "cold-bloods", such as most draft breeds, are quieter and calmer.[81] Sometimes "hot-bloods" are classified as "light horses" or "riding horses",[82] with the "cold-bloods" classified as "draft horses" or "work horses".[83]

a sepia-toned engraving from an old book, showing 11 horses of different breeds and sizes in nine different illustrations
Illustration of hotbloods, warmbloods and coldblood breeds

"Hot blooded" breeds include "oriental horses" such as the Akhal-Teke, Barb, Arabian horse and now-extinct Turkoman horse, as well as the Thoroughbred, a breed developed in England from the older oriental breeds.[80] Hot bloods tend to be spirited, bold, and learn quickly. They are bred for agility and speed.[84] They tend to be physically refined—thin-skinned, slim, and long-legged.[85] The original oriental breeds were brought to Europe from the Middle East and North Africa when European breeders wished to infuse these traits into racing and light cavalry horses.[86][87]

Muscular, heavy draft horses are known as "cold bloods", as they are bred not only for strength, but also to have the calm, patient temperament needed to pull a plow or a heavy carriage full of people.[81] They are sometimes nicknamed "gentle giants".[88] Well-known draft breeds include the Belgian and the Clydesdale.[88] Some, like the Percheron are lighter and livelier, developed to pull carriages or to plow large fields in drier climates.[89] Others, such as the Shire, are slower and more powerful, bred to plow fields with heavy, clay-based soils.[90] The cold-blooded group also includes some pony breeds.[91]

"Warmblood" breeds, such as the Trakehner or Hanoverian, developed when European carriage and war horses were crossed with Arabians or Thoroughbreds, producing a riding horse with more refinement than a draft horse, but greater size and milder temperament than a lighter breed.[92] Certain pony breeds with warmblood characteristics have been developed for smaller riders.[93] Warmbloods are considered a "light horse" or "riding horse".[82]

Today, the term "Warmblood" refers to a specific subset of sport horse breeds that are used for competition in dressage and show jumping.[94] Strictly speaking, the term "warm blood" refers to any cross between cold-blooded and hot-blooded breeds.[95] Examples include breeds such as the Irish Draught or the Cleveland Bay. The term was once used to refer to breeds of light riding horse other than Thoroughbreds or Arabians, such as the Morgan horse.[84]

Sleep patterns

Two horses in a pasture, one is standing beside the other that is laying down.
When horses lie down to sleep, others in the herd remain standing, awake or in a light doze, keeping watch.

Horses are able to sleep both standing up and lying down. In an adaptation from life in the wild, horses are able to enter light sleep by using a "stay apparatus" in their legs, allowing them to doze without collapsing.[96] Horses sleep better when in groups because some animals will sleep while others stand guard to watch for predators. A horse kept alone will not sleep well because its instincts are to keep a constant eye out for danger.[97]

Unlike humans, horses do not sleep in a solid, unbroken period of time, but take many short periods of rest. Horses spend four to fifteen hours a day in standing rest, and from a few minutes to several hours lying down. Total sleep time in a 24-hour period may range from several minutes to a couple of hours,[97] mostly in short intervals of about 15 minutes each.[98]

Horses must lie down to reach REM sleep. They only have to lie down for an hour or two every few days to meet their minimum REM sleep requirements.[97] However, if a horse is never allowed to lie down, after several days it will become sleep-deprived, and in rare cases may suddenly collapse as it involuntarily slips into REM sleep while still standing.[99] This condition differs from narcolepsy, although horses may also suffer from that disorder.[100]

Taxonomy and evolution

Painting of a group of small animals running through grass. The animals are tan colored and have spots on their upper body.
Mesohippus, an ancestor of the modern horse

The horse adapted to survive in areas of wide-open terrain with sparse vegetation, surviving in an ecosystem where other large grazing animals, especially ruminants, could not.[101] Horses and other equids are odd-toed ungulates of the order Perissodactyla, a group of mammals that was dominant during the Tertiary period. In the past, this order contained 14 families, but only three—Equidae (the horse and related species), the tapir, and the rhinoceros—have survived to the present day.[102] The earliest known member of the Equidae family was the Hyracotherium, which lived between 45 and 55 million years ago, during the Eocene period. It had 4 toes on each front foot, and 3 toes on each back foot.[103] The extra toe on the front feet soon disappeared with the Mesohippus, which lived 32 to 37 million years ago.[104] Over time, the extra side toes shrank in size until they vanished. All that remains of them in modern horses is a set of small vestigial bones on the leg below the knee,[105] known informally as splint bones.[106] Their legs also lengthened as their toes disappeared until they were a hooved animal capable of running at great speed.[105] By about 5 million years ago, the modern Equus had evolved.[107] Equid teeth also evolved from browsing on soft, tropical plants to adapt to browsing of drier plant material, then to grazing of tougher plains grasses. Thus proto-horses changed from leaf-eating forest-dwellers to grass-eating inhabitants of semi-arid regions worldwide, including the steppes of Eurasia and the Great Plains of North America.

By about 15,000 years ago, Equus ferus was a widespread holarctic species. Horse bones from this time period, the late Pleistocene, are found in Europe, Eurasia, Beringia, and North America.[108] Yet by 10,000 years ago, the horse became extinct in North America and rare elsewhere.[109][110] The reasons for this extinction are not fully known, but one theory notes that extinction in North America paralleled human arrival.[111] Another theory points to climate change, noting that approximately 12,500 years ago, the grasses characteristic of a steppe ecosystem gave way to shrub tundra, which was covered with unpalatable plants.[112]

Wild species surviving into modern times

Three tan colored horses with upright manes. Two horses nip and paw at each other, while the third moves towards the camera. They stand in open, rocky grassland, with forests in the distance.
A small herd of Przewalski's Horses

A truly wild horse is a species or subspecies with no ancestors that were ever domesticated. Therefore, most "wild" horses today are actually feral horses, animals that escaped or were turned loose from domestic herds and the descendants of those animals.[113] Only one truly wild horse species (Equus ferus) with two subspecies, the Tarpan and the Przewalski's Horse, survived into recorded history.

The only true wild horse alive today is the Przewalski's Horse (Equus ferus przewalskii), named after the Russian explorer Nikolai Przhevalsky. It is a rare Asian animal, also known as the Mongolian Wild Horse; Mongolian people know it as the taki, and the Kyrgyz people call it a kirtag. The species was presumed extinct in the wild between 1969 and 1992, while a small breeding population survived in zoos around the world. In 1992, it was reestablished in the wild due to the conservation efforts of numerous zoos.[114] Today, a small wild breeding population exists in Mongolia.[115][116] There are additional animals still maintained at zoos throughout the world.

The Tarpan or European Wild Horse (Equus ferus ferus) was found in Europe and much of Asia. It survived into the historical era, but became extinct in 1909, when the last captive died in a Russian zoo.[117] Thus, the genetic line was lost. There have been attempts have been made to recreate the Tarpan,[118][117][119] which resulted in horses with outward physical similarities, but nonetheless descended from domesticated ancestors and not true wild horses.

Periodically, populations of horses in isolated areas are speculated to be relic populations of wild horses, but generally have been proven to be feral or domestic. For example, the Riwoche horse of Tibet was proposed as such,[116] but testing did not reveal genetic differences with domesticated horses,[120] Similarly, the Sorraia of Spain was proposed as a direct descendant of the Tarpan based on shared characteristics[121][122], but genetic studies have shown that the Sorraia is more closely related to other horse breeds and that the outward similarity is an unreliable measure of relatedness.[123][121]

Other modern equids

Besides the horse, there are seven other species of genus equus in the equidae family. These are the ass or donkey, Equus asinus; the Mountain Zebra, Equus zebra; Plains Zebra, Equus burchelli; Grévy's Zebra, Equus grevyi; the Kiang, Equus kiang; and the Onager, Equus hemionus.[124]

Horses can crossbreed with other members of their genus. The most common hybrid is the mule, a cross between a "jack" (male donkey) and a mare. A related hybrid, a hinny, is a cross between a stallion and a jenny (female donkey).[125] Other hybrids include the zorse, a cross between a zebra and a horse.[126] With rare exceptions, most hybrids are sterile and cannot reproduce.[127]


Domestication of the horse most likely took place in central Asia prior to 3500 BCE. Two major sources of information are used to determine where and when the horse was first domesticated and how the domesticated horse spread around the world. The first source is based on palaeological and archaeological discoveries, the second source is a comparison of DNA obtained from modern horses to that from bones and teeth of ancient horse remains.

The earliest archaeological evidence for the domestication of the horse comes from sites in Ukraine and Kazakhstan, dating to approximately 3,500–4,000 BCE.[128][129] By 3000 BCE, the horse was completely domesticated and by 2000 BCE there was a sharp increase in the number of horse bones found in human settlements in northwestern Europe, indicating the spread of domesticated horses throughout the continent.[130] The most recent, but most irrefutable evidence of domestication comes from sites where horse remains were interred with chariots in graves of the Sintashta and Petrovka cultures circa 2100 BCE.[131]

Domestication is also studied by using the genetic material of present day horses and comparing it with the genetic material present in the bones and teeth of horse remains found in archaeological and palaeological excavations. The variation in the genetic material shows that very few wild stallions contributed to the domestic horse,[132][133] while many mares were part of early domesticated herds.[134][123][135] This is reflected in the difference in genetic variation between the DNA that is passed on along the paternal, or sire line (Y-chromosome) versus that passed on along the maternal, or dam line (mitochondrial DNA). There are very low levels of Y-chromosome variability,[133][132] but a great deal of genetic variation in mitochondrial DNA.[134][123][135] There is also regional variation in mitochondrial DNA due to the inclusion of wild mares in domestic herds.[134][123][135][136] Another characteristic of domestication is an increase in coat color variation.[137] In horses, this increased dramatically between 5000 and 3000 BCE.[138]

Before the availability of DNA techniques to resolve the questions related to the domestication of the horse, various hypothesis were proposed. One classification was based on body types and conformation, suggesting the presence of four basic prototypes that had adapted to their environment prior to domestication.[139] Another hypothesis held that the four prototypes originated from a single wild species and that all different body types were entirely a result of selective breeding after domestication.[140] However, the lack of a detectable substructure in the horse has resulted in a rejection of both hypotheses.

Feral populations

Feral horses are born and live in the wild, but are descended from domesticated animals.[113] Many populations of feral horses exist throughout the world.[141][142] Studies of feral herds have provided useful insights into the behavior of prehistoric horses,[143] as well as greater understanding of the instincts and behaviors that drive horses that live in domesticated conditions.[144]


Horse breeds are groups of horses with distinctive characteristics that are transmitted consistently to their offspring, such as conformation, color, performance ability, or disposition. These inherited traits result from a combination of natural crosses and artificial selection methods. Horses have been selectively bred since their domestication. Breeds developed due to a need for "form to function", the necessity to develop certain characteristics in order to perform a particular type of work.[145] Thus, powerful but refined breeds such as the Andalusian developed as riding horses that also had a great aptitude for dressage,[145] while heavy draft horses such as the Clydesdale developed out of a need to perform demanding farm work and pull heavy wagons.[146] Other horse breeds developed specifically for light agricultural work, carriage and road work, various sport disciplines, or simply as pets.[147] Some breeds developed through centuries of crossings with other breeds, while others, such as Tennessee Walking Horses and Morgans, descended from a single foundation sire. There are more than 300 horse breeds in the world today.[148]

However, the concept of purebred bloodstock and a controlled, written breed registry only became of significant importance in modern times. Sometimes purebred horses are called Thoroughbreds, which is incorrect; "Thoroughbred" is a specific breed of horse, while a "purebred" is a horse (or any other animal) with a defined pedigree recognized by a breed registry.[149] An early example of people who practiced selective horse breeding were the Bedouin, who had a reputation for careful practices, keeping extensive pedigrees of their Arabian horses and placing great value upon pure bloodlines.[150]These pedigrees were originally transmitted via an oral tradition.[151] In the 14th century, Carthusian monks of southern Spain kept meticulous pedigrees of bloodstock lineages still found today in the Andalusian horse.[152] One of the earliest formal registries was General Stud Book for Thoroughbreds, which began in 1791 and traced back to the foundation bloodstock for the breed.[153]

Interaction with humans

Worldwide, horses play a role within human cultures. Horses are used for leisure activities, sports, and working purposes. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that in 2008, there were almost 59,000,000 horses in the world, with around 33,500,000 in the Americas, 13,800,000 in Asia and 6,300,000 in Europe and smaller portions in Africa and Oceania. There are estimated to be 9,500,000 horses in the United States alone.[154] The American Horse Council estimates that horse-related activities have a direct impact on the economy of the United States of over $39 billion, and when indirect spending is considered, the impact is over $102 billion.[155] In a 2004 "poll" conducted by Animal Planet, more than 50,000 viewers from 73 countries voted for the horse as the world's 4th favorite animal.[156]

Communication between human and horse is paramount in any equestrian activity;[136] to aid this process horses are usually ridden with a saddle on their backs to assist the rider with balance and positioning, and a bridle or related headgear to assist the rider in maintaining control.[157] Sometimes horses are ridden without a saddle,[158] and occasionally, horses are trained to perform without a bridle or other headgear.[159] Many horses are also driven, which requires a harness, bridle, and some type of vehicle.[160]


A chestnut (reddish-brown) horse being ridden by a rider in a black coat and top hat. They are stopped in a riding arena with the rider tipping his hat.
A horse and rider in dressage competition at the Olympics

Historically, equestrians honed their skills through games and races. Equestrian sports provided entertainment for crowds and honed the excellent horsemanship that was needed in battle. Many sports, such as dressage, eventing and show jumping, have origins in military training, which were focused on control and balance of both horse and rider. Other sports, such as rodeo, developed from practical skills such as those needed on working ranches and stations. Sport hunting from horseback evolved from earlier practical hunting techniques.[136] Horse racing of all types evolved from impromptu competitions between riders or drivers. All forms of competition, requiring demanding and specialized skills from both horse and rider, resulted in the systematic development of specialized breeds and equipment for each sport. The popularity of equestrian sports through the centuries has resulted in the preservation of skills that would otherwise have disappeared after horses stopped being used in combat.[161]

Horses are trained to be ridden or driven in a variety of sporting competitions. Examples include show jumping, dressage, three-day eventing, competitive driving, endurance riding, gymkhana, rodeos, and fox hunting.[162] Horse shows, which have their origins in medieval European fairs, are held around the world. They host a huge range of classes, covering all of the mounted and harness disciplines, as well as "In-hand" classes where the horses are led, rather than ridden, to be evaluated on their conformation. The method of judging varies with the discipline, but winning usually depends on style and ability of both horse and rider.[163] Sports such as polo do not judge the horse itself, but rather use the horse as a partner for human competitors as a necessary part of the game. Although the horse requires specialized training to participate, the details of its performance are not judged, only the result of the rider's actions—be it getting a ball through a goal or some other task.[164] Examples of these sports of partnership between human and horse include jousting, in which the main goal is for one rider to unseat the other,[165] and buzkashi, a team game played throughout Central Asia, the aim being to capture a goat carcass while on horseback.[164]

Horse racing is an equestrian sport and major international industry, watched in almost every nation of the world. There are three types: "flat" racing; steeplechasing, i.e. racing over jumps; and harness racing, where horses trot or pace while pulling a driver in a small, light cart known as a sulky.[166] A major part of horse racing's economic importance lies in the gambling associated with it.[167]


A mounted man in a blue uniform on a dark brown horse
A mounted police officer in Poland

There are certain jobs that horses do very well, and no technology has yet developed to fully replace them. For example, mounted police horses are still effective for certain types of patrol duties and crowd control.[168] Cattle ranches still require riders on horseback to round up cattle that are scattered across remote, rugged terrain.[169] Search and rescue organizations in some countries depend upon mounted teams to locate people, particularly hikers and children, and to provide disaster relief assistance.[170] Horses can also be used in areas where it is necessary to avoid vehicular disruption to delicate soil, such as nature reserves. They may also be the only form of transport allowed in wilderness areas. Horses are quieter than motorized vehicles. Law enforcement officers such as park rangers or game wardens may use horses for patrols, and horses or mules may also be used for clearing trails or other work in areas of rough terrain where vehicles are less effective.[171]

Although machinery has replaced horses in many parts of the world, an estimated 100 million horses, donkeys and mules are still used for agriculture and transportation in less developed areas. This number includes around 27 million working in Africa alone.[172] Some land management practices such as cultivating and logging can be efficiently performed with horses. In agriculture, less fossil fuel is used and increased environmental conservation occurs over time with the use of draft animals such as horses.[173][174] Logging with horses and can result in reduced damage to soil structure and less damage to trees due to more selective logging.[175]

Entertainment and culture

Modern horses are often used to reenact many of their historical work purposes. Horses are used, complete with equipment that is authentic or a meticulously recreated replica, in various live action historical reenactments of specific periods of history, especially recreations of famous battles.[176] Horses are also used to preserve cultural traditions and for ceremonial purposes. Countries such as the United Kingdom still use horse-drawn carriages to convey royalty and other VIPs to and from certain culturally significant events.[177] Public exhibitions are another example, such as the Budweiser Clydesdales, seen in parades and other public settings, a team of draft horses that pull a beer wagon similar to that used before the invention of the modern motorized truck.[178]

Horses are frequently seen in television and films. They are used both as main characters, in films such as Seabiscuit, and Dreamer, and as visual elements that assure the accuracy of historical stories.[179] Both live horses and iconic images of horses are used in advertising to promote a variety of products.[180] The horse frequently appears in coats of arms in heraldry. The horse can be represented as standing, walking (passant), trotting, running (courant), rearing (rampant or forcine) or springing (salient). The horse may be saddled and bridled, harnessed, or without any apparel whatsoever.[181] The horse also appears in the 12-year cycle of animals in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar. According to Chinese folklore, each animal is associated with certain personality traits, and those born in the year of the horse are intelligent, independent, and free-spirited.[182]

Therapeutic use

People of all ages with physical and mental disabilities obtain beneficial results from association with horses. Therapeutic riding is used to mentally and physically stimulate disabled persons and help them improve their lives through improved balance and coordination, increased self-confidence, and a greater feeling of freedom and independence.[183] The benefits of equestrian activity for people with disabilities has also been recognized with the addition of equestrian events to the Paralympic Games and recognition of para-equestrian events by the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI).[184] Hippotherapy and therapeutic horseback riding are names for different physical, occupational, and speech therapy treatment strategies that utilize equine movement. In hippotherapy, a therapist uses the horse's movement to improve their patient's cognitive, coordination, balance, and fine motor skills, whereas therapeutic horseback riding uses specific riding skills.[185]

Horses also provide psychological benefits to people whether they actually ride or not. "Equine-assisted" or "equine-facilitated" therapy is a form of experiential psychotherapy that uses horses as companion animals to assist people with mental illness, including anxiety disorders, psychotic disorders, mood disorders, behavioral difficulties, and those who are going through major life changes.[186] There are also experimental programs using horses in prison settings. Exposure to horses appears to improve the behavior of inmates and help reduce recidivism when they leave.[187]


A line of horses hitched to small carriages mounted with guns. Each carriage holds three men, one facing forward and driving the horses and two facing towards the back near the gun. In the gun are several other people, some mounted on horses.
Horses being deployed to the front, Soviet Union, 1941

Horses in warfare have been seen for most of recorded history. The first archaeological evidence of horses used in warfare dates to between 4000 to 3000 BCE,[188] and the use of horses in warfare was widespread by the end of the Bronze Age.[189][190] Although mechanization has largely replaced the horse as a weapon of war, horses are still seen today in limited military uses, mostly for ceremonial purposes, or for reconnaissance and transport activities in areas of rough terrain where motorized vehicles are ineffective. Horses have been used in the 21st century by the Janjaweed militias in the War in Darfur.[191]


Horses are raw material for many products made by humans throughout history, including byproducts from the slaughter of horses as well as materials collected from living horses.

Products collected from living horses include mare's milk, used by people with large horse herds, such as the Mongols, who let it ferment to produce kumis.[192] Horse blood was once used as food by the Mongols and other nomadic tribes, who found it a convenient source of nutrition when traveling. Drinking their own horses' blood allowed the Mongols to ride for extended periods of time without stopping to eat.[192] Today, the drug Premarin is a mixture of estrogens extracted from the urine of pregnant mares (pregnant mares' urine). It is a widely used drug for hormone replacement therapy.[193] The tail hair of horses can be used for making bows for string instruments such as the violin, viola, cello, and double bass.[194]

Horse meat has been used as food for humans and carnivorous animals throughout the ages. It is eaten in many parts of the world, though consumption is taboo in some cultures.[195] Horsemeat has been an export industry in the United States and other countries,[195] though legislation has periodically been introduced in the United States Congress which would end export from the United States.[196] Horsehide leather has been used for boots, gloves, jackets,[197] baseballs,[198] and baseball gloves. Horse hooves can also be used to produce animal glue.[199] Horse bones can be used to make implements.[200] Specifically, in Italian cuisine, the horse tibia is sharpened into a probe called a spinto, which is used to test the readiness of a (pig) ham as it cures.[201] In Asia, the saba is a horsehide vessel used in the production of kumis.[202]


A young man in US military clothing examines the teeth of a bay (dark brown) horse, while another person in military work clothing, partially obscured, holds the horse. Several other people are partially visible in the background.
Checking teeth and other physical examinations are an important part of horse care

Horses are grazing animals, and their major source of nutrients is good-quality forage from hay or pasture.[203] They can consume approximately 2% to 2.5% of their body weight in dry feed each day. Therefore, a 450-kilogram (990 lb) adult horse could eat up to 11 kilograms (24 lb) of food.[204] Sometimes, concentrated feed such as grain is fed in addition to pasture or hay, especially when the animal is very active.[205] When grain is fed, equine nutritionists recommend that 50% or more of the animal's diet by weight should still be forage.[206]

Horses require a plentiful supply of clean water, a minimum of 10 US gallons (38 L) to 12 US gallons (45 L) per day.[207] Although horses are adapted to live outside, they require shelter from the wind and precipitation, which can range from a simple shed or shelter to an elaborate stable.[208]

Horses require routine hoof care from a farrier, as well as vaccinations to protect against various diseases, and dental examinations from a veterinarian or a specialized equine dentist.[209] If horses are kept inside in a barn, they require regular daily exercise for their physical health and mental well-being.[210] When turned outside, they require well-maintained, sturdy fences to be safely contained.[211] Regular grooming is also helpful to help the horse maintain good health of the hair coat and underlying skin.[212]

See also


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Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Horses article)

From Wikiquote

Where is the horse gone? Where the rider?
Where the giver of treasure? ~ Anonymous

Horses (Equus caballus, occasionally Equus ferus caballus) are large ungulates. Horses have had a long relationship with humans. There is evidence to suggest that horses have been domesticated since 4000 BC. The horse is prominent in religion, mythology, and art; it has played an important role in transportation, agriculture, and war.



And Allah took a handful of southerly wind, blew His breath over it, and created the horse.... Thou shall fly without wings, and conquer without any sword ~ Bedouin legend
  • Where is the horse gone? Where the rider?
    Where the giver of treasure?
    Where are the seats at the feast?
    Where are the revels in the hall?
    Alas for the bright cup!
    Alas for the mailed warrior!
    Alas for the splendour of the prince!
    How that time has passed away,
    dark under the cover of night,
    as if it had never been!
  • For the White Horse knew England
    When there was none to know;
    He saw the first oar break or bend,
    He saw heaven fall and the world end,
    O God, how long ago.

    For the end of the world was long ago,
    And all we dwell to-day
    As children of some second birth,
    Like a strange people left on earth
    After a judgment day.

When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk. He trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ~ Dauphin from Henry V, Act III, Scene VII.
  • What a long night is this! I will not change my horse with any that treads but on four pasterns. Ca, ha! He bounds from the earth, as if his entrails were hairs; le cheval volant, the Pegasus, qui a les narines de feu! When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk. He trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes.
  • He is pure air and fire; and the dull elements of earth and water never appear in him, but only in patient stillness while his rider mounts him. He is indeed a horse, and all other jades you may call beasts.
  • Where now the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing?
    Where is the helm and the hauberk, and the bright hair flowing?
  • There is no secret so close as that between a rider and his horse.
  • Hast thou given the horse strength? Hast thou clouthed his neck with thunder?
    He paweth in the valley, and rejoice in his strength; he goeth on to meet the armed men.
    He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha; and he smelleth the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains, and the shouting.
    • Bible, Job 39:19
  • A horse is dangerous at both ends and uncomfortable in the middle.
  • As much as I like horses – they can keep their cheese.
    • Martin Clunes (b. 1961), British comic actor. In an appearance on the Paul O’Grady Show, Channel 4 television, 7th Oct. 2009
  • Koń jaki jest, każdy widzi.


A horse is the projection of peoples' dreams about themselves — strong, powerful, beautiful — and it has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane existence. ~ Pam Brown
  • There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.
  • A horse is the projection of peoples' dreams about themselves — strong, powerful, beautiful — and it has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane existence.
  • And Allah took a handful of southerly wind, blew His breath over it, and created the horse.... Thou shall fly without wings, and conquer without any sword.
    • Bedouin legend
  • I can make a General in five minutes, but a good horse is hard to replace.
  • Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of Solitaire. It is a grand passion.


  • The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears.
    • Arabian proverb
  • The wagon rests in winter, the sleigh in summer, the horse never.
    • Yiddish proverb
  • A horse is worth more than riches.
    • Spanish proverb
  • The horse is God's gift to mankind.
    • Arabian proverb

External links

Wikipedia has an article about:
Look up horse in Wiktionary, the free dictionary
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Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010
(Redirected to The Horse article)

From Wikisource

The Horse
by Aleksandr Pushkin, translated by Dmitri Smirnov
NOTE: "The Horse" is the last (16th) poem from the cycle "Songs of the Western Slavs" translated by Pushkin from "La Guzla" ("The Guzla", 1827), the collection of Serbian folk ballads in prose published in French by Prosper Mérimée. See the source:.

The Horse

    "My ardent horse, why are you neighing?
Why are you hanging your neck?
Why do you not shake you mane,
Not nibble your bit?
Do I not care for you?
Or don't you eat enough oats?
Is your harness not beautiful?
Is your rein made not of silk?
Are your shoes not of silver?
Are your stirrups not of gilt?"

    The sad horse answers:
"I am so quiet because
I hear the distant trample,
Sound of trumpet and arrow's song;
I am neighing because there is not
Time left for me to walk in the fields,
To live in glory and care
And show my bright harness;
Because soon the cruel enemy
Will take all my harness,
And will tear my silver shoes away
From my weightless feet;
My soul moans because
Instead of the horse-cloth
He will cover my sweaty sides
With your own skin."


Heckert GNU white.svg This work is licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

HORSE (a word common to Teutonic languages in such forms as hors, hros, ros; cf. the Ger. ross), a name properly restricted to the domesticated horse (Equus caballus) and its wild or halfwild representatives, but in a zoological sense used as a general term for all the members of the family Equidae.

Species The distinctive characteristics of the family, and its position in the zoological system, are given in the articles Equidae and Perissodactyla. Here attention is concentrated on the leading features of the horse as contrasted with the other members of the same family, and subsequently on the anatomical structure of the former animal. The evolution of the existing representatives of the family from primitive extinct animals is summarized in the article Equidae.

Horse, Wild Horse, Pony. - The horse (Equus caballus) is distinguished from the others by the long hairs of the tail being more abundant and growing quite or nearly from the base as well as the end and sides, and also by possessing a small bare callosity on the inner side of the hind leg, just below the "hock" or heel joint, in addition to the one on the inner side of the fore-arm above the carpus or " knee," common to all the genus. The mane is also longer and more flowing, and the ears are shorter, the limbs longer, and the head smaller.

Though existing horses are usually not marked in any definite manner, or only irregularly dappled, or spotted with light surrounded by a darker ring, many examples are met with showing a dark median dorsal streak like that found in all the other members of the genus, and even with dark stripes on the shoulders and legs.

Two distinct types of horse, in many instances largely modified by interbreeding, appear to exist. (I) The northern, or dun type, represented by the dun ponies of Norway (Equus caballus typicus), the closely allied Celtic pony (E. c.celticus) of Iceland, the Hebrides, &c., and the wild pony of Mongolia (E. c. przewalskii), with which the now extinct tarpan of the Russian steppes appears to have been identical. The prevalent colour is yellowdun, with dark brown or black mane, tail and legs; in the wild forms the muzzle is often white and the root of the tail shorthaired; while the head is relatively large and heavy. No depression exists in the skull in front of the eye. Most of the ordinary horses of N.W. Europe are descended from the dun type; with more or less admixture of Barb blood. (2) The southern, or Barb type, represented by Barbs, Arabs, thoroughbreds, &c. (E. c. asiaticus or libycus), in which the typical colour is bay with black " points " and often a white star on the forehead, and the mane and tail are long and full. The skull generally shows a slight depression in front of the socket of the eye, which, although now serving as the attachment for the muscle running to the nostril, may represent the face-gland of the extinct Hipparion. Many of the dark-coloured horses of Europe have Barb or Arab blood in their veins, this being markedly the case with the Old English black or Shire horse, the skull of which shows a distinct depression in front of the eye-socket. This depression is still more marked in the extinct Indian E. sivalensis, which may have been the ancestral form.

In Europe wild horses were abundant in the prehistoric Neolithic or polished-stone period. Judging from the quantity of their remains found associated with those of the men of that time, the chase of these animals must have been among man's chief occupations, and horses must have furnished him with one of his most important food-supplies. The characters of the bones preserved, and certain rude but graphic representations carved on bones or reindeers' antlers, enable us to know that they were rather small in size and heavy in build, with large heads and rough shaggy manes and tails, much like, in fact, the recently extinct tarpans or wild horses of the steppes of the south of Russia, and the still-surviving Mongolian wild pony or " Przewalski's horse." These horses were domesticated by the inhabitants of Europe before the dawn of history. Horses are now diffused by the agency of man throughout almost the whole of the inhabited parts of the globe, and the great modifications they have undergone in consequence of domestication, crossing, and selective breeding are well exemplified by comparing such extreme forms as the Shetland pony, dwarfed by uncongenial climate, the thoroughbred racer, and the London dray-horse. In Australia, as in America, horses imported by European settlers have escaped into unreclaimed lands and multiplied to a prodigious extent, roaming in vast herds over the wide and uncultivated plains.

Table of contents

Ass, Zebra, Quagga

The next group is formed by the Asiatic wild asses, or kiangs and onagers, as they might well be called, in order to distinguish them from tl}e wild asses of Africa. These asses have moderate ears, the tail rather long, and the back-stripe dark brown and running from head to tail. On the neck and withers this stripe is formed by the mane. There are two species of Asiatic wild ass, with several varieties. The first and largest has two races, the chigetai (Equus hemionus) of Mongolia, and the kiang (E. h. kiang) of Tibet; which is a redder animal. The onager (E. onager), of which there are several races, is smaller, with a broader dorsal stripe, bordered with white; the colour varying from sandy to greyish. This species ranges from Baluchistan and N.W. India to Persia, Syria and Arabia. These asses inhabit desert plains or open table-land; the kiang dwelling at elevations of about 14,000 ft. They are generally found in herds of from twenty to forty, although occasionally in larger numbers. All are fleet, and traverse rough ground with speed. On the lowlands they feed on dry grasses, and in Tibet on small woody plants. In India and Persia they are difficult to approach, although this is not the case in Tibet. Their sandy or chestnut colouring assimilates them to the horse, and separates them widely from the African wild asses, which are grey. The kiang has also larger and more horse-like hoofs, and the tail is haired higher up, thus approximating to Equus caballus przewalskii. Among the striped species, or zebras and quaggas of Africa, the large Grevy's zebra (Equus grevyi) of Somaliland and Abyssinia stands apart from the rest by the number and narrowness of its stripes, which have an altogether peculiar arrangement on the hind-quarters, the small size of the callosities on the fore-legs, the mane extending on to the withers and enormous rounded ears, thickly haired internally. The large size of the ears and the narrow stripes are in some degree at any rate adaptations to a life on scrub-clad plains.

Next comes the closely allied species with small pointed ears, of which the true quagga (E. quagga) of South Africa is now extinct. This animal has the dark stripes limited to the .head, neck and shoulders, upon a brown ground. In the typical form, now also extinct, of the bonte-quagga, dauw, or Burchell's zebra (E. burchelli), the ground-colour is white, and the stripes cover the body and upper part of the limbs. This was the commonest species in the great plains of South Africa, where it roamed in large herds, often in company with the quagga and numerous antelopes. The species ranges from the Orange river to the confines of Abyssinia, but its more northern representatives show a gradual increase in the striping of the legs, culminating in the north-east African E. burchelli granti, in which the stripes extend to the hoofs. The markings, too, are alternately black and white, in place of brown and creamy, with intermediate " shadow stripes," as in the southern races.

Lastly, there is the true or mountain zebra (E. zebra), typically from the mountain ranges of Cape Colony, where it is now specially protected, but represented by E. zebra penricei in south-west Africa. In its relatively long ears and general build it approaches the African wild asses, from which it chiefly differs by the striping (which is markedly different from that of the quagga-group) and the reversal of the direction of the hairs along the spine.

The African wild ass (E. asinus) is the parent of the domesticated breed, and is a long-eared grey animal, with no forelock, and either a shoulder-stripe or dark barrings on the legs. There are two races, of which the Nubian E. a. africanus is the smaller, and has a continuous dorsal stripe and a shoulder-stripe but no bars on the legs. The Somali race (E. a somaliensis), on the other hand, is a larger and greyer animal, with an interrupted dorsal and no shoulder-stripe, but distinct leg-barrings.


There are thus eight modifications of the horse-type at present existing, sufficiently distinct to be reckoned as species by most zoologists, and easily recognizable by their external characters. They are, however, all so closely allied that'each will, at least in a state of domestication or captivity, breed with any of the others. Cases of fertile union are recorded between the horse and the quagga, the horse and the bonte-quagga or Burchell's zebra, the horse and the onager and kiang or Asiatic wild asses, the common ass and the zebra, the ass and bontequagga, the ass and the onager, the onager and the zebra, and the onager and the bonte-quagga. The two species which are farthest removed in structure, the horse and the ass, produce, as is well known, hybrids or mules, which in certain qualities useful to man excel both their progenitors, and in some countries and for certain kinds of work are in greater requisition than either. Although occasional more or less doubtful instances have been recorded of female mules breeding with the males of one or other of the pure species, it is more than doubtful if any case has occurred of their breeding inter se, although the opportunities of doing so must have been great, as mules have been reared in immense numbers for at least several thousands of years. We may therefore consider it settled that the different species of the group are now in that degree of physiological differentiation which enables them to produce offspring with each other, but does not permit of the progeny continuing the race, at all events unless reinforced by the aid of one of the pure forms.

The several members of the group show mental differences quite as striking as those exhibited by their external form, and more than perhaps might be expected from the similarity of their brains. The patience of the ass, the high spirit of the horse, the obstinacy of the mule, have long been proverbial. It is very remarkable that, out of so many species, two only should have XIII. 2 3 a shown any aptitude for domestication, and that these should have been from time immemorial the universal and most useful companions and servants of man, while all the others remain in their native freedom to this day. It is, however, still a question whether this really arises from a different mental constitution causing a natural capacity for entering into relations with man, or whether it may not be owing to their having been brought gradually into this condition by long-continued and persevering efforts when the need of their services was felt. It is possible that one reason why most of the attempts to add new species to the list of our domestic animals in modern times have ended in failure is that it does not answer to do so in cases in which existing species supply all the principal purposes to which the new ones might be put. It can hardly be expected that zebras and bontequaggas fresh from their native mountains and plains can be brought into competition as beasts of burden and draught with horses and asses, whose useful qualities have been augmented by the training of thousands of generations of progenitors.

Not infrequently instances occur of domestic horses being produced with a small additional toe with complete hoof, usually on the inside of the principal toe, and, though far more rarely, three or more toes may be present. These malformations are often cited as instances of reversion to the condition of some of the earlier forms of equine animals previously mentioned. In some instances, however, the feet of such polydactyle horses bear little resemblance to those of the extinct Hipparion or Anchitherium, but look rather as if due to that tendency to reduplication of parts which occurs so frequently as a monstrous condition, especially among domesticated animals, and which, whatever its origin, certainly cannot in many instances, as the cases of entire limbs superadded, or of six digits in man, be attributed to reversion.

Anatomy The anatomical structure of the horse has been described in detail in several works mentioned in the bibliography at the end of this section, though these have generally been written from the point of view of the veterinarian rather than of the comparative anatomist. The limits of the present article will only admit of the most salient points being indicated, particularly those in which the horse differs from other Ungulata. Unless otherwise specified, it must be understood that all that is stated here, although mostly derived from observation upon the horse, applies equally well to the other existing members of the group.


The skull as a whole is greatly elongated, chiefly in consequence of the immense size of the face as compared with the hinder or true cranial portion. The basal line of the cranium from the lower border of the foramen magnum to the incisor border of the palate is nearly straight. The orbit, of nearly circular form, though small in proportion to the size of the whole skull, is distinctly marked, being completely surrounded by a strong ring of bone with prominent edges. Behind it, and freely communicating with it beneath the osseous bridge (the post-orbital process of the frontal) forming the boundary between them, is the small temporal fossa occupying the whole of the side of the cranium proper, and in front is the great flattened expanse of the " cheek," formed chiefly by the maxilla, giving support to the long row of cheek-teeth, and having a prominent ridge running forward from below the orbit for the attachment of the masseter muscle. The lachrymal occupies a considerable space on the flat surface of the cheek in front of the orbit, and below it the jugal does the same. The latter sends a horizontal or slightly ascending process backwards below the orbit to join the under surface of the zygomatic process of the squamosal, which is remarkably large, and instead of ending as usual behind the orbit, runs forwards to join the greatly developed post-orbital process of the frontal, and even forms part of the posterior and inferior boundary of the orbit, an arrangement not met with in other mammals. The closure of the orbit behind distinguishes the skull of the horse from that of its allies the rhinoceros and tapir, and also from all of the perissodactyles of the Eocene period. In front of the brain cavity, the great tubular nasal cavities are provided with well-developed turbinal bones, and are roofed over by large nasals, broad behind, and ending in front in a narrow decurved point. The opening of the anterior nostrils is prolonged backwards on each side of the face between the nasals and the elongated slender premaxillae. The latter expand in front, and are curved downwards to form the semicircular alveolar border which supports the large incisor teeth. The palate is narrow in the interval between the incisor and molar teeth, in which are situated the large anterior palatine foramina. Between the molar teeth it is broader, and it ends posteriorly in a rounded excavated border opposite the hinder border of the penultimate molar tooth. It is mainly formed by the maxillae, as the palatines are very narrow. The pterygoids are delicate slender slips of bone attached to the hinder border of the palatines, and supported externally by, and generally welded with, the rough pterygoid plates of the alisphenoid, with no pterygoid fossa between. They slope obliquely forwards, and end in curved, compressed, hamular processes. There is a distinct alisphenoid canal for the passage of the internal maxillary artery. The base of the cranium is long and narrow; the alisphenoid is very obliquely perforated by the foramen rotundum, but the foramen ovale is confluent with the large foramen lacerum medium behind. The glenoid surface for the articulation of the mandible is greatly extended transversely, concave from side to side, convex from before backwards in front, and hollow behind, and is bounded posteriorly at its inner part by a prominent post-glenoid process. The squamosal enters considerably into the formation of the temporal fossa, and, besides sending the zygomatic process forwards, it sends down behind the meatus auditorius a post-tympanic process which aids to hold in place the otherwise loose tympano-periotic bone. Behind this the exoccipital gives off a long paroccipital process.

FIG. I. - Side view of Skull of Horse, with the bone removed so as to expose the whole of the teeth.

PMx, Premaxilla. c, The canine tooth.

Mx, Maxilla. pm', The situation of the rudi Na, Nasal bone. mentary first premolar, Ma, Jugal or malar bone. which has been lost in L, Lacrymal bone. the lower, but is present Fr, Frontal bone. in the upper jaw.

Sq, Squamosal bone. pmt, p m 3, and pm', The three Pa, Parietal bone. fully developed pre oc, Occipital condyle. molar teeth.

pp, Paroccipital process. m', m 2, and m 3, The three true and The three incisor teeth. molar teeth.

The periotic and tympanic are welded together, but not with the squamosal. The former has a wide but shallow floccular fossa on its inner side, and sends backwards a considerable " pars mastoidea," which appears on the outer surface of the skull between the posttympanic process of the squamosal and the exoccipital. The tympanic forms a tubular meatus auditorius externus directed outwards and slightly backwards. It is not dilated into a distinct bulla, but ends in front in a pointed rod-like process. It completely embraces the truncated cylindrical tympanohyal, which is of great size, corresponding with the large development of the whole anterior arch of the hyoid. This consists mainly of a long and compressed stylohyal, expanded at the upper end, where it sends off a triangular posterior process. The basi-hyal is remarkable for the long, median, pointed, compressed " glossohyal " process, which it sends forward from its anterior border into the base of the tongue. A similar but less developed process is found in the rhinoceros and tapir. The lower jaw is large, especially the region of the angle, which is expanded and flattened, giving great surface for the attachment of the masseter muscle. The condyle is greatly elevated above the alveolar border; its articular surface is very wide transversely, and narrow and convex from before backwards. The coronoid process is slender, straight, and inclined backwards. The horizontal ramus, long, straight, and compressed, gradually narrows towards the symphysis, where it expands laterally to form with the ankylosed opposite ramus the wide, semicircular, shallow alveolar border for the incisor teeth.

The vertebral column consists of seven cervical, eighteen dorsal, six lumbar, five sacral, and fifteen to eighteen caudal vertebrae.

There may be nineteen rib-bearing vertebrae, in which case five only will be reckoned as belonging to the lumbar series. The odontoid process of the axis is wide, flat, and hollowed above, as in the ruminants. The bodies of the cervical vertebrae are elongated, strongly keeled, and markedly opisthocoelous, or concave behind and convex in front. The neural laminae are broad, the spines almost obsolete, except in the seventh, and the transverse processes not largely developed. In the trunk vertebrae the opisthocoelous character of the centrum graduall y diminishes. The spinous processes of the anterior thoracic region are high and compressed. To these is attached the powerful elastic ligament (ligamentum nuchae, or " paxwax ") which, passing forwards in the middle line of the neck above the neural arches of the cervical vertebrae - to which it is also connected - is attached to the occiput and supports the weight of the head. The transverse processes of the lumbar vertebrae are long, flattened, and project horizontally outwards or slightly forward from the arch. The metapophyses are moderately developed, and there are no anapophyses. The caudal vertebrae, except those quite at the base, are slender and cylindrical, without processes and without chevron bones beneath. The ribs are eighteen or nineteen in number on each side, flattened, and united to the sternum by short, stout, tolerably well ossified sternal ribs. The sternum consists of six pieces; the anterior or presternum is compressed and projects forwards like the prow of a boat. The segments which follow gradually widen, and tie hinder part of the sternum is broad and flat.

As in all other ungulates, there are no clavicles. The scapula is long and slender, the supra-scapular border being rounded, and slowly and imperfectly ossified. The spine is very slightly developed; rather above the middle its edge is thickened and somewhat turned backwards, but it gradually subsides at the lower extremity without forming any acromial process. The coracoid is a prominent rounded nodule. The humerus is stout and rather short. The ulna is rudimentary, being represented by little more than the olecranon. The shaft gradually tapers below and is firmly welded to the radius. The latter bone is of nearly equal width throughout. The three bones of the first row of the carpus (scaphoid, lunar and cuneiform) are subequal in size. The second row consists of a broad and flat magnum, supporting the great third metacarpal, having to its radial side the trapezoid, and to its ulnar side the unciform, which are both small, and articulate inferiorally with the rudimentary second and fourth metacarpals. The pisiform is large and prominent, flattened and curved; it articulates partly with the cuneiform and partly with the lower end of the radius. The large metacarpal is called in veterinary anatomy " cannon bone"; the small lateral metacarpals, which gradually taper towards their lower extremities, and lie in close contact with the large one, are called " splint bones." The single digit consists of a moderate-sized proximal (os suffraginis, or large pastern), a short middle (os coronae, or small pastern), and a wide, semi-lunar, ungual phalanx (os pedis, or coffin bone). There is a pair of large nodular sesamoids behind the metacarpo-phalangeal articulation, and a single large transversely-extended sesamoid behind the joint between the second and third phalanx, called the " navicular bone." The carpal joint, corresponding to the wrist of man, is commonly called the " knee " of the horse, the joint between the metacarpal and the first phalanx the " fetlock," that between the first and second phalanges the " pastern," and that between the second and third phalanges the " coffin joint." In the hinder limb the femur is marked, as in other perissodactyles, by the presence of a " third trochanter," a flattened process, curving forwards and arising from the outer side of the bone, about one-third of the distance from the upper end. The fibula is reduced to a mere rod-like rudiment of the upper end. The lower part is absent or completely fused with the tibia. The calcaneum has a long and compressed calcaneal process. The astragalus has a large flat articular surface in front for the navicular, and a small one for the cuboid. The navicular and the external cuneiform bones are broad and flat. The cuboid is small, and the internal and middle cuneiform bones are small and united together. The metapodals and phalanges resemble very closely those of the fore limb, but the principal metatarsal is more laterally compressed at its upper end than is the corresponding metacarpal. The joint between the femur and tibia, corresponding to the knee of man, is called the " stifle-joint "; that between the tibia and tarsus, corresponding to the ankle of man, the " hock." The bones and joints of the foot have the same names as in the fore limb. The horse is eminently " digitigrade," standing on the extremity of the single digit of each foot, which is kept habitually in a position approaching to vertical.

The muscles of the limbs are modified from those of the ordinary mammalian type in accordance with the reduced condition of the bones and the simple requirements of flexion and extension of the joints, no such actions as pronation and supination, or opposition of digits, being possible or needed. The muscles therefore which perform these functions in other quadrupeds are absent or rudimentary.

Below the carpal and tarsal joints, the fore and hind limbs correspond almost exactly in structure as well as function. On the anterior or extensor surface of the limb a powerful tendon (7 in fig. 2), that of the anterior extensor of the phalanges (corresponding to the extensor communis digitorum of the arm and extensor longus digitorum of the foot of man) passes down over the metacarpal bone and phalanges, to be inserted mainly into the upper edge of the anterior surface of the last phalanx or pedal bone. There is also a much smaller second extensor on the outer side of this in each limb, the lateral extensor of the phalanges. In the fore-leg the tendon of this muscle (which corresponds with the extensor minimi digiti of man) receives a slip from that of the principal extensor, and is inserted into the first phalanx. In the hind-leg (where it is the homologue apparently of the peroneus brevis of man) the tendon becomes blended with that of the large extensor.

A strong ligamentous band behind the metapodium, arising from near the upper extremity of its posterior surface, divides into two at its lower end, and each division, being first connected with one of the paired upper sesamoid bones, passes by the side of the first phalanx to join the extensor tendon of the phalanges. This is called in veterinary anatomy the " suspensory ligament of the sesamoids," or of the " fetlock " (io in fig. 2); but its attachments and relations, as well as the occasional presence of muscular fibres in its substance, show that it is the homologue of the interosseous muscles of other mammals, modified in structure and function, to s ' '16 FIG. 2. - Section of Foot of Horse.

2, First phalanx (os suffraginis). 1, Metacarpal bone. I o, Suspensory ligament of fetlock.

3, Second phalanx (os coronae). Inferior or short sesamoid s, Third or ungual phalanx (os ligament.

pedis, or coffin bone). 12, Derma or skin of the foot, 5, One of the upper sesamoid covered with hair, and continued into bones.

6, Lower sesamoid or navicular 13, The coronary cushion, bone. 14, The podophyllous or laminar 7, Tendon of anterior extensor membrane, and of the phalanges. 15, The keratogenous membrane 8, Tendon of superficial flexor of the sole.

(fl. perforatus). 16, Plantar cushion.

17, Hoof.

9, Tendon of deep flexor (fl. perforans). 18, Fatty cushion of fetlock. suit the requirements of the horse's foot. Behind or superficial to this are placed the two strong tendons of the flexor muscles, the most superficial, or flexor perforatus (8) dividing to allow the other to pass through, and then inserted into the middle phalanx. The flexor perforans (9) is as usual inserted into the terminal phalange. In the fore-leg these muscles correspond with those similarly named in man. In the hind-leg, the perforated tendon is a continuation of that of the plantaris, passing pulley-wise over the tuberosity of the calcaneum. The perforating tendon is derived from the muscle corresponding with the long flexor of man, and the smaller tendon of the oblique flexor (tibialis porticus of man) is united with it.

The hoof of the horse corresponds to the nail or claw of other mammals, but is so constructed as to form a complete and solid case to the expanded termination of the toe, giving a firm basis of support formed of a non-sensitive substance, which is continually renewed by the addition of material from within, as its surface wears away by friction. The terminal phalange of the toe is greatly enlarged and modified in form to support this hoof, and the size of the internal framework of the foot is increased by a pair of lateral fibro-cartilaginous masses attached on each side to the hinder edges of the bone, and by a fibro-cellular and fatty plantar cushion in the median part. These structures are all enclosed in the middle subcorneous integument, a continuation of the ordinary skin of the limb, but extremely vascular, and having its superficial extent greatly increased by being developed into papillae or laminae. From this the horny material which constitutes the hoof is exuded. A thickened ring encircling the upper part, called coronary cushion (13) and the sole (15), are covered with numerous thickly-set 17 papillae or villi, and take the greatest share in the formation of the hoof; the intermediate part constituting the front and side of the foot (14), corresponding with the wall of the hoof, is covered with parallel, fine longitudinal laminae, which fit into corresponding depressions in the inner side of the horny hoof.

The horny hoof is divided into a wall or crust consisting of the front and sides, the flattened or concave sole, and the frog, a triangular median prominence, notched posteriorly, with the apex turned forwards, situated in the hinder part of the sole. It is formed of pavement epithelial cells, mainly grouped in a concentric manner around the vascular papillae of the subcorneous integument, so that a section near the base of the hoof, cut transversely to the long axis of these papillae, shows a number of small circular or oval orifices, with cells arranged concentrically round them. The nearer the surface of the hoof, or farther removed from the seat of growth, the more indistinct the structure becomes.

Small round or oval plates of horny epithelium called " chestnuts," callosities growing like the hoof from enlarged papillae of the skin, are found on the inner face of the fore-arm, above the carpal joint in all species of Equidae, and in the horse (E. caballus) similar structures occur near the upper extremity of the inner face of the metatarsus. They are evidently rudimentary structures which it is suggested may represent glands (Lydekker, Proc. Zool. Soc. London, 1903, vol. i.).


The dentition of the horse, when all the teeth are in place, is expressed by the formula i. 3, c. i, p., m. 3 = 44. The incisors of each jaw are placed in close contact, forming a semicircle. The crowns are broad, somewhat awl-shaped, and of nearly equal size. They have all the great peculiarity, not found in the teeth of any other mammal, and only in the Equidae of comparatively recent geological periods (see also Palaeontology), of an involution of the external surface of the tooth (see fig. 3), by which what should properly be the apex is carried deeply into the interior of the crown, forming a pit, the bottom of which becomes partially filled with cement. As the tooth wears, the surface, besides the external enamel C"' :? \°' layer as in an ordinary ?..,r simple tooth, shows in addition a second inner ring of the same hard substance surrounding the pit, which adds greatly to the efficiency of the tooth as an organ for biting tough, fibrous substances. This pit, generally filled in the living animal with particles of food, is FIG. 3 - Longitudinal and Transverse Section dark from its 3 - g dark colour, and con of Upper Incisor of Horse. stitutes the " mark " p, Pulp cavity. by which the age of d, Dentine or ivory. the horse is judged, e, Enamel. as in consequence of c, Outer layer of cementum or crusta petrosa. its only extending to c', Inner layer of cementum, lining a, the pit a certain depth in or cavity of the crown of the tooth. the crown it becomes obliterated as the latter wears away, and then the tooth assumes the character of that of an ordinary incisor, consisting only of a core of dentine, surrounded by the external enamel layer. It is not quite so deep in the lower as in the upper teeth. The canines are either rudimentary or absent in the female. In the male they are compressed, pointed, and smaller than the incisors, from which they are separated by a slight interval. The teeth of the cheek series are all in contact with each other, but separated from the canines by a considerable toothless space. The anterior premolars are quite rudimentary, sometimes not developed at all, and generally fall by the time the animal attains maturity, so that there are but six functional cheek teeth, - three that have predecessors in the milk-dentition, and hence are considered as premolars, and three molars, but otherwise, except the first and last of the series, not distinguishable in form or structure. These teeth in both upper and lower jaws are extremely long-crowned or hypsodont, successive portions being pushed out as the surface wears away, a process which continues until the animal becomes advanced in age. The enamelled surface is infolded in a complex manner (a modification of that found in other perissodactyles), the folds extending quite to the base of the crown, and the interstices being filled and the surface covered with a considerable mass of cement, which binds together and strengthens the whole tooth. As the teeth wear, the folded enamel, being harder than the other constituents, the dentine and cement, forms projecting ridges on the surface arranged in a definite pattern, which give it great efficiency as a grinding instrument (see fig. 2, in article Equidae). The free surfaces of the upper teeth are quadrate, except the first and last, which are nearly triangular. The lower teeth are much narrower than the upper.

The milk-dentition consists of i. g, c. a, m. g =24, - the canines and first or rudimentary premolars having apparently no predecessors. In form and structure the milk-teeth much resemble the permanent ones, having the same characteristic enamel-foldings. Their eruption commences a few days after birth, and is complete before the end of the first year, the upper teeth usually appearing somewhat earlier than the lower. The first teeth which appear are the first and second milk-molars (about five days), then the central incisor (from seven to ten days); this is followed by the second incisor (at one month), then the third molar, and finally the third incisor. Of the permanent teeth the first molar appears a little after the end of the first year, followed by the second molar before the end of the second year. At about two and a half years the first premolar replaces its predecessor. Between two and a half and three years the first incisor appears. At three years the second and third premolars, and the third molar have appeared, at from three and a half to four years the second incisor, at four to four and a half years the canine, and, finally, at five years, the third incisor, completing the permanent dentition. Up to this period the age of the horse is clearly shown by the condition of dentition, and for some time longer indications can be obtained from the wear of the incisors, though this depends to a certain extent upon the hardness of the food or other circumstances. As a general rule, the depression caused by the infolding of the surface of the incisor (the " mark ") is obliterated in the first or central incisor at six years, in the second at seven years, and in the third at eight years. In the upper teeth, as the depressions are deeper, this obliteration does not take place until about two years later. After this period no certain indications can be obtained of the age of the horse from the teeth.

Digestive Organs

The lips are flexible and prehensile; and the membrane that lines them and the cheeks smooth. The palate is long and narrow; its mucous surface has seventeen pairs of not very sharply defined oblique ridges, extending as far back as the last molar tooth, beyond which the velum palati extends for about 3 in., having a soft corrugated surface, and ending posteriorly in an arched border without a uvula. This embraces the base of the epiglottis, and, except while swallowing food, shuts off all communication between the cavity of the mouth and the pharynx, respiration being, under ordinary circumstances, exclusively through the nostrils. Between the mucous membrane and the bone of the hard palate is a dense vascular and nervous plexus. The membrane lining the jaws is soft and corrugated. An elongated raised glandular mass, 3 in. long and 1 in. from above downwards, extending backwards from the root of the tongue along the side of the jaws, with openings on the surface leading into crypts with glandular walls, represents the tonsil. The tongue, corresponding to the form of the mouth, is long and narrow. It consists of a compressed intermolar portion with a flat upper surface, broad behind and becoming narrower in front, and of a depressed anterior part rather shorter than the former, which is narrow behind and widens towards the evenly rounded apex. The dorsal surface generally is soft and smooth. There are two large circumvallate papillae near the base, rather irregular in form, about a quarter of an inch in diameter and half an inch apart. The conical papillae are small and close set, though longer and more filamentous on the intermolar portion. There are no fungiform papillae on the dorsum, but a few inconspicuous ones scattered along the sides of the organ.

Of the salivary glands the parotid is by far the largest, elongated in the vertical direction, and narrower in the middle than at either end. Its upper extremity embraces the lower surface of the cartilaginous ear-conch; its lower end reaches the level of the inferior margin of the mandible, along the posterior margin of which it is placed. Its duct leaves the inferior anterior angle, at first descends a little, and runs forward under cover of the rounded inferior border of the lower jaw, then curves up along the anterior margin of the masseter muscle, becoming superficial, pierces the buccinator, and enters the mouth by a simple aperture opposite the middle of the crown of the third premolar tooth. It is not quite so thick as a goosequill when distended, and nearly a foot in length.

The submaxillary gland is of very similar texture to the last, but much smaller; it is placed deeper, and lies with its main axis horizontal. It is elongated and slender, and flattened from within outwards. Its posterior end rests against the anterior surface of the transverse process of the atlas, from which it extends forwards and downwards, slightly curved, to beneath the ramus of the jaw. The duct which runs along its upper and internal border passes forwards in the usual course, lying in the inner side of the sublingual gland, to open on the outer surface of a distinct papilla, situated on the floor of the mouth, half an inch from the middle line, and midway between the lower incisor teeth and the attachment of the fraenum linguae. The sublingual is represented by a mass of glands lying just beneath the mucous membrane of the floor of the mouth on the side of the tongue, causing a distinct ridge, extending from the fraenum backwards, the numerous ducts opening separately along the summit of the ridge. The buccal glands are arranged in two ?., rows parallel with the molar teeth. The upper ones are the largest, and are continuous anteriorly with the labial glands, the ducts of which open on the mucous membrane of the upper lip.

The stomach of the horse is simple in its external form, with a largely developed right cul de sac, and is a good deal curved on itself, so that the cardiac and pyloric orifices are brought near together. The antrum pyloricum is small and not very distinctly marked. The interior is divided by the character of the lining membrane into two distinct portions, right and left. Over the latter the dense white smooth epithelial lining of the oesophagus is continued, terminating abruptly by a raised crenulated border. Over the right part the mucous membrane has a greyish-red colour and a velvety appearance, and contains numerous peptic glands, which are wanting in the cardiac portion. The oesophageal orifice is small, and guarded by a strong crescentic or horseshoe-like band of muscular fibres, supposed to be the cause of the difficulty of vomiting in the horse. The small intestine is of great length (80 to 90 ft.), its mucous membrane being covered with numerous fine villi. The caecum is of conical form, about 2 ft. long and nearly a foot in diameter; its walls are sacculated, especially near the base, having four longitudinal muscular bands; and its capacity is about twice that of the stomach. It lies with its base near the lower part of the abdomen, and its apex directed towards the thorax. The colon is about one-third the length of the small intestine, and very capacious in the greater part of its course. As usual it may be divided into an ascending, transverse, and descending portion; but the middle or transverse portion is folded into a great loop, which descends as low as the pubis; so that the colon forms altogether four folds, generally parallel to the long axis of the body. The descending colon is much narrower than the rest, and not sacculated, and, being considerably longer than the distance it has to traverse, is thrown into numerous folds.

The liver is tolerably symmetrical in general arrangement, being divided nearly equally into segments by a well-marked umbilical fissure. Each segment is again divided by lateral fissures, which do not extend quite to the posterior border of the organ; of the central lobes thus cut off, the right is rather the larger, and has two fissures in its free border dividing it into lobules. The extent of these varies, however, in different individuals. The two lateral lobes are subtriangular in form. The Spigelian lobe is represented by a flat surface between the postal fissure and the posterior border, not distinctly marked off from the left lateral by a fissure of the ductus venosus, as this vessel is buried deep in the hepatic substance, but the caudate lobe is distinct and tongue-shaped, its free apex reaching nearly to the border of the right lateral lobe. There is no gallbladder, and the biliary duct enters the duodenum about 6 in. from the pylorus. The pancreas has two lobes or branches, a long one passing to the left and reaching the spleen, and a shorter right lobe. The principal duct enters the duodenum with the bileduct, and there is often a second small duct opening separately.

Circulatory and Respiratory Organs

The heart has the form of a rather elongated and pointed cone. There is one anterior vena cava, formed by the union of the two jugular and two axillary veins. The aorta gives off a large branch (the anterior aorta) very near its origin, from which arise - first, the left axillary, and afterwards the right axillary and the two carotid arteries.

Under ordinary circumstances the horse breathes entirely by the nasal passages, the communication between the larynx and the mouth being closed by the velum palati. The nostrils are placed laterally, near the termination of the muzzle, and are large and dilatable, being bordered by cartilages upon which several muscles act. Immediately within the opening of the nostril, the respiratory canal sends off on its upper and outer side a blind pouch (" false nostril ") of conical form, and curved, 2 to 3 in. in depth, lying in the notch formed between the nasal and premaxillary bones. It is lined by mucous membrane continuous with that of the nasal passage; its use is not apparent. It is longer in the ass than in the horse. Here may be mentioned the guttural pouches, large airsacs from the Eustachian tubes, and lying behind the upper part of the pharynx, the function of which is also not understood. The larynx has the lateral sacculi well developed, though entirely concealed within the alae of the thyroid cartilage. The trachea divides into two bronchi.

Nervous System

The brain differs little, except in details of arrangement of convolutions, from that of other ungulates. The hemispheres are rather elongated and subcylindrical, the olfactory lobes are large and project freely in front of the' hemispheres, and the greater part of the cerebellum is uncovered. The eye is provided with a nictitating membrane or third eyelid, at the base of which open the ducts of the Harderian gland.

Reproductive System

The testes are situated in a distinct sessile or slightly pedunculated scrotum, into which they descend from the sixth to the tenth month after birth. The accessory generative glands are the two vesiculae seminales, with the median third vesicle, or uterus masculinus, lying between them, the single bilobed prostate, and a pair of globular Cowper's glands. The penis is very large, cylindrical, with a truncated, expanded, flattened termination. When in a state of repose it is retracted, by a muscle arising from the sacrum, within the prepuce, a cutaneous fold attached below the symphysis pubis.

The uterus is bicornuate. The vagina is often partially divided by a membraneous septum or hymen. The teats are two, inguinally placed. The surface of the chorion is covered evenly with minute villi, constituting a diffuse non-deciduate placenta. The period of gestation is eleven months.

Authorities. -R. I. Pocock, " The Species and Subspecies of Zebras," Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. ser. 6, vol. xx., 1897, and " A New Arrangement of the Existing Species of Equidae," Op. cit. ser. 7, vol. x., 1902; R. Lydekker, " Notes on the specimens of Wild Asses in English Collections," Novitates Zoologicae, vol. xi., 1904; B. Salensky, " On Equus przewalskii," Mein. Acad. St Petersburg, 1902; M. S. Arloing, " Organisation du pied chez le cheval," Ann. Sci. Nat., 1867, viii. 55-81; H. Burmeister, Los caballos fosiles de la Pampa Argentina (Buenos Aires, 1875); Chauveau and Arloing, Traite d'anatomie comparee des animaux domestiques (Paris, 1871), and English edition by G. Fleming (1873); A. Ecker, " Das Europaische Wildpferd and dessen Beziehungen zum domesticirten Pferd," Globus, Bd. xxxiv. (Brunswick, 1878); Major Forsyth, " Beitrage zur Geschichte der fossilen Pferde besonders Italiens," Abh. Schw. Pal. Ges. iv. 1-16, pt. iv.; George, " Etudes zool. sur les Hemiones et quelques autres especes chevalines," Ann. Sci. Nat., 1869, xii. 5; E. F. Gurlt, Anatomische Abbildungen der Hausseiugethiere (1824), and Hand. der vergleich. Anat. der Haussciugethiere (2 vols., 1822); Huet, " Croisement des diverses especes du genre cheval," Nouv. Archives du Museum, 2nd ser., tom. ii. p. 46, 1879; Leisering, Atlas der Anatomic des Pferdes (Leipzig, 1861); O. C. Marsh, " Notice of New Equine Mammals from the Tertiary Formation," Am. Journ. of Science and Arts, vol. vii., March 1874; Id., " Fossil Horses in America," Amer. Naturalist, vol. viii., May 1874; Id., " Polydactyle Horses," Am. Journ. Sci. and Arts, vol. xvii., June 1879; Franz Muller, Lehrbuch der Anatomie des Pferdes (Vienna, 1853); R. Owen, " Equine Remains in Cavern of Bruniquel," Phil. Trans. vol. clix., 18 7 0. p. 535; W. Percivall, The Anatomy of the Horse (1832); G. Stubbs, Anatomy of the Horse (1766); W. H. Flower, The Horse (London, 1891); Ridgeway, Origin of the Thoroughbred Horse (1905). (W. H. F; R. L. *) History From the evidence of philology it appears that the horse was already known to the Aryans before the period of their dispersion.' The first mention of the British horse occurs in the well-known passages in Caesar (B.G. iv. 2 4.33, v. 15.16; cf. Pomp. Mela iii. 6), in which he mentions the native " essedarii " and the skill with which they handled their war chariots. We are left quite in the dark as to the character of the animal thus employed; but there would appear to be much probability in the surmise of W. Youatt, who conjectures the horse to have been, " then as ever, the creature of the country in which he lived. With short 1 Compare Sans. acva, Zendish and Old Persian acpa, Lithuanian aszva (mare), Prussian asvinan (mare's milk), O.H. Ger. ehu, A.S. eoh, Icel. ior, Gothic aihos, aihous (?), Old Irish ech, Old Cambrian and Gaelic ep (as in Epona, the horse goddess), Lat. equus, Gr. brrros or 'Zivos. The word seems, however, to have disappeared from the Slavonic languages. The root is probably ak, with the idea of sharpness or swiftness (tiepos, wxus, acus, ocior). See Pott, Etym. Forsch. ii. 256, and Hehn, Kulturpflanzen u. Hausthiere in ihrem Uebergang aus Asien nach Griechenland u. Italien sowie in das iibrige Europa (3rd ed., 1877), p. 38. The last-named author, who points out the absence of the horse from the Egyptian monuments prior to the beginning of the 18th century B.C., and the fact that the earliest references to this animal in Hebrew literature (Judges v. 22, 28; cf. Josh. xi. 4) do not carry us any farther back, is of opinion that the Semitic peoples as a whole were indebted forl the horse to the lands of Iran. He also shows that literature affords no trace of the horse as indigenous to Arabia prior to about the beginning of the 5th century A.D., although references abound in the pre-Islamitic poetry. Horses were not numerous even in Mahomet's time (Sprenger, Leb. Moh. iii. 139, 140). Compare Ignazio Guidi's paper " Della sede primitiva dei popoli Semitici " in the Transactions of the Accademia dei Lincei (1878-1879). Professor W. Ridgeway, in his Origin and Influence of the Thoroughbred Horse (1905), reinvestigated the historical mystery as to the Arab breed, and its connexion with the English thoroughbred stock, but his conclusions have been hotly controverted; archaeology and biology are in fact still in the dark on the subject, but see the section on " Species " above. According to Ridgeway, the original source of the finest equine blood is Africa, still the home of the largest variety of wild Equidae; he concludes that thence it passed into Europe at an early time, to be blended with that of the indigenous Celtic species, and thence into western Asia into the veins of an indigenous Mongolian species, still represented by " Przewalski's horse "; not till a comparatively late period did it reach Arabia, though the " Arab " now represents the purest form of the Libyan blood. The controversy depends upon the consideration of a wealth of detail, which should be studied in Ridgeway's book; but zoological authorities are sceptical as to the suggested species, Equus caballus libycus. fare, and exposed to the rigour of the seasons, he was probably the little hardy thing we yet see him; but in the marshes of the Nen and the Witham, and on the borders of the Tees and the Clyde, there would be as much proportionate development of frame and strength as we find at the present day." After the occupation of the country by the Romans, it appears that the horses of their cavalry were crossed with the native mares, and thus there was infused into the breed new blood, consisting probably of strains from very quarter from which Roman remounts were procured. As to the effect of this cross we are not, however, in a position to judge. We are also quite uncertain as to the extent to which the Jutes and Saxons may in their turn have again introduced a new breed of horses into England; and even to the close of the Anglo-Saxon period of English history allusions to the horse are still very infrequent. The horsthegn we know, however, was from an early period a high court official; and from such a law as that of Athelstan prohibiting the exportation of horses except as presents, it may be inferred that the English breed was not only much valued at home but also in great request abroad.' The period of the Norman Conquest marks an important stage in the history of the British horse. William the Conqueror's own horse was of the Spanish breed, and others of the same kind were introduced by the barons on their estates. But the Norman horses included many varieties, and there is no doubt that to the Conquest the inhabitants of Britain were indebted for a decided improvement in the native horse, as well as for the introduction of several varieties previously unknown. According to Giraldus Cambrensis, Roger de Bellesme, a follower of William I., afterwards created earl of Shrewsbury, imported some stallions from Spain into England; their produce was celebrated by Drayton the poet. It is curious to notice that agriculture seems to be the last use to which the horse has been put. The earliest suggestion that horses were used in agriculture is derived from a piece of the Bayeux tapestry, where a horse is represented as drawing a harrow. This, however, must have been an exceptional case, for we know that oxen were used until a comparatively late time, and that in Wales a law existed forbidding horses to be used for ploughing.

In 11 21 two Eastern horses are said to have been imported, - one of them remaining in England, and the other being sent as a present by King Alexander I. to the church of St Andrews, in Scotland. It has been alleged that these horses were Barbs from Morocco, but a still more likely theory is that they existed only in name, and never reached either England or Scotland. The crusades were probably the means of introducing fresh strains of blood into England, and of giving opportunity for fresh crossings. The Spanish jennet was brought over about 1182. King John gave great encouragement to horse-breeding: one of his earliest efforts was to import a hundred Flemish stallions, and, having thus paved the way for improving the breed of agricultural horses, he set about acquiring a valuable stud for his own use.

Edward III. was likewise an admirer of the horse; he procured fifty Spanish horses, probably jennets. At this time there was evidently a tendency to breed a somewhat lighter and speedier horse; but, while the introduction of a more active animal would soon have led to the displacement of the ponderous but powerful cavalry horse then in use, the substituted variety would have been unable to carry the weight of armour with which horse and rider were alike protected; and so in the end the old breed was kept up for a time. With the object of preserving to England whatever advantages might accrue from her care and skill in breeding an improved stamp of horses, Edward III. forbade their exportation; they consequently improved so rapidly in value that Richard II. compelled dealers to limit their prices to a fixed maximum. In the ninth year of his reign, Edward received from the king of Navarre a present 1 Some fragments of legislation relating to the horse about this period may be gleaned from Ancient Laws and Institutes of England (fol., London, 1840), and Ancient Laws and Institutes of Wales (fol., London, 1841).

of two running horses, supposed to have been valuable. The wars of 1346 checked the improvement of horses, and undid much of what had been previously accomplished, for we read that the cavalry taken into France by Edward III. were but indifferently mounted, and that in consequence he had to purchase large numbers of foreign horses from Hainault and elsewhere for remounts. The reign of Richard III. does not seem to have been remarkable for the furtherance of horse-breeding; but it was then that post-horses and stages were introduced.

Our information on the whole subject is but scanty down to the reign of Henry VII., who continued the enactment against the exportation of stallions, but relaxed it in the case of mares above two years old. His object was to retain the best horses in the country, and to keep the price of them down by limiting the demand and encouraging the supply. In his reign gelding is believed to have had its origin, on account of numerous herds of horses belonging to different proprietors grazing together, especially in time of harvest. Henry VIII. was particularly careful that horse-breeding should be conducted on sight principles, and his enactments, if somewhat arbitrary, were singularly to the point. In the thirty-second year of this reign, the " bill for the breed of horses " was passed, the preamble of which runs thus: - " Forasmuch as the generation and breed of good and strong horses within this realm extendeth not only to a great help and defence of the same, but also is a great commodity and profit to the inhabitants thereof, which is now much decayed and diminished, by reason that, in forests, chases, moors and waste grounds within this realm, little stoned horses and nags of small stature and of little value be not only suffered to pasture thereupon, but also to cover mares feeding there, whereof cometh in manner no profit or commodity." Section 2 of the act provides that no entire horse being above the age of two years, and not being of the height of 15 " handfulls," shall be put to graze on any common or waste land in certain counties; any one was to be at liberty to seize a horse of unlawful height, and those whose duty it was to measure horses, but who refused to do so, were to be fined 40s. By section 6 all forests, chases, commons, &c., were to be " driven " within fifteen days of Michaelmas day, and all horses, mares and colts not giving promise of growing into serviceable animals, or of producing them, were to be killed. The aim of the act was to prevent breeding from animals not calculated to produce the class of horse suited to the needs of the country. By another act (27 Henry VIII. chapter 6), after stating that the " breed of good strong horses " was likely to diminish, it was ordered that the owners of all parks and enclosed grounds of the extent of one mile should keep two mares 13 hands high for breeding purposes, or, if the extent of the ground was 4 m., four mares. The statute was not to extend to the counties of Westmorland, Cumberland, Northumberland or the bishopric of Durham. Henry took great pains to improve the royal stud: according to Sir Thomas Chaloner - a writer in the reign of Elizabeth - he imported horses from Turkey, Naples and Spain.

Queen Elizabeth is reputed to have been an accomplished horsewoman, and to have indulged in riding late in life. In the first year of her reign she revived an act passed by Henry VIII. making it felony " to sell, exchange or deliver within Scotland, or to the use of any Scottishman, any horse "; this, however, was very naturally repealed by James I. Carriages were soon after introduced, and the use of them speedily became so fashionable that a bill was brought in " to restrain the excessive and superfluous use of coaches." Prior to the introduction of carriages horseback was the means of locomotion, and Queen Elizabeth rode in state to St Paul's on a pillion; but even after carriages were used, horseback was held to be more dignified, for James I. and his judges rode on horseback to Westminster Hall. One advantage of the introduction of carriages was that it created a demand for a lighter and quicker sort of horse, instead of the ponderous animal which, despite all attempts to banish him, was still the horse of England - the age of chivalry having been the first epoch of the British horse.

Gunpowder, too, was invented; and now that the weight of the cavalry soldier was diminished by the substitution of lighter armour, a quicker and better bred horse was thought desirable for military service. The introduction of carriages and the invention of gunpowder thus opened out a new industry in breeding; and a decided change was gradually creeping on by the time that James I. came to the throne (1603), which commences the second epoch. James was a thorough sportsman, and his taste for racing, in which he freely indulged, caused him to think but little of the speed of even the best English horses. With the laudable motive, therefore, of effecting improvement in horses, he gave the then large sum of 500 guineas for an Arab stallion which had been procured from Constantinople by a Mr Markham, since known as the " Markham Arabian." This is the first authentic account we have of the importation of Arab blood, and the Stud-Book says he was the first of that breed ever seen in England. The people having to do with horses at that time were as conservative in their notions as most of the grooms are now, and the " Markham Arabian " was not at all approved of. The duke of Newcastle, in his treatise on horsemanship, said that he had seen the above Arabian, and described him as a small bay horse and not of very excellent shape. In this instance, however, prejudice (and it is difficult to believe that it was anything else) was right, for King James's first venture does not appear to have been a success either as a race-horse or as a sire, and thus Arabian blood was brought into disrepute. The king, however, resolved to give Eastern blood another trial, and bought a horse known as Place's White Turk from a Mr Place, who subsequently held some office in connexion with the stable under Cromwell. Charles I. followed in the footseps of James, and lent such patronage to the breeding of a better kind of horse that a memorial was presented to him, asking that some measures might be taken to prevent the old stamp of horse " fit for the defence of the country" from dying out.

We now come to a very important period in the history of the British horse, for Charles II. warmly espoused the introduction of Eastern blood into England. He sent his master of the horse abroad to purchase a number of foreign horses and mares for breeding, and the mares brought over by him (as also many of their produce) were called " royal mares "; they form a conspicuous feature in the annals of breeding. The Stud-Book shows of what breed the royal mares really were: one of them, the dam of Dodsworth (who, though foaled in England, was a natural Barb), was a Barb mare; she was sold by the stud-master, after Charles II.'s death, for forty guineas, at twenty years old, when in foal by the Helmsley Turk.

James II. was a good horseman, and had circumstances been more propitious he might have left his mark in the sporting annals of the country. In his reign, according to the Stud-Book, the Stradling or Lister Turk was brought into England by the duke of Berwick from the siege of Buda.

The reign of William III. is noteworthy as the era in which, among other importations, there appeared the first of three Eastern horses to which the modern thoroughbred race-horse traces back as the founders of his lineage. This was the Byerly Turk, of whom nothing more is known than that - to use the words of the first volume of the Stud-Book - he was Captain Byerly's charger in Ireland in King William's wars. The second of the three horses above alluded to was the Darley Arabian, who was a genuine Arab, and was imported from Aleppo by a brother of Mr Darley of Aldby Park, Yorkshire, about the end of the reign of William III. or the beginning of that of Anne. The third horse of the famous trio, the Godolphin Arabian or Barb, brought to England about five-and-twenty years after the Darley Arabian, will be more particularly referred to further on. All the horses now on the turf or at the stud trace their ancestry in the direct male line to one or other of these three - the Byerly Turk, the barley Arabian, and the Godolphin Arabian or Barb. In the female line their pedigrees can be traced to other sources, but for all practical purposes it suffices to regard one or other of these three animals as the ultima Thule of racing pedigree. Of course there is a large interfusion of the blood of each of the trio through the dams of horses of the present day; indeed, it is impossible to find an English race-horse which does not combine the blood of all three.

The Race-horse

The third and last epoch of the British horse, viz. that of the thoroughbred racer, may be taken to date from the beginning of the 18th century. By thoroughbred is meant a horse or mare whose pedigree is registered in the StudBook kept by Messrs Weatherby, the official agents of the Jockey Club - originally termed the keepers of the match-bookas well as publishers of the Racing Calendar. The first attempt to evolve order out of the chaos which had long reigned supreme was made in 1791, for we find in the preface of the first volume of the Stud-Book, published in 1808, that " with a view to correct the then increasing evil of false and inaccurate pedigrees, the author was in the year 1791 prevailed upon to publish an Introduction to a General Stud-Book, consisting of a small collection of pedigrees which he had extracted from racing calendars and sale papers and arranged on a new plan." It will be seen that the compiler of the volume on which so much depends had to go back fully a century, with little else to guide him but odds and ends in the way of publications and tradition. Mistakes under such circumstances are pardonable. The Stud-Book then (vol. i.), which is the oldest authority we have, contains the names and in most cases the pedigrees, obscure though they may be, of a very large number of horses and mares of note from the earliest accounts, but with two exceptions no dates prior to the 18th century are specified in it. These exceptions are the Byerly Turk, who was " Captain Byerly's charger in Ireland in King William's wars (1689, &c.)," and a horse called Counsellor, bred by Mr Egerton in 1694, by Lord D'Arcy's Counsellor by Lord Lonsdale's Counsellor by the Shaftesbury Turk out of sister to Spanker - all the dams in Counsellor's pedigree tracing back to Eastern mares. There is not the least doubt that many of the animals named in the Stud-Book were foaled much earlier than the above dates, but we have no particulars as to time; and after all it is not of much consequence.

The Stud-Book goes on to say of the Byerly Turk that he did not cover many bred mares, but was the sire of the duke of Devonshire's Basto, Halloway's Jigg, and others. Jigg, or Jig, is a very important factor, as will be seen hereafter. The StudBook, although silent as to the date of his birth, says he was a common country stallion in Lincolnshire until Partner was six years old - and we know from the same authority that Partner was foaled in 1718; we may therefore conclude that Jigg was a later foal than Basto, who, according to Whyte's History of the Turf, was a brown horse foaled in 1703.

The reign of Queen Anne, however (1702-1714), is that which will ever be inseparably connected with the thoroughbred race-horse on account of the fame during that period of the Darley Arabian, a bay stallion, from whom our very best horses are descended. According to the Stud-Book, " Darley's Arabian was brought over by a brother of Mr barley of Yorkshire, who, being an agent in merchandise abroad, became member of a hunting club, by which means he acquired interest to procure this horse." The Stud-Book is silent, and other authorities differ, as to the date of the importation of this celebrated Arab, some saying he came over in the year 1700, others that he arrived somewhat later; but we know from the Stud-Book that Manica (foaled in 1707), Aleppo (1711), Almanzor (1713), and Flying Childers (1715) were got by him, as also was Bartlett's Childers, a younger brother of Flying Childers. It is generally believed that he was imported in Anne's reign, but the exact date is immaterial, for, assuming that he was brought over as early as 1700 from Aleppo, he could scarcely have had a foal living before 1701, the first year of the 18th century. The Darley Arabian did much to remove the prejudice against Eastern blood which had been instilled into the public mind by the duke of Newcastle's denunciation of the Markham Arabian. Prince George of Denmark, consort of Queen Anne, was himself a large horse-owner; and it was in a great measure owing to his intervention that so many valuable stallions were imported during her reign.

At this period we find, among a mass of horses and mares in the Stud-Book without any dates against their names, many animals of note with the earliest chronology extant, from Grey Ramsden (1704) and Bay Bolton (1705) down to a mare who exercised a most important influence on the English blood-horse. This was Roxana (1718) by the Bald Galloway, her dam sister to Chanter by the Akaster Turk, from a daughter of Leedes's Arabian and a mare by Spanker. Roxana threw in 1732 the bay colt Lath by the Godolphin Arabian, the sorrel colt Roundhead by Childers in 1733, and the bay colt Cade by the Godolphin Arabian in 1734, in which year she died within a fortnight after foaling, the produce-Cade-being reared on cow's milk. The Godolphin Barb or Arabian, as he was commonly called, was a brown bay about 15 hands in stature, with an unnaturally high crest, and with some white on his off hind heel. He is said to have been imported into England from France by Mr Coke, where, as the editor of the Stud-Book was informed by a French gentlemen, he was so little thought of that he had actually drawn a cart in the streets of Paris. Mr Coke gave him to a Mr. Williams, who in his turn presented him to the earl of Godolphin. Although called an Arabian, there is little doubt he was a Barb pure and simple. In 1731, being then the property of Mr. Coke, he was teazer to Hobgoblin, and on the latter refusing his services to Roxana, the mare was put to the Godolphin, and the produce was Lath (1732), the first of his get, and the most celebrated race-horse of his day after Flying Childers. He was also the sire of Cade, own brother to Lath, and of Regulus the maternal grandsire of Eclipse. He died at Gogmagog in Cambridgeshire, in the posses ion of Lord Godolphin, in 1753, being then, as is supposed, in his twentyninth year. He is believed to have been foaled in Barbary about 1724, and to have been imported during the reign of George II.

In regard to the mares generally, we have a record of the royal mares already alluded to, and likewise of three Turk mares brought over from the siege of Vienna in 1684, as well as of other importations; but it is unquestionable that there was a very large number of native mares in England, improved probably from time to time by racing, however much they may have been crossed at various periods with foreign horses, and that from this original stock were to some extent derived the size and stride which characterized the English race-horse, while his powers of endurance and elegant shape were no doubt inherited from the Eastern horses, most of which were of a low stature, 14 hands or thereabouts. It is only necessary to trace carefully back the pedigree of most of the famous horses of early times to discover faults on the side of the dam-that is to say, the expression " dam's pedigree unknown," which evidently means of original or native blood. Whatever therefore may be owing to Eastern blood, of which from the middle of the 17th to the beginning of the 18th century a complete wave swept over the British Isles, some credit is unquestionably due to the native mares (which Blaine says were mostly Cleveland bays) upon which the Arabian, Barb, or Turk blood was grafted, and which laid the foundation of the modern thoroughbred. Other nations may have furnished the blood, but England has made the race-horse.

Without prosecuting this subject further, it may be enough here to follow out the lines of the Darley Arabian, the Byerly Turk, and the Godolphin Arabian or Barb, the main ancestors of the British thoroughbred of the 18th and 19th centuries, through several famous race-horses, each and all brilliant winners,-Flying Childers, Eclipse, Herod and Matchem,-to whom it is considered sufficient to look as the great progenitors of the race-horse of to-day.

1. The Darley Arabian's line is represented in a twofold degreefirst, through his son Flying Childers, his grandsons Blaze and Snip, and his great-grandson Snap, and, secondly, through his other son Bartlett's Childers and his great-great-grandson Eclipse. Flying or Devonshire Childers, so called to distinguish him from other horses of the same name, was a bay horse of entirely Eastern blood, with a blaze in his face and four white feet, foaled in 1715. He was bred by Mr Leonard Childers of Carr House near Doncaster, and was purchased when young by the duke of Devonshire. He was got by the Darley Arabian from Betty Leedes, by Careless from sister to Leedes, by Leedes's Arabian from a mare by Spanker out of a Barb mare, who was Spanker's own mother. Spanker himself was by D'Arcy's Yellow Turk from a daughter of the Morocco Barb and Old Bald Pegg by an Arab horse from a Barb mare. Careless was by Spanker from a Barb mare, so that Childers's dam was closely in-bred to Spanker. Flying Childers-the wonder of his timewas never beaten, and died in the duke of Devonshire's stud in 1741, aged twenty-six years. He was the sire of, among other horses, Blaze (1733) and Snip (1736). Snip too had a celebrated son called Snap (1750), and it is chiefly in the female line through the mares by these horses, of which there are fully thirty in the StudBook, that the blood of Flying Childers is handed down to us.

The other representative line of the Darley Arabian is through Bartlett's Childers, also bred by Mr Leonard Childers, and sold to Mr Bartlett of Masham, in Yorkshire. He was for several years called Young Childers,-it being generally supposed that he was a younger brother of his Flying namesake, but his date of birth is not on record,-and subsequently Bartlett's Childers. This horse, who was never trained, was the sire of Squirt (1732), whose son Marske (1750) begat Eclipse and Young Marske (1762), sire of Shuttle (1793). This at least is the generally accepted theory, although Eclipse's dam is said to have been covered by Shakespeare as well as by Marske. Shakespeare was the son of Hobgoblin by Aleppo, and consequently the male line of the Darley Arabian would come through these horses instead of through Bartlett's Childers, Squirt, and Marske; the Stud-Book, however, says that Marske was the sire of Eclipse. This last-named celebrated horse-perhaps the most celebrated in the annals of the turf-was foaled on the 1st of April 1764, the day on which a remarkable eclipse of the sun occurred, and he was named after it. He was bred by the duke of Cumberland, after whose decease he was purchased by a Mr Wildman, and subsequently sold to Mr D. O'Kelly, with whom he will ever be identified. His dam Spiletta was by Regulus, son of the Godolphin Barb, from Mother Western, by a son of Snake from a mare by Old Montague out of a mare by Hautboy, from a daughter of Brimmer and a mare whose pedigree was unknown. In Eclipse's pedigree there are upwards of a dozen mares whose pedigrees are not known, but who are supposed to be of native blood. Eclipse was a chestnut horse with a white blaze down his face; his off hind leg was white from the hock downwards, and he had black spots upon his rump-this peculiarity coming down to the present day in direct male descent. His racing career commenced at five years of age, viz. on the 3rd May 1769, at Epsom, and terminated on the 4th October 1770, at Newmarket. He ran or walked over for eighteen races, and was never beaten. It was in his first race that Mr O'Kelly took the odds to a large amount before the start for the second heat, that he would place the horses. When called upon to declare, he uttered the exclamation, which the event justified, " Eclipse first, and the rest nowhere." Eclipse commenced his stud career in 1771, and had an enormous number of foals, of which four only in the direct male line have come down to us, viz. Pot0000-0000, or, as he is commonly called, Pot-8-os (1773), his most celebrated son, King Fergus (1775), Joe Andrews (1778), and Mercury (1778), though several others are represented in the female line. Pot-8-os was the sire of Waxy (1790) out of Maria (1777) by Herod out of Lisette (1772) by Snap. Waxy, who has been not inaptly termed the ace of trumps in the Stud'-Book, begat Whalebone (1807), Web (1808), Woful (1809), Wire (1811), Whisker (1812), and Waxy Pope (1806), all but the last being out of Penelope (1798) by Trumpator (1782) from Prunella (1788) by Highflyer out of Promise by Snap, while Waxy Pope was out of Prunella, dam of Parasol (1800) by Pot-8-os. Trumpator was a son of Conductor, who was by Matchem out of a mare by Snap.

Whalebone's best sons were Camel (1822) and Sir Hercules (1826). Camel was the sire of Defence (1824) and Touchstone (1831), while Sir Hercules was the sire of Birdcatcher (1833) and Faugh-a-Ballagh (1841), own brothers, and of Gemma di Vergy (1854). Touchstone was the sire of Newminster (1848), who begat Lord Clifden, Adventurer, and the Hermit, as well as of Orlando (1841), sire of Teddington (1848). Whalebone's blood also descends through Waverley (1817) and his son the Saddler (1828), while Whisker is represented by the Colonel (1825) and by Economist (1825) and his son Harkaway (1834), sire of King Tom (1851). Birdcatcher begat, besides Saunterer (1854), the Baron (1842), sire of Stockwell (1849) and of Rataplan (1850). Stockwell, who was a chestnut with black spots, was the sire of Blair Athol (1861), a chestnut, and also of Doncaster (1870), another chestnut, but with the characteristic black spots of his grandsire; and Doncaster was the sire of the chestnut Bend Or (1877).

To turn to Eclipse's other sons. King Fergus (1775) was the sire of Beningbrough (1791), whose son was Orville (1799), whence comes some of the stoutest blood on the turf, including Emilius (1820) and his son Priam (1827), Plenipotentiary (1831), Muley (1810), Chesterfield (1834), and the Hero (1843). Joe Andrews (1778) was the sire of Dick Andrews (1797), and from him descend Tramp (1810), Lottery (1820), Liverpool (1828), Sheet Anchor (1832), Lanercost (1835), Weatherbit (1842), Beadsman (1855), and Blue Gown (1865). Mercury was sire of Gohanna (1790), who was foaled in the same year as Waxy, and the two, who were both grandsons of Eclipse and both out of Herod mares, had several contests, Waxy generally getting the better of his cousin. Gohanna's descendants come down through Golumpus (1802), Catton (1809), Mulatto (1823), Royal Oak (1823), and Slane (1833).

2. The Byerly Turk's line is represented by Herod, the Turk being the sire of Jigg, who was the sire of Partner (1718), whose son Tartar (1743) begat King Herod, or Herod as he was commonly called, foaled in 1758. Herod's dam was Cypron (1750) by Blaze (1733), son of Flying Childers. Cypron's dam was Selima by Bethel's Arabian from a mare by Graham's Champion from a daughter of the Darley Arabian and a mare who claims Merlin for her sire, but whose mother's pedigree is unknown. In Herod's pedigree there are fully a dozen dams whose pedigree is unknown. Herod was a bay horse about 15 hands 3 inches high, possessed both of substance and length,-those grand requisites in a race-horse,-combined with uncommon power and stamina or lasting qualities. He was bred by William, duke of Cumberland, uncle of King George III. He commenced his racing career in October 1763, when he was five years old, and ended it on the 16th of May 1767. He ran ten times, winning six and losing four races. He died in 1780, and among other progeny left two famous sons, Woodpecker (1773), whose dam was Miss Ramsden (1760) by Cade, son of the Godolphin Barb, but descended also on the dam's side from the Darley Arabian and the Byerly Turk, and Highflyer (1774), whose dam was Rachel (1763) by Blank, son of the Godolphin Barb from a daughter of Regulus, also son of the Godolphin. These two horses have transmitted Herod's qualities down to the present day in the direct male line, although in the female line he is represented through some of his other sons and his daughters as well. Woodpecker was the sire of Buzzard (1787), who in his turn became the father of three celebrated sons, Castrel (1801), Selim (1802), and Rubens (1803), all three chestnuts, and all out of an Alexander mare (1790), who thereby became famous. This mare was by Eclipse's son Alexander (1782) out of a mare by Highflyer (son of Herod) out of a daughter of Alfred, by Matchem out of a daughter of Snap. Bustard (1813), whose dam was a daughter of Shuttle, and his son Heron (1833), Sultan (1816) and his sons Glencoe (1831) and Bay Middleton (1833) and Middleton's sons Cowl (1842) and the Flying Dutchman (1846), Pantaloon (1824) and his son Windhound (1847), Langar (1817) and his son Epirus (1834) and grandson Pyrrhus the First (1843), are representatives of Castrel and Selim.

Highflyer is represented through his greatly esteemed son Sir Peter Teazle, commonly called Sir Peter (1784), whose dam was Papillon by Snap. Sir Peter had five sons at the stud, Walton (1790), Stamford (1794), and Sir Paul (1802) being the chief. Paulowitz (1813), Cain (1822), Ion (1835), Wild Dayrell (1852), and his son Buccaneer (1857) bring down Sir Paul's blood; whilst Walton is represented through Phantom (1806), Partisan (1811) and his sons Glaucus (1829) and Venison (1833) and Gladiator (1833), Venison's sons Alarm (1842) and Kingston (1849), Gladiator's son Sweetmeat (1842), Sweetmeat's sons Macaroni (1860) and Parmesan (1857), and Parmesan's sons Favonius (1868) and Cremorne (1869). It may be added that in the first volume of the Stud-Book there are nearly a hundred Herod and Highflyer mares registered.

3. The Godolphin Barb is represented by Matchem, as the former was the sire of Cade (1734), and Cade begat Matchem, who was foaled in 1748. He was thus ten years the senior of Herod, representing the Byerly Turk, and sixteen years before Eclipse, though long subsequent to Flying Childers, who represent the Darley Arabian. Matchem was a brown bay horse with some white on his off hind heel, about 15 hands high, bred by Sir John Holine of Carlisle, and sold to Mr W. Fenwick of Bywell, Northumberland. His dam was sister to Miss Partner (1735) by Partner out of Brown Farewell by Makeless (son of the Oglethorpe Arabian) from a daughter of Brimmer out of Trumpet's darn, by Place's White Turk from a daughter of the Barb Dodsworth and a Layton Barb mare; while Brimmer was by D'Arcy's Yellow Turk from a royal mare. Matchem commenced his racing career on the 2nd of August 1753, and terminated it on 1st September 1758. Out of thirteen engagements he won eleven and lost two. He died in 1781, aged thirtythree years. His best son was Conductor (1767) out of a mare by Snap; Conductor was the sire of Trumpator (1782), whose two sons, Sorcerer (1790) and Paynator (1791), transmit the blood of the Godolphin down to modern times. Sorcerer was the sire of Soothsayer (1808), Comus (1809), and Smolensko (181o). Comus was the sire of Humphrey Clinker (1822), whose son was Melbourne (1834), sire of West Australian (1850) and of many valuable mares, including Canezou (1845) and Blink Bonny (1854), dam of Blair Athol. Paynator was the sire of Dr Syntax (1811), who had a celebrated daughter called Beeswing (1833), dam of Newminster by Touchstone.

The gems of the three lines may be briefly enumerated thus: (I) of the Darley Arab's line-Snap, Shuttle, Waxy, and Orvillethe stoutest blood on the turf; (2) of the Byerly Turk's lineBuzzard and Sir Peter-speedy blood, the latter the stouter of the two; (3) of the Godolphin Barb's line-Sorcerer-often producing large-sized animals, but showing a tendency to die out, and becoming rare.

On the principle that as a rule like begets like, it has been the practice to select as sires the best public performers on the turf, and of two horses of like blood it is sound sense to choose the better as against the inferior public performer. But there can be little doubt that the mating of mares with horses has been often pursued on a haphazard plan, or on no system at all; to this the Stud-Book testifies too plainly. In the article Horseracing mention is made of some of the great horses of recent years; but the following list of the principal sires of earlier days indicates also how their progeny found a place among the winners of the three great races, the Derby (D), Oaks (0), and St Leger (L) Eclipse: Young Eclipse (D), Saltram (D), Sergeant (D), Annette (0).

Herod: Bridget (0), Faith (0), Maid of the Oaks (0), Phenomenon (L).

Matchem: Teetotum (0), Hollandaise (L).

Florizel (son of Herod): Diomed (D), Eager (D), Tartar (L), Ninetythree (L).

Highflyer: Noble (D), Sir Peter Teazle (D), Skyscraper (D), Violante (0), Omphale (L), Cowslip (L), Spadille (L), Young Flora (L). Pot-8-os: Waxy (D), Champion (D, L), Tyrant (D), Nightshade (0). Sir Peter (D): Sir Harry (D), Archduke (D), Ditto (D), Paris (D), Hermione (0), Parasite (0), Ambrosio (L), Fyldener (L), Paulina (L), Petronius (L).

Waxy (D): Pope (D), Whalebone (D), Blucher (D), Whisker (D), Music (0), Minuet (0), Corinne (0).

Whalebone (D): Moses (D), Lapdog (D), Spaniel (D), Caroline (0). Woful: Augusta (0), Zinc (0), Theodore (L).

Whisker (D): Memnon (L), The Colonel (L).

Phantom: Cedric (D), Middleton (D), Cobweb (0).

Orville (L): Octavius (D), Emilius (D), Ebor (L).

Tramp: St Giles (D), Dangerous (D), Barefoot (L).

Emilius (D): Priam (D), Plenipotentiary (D), Oxygen (0), Mango (L).

Priam (D): Miss Seitz (0), Industry (0), Crucifix (0).

Sir Hercules: Coronation (D), Faugh-a-Ballagh (L), Birdcatcher (L). Touchstone (L): Cotherstone (D), Orlando (D), Surplice (D, L), Mendicant (0), Blue Bonnet (L), Newminster (L).

Birdcatcher (L): Daniel O'Rourke (D), Songstress (0), Knight of St George (L), Warlock (L), The Baron (L).

The Baron (L): Stockwell (L).

Melbourne: West Australian (D, L), Blink Bonny (D, 0), Sir Tatton Sykes (L).

Newminster (L): Musjid (D), Hermit (D), Lord Clifden (L). Sweetmeat: Macaroni (D), Mincemeat (0), Mincepie (0). Stockwell (L): Blair Athol (D, L), Lord Lyon (D, L), Doncaster (D), Regalia (0), St Albans (L), Caller Ou (L), The Marquis (L), Achievement (L).

King Tom: Kingcraft (D), Tormentor (0), Hippia (0), Hannah (0, L).

Rataplan (son of the Baron): Kettledrum (D).

Monarque: Gladiateur (D, L).

Parmesan (son of Sweetmeat): Favonius (D), Cremorne (D). Buccaneer: Kisber (D), Formosa (0, L), Brigantine (0).

Lord Clifden (L): Jannette (0, L), Hawthornden (L), Wenlock (L), Petrarch (L).

Adventurer: Pretender (D), Apology (0, L), Wheel of Fortune (0). Blair Athol (D, L): Silvio (D, L), Craig Millar (L).

In regard to mares it has very frequently turned out that animals which were brilliant public performers have been far less successful as dams than others which were comparatively valueless as runners. Beeswing, a brilliant public performer, gave birth to a good horse in Newminster; the same may be said of Alice Hawthorn, dam of Thormanby, of Canezou, dam of Fazzoletto, of Crucifix, dam of Surplice, and of Blink Bonny, dam of Blair Athol; but many of the greatest winners have dropped nothing worth training. On the other hand, there are mares of little or no value as racers who have become the mothers of some of the most celebrated horses on the turf; among them we may cite Queen Mary, Pocahontas and Paradigm. Queen Mary, who was by Gladiator out of a daughter of Plenipotentiary and Myrrha by Whalebone, when mated with Melbourne produced Blink Bonny (winner of the Derby and Oaks); when mated with Mango and Lanercost she produced Haricot, dam of Caller Ou (winner of the St Leger). Pocahontas, perhaps the most remarkable mare in the Stud-Book, never won a race on the turf, but threw Stockwell and Rataplan to the Baron, son of Birdcatcher, King Tom to Harkaway, Knight of St Patrick to Knight of St George, and Knight of Kars to Nutwith-all these horses being 16 hands high and upwards, while Pocahontas was a long low mare of about 15 hands or a trifle more. She also gave birth to Ayacanora by Birdcatcher, and to Araucaria by Ambrose, both very valuable brood mares, Araucaria being the dam of Chamant by Mortemer, and of Rayon d'Or by Flageolet, son of Plutus by Touchstone. Paradigm again produced, among several winners of more or less celebrity, Lord Lyon (winner of the Two Thousand Guineas, Derby and St Leger) and Achievement (winner of the St Leger), both being by Stockwell. Another famous mare was Manganese (1853) by Birdcatcher from Moonbeam by Tomboy from Lunatic by the Prime Minister from Maniac by Shuttle. Manganese when mated with Rataplan threw Mandragora, dam of Apology, winner of the Oaks and St Leger, whose sire wasAdventurer, son of Newminster. She also threw Mineral, who, when mated with Lord Clifden, produced Wenlock, winner of the St Leger, and after being sold to go to Hungary, was there mated with Buccaneer, the produce being Kisber, winner of the Derby.

We append the pedigree of Blair Athol, winner of the Derby and St Leger in 1864, who, when subsequently sold by auction, fetched the then unprecedented sum of 12,000 guineas, as it contains, not only Stockwell (the emperor of stallions, as he has been termed), but Blink Bonny and Eleanor - in which latter animal are combined the blood of Eclipse, Herod, Matchem and Snap, - the mares that won the Derby in 1801 and 1857 respectively, as well as those queens of the stud, Eleanor's greatgranddaughter Pocahontas and Blink Bonny's dam Queen Mary. Both Eleanor and Blink Bonny won the Oaks as well as the Derby.

Guiccioli (1823) Sultan (,8,6) 'Muley (,8,o) ,Clare (1824) BlairAthol*: (1861) Comus (1809) Humphrey Clinker (1822) Clinkerina (1812) Melbourne (1834) Daughter of (1825) Daughter of (1818) Blink Bonny*t (1854) Partisan (1811) Gladiator (1833) Pauline (1826) Queen Mary (:843) Plenipotentiary* (1831) Daughter of (1840) Myrrha (1830) * Winner of the Derby. j Winner of the Oaks.



The shape of a race-horse is of considerable importance, although it is said with some degree of truth that they win in all shapes. There are the neat and elegant animals, like the descendants of Saunterer and Sweetmeat; the large-framed, plain-looking, and heavy-headed Melbournes, often with lop ears; the descendants of Birdcatcher, full of quality, and of more than average stature, though sometimes disfigured with curby hocks; and the medium-sized but withal speedy descendants of Touchstone, though in some cases characterized by somewhat loaded shoulders. In height it will be found that the most successful racers average from 15 to 162 hands, the former being considered somewhat small, while the latter is unquestionably very large; the mean may be taken as between 152 and 16 hands (the hand = 4 in.). The head should be light and lean, and well set on; the ears small and pricked, but not too short; the eyes full; the forehead broad and flat; the nostrils large and dilating; the muzzle fine; the neck moderate in length, wide, muscular, and yet light; the throat clean; the windpipe spacious and loosely attached to the neck; the crest thin, not coarse and arched. The withers may be moderately high and thin; the chest well developed, but not too wide or deep; the shoulder should lie well on the chest, and be oblique and well covered with muscle, so as to reduce concussion in galloping; the upper and lower arms should be long and muscular; the knees broad and strong; legs short, flat and broad; fetlock joints large; pasterns strong and of moderate length; the feet should be moderately large, with the heels open and frogs sound - with no signs of contraction. The body or barrel should be moderately deep, long and straight, the length being really in the shoulders and in the quarters; the back should be strong Waxy* (1790) Penelope (1798) the shoulders and and muscular, with Wanderer (r790) loins running well Thalestris (1809) in at each end; Chanticleer (1787) Ierne (1790) the loins themEscape (1802) Young Heroine selves should have Waxy* (,790) great breadth and Penelope (1798) Octavian (1807) substance, this Caprice (1797) Whitelock (1803) being a vital neces Coriander mare (1799) sity for weightOrville: (1709) Minstrel (1803) carrying and pro Buzzard (1787) pelling power Alexander mare (1790) Williamson's Ditto (1800) uphill. The hips Sister to Calomel (1791) Dick Andrews (1797) should be long and Gohanna mare wide, with the stifle Wax y * (1790) Penelope (1798) and thigh strong, Beningbrough (1791) long and proporEvelina (1791) Whiskey (1789) tionately de - Young Giantess (1790) 8 Whiskey (1789) veloped, and the t Young Noisette (1789) hind quarters well Gohanna (,790) Amazon (1799) let down. The Sorcerer (1796) Trumpator (1782) hock should have Young Giantess (1790) Houghton Lass(1801) Sir Peter* (1784) plenty of bone, and Alexina (1788) Clinker (1805) Sir Peter* (1784) be strongly affixed Hyale (1797) to the leg, and Pewet (1786) Tandem (1773) Termagant show no signs of Eclipse (1764) Grecian Princess (x770) curb; the bones Highflyer (1774) below the hock Termagant Gohanna (1790) should be flat, and Catherine (1795) free from adhePaynator (1791) Sister to Zodiac sions; the liga - Sir Peter* (1784) Arethusa (1792) ments and tendons Pot-8-os (,773) well developed, and Prunella (1788) Whalebone* by Waxy* (1807) standing out from Gohanna mare Selim (1802) the bone; the joints Canary Bird (1806) well formed and Orville: (1799) Emily (r8,o) wide, yet without Harriett (1819) Pericles (1809) undue enlarge - Selim mare (1812) JWhalebone* (1807) Waxy* (1790) ment; the pasterns Penelope (1798) Gift(1818) Young Gohanna (,81o) (1808) and feet similar to (Sister to Grazier by Sir Peter* those of the fore: Winner of the St Leger. hand. The tail I should be high set on, the croup being continued in a straight line to the tail, and not falling away and drooping The Baron: (1842) Stockwell$ (1849) Pocahontas (1837) Echidna (1838) Glencoe (1831) Marpessa (1830) Whalebone* (1807) Peri (1822) { Bob Booty (1804) Flight (1809) Whisker* (1812) Economist (1825) Floranthe (18,8) Blacklock (1814) Miss Pratt (1825) tGadabout (1812) 'Selim (1802) Bacchante (1809) Tramp (1810 Trampoline (1825) Web (1808)) { Orville: (1799) Eleanor*t (1798) Marmion (,806) Harpalice (1814) Sir Hercules (1826) Birdcatcher: (1833) Don Quixote (1784) Evelina (1791) (Golumpus (1802) Daughter of (18,o) Walton (1799) Parasol (1800) Moses* (1819) Quadrille (1815) ? Emilius* (1820) Clydesdale Stallion. Hackney Stallion. Breeds Of Horses. (From Photographs by F. Babbage.) The comparative sizes of the horses are shown.


SI II; fI,:1N 1) PONY S'1' A LLION.

Polo Pony Stallion.

Breeds Of Horses. (From Photographs by F. Babbage.) The comparative sizes of the horses are shown.

to a low-set tail. Fine action is the best criterion of everything fitting properly, and all a horse's points ought to harmonize or be in proportion to one another, no one point being more prominent than another, such as good shoulders, fine loins or excellent quarters. If the observer is struck with the remarkable prominence of any one feature, it is probable that the remaining parts are deficient. A well-made horse wants dissecting in detail, and then if a good judge can discover no fault with any part, but finds each of good proportions, and the whole to harmonize without defect, deformity or deficiency, he has before him a well-shaped horse; and of two equally well-made and equitably proportioned horses the best bred one will be the best. As regards hue, the favourite colour of the ancients, according to Xenophon, was bay, and for a long time it was the fashionable colour in England; but for some time chestnut thoroughbreds have been the most conspicuous figure on English race-courses, so far as the more important events are concerned. Eclipse was a chestnut; Castrel, Selim and Rubens were chestnuts; so also were Glencoe and Pantaloon, of whom the latter had black spots on his hind quarters like Eclipse; and also Stockwell and Doncaster. Birdcatcher was a chestnut, so also were Stockwell and his brother Rataplan, Manganese, Mandragora, Thormanby, Kettledrum, St Albans, Blair Athol, Regalia, Formosa, Hermit, Marie Stuart, Doncaster, George Frederick, Apology, Craig Millar, Prince Charlie, Rayon d'Or and Bend Or. The dark browns or black browns, such as the Sweetmeat tribe, are not so common as the bays, and black or grey horses are almost as unusual as roans. The skin and hair of the throughbred are finer, and the veins which underlie the skin are larger and more prominent than in other horses. The mane and tail should be silky and devoid of curl, which is a sign of impurity.

Whether the race-horse of to-day is as good as the stock to which he traces back has often been disputed, chiefly no doubt because he is brought to more early maturity, commencing to win races at two years instead of at five years of age, as in the days of Childers and Eclipse; but the highest authorities, and none more emphatically than the late Admiral Rous, have insisted that he can not only stay quite as long as his ancestors, but also go a good deal faster. In size and shape the modern race-horse is unquestionably superior, being on an average fully a hand higher than the Eastern horses from which he is descended; and in elegance of shape and beauty of outline he has certainly never been surpassed. That experiments, founded on the study of his nature and properties, which have from time to time been made to improve the breed, and bring the different varieties to the perfection in which we now find them, have succeeded, is best confirmed by the high estimation in which the horses of Great Britain are held in all parts of the civilized world; and it is not too much to assert that, although the cold, humid and variable nature of their climate is by no means favourable to the production of these animals in their very best form, Englishmen have by great care, and by sedulous attention to breeding, high feeding and good grooming, with consequent development of muscle, brougnt them to the highest state of perfection of which their nature is capable. (E. D. B.) Breeds Of Horses The British breeds of light horses include the Thoroughbred, the Yorkshire Coach-horse, the Cleveland Bay, the Hackney and the Pony; of heavy horses, the Shire, the Clydesdale and the Suffolk.

The Thoroughbred is probably the oldest of the breeds, and it is known as the " blood-horse " on account of the length of time through which its purity of descent can be traced. The frame is light, slender and graceful. The points of chief importance are a fine, clean, lean head, set on free from collar heaviness; a long and strongly muscular neck, shoulders oblique and covered with muscle; high, long withers, chest of good depth and narrow but not extremely so; body round in type; back rib well down; depth at withers a little under half the height; length equal to the height at withers and croup; loins level and muscular; croup long, rather level; tail set on high and carried gracefully; the hind quarters long, strongly developed, and full of muscle and driving power; the limbs clean-cut and sinewy, possessing abundance of good bone, especially desired in the cannons, which are short, broad and flat; comparatively little space between the fore legs; pastern joints smooth and true; pasterns strong, clean and springy, sloping when at rest at an angle of 45°; feet medium size, wide and high at the heels, concave below and set on straight. The action in trotting is generally low, but the bending of the knee and the flexing of the hock is smooth, free and true. The thoroughbred is apt to be nervous and excitable, and impatient of common work, but its speed, resolution and endurance, as tested on the race-course, are beyond praise.

Many of the best hunters in the United Kingdom are thoroughbreds, but of the substantial weight-carrying type. The Hunters Improvement Society, established in 1885, did not restrict entries to the Hunters' Stud-Book to entirely clean-bred animals, but admitted those with breeding enough to pass strict inspection. This society acts in consort with two other powerful organizations (the Royal Commission on Horse-breeding, which began its work in 1888, and the Brood Mare Society, established in 1903), with the desirable object of improving the standard of light horse breeding. The initial efforts began by securing the services of thoroughbred stallions for specified districts, by offering a limited number of " Queen's Premiums," of L200 each, to selected animals of four years old and upwards. Since the formation of the Brood Mare Society mares have come within the sphere of influence of the three bodies, and well-conceived inducements are offered to breeders to retain their young mares at home. The efforts have met with gratifying success, and they were much needed, for while in 1904 the Dutch government took away 350 of the best young Irish mares, Great Britain was paying the foreigner over 2,000,000 a year for horses which the old system of management did not supply at home. The Royal Dublin Society also keeps a Register of Thoroughbred Stallions under the horse-breeding scheme of 1892, which, like the British efforts, is now bearing fruit.

The Yorkshire Coach-horse is extensively bred in the North and East Ridings of Yorkshire, and the thoroughbred has taken a share in its development. The colour is usually bay, with black or brown points. A fine head, sloping shoulders, strong loins, lengthy quarters, high-stepping action, flat bone and sound feet are characteristic. The height varies from 16 hands to 16 hands 2 in.

The Cleveland Bay is an ancestor of the Yorkshire Coach-horse and is bred in parts of Yorkshire, Durham and Northumberland. He is adapted alike for the plough, for heavy draught, and for slow saddle work. Some specimens make imposing-looking carriage horses, but they have low action and are lacking in quality. The colour is light or dark bay, with black legs. Though rather coarse-headed, the Cleveland Bay has a well-set shoulder and neck, a deep chest and round barrel. The height is from 16 to 17 hands.

The Hackney has come prominently to the front in recent years. The term Nag, applied to the active riding or trotting horse, is derived from the A.S. hnegan, to neigh. The Normans brought with them their own word haquenee, or hacquenee, a French derivative from the Latin equus, a horse, whence the name hackney. Both nag and hackney continue to be used as synonymous terms. Frequent mention is made of hackneys and trotters in old farm accounts of the 14th century. The first noteworthy trotting hackney stallion, of the modern type, was a horse foaled about 1755, and known as the Schales, Shields or Shales horse, and most of the recognized hackneys of to-day trace back to him. The breeding of hackneys is extensively pursued in the counties of Norfolk, Cambridge, Huntingdon, Lincoln and York, and in the showyard competitions a keen but friendly rivalry is usually to be noticed between the hackney-breeding farmers of Norfolk and Yorkshire. The high hackney action is uncomfortable in a riding horse. Excellent results have sometimes followed the use of hackney sires upon half-bred mares, i.e. by thoroughbred stallions and trotting mares, but it is not always so. As regards the movement, or " action," of the hackney, he should go light in hand, and the knee should be well elevated and advanced during the trot, and, before the foot is put down, the leg should be well extended. The hackney should also possess good hock action, as distinguished from mere fetlock action, the propelling power depending upon the efficiency of the former. The hackney type of the day is " a powerfully built, short-legged, big horse, with an intelligent head, neat neck, strong, level back, powerful loins, and as perfect shoulders as can be obtained, good feet, flat-boned legs, and a height of from 15 hands 2 in. to 15 hands 31 in. Carriage-horses hackney-bred have been produced over 17 hands high.

The Pony differs essentially from the hackney in height, the former not exceeding 14 hands. There is one exception, which is made clear in the following extract from Sir Walter Gilbey's Ponies Past and Present (1900) Before the establishment of the Hackney Horse Society in 1883 the dividing line between the horse and the pony in England was vague and undefined. It was then found necessary to distinguish clearly between horses and ponies, and, accordingly, all animals measuring 14 hands or under were designated " ponies," and registered in a separate part of the (Hackney) Stud-Book. This record of height, with other particulars as to breeding, &c., serves to direct breeders in their choice of sires and dams. The standard of height established by the Hackney Horse Society was accepted and officially recognized by the Royal Agricultural Society in 1889, when the prize-list for the Windsor show contained pony classes for animals not exceeding 14 hands. The altered polo-rule, which fixes the limit of height at 14 hands 2 in., may be productive of some little confusion; but for all other purposes 14 hands is the recognized maximum height of a pony. Prior to 1883 small horses were called indifferently Galloways, hobbies, cobs or ponies, irrespective of their height.

Native ponies include those variously known as Welsh, New Forest, Exmoor, Dartmoor, Cumberland and Westmorland, Fell, Highland, Highland Garron, Celtic, Shetland and Connemara. Ponies range in height from 14 hands down to 8 hands, Shetland ponies eligible for the Stud-Book not exceeding the latter. As in the case of the hackney, so with the pony, thoroughbred blood has been used, and with good results, except in the case of those animals which have to remain to breed in their native haunts on the hills and moorlands. There the only possible way of improvement is by selecting the best native specimens, especially the sires, to breed from. The thin-skinned progeny of thoroughbred or Arab stock is too delicate to live unless when hand-fed - and hand-feeding is not according to custom. Excellent polo ponies are bred as first or second crosses by thoroughbred stallions on the mares of nearly all the varieties of ponies named. The defective formation of the pony, the perpendicular shoulder and the drooping hind quarters, are modified; but neither the latter, nor bent hocks, which place the hind legs under the body as in the zebra, are objected to, as the conformation is favourable to rapid turning. One object of the pony breeder, while maintaining hardiness of constitution, is to control size - to compress the most valuable qualities into small compass. He endeavours to breed an animal possessing a small head, good shoulders, true action and perfect manners. A combination of the best points of the hunter with the style and finish of the hackney produces a class of weightcarrying pony which is always saleable.

The Shire horse owes its happily-chosen name to Arthur Young's remarks, in the description of his agricultural tours during the closing years of the 18th century, concerning the large Old English Black Horse, " the produce principally of the Shire counties in the heart of England." Long previous to this, however, the word Shire, in connexion with horses, was used in the statutes of Henry VIII. Under the various names of the War Horse, the Great Horse, the Old English Black Horse and the Shire Horse, the breed has for centuries been cultivated in the rich fen-lands of Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire, and in many counties to the west. The Shire is the largest of draught horses, the stallion commonly attaining a height of 17 to 17.3 hands. Though the black colour is still frequently met with, bay and brown are more usually seen. With their immense size and weight-1800 lb to 2200 lb - the Shires combine great strength, and they are withal docile and intelligent. They stand on short stout legs, with a plentiful covering - sometimes too abundant - of long hair extending chiefly down the back but also round the front of the limbs from knees and hocks, and when in full feather obscuring nearly the whole of the hoofs. The head is a good size, and broad between the eyes; the neck fairly long, with the crest well arched on to the shoulders, which are deep and strong, and moderately oblique. The chest is wide, full and deep, the back short and straight, the ribs are round and deep, the hind quarters long, level and well let down into the muscular thighs. The cannon-bones should be flat, heavy and clean, and the feet wide, tough, and prominent at the heels. A good type of Shire horse combines symmetrical outlines and bold, free action. There is a good and remunerative demand for Shire geldings for use as draught horses in towns.

The Clydesdale, the Scottish breed named from the valley of the Clyde, is not quite so large as the Shire, the average height of stallions being about 16 hands 2 in. The popular colour is bay, particularly if of a dark shade, or dappled. Black is not uncommon, but grey is not encouraged. White markings on one or more of the legs, with a white star or stripe on the face, are characteristic. The long hair on the legs is not so abundant as in the Shires, and it is finer in texture. It is regarded as an indication of good bone. The bones of the legs should be short, flat, clean and hard; the feet large, with hoofs deep and concave below. With its symmetry, activity, strength and endurance the Clydesdale is easily broken to harness, and makes an excellent draught horse. This breed is growing rapidly in favour in Canada, but in the United States the Percheron, with its round bone and short pasterns, holds the field. A blend of the Shire and Clydesdale strains of the British rough-legged draught horse (virtually sections of the same breed) is a better animal than either of the parents. It is an improvement upon the Shire due to the quality contributed by the Clydesdale, and it surpasses the Clydesdale in strength and substance, as a result of the Shire connexion. To secure success the two Stud-Books will require to be opened to animals eligible to be entered in either record. The blend is being established in U.S.A. as a National breed.

The Suffolk is a horse quite distinct from the Shire and the Clydesdale. Its body looks too heavy for its limbs, which are free from the " feather " so much admired in the two other heavy breeds; it possesses a characteristic chestnut colour. How long the Suffolks have been associated with the county after which they are named is unknown, but they are mentioned in 1586 in Camden's Britannia. With an average height of about 16 hands they often have a weight of as much as 2000 lb., and this may explain the appearance which has given rise to the name of the Suffolk Punch, by which the breed is known. The Suffolk is a resolute and unwearying worker, and is richly endowed with many of the best qualities of a horse. The Suffolk Stud-Book and History of the Breed, published in 1880, is the most exhaustive record of its kind in England. (W. FR.; R. W.) Management Breeding. - Animals to breed from should be of good blood, sound and compactly built, with good pluck and free from nervous excitability and vicious tendency. A mare used to be put to the horse at three years old, but latterly two has become the common age. Young sires begin to serve in moderation at two. May is considered the best month for a mare to foal, as there is abundance of natural food and the weather is mild enough for the mare to lie out. Show specimens generally profit by being born earlier. The period of gestation in the mare is about eleven months. No nursing mare should go to work, if this can possibly be avoided. A brood mare requires plenty of exercise at a slow pace and may work, except between shafts or on a road, till the day of foaling.

To avoid colic an animal has to be gradually prepared by giving small quantities of green food for a few days before going to grass. Shelter against severe storms is needed. Succulent food encourages the flow of milk, and the success of the foal greatly depends on its milk supply. Mares most readily conceive when served at the " foal heat " eleven days after foaling. A mature stallion can serve from eighty to one hundred mares per annum.

Foals are weaned when five or six months old, often in October, and require to be housed to save the foal-flesh, and liberally but not overfed; but from the time they ate a month old they require to be " gentled " by handling and kindly treatment, and the elementary training of leading from time to time by a halter adjusted permanently to the head. When they are handreared on cow's milk foals require firm treatment and must have no fooling to teach them tricks. Young horses that are too highly fed are apt to become weak-limbed and top-heavy.


Systematic breaking begins at about the age of two years, and the method of subduing a colt by " galvayning " is as good as any. It is a more humane system than " rareying," which overcame by exhaustion under circumstances which were not fruitful of permanent results. Galvayning is accomplished by bending the horse's neck round at an angle of thirty-five to forty degrees and tieing the halter to the tail, so that when he attempts to walk forward he holds himself and turns " round and round, almost upon his own ground." The more strenuous his resistance the sooner he yields to the inevitable force applied by himself. A wooden pole, the " third hand," is then gently applied to all parts of the body until kicking or any form of resistance ceases. " Bitting " or " mouthing," or the familiarizing of an animal to the bit in his mouth, and to answer to the rein without bending his neck, is still a necessity with the galvayning method of breaking. Experience can only be gained by a horse continuing during a considerable time to practise what he has been taught.

Three main characteristics of a successful horse-breaker are firmness, good temper and incessant vigilance. Carelessness in trusting too much to a young colt that begins its training by being docile is a fruitful source of untrustworthy habits which need never have developed. Driving with long reins in the field should precede the fastening of ropes to the collar, as it accustoms the animal to the pressure on the shoulders of the draught, later to be experienced in the yoke. If a young horse be well handled and accustomed to the dummy jockey, mounting it is not attended with much risk of resistance, although this should invariably be anticipated. An animal ought to be in good condition when being broken in, else it is liable to break out in unpleasant ways when it becomes high-spirited as a result of improved condition. It should be well but not overfed, and while young not overworked, as an overtired animal is liable to refuse to pull, and thus contract a bad habit. Most bad habits and stable tricks are the result of defective management and avoidable accidents.


Horses have small stomachs relatively to ruminating animals, and require small quantities of food frequently. While grazing they feed almost continually, preferring short pasture. No stable food for quick work surpasses a superior sample of fine-hulled whole oats like " Garton's Abundance " (120 lb per week), and Timothy hay harvested in dry weather. The unbruised oats develop a spirit and courage in either a saddle or harness horse that no other food can. A double handful of clean chaff, or of bran mixed with the oats in the manger, prevents a greedy horse from swallowing a considerable proportion whole. Unchewed oats pass out in the faeces uninjured, so that they are capable of germination, and are of less than no value to a horse. Horses doing slow or other than " upper ten " work may have oats crushed, not ground, and a variety of additions made to the oats which are usually the basis of the feed - for example, a few old crushed beans, a little linseed meal, ground linseed cake or about a wine-glassful of unboiled linseed oil. Indian pulses are to be avoided on account of the danger of Lathyrus poisoning. A seasoning of ground fenugreek or spice is sometimes given to shy feeders to encourage them to eat. A little sugar or molascuit added to the food will sometimes serve the same purpose. Newly crushed barley or cracked maize, even in considerable proportion to the rest of the food, gives good results with draught, coach, 'bus and light harness horses generally. Boiled food of any kind is unnatural to a horse, and is risky to give, being liable to produce colic, especially if the animal bolts its food when hungry, although it generally produces a glossy coat. Too much linseed, often used in preparing horses for market, gives a similar appearance, but is liable to induce fatty degeneration of the liver; given in moderation it regulates the bowels and stimulates the more perfect digestion of other foods. In England red-clover hay, or, better still, crimson-clover or lucerne hay, is liberally fed to farm horses with about io lb per day of oats, while they usually run in open yards with shelter sheds. Bean straw is sometimes given as part of the roughage in Scotland, but not in England. In England hunters and carriage horses are generally fed on natural hay, in Scotland on Timothy, largely imported from Canada, or ryegrass hay that has not been grown with nitrate of soda. Heavily nitrated hay is reputed to produce excessive urination and irritation of the bladder. Pease straw, if not sandy, and good bright oat straw are good fodder for horses; but with barley and wheat straw, in the case of a horse, more energy is consumed during its passage through the alimentary canal than the digested straw yields. Three or four Swedish turnips or an equivalent of carrots is an excellent cooling food for a horse at hard work. The greater number of horses in the country should have green forage given them during summer, when the work they do will permit of it, as it is their natural food, and they thrive better on it than on any dry food.

When a horse has been overstrained by work the best remedy is a long rest at pasture, and, if it be lame or weak in the limbs, the winter season is most conducive to recovery. The horse becomes low in condition and moves about quietly, and the frost tends to brace up the limbs. In autumn all horses that have been grazing should be dosed with some vermifuge to destroy the worms that are invariably present, and thus prevent colic or an unthrifty or anaemic state. On a long journey a horse should have occasional short drinks, and near the end a long drink with a slower rate of progression with the object of cooling off. In the stable a horse should always be provided with rock salt, and water to drink at will by means of some such stall fixture as the Mundt hygienic water-supply fittings. Overhead hay-racks are unnatural and are liable to drop seeds into a horse's eye.

LITERATURE.-FOr riding, &c. see RIDING, DRIVING, HORSEMANSHIP, and HORSE-RACING. For diseases of the horse see VETERINARY SCIENCE. The literature about the horse and its history and uses is voluminous, and is collected up to 1887 in Huth's Works on Horses, &c., a bibliographical record of hippology. See also, besides the works already mentioned, various books by Capt. M. Horace Hayes, Points of the Horse (1893, 2nd ed., 1897); Stable Management and Exercise (1900); Illustrated Horse-breaking (1889, 2nd ed., 1896); and The Horsewoman (1893) (with Mrs Hayes); E. L. Anderson, Modern Horsemanship (1884) W. Day, The Horse: How to Breed and Rear Him (1888); W. Ridgeway, Origin and Influence of the Thoroughbred Horse (1905); Major-General Tweedie, The Arab Horse (1894); J. Wortley Axe, The Horse; its Treatment in Health and Disease (1906); R. Wallace, Farm Live Stock of Great Britain (1885, 4th ed., 1907); Sydney Galvayne, The Twentieth Century Book of the Horse (1905); C. Bruce Low, Breeding Racehorses by the Figure System (1895); J. H. Wallace, The Horse of America in his Derivation, &c. (1897); Weatherly's Celebrated Racehorses (1887); Ruff's Guide to the Turf; T. A. Cook, History of the English Turf (1903); The General Stud-Book (issued quinquennially); and the Stud-Books of the various breed societies. (R. W.)

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Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Most common English words: desire « greater « army « #566: horse » send » peace » glad


Etymology 1

From Middle English < Old English hors

A common horse.

This definition is lacking an etymology or has an incomplete etymology. You can help Wiktionary by giving it a proper etymology.




horse (plural horses)

  1. A hoofed mammal (scientific name Equus caballus).
    A cowboy's greatest friend is his horse.
  2. (zoology) Any current or extinct animal of the family Equidae, including the zebra or the ass.
    These bone features, distinctive in the zebra, are actually present in all horses.
  3. (uncountable) Cavalry soldiers (often capitalized).
    We should place two units of horse and one of foot on this side of the field.
    All the King's Horse and all the King's Men, couldn't put Humpty together again.
  4. In gymnastics, a piece of equipment with a body on two or four legs, approximately four feet high with two handles on top.
    She's scored very highly with the parallel bars, let's see how she does with the horse.
  5. (chess) The chess piece representing a knight, depicted as a man in a suit of armor and often one a horse, hence the nickname.
    Now just remind me how the horse moves again?
  6. (slang) A large person.
    Every linebacker they have is a real horse.
  7. (nautical) A rope stretching along a yard, upon which men stand when reefing or furling the sails; foot ropes.
Usage notes

The standard plural in Old English was horse. This was replaced by the standard modern English plural horses in the seventeenth century, but the old plural is occasionally retained in military usage.

Derived terms
See also

Etymology 2





horse (uncountable)

  1. (uncountable, slang) Heroin.
    Alright, mate, got any horse?


to horse

Third person singular

Simple past

Past participle

Present participle

to horse (third-person singular simple present horses, present participle horsing, simple past and past participle horsed)

  1. (transitive) To provide with a horse.
  2. (intransitive) To frolic, to act mischieviously. Usually followed by "around".
    If you're going to horse around, we'll never get this done.
Derived terms
External links


Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

Always referred to in the Bible in connection with warlike operations, except Isa 28:28. The war-horse is described in Job 39:19ff. For a long period after their settlement in Canaan the Israelites made no use of horses, according to the prohibition, Deut 17:16. David was the first to form a force of cavalry (2 Sam 8:4). But Solomon, from his connection with Egypt, greatly multiplied their number (1 Kg 4:26; 1 Kg 10:26ff). After this, horses were freely used in Israel (1 Kg 22:4; 2Kg 3:7; 2Kg 9:21, 2Kg 9:33; 2Kg 11:16). The furniture of the horse consisted simply of a bridle (Isa 30:28) and a curb (Ps 329).

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

what mentions this? (please help by turning references to this page into wiki links)

This article needs to be merged with HORSE (Jewish Encyclopedia).

Simple English

Domestic Horse
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Perissodactyla
Family: Equidae
Genus: Equus
Species: E. caballus
Binomial name
Equus caballus
Linnaeus, 1758

[[File:|thumb|200px|A group of horses.]]

Horses pulling a plough.

A horse is a mammal of the Equidae family.

A male horse is a stallion, and a female horse is a mare. The general term for a young horse is foal. A young female horse is a filly, and a young male horse is a colt. A castrated horse is a gelding.[1]


Early Horses

Fifty million years ago, there were no horses. Eohippus was a short animal. It was the size of a cat. In Modern Latin the name Eohippus means dawn horse. Some scientists believe that Eohippus changed over millions of years into new animals. One of the new animals was the horse.

Eohippus did not have hooves. It had four toes on each front foot. It had three toes on each back foot.[2]

Horses and humans

Horses have been domesticated for at least 5000 years. They have been used by humans in many different ways, for travel, work, food, and pleasure.

They are used for riding, as transport, racing, and just plain riding. They are also used for carrying things or pulling carts, or to help plow farmer's fields in agriculture. Horses have also been used for meat, milk, and glue. Today, horses are mostly used for entertainment and sports. They also are still used for work and transportation in some places.

The old Latin word for horse is equus.[3]

Other uses of horses

Horsehide is a tough leather made from the skin of horses. Horsehair is used to make a stiff fabric. Horsehair can also be used as a stuffing for furniture. Horsehair can be mixed with plaster to make it strong.

Horse bones can be used to make gelatin for food. The bones can also be used to make glue. Animal glue is still preferred by some wood workers.[4]

Horses are used all over the world to carry people and pull carts.

They are used by police in big cities. Police horses help police watch and protect people in crowds.[5]

Horse Breeds

These are some well-known horse breeds:

  • Thoroughbret
  • Holstein
  • Clydesdale
  • Welsh Mountain Pony
  • Shetland Pony
  • Saddlebred
  • Arabian
  • Quarter Horse
  • Appaloosa
  • Morgan
  • Lipizzaner
  • Percheron
  • Hanoverian
  • Belgian

Other pages




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