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Evolution

Scientific Classification
Kingdom Phylum Class Subclass Infraclass Order Family Genus Species Subspecies Trinomial Name Animalia Chordata Mammalia Theria Eutheria Perissodactyla Equidae Eqqus E.ferus E.f.caballus Equus freus caballus
Linnaeus,1758

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 threeEquidae (the horse and related species), the tapir, and the rhinoceroshave survived to the present day.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.The extra toe on the front feet soon disappeared with the Mesohippus, which lived 32 to 37 million years ago. 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, known informally as splint bones. Their legs also lengthened as their toes disappeared until they were a hooved animal capable of running at great speed. By about 5 million years ago, the modern Equus had evolved. 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. [110] Yet between 10,000 and 7,600 years ago, the horse became extinct in North America and rare elsewhere. [111][112][113] The reasons for this extinction are not fully known, but one theory notes that extinction in North America paralleled human arrival.[114] 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.

Eocene and Oligocene: early equids


Hyracotherium
The earliest animal to bear recognizably horse-like anatomy was the Hyracotherium ("hyrax-like beast"). Its scientific name is derived from initial confusion over early partial fossils' relationship with living species: Richard Owen likened early Hyracotherium fossils "to a hare in one passage and to something between a hog and a hyrax in another". A later name for the Hyracotherium, "eohippus" ("dawn horse"), is also popular, though the earlier name takes precedence due to scientific naming conventions. Hyracotherium lived in the Ypresian (early Eocene), about 52 mya (million years ago). It was an animal approximately the size of a fox (250-450 mm in height), with a relatively short head and neck and a springy, arched back. It had 44 low-crowned teeth, in the typical arrangement of an omnivorous, browsing mammal: 3 incisors, 1 canine, 4 premolars, and 3 molars on each side of the jaw. Its molars were uneven, dull, and bumpy, and used primarily for grinding foliage. The cusps of the molars were slightly connected in low crests. The Hyracotherium browsed on soft foliage and fruit, probably scampering between thickets in the mode of a modern muntjac; the Hyracotherium had a small brain, and possessed especially small frontal lobes.

Hyracotherium, with left forefoot (third metacarpal colored) and tooth (a enamel; b dentin; c cement) detailed.

Its limbs were decently long relative to its body, already showing the beginnings of adaptations for running. However, all of the major leg bones were unfused, leaving the legs flexible and rotatable. Its wrist and hock joints were low to the ground. The forelimbs had developed five toes, out of which only four were equipped with a small proto-hoof; the large fifth "toe-thumb" was off the ground. The hind limbs had three out of the five toes equipped with small hooves, while the vestigial first and fifth toes did not touch the ground. Its feet were padded, much like a dog's, but with the small hooves on each toe in place of claws. For a span of about 20 million years, the Hyracotherium thrived with few significant evolutionary changes.The most significant change was in the teeth, which began to adapt to the changing diet of Hyracotheria, as these early Equidae shifted from a mixed diet of fruits and foliage to one focused increasingly on browsing foods. During the Eocene, a Hyracotherium species (most likely Hyracotherium vassacciense) branched out into various new types of Equidae. Thousands of complete, fossilized skeletons of these animals have been found in the Eocene layers of North American strata, mainly in the Wind River basin in Wyoming.

Orohippus
Approximately 50 million years ago, in the early-to-middle Eocene, Hyracotherium smoothly transitioned into Orohippus over a gradual series of changes. Although its name means "mountain horse", Orohippus was not a true horse and did not live in the mountains. It resembled Hyracotherium in size, but had a slimmer body, an elongated head, slimmer forelimbs, and longer hind legs, all of which are characteristics of a good jumper. Although Orohippus was still pad-footed, the vestigial outer toes of Hyracotherium were not present in the Orohippus; there were four toes on each forelimb, and three on each hind leg. The most dramatic change between Hyracotherium and Orohippus was in the teeth: the first of the premolar teeth were dwarfed, the last premolar shifted in shape and function into a molar, and the crests on the teeth became more pronounced. Both of these factors gave the teeth of Orohippus greater grinding ability, suggesting that Orohippus ate tougher plant material.

Epihippus
In the mid-Eocene, about 47 million years ago, Epihippus, a genus which continued the evolutionary trend of increasingly efficient grinding teeth, evolved from Orohippus. Epihippus had five grinding, low-crowned cheek teeth with well-formed crests. A late species of Epihippus, sometimes referred to as Duchesnehippus intermedius, had teeth similar to Oligocene equids, although slightly less developed. Whether Duchesnehippus was a subgenus of Epihippus or a distinct genus is disputed.

Mesohippus
In the late Eocene and the early stages of the Oligocene epoch (3224 mya), the climate of North America became drier, and the earliest grasses began to evolve. The forests were yielding to flatlands, home to grasses and various kinds of brush. In a few areas these planes were covered in sand, creating the type of environment resembling the present-day prairies. In response to the changing environment, the then-living species of Equidae also began to change. In the late Eocene, they began developing tougher teeth and becoming slightly larger and leggier, allowing for faster running speeds in open areas, and thus for evading predators in non-wooded areas. About 40 mya, Mesohippus ("middle horse") suddenly developed in response to strong new selective pressures to adapt, beginning with the species Mesohippus celer and soon followed by Mesohippus westoni. In the early Oligocene, Mesohippus was one of the more widespread mammals in North America. It walked on three toes on each of its front and hind feet (the first and fifth toes remained, but were small and not used in walking). The third toe was stronger than the outer ones, and thus more weighted; the fourth front toe was diminished to a vestigial nub. Judging by its longer and slimmer limbs, Mesohippus was an agile animal. Mesohippus was slightly larger than Epihippus, about 610 mm (24") at the shoulder. Its back was less arched, and its face, snout, and neck were somewhat longer. It had significantly larger cerebral hemispheres, and had a small, shallow depression on its skull called a fosse, which in modern horses is quite detailed. The fosse serves as a useful marker for identifying an equine fossil's species. Mesohippus had six grinding "cheek teeth", with a single premolar in fronta trait all descendant Equidae would retain. Mesohippus also had the sharp tooth crests of Epihippus, improving its ability to grind down tough vegetation.

Miohippus
Around 36 million years ago, soon after the development of Mesohippus, Miohippus ("lesser horse") emerged, the earliest species being Miohippus assiniboiensis. Like Mesohippus, Miohippus's evolution was relatively abrupt, though a few transitional fossils linking the two genera have been found. It was once believed that Mesohippus had an genetically evolved into Miohippus by a gradual series of progressions, but new evidence has shown that Miohippus's evolution was cladogenetic: a Miohippus population split off from the main Mesohippus genus, coexisted with Mesohippus for around 4 million years, and then over time came to replace Mesohippus. Miohippus was significantly larger than its predecessors, and its ankle joints had subtly changed. Its facial fosse was larger and deeper, and it also began to show a variable extra crest in its upper cheek teeth, a trait that became a characteristic feature of equine teeth. Miohippus ushered in a major new period of diversification in Equidae. While Mesohippus died out in the midOligocene, Miohippus continued to thrive, and in the early Miocene (245.3 mya), it began to rapidly diversify and speciate. It branched out into two major groups, one of which adjusted to the life in forests once again, while the other remained suited to life on the prairies.

Miocene and Pliocene: true equines


Kalobatippus
The forest-suited form was Kalobatippus (or Miohippus intermedius, depending on whether it was a new genus or species), whose second and fourth front toes were long, well-suited travel on the soft forest floors. Kalobatippus probably gave rise to Anchitherium, which travelled to Asia via the Bering Strait land bridge, and from there to Europe. In both North America and Eurasia, larger-bodied genera evolved from Anchitherium; Sinohippus in Eurasia and Hypohippus and Megahippus in North America. Hypohippus became extinct by the late Miocene.

Fossil Megahippus mckennai

Parahippus
The Miohippus population that remained on the steppes is believed to be ancestral to Parahippus, a North American animal about the size of a small pony, with a prolonged skull and a facial structure resembling the horses of today. Its third toe was stronger and larger, and carried the main weight of the body. Its four premolars resembled the molar teeth and the first were small and almost nonexistent. The incisive teeth of Parahippus, like those of its predecessors, had a crown as humans do; however, the top incisors had a trace of a shallow crease marking the beginning of the core/cup.

Merychippus
In the middle of the Miocene epoch, the grazer Merychippus flourished. Merychippus had wider molars than its predecessors, which are believed to have been used for crunching the hard grasses of the steppes. The hind legs, which were relatively short, had side toes equipped with small hooves, but they probably only touched the ground when running.[14] Merychippus radiated into at least 19 additional grassland species.

Merychippus, an effective grazer and runner.

Hipparion
Three lineages within Equidae are believed to be descended from the numerous varieties of Merychippus: Hipparion, Protohippus and Pliohippus. The most different from Merychippus was Hipparion. The main difference was in the structure of tooth enamel: in comparison with other Equidae, the inside, or tongue side, had a completely isolated parapet. A complete and well-preserved skeleton of the North American Hipparion shows an animal the size of a small pony. They were very slim, rather like antelopes, and were adapted to life on dry prairies. On its slim legs, Hipparion had three toes equipped with small hooves, but the side toes did not touch the ground. In North America, Hipparion and its relatives (Cormohipparion, Nannippus, Neohipparion, and Pseudhipparion), proliferated into many kinds of equids, at least one of which managed to migrate to Asia and Europe during the Miocene epoch. (European Hipparion differs from American Hipparion in its smaller body size the best-known discovery of these fossils was near Athens.)

Protohippus simus

Pliohippus
Pliohippus arose from Callippus in the middle Miocene, around 12 mya. It was very similar in appearance to Equus, though it had two long extra toes on both sides of the hoof, externally barely visible as callused stubs. The long and slim limbs of Pliohippus reveal a quick-footed steppe animal. Until recently, Pliohippus was believed to be the ancestor of present-day horses because of its many anatomical similarities. However, though Pliohippus was clearly a close relative of Equus, its skull had deep facial fossae, whereas Equus had no fossae at all. Additionally, its teeth were strongly curved, unlike the very straight teeth of modern horses. Consequently, it is unlikely to be the ancestor of the modern horse; instead, it is a likely candidate for the ancestor of Astrohippus.
Pliohippus pernix

Dinohippus
Dinohippus was the most common species of Equidae in North America during the late Pliocene. It was originally thought that Dinohippus was monodactyl, but a 1981 fossil find in Nebraska shows that some were tridactyl.

Plesippus
Plesippus is often considered an intermediate stage between Dinohippus and the extant genus, Equus. The famous fossils found near Hagerman, Idaho were originally thought to be a part of the genus Plesippus. Hagerman Fossil Beds (Idaho) is a Pliocene site, dating to about 3.5 mya. The fossilized remains were originally called Plesippus shoshonensis, but further study by paleontologists determined that fossils represented the oldest remains of the genus Equus. Their estimated average weight was 425 kg, roughly the size of an Arabian horse.At the end of the Pliocene, the climate in North America began to cool significantly and most of the animals were forced to move south. One population of Plesippus moved across the Bering land bridge into Eurasia around 2.5 Mya.

Mounted skeleton of Hagerman Horse (Equus simplicidens)

Modern horses
Equus
The genus Equus, which includes all extant equines, is believed to have evolved from Dinohippus, via the intermediate form Plesippus. One of the oldest species is Equus simplicidens, described as zebra-like with a donkey-shaped head. The oldest material to date is ~3.5 million years old from Idaho, USA. The genus appears to have spread quickly into the Old World, with the similarly aged Equus livenzovensis documented from western Europe and Russia. Molecular phylogenies indicate that the most recent common ancestor of all modern equids (members of the genus Equus) lived ~5.6 (3.9-7.8) mya. The oldest divergencies are the Asian hemiones (subgenus E. (Asinus)), including the Kulan, Onager, and Kiang), followed by the African zebras (subgenera E. Skull of a giant extinct horse of the (Dolichohippus), and E. (Hippotigris)). All other modern forms including the domesticated horse (and many fossil Pliocene and Pleistocene forms) belong to genus Equus, E. eisenmannae the subgenus E. (Equus) which diverged ~4.8 (3.2-6.5) million years ago. Pleistocene horse fossils have been assigned to a multitude of species, with over 50 species of equines described from the Pleistocene of North America alone, although the taxonomic validity of most of these has been called into question. Recent genetic work on fossils has found evidence for only three genetically divergent equid lineages in Pleistocene North and South America. These results suggest that all North American fossils of caballine-type horses (which also include the domesticated horse and Przewalski's Horse of Europe and Asia), as well as South American fossils traditionally placed in the subgenus E. (Amerhippus) belong to the same species: E. ferus. Remains attributed to a variety of species and lumped as New World stilt-legged horses (including E. francisci, E. tau, E. quinni and potentially N. American Pleistocene fossils previously attributed to E. cf. hemiones, and E. (Asinus) cf. kiang) likely all belong to a second species endemic to N. America, which despite a superficial resemblance to species in the subgenus E. (Asinus) (and hence occasionally referred to as North American Ass) is closely related to E. ferus. Surprisingly, the third species, endemic to S. America, and traditionally referred to as Hippidion, originally believed to be descended from Pliohippus, was shown to be a third species in the genus Equus, closely related to the New World stilt-legged horse. The temporal and regional variation in body size and morphological features within each lineage indicates extraordinary intraspecific plasticity. Such environment-driven adaptative changes would explain why the taxonomic diversity of Pleistocene equids has been overestimated on morphoanatomical grounds. According to these results, it appears that the genus Equus evolved from a Dinohippus-like ancestor ~4-7 mya. It rapidly spread into the Old World and there diversified into the various species of asses and zebras. A North American lineage of the subgenus E. (Equus) evolved into the New World stilt-legged horse (NWSLH). Subsequently, populations of this species entered South America as part of the Great American Interchange shortly after the formation of the Isthmus of Panama and evolved into the form currently referred to as "Hippidion" ~2.5 million years ago. "Hippidion" is thus unrelated to the morphologically similar Pliohippus, which presumably went extinct during the Miocene. Both the NWSLH and "Hippidium" show adaptations to dry, barren ground, whereas the shortened legs of "Hippidion" may have been a response to sloped terrain] In contrast, the geographic origin of the closely related modern E. ferus is not resolved. However, genetic results on extant and fossil material of Pleistocene age indicate two clades, potentially subspecies, one of which had a holarctic distribution spanning from Europe through Asia and across North America and would become the founding stock of the modern domesticated horse.

The other population appears to have been restricted to N. America. One or more N. American populations of E. ferus entered S. America ~1.0-1.5 million years ago, leading to the forms currently known as "E. (Amerhippus)", which represent an extinct geographic variant or race of E. ferus, however.

Pleistocene extinctions
Digs in western Canada have unearthed clear evidence that horses existed in North America until about 12,000 years ago. However, all Equidae in North America ultimately became extinct. The causes of this extinction (simultaneous with the extinctions of a variety of other American megafauna) have been a matter of debate. Given the suddenness of the event and the fact that these mammals had been flourishing for millions of years previously, something quite unusual must have happened. There are two main hypotheses. The first attributes extinction to climate change. For example, in Alaska, beginning approximately 12,500 years ago, the grasses characteristic of a steppe ecosystem gave way to shrub tundra, which was covered with unpalatable plants. Another hypothesis suggests extinction was linked to overexploitation of naive prey by newly arrived humans. Extinctions were roughly simultaneous with the end of the most recent glacial advance and the appearance of the big-game-hunting Clovis culture. Several studies have indicated that humans probably arrived in Alaska at the same time or shortly before the local extinction of horses. Additionally, it has been proposed that the steppe-tundra vegetation transition in Beringia may have been a consequence, rather than a cause, of the extinction of megafaunal grazers. In Eurasia, horse fossils began occurring frequently again in archaeological sites in Kazakhstan and the southern Ukraine about 6,000 years ago. From then on, it is probable that domesticated horses as well as the knowledge of capturing, taming, and rearing horses spread relatively quickly, with wild mares from several wild populations being incorporated en route.

Entire history
Horses were absent from the Americas until the Spanish brought domestic horses from Europe, beginning in 1493, and escaped horses quickly established large wild herds. The early naturalist Buffon suggested in the 1760s that this was an indication of inferiority of fauna in the New World, then later reconsidered this idea. William Clark's 1807 expedition to Big Bone Lick found "leg and foot bones of the Horses" which were included with other fossils sent to Thomas Jefferson and evaluated by the anatomist Caspar Wistar, but neither commented on the significance of this find. The first equid fossil was found in the gypsum quarries in Montmartre, Paris in the 1820s. The tooth was sent to the Paris Conservatory, where it was identified by Georges Cuvier who identified it as a browsing equine related to the tapir. His sketch of the entire animal matched later skeletons found at the site. [5] During the Beagle survey expedition the young naturalist Charles Darwin had remarkable success with fossil hunting in Patagonia. On 10 October 1833 at Santa Fe, Argentina, he was "filled with astonishment" when he found a horse's tooth in the same stratum as fossil giant armadillos, and wondered if it might have been washed down from a later layer, but concluded that this was "not very probable". After the expedition returned in 1836, the anatomist Richard Owen confirmed the tooth was from an extinct species which he subsequently named Equus curvidens, and remarked that "This evidence of the former existence of a genus, which, as regards South America, had become extinct, and has a second time been introduced into that Continent, is not one of the least interesting fruits of Mr. Darwin's paleontological discoveries." In 1848 a study On the fossil horses of America by Joseph Leidy systematically examined Pleistocene horse fossils from various collections, including that of the Academy of Natural Sciences and concluded at least two ancient horse species had existed in North America: Equus curvidens and another which he named Equus americanus. A decade later, however, he found the latter name had already been taken and renamed it Equus complicatus. In the same year, he visited Europe and was introduced by Owen to Darwin. The original sequence of species believed to have evolved into the horse was based on fossils discovered in North America in the 1870s by paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh. The sequence, from Hyracotherium (popularly called Eohippus) to the modern horse (Equus), was popularized by Thomas Huxley and became one of the most widely-known examples of a clear evolutionary progression. The horse's evolutionary lineage became a common feature of biology textbooks, and the sequence of transitional fossils was assembled by the American Museum of Natural History into an exhibit which emphasized the gradual, "straight-line" evolution of the horse. Since then, as the number of equid fossils has increased, the actual evolutionary progression from Hyracotherium to Equus has been discovered to be much more complex and multi-branched than was initially supposed. The straight, direct progression from the former to the latter has been replaced by a more elaborate model with numerous branches in different directions, of which the modern horse is only one of many. It was first recognized by George Gaylord Simpson in 1951 that the modern horse was not the "goal" of the entire lineage of equids, it is simply the only genus of the many horse lineages that has survived. Detailed fossil information on the rate and distribution of new equid species has also revealed the progression between species was not as smooth and consistent as was once believed. Although some transitions, such as that of Dinohippus to Equus, were indeed gradual progressions, a number of others, such as that of Epihippus to Mesohippus, were relatively abrupt and sudden in geologic time, taking place over only a few million years. Both anagenesis (gradual change in an entire population's gene frequency) and cladogenesis (a population "splitting" into two distinct evolutionary branches) occurred, and many species coexisted with "ancestor" species at various times. The change in equids' traits was also not always a "straight line" from Hyracotherium to

Equus: some traits reversed themselves at various points in the evolution of new equid species, such as size and the presence of facial fossae, and it is only in retrospect that certain evolutionary trends can be recognized.

History Of The Horse


Asia
Although horses were domesticated at different times by people in different parts of the world, the oldest evidence of humans taming horses comes from Asia. Prehistoric horse cultures have been found in what is now the Southern Ukraine, Caucasus and Central Asia. These people were nomads, wandering the broad, grassy steppes, herding cattle, sheep or horses and hunting wild animals. They practically lived on horseback, using the horse for food, mainly in the form of mare's milk, as well as transportation. Horses were so important that they were often buried with tribal chiefs in elaborate tombs below ground. In the more developed civilisations of Persia, China and Japan, the horse was valuable military asset and carried messengers to all points of the kingdoms. Horses were celebrated in paintings, poetry, pottery and legend. Rustum, the Persian hero, rode his magic horse Rakish in battle and on adventures. Pottery horses of the T'ang Dynasty are supreme examples of Chinese art. The horse made empires possible. Muslim warriors on horseback took control of lands from Persia to Spain in the 700's. Jengiz Khan and his mounted Mongol warriors conquered the largest empire in human history, from China to the shores of the eastern Mediterranean in the 12th Century. The horse enabled rulers to administer their far-flung territories by using couriers to send messages and instructions to local governors. The style of riding introduced into the Middle East by the warriors of the Prophet spread through Europe and eventually formed the basis for the style of riding now known as English saddle or hunt seat.

Africa
In northern Africa, Arab and Barb horses provided the mounts for the armies that created great kingdoms in Mali, Niger and Sudan. The ruler of Timbuktu was said to have had 3000 horseman in his troop and would purchase the best ones from each caravan that passed by. The sub-tropical and tropical climates of central and western Africa make it almost impossible to raise horses locally. The presence of disease-carrying insects, especially the tsetse fly, and another factor limiting the ability of horses to survive in Africa. Horses were scarce for other reasons: Africans traditionally herded cattle, sheep and goats on foot, and the African soil was too poor for large-scale farming. All these factors combined to leave little need for horses in daily life. As a result, their use was limited to the military and to the ruling classes, who enjoyed using horses in elaborate displays of wealth, such as the durbar in northern Nigeria. South of the jungle formed by the great Congo Basin, which divides Africa from East to West, the horse was unknown until Dutch and English settlers arrived. They used horses in the same way in Europe, for farming, herding and travel. The native Africans had no need for the horse in farming and herding, but they used horses occasionally for transportation. As a result, the horse did not play an important role in the economy or society of southern Africa, unlike elsewhere in the world.

Europe
Modern Europe has its origins in the kingdoms of the Middle Ages, which have their origins in the feudal system, which was made possible by the horse. More exactly, feudalism was made possible by the introduction of the stirrup into Europe in the 800's. The stirrup turned a man on horseback into a formidable fighting unit. The mounted knight in armour was the mainstay of the medieval army. The system of land ownership required to support the knight developed into a highly complex social organization. The feudal kingdoms eventually evolved into the nations of Europe, as we know them today. Stirrups helped not only the knight, but also the merchant, the traveler and the courier of the king. A rider with stirrups is much more secure than a rider without them and the result was to vastly increase the use of the horse for riding. In addition to the stirrup, the shoulder collar, another imported piece of equipment, helped the horse to become important in European social and economic development. During the Roman Empire, long before the Middle Ages, horses were used in almost exclusively for war or sport. They did not usually pull ploughs or carts because the Roman harnesses were not efficient. The shoulder collar enabled the horses to pull ploughs and wagons. Stronger and faster than the ox, the horse became much more useful to the peasant and the merchant. Until the invention of the internal combustion engine, the horse was Europe's most important source of energy. The word 'Horsepower' is still used today to measure engines.

North America
It is hard to imagine the history of North America without horses, yet horses had vanished from the Western Hemisphere many thousands of years before the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492. Remains of ancient bones found in parts of the United States indicate that horses may have been hunted by humans, but by the time the Europeans began to explore the continent, the horse was gone. It was not even a memory among the native tribes. The Spanish conquistadores brought horses back into North America in the early 1500's. Although vastly outnumbered, the Spanish were able to conquer the Aztec empire in Mexico as well as most what is now the western United States because the native populations had never seen horses and usually ran away in terror from their first sight of these strange animals. Exploration and settlement of the vast North American continent would have been much more difficult, if not impossible, without horses. Although oxen pulled the pioneers' wagons west into the prairies, they are slower than horses and are not as useful. Without horses, for example, there would have been no Pony Express to deliver the mail, no cowboys to round up cattle and no stagecoaches to carry people from town to town. The horse pulled the farmer's plough, carried the cavalry soldier in battle and brought the doctor his patients. The Western style of riding developed directly from the medieval Spanish saddles, and the cowboy's seat, with long stirrups and straight leg, is the same seat used by a knight in armour. The universal image of the West is the cowboy and his horse.

South America
The Spanish conquistadors brought horses to South America in the 1500's The native people had never before seen these large creatures and they were at first terrified at the sight of men on horseback. As a result, mounted soldiers were able to conquer the native empires and establish Spanish rule over much of the continent. Afterwards, horses continued to be imported by Spanish and Portuguese colonists for use in farming, ranching and transportation, just as they were used in Europe. In South America today, horses remain valuable for ranching on the great cattle-raising estancias of Argentina and on the ranchos of Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay and northern Brazil. The gaucho on the his pony is a symbol of the Pampa, the South American plain, just as the cowboy is a symbol of the open range in the western United States. On the pampas, the horses are not stabled or corralled but range free in herds called remudas, which are led by a dominant mare. The mare is trained to follow the gaucho on his rounds, and when the gaucho's horse tires, he simply selects a fresh mount from the remuda. Along with the use of horses in herding, the European settlers brought their traditions of horse-based sports. Polo and racing remain popular today in many countries of South America. The South American breeds, developed from fine horses bred on the Iberian Peninsula since Roman times, are prized for their beauty and stamina.

History of horses in India


Harrapan civilization
All the main points of the Aryan invasion in its various incarnations have been disproved. The absence of horses, spoked wheels and iron in Harappan sites have been key points. Further excavations have discovered horses not only in Harappan but also in pre-Harappan sites, and in other sites in India from Karnataka to the Ganges region indicating an indigenous breed of horses in ancient India. The discovery of bones of Equus caballus Linn. (the true horse) from so many Harappan sites and that too Right from the lowest levels clearly establishes that the true domesticated horse was very much in use The use of the horse has been proven for the whole range of ancient Indian history. It was absurd to think that the Harappans did not have horses anyway, considering that Harappan sites included Afghanistan which definitely had horses and that Harappan trade with Central Asia would have included the horse anyway as it did the camel. It is true that we do not find horses represented extensively in the iconography of ancient India, though there are Harappan horse figures, but iconography is not a representation of the actual fauna and flora of a country but only certain mythic images. That the unicorn is a common Harappan image, for example, does not prove that unicorns were a common animal during Harappan times. The horse is not common in later Indian iconography either, though we know the animal was commonly used. Most interestingly the enemies of the Vedic people, the Dasas or Dasyus, are also described in the Rig Veda as possessing a wealth in horses, which the Aryans win from them or receive as gifts from them. In fact one Dasa Balbutha gives a Vedic seer a gift of 60,000 horses. There is no battle between a horse and a non-horse culture in Vedic literature either. On the other hand, the famous Vedic Brahma bull is everywhere in ancient Indian iconography and throughout the Harappan culture, as are many other Vedic symbols like swastikas. Evidence of the wheel, and an Indus seal showing a spoked wheel as used in chariots, has been found, suggesting the usage of chariots in at least the later Harappan period. The whole idea of nomads with chariots is itself questionable. Chariots are not the vehicles of nomads. Chariots are the vehicles of an urban elite or aristocracy, as in their usage in Rome, Greece and the ancient Middle East. Chariots are appropriate mainly in ancient urban cultures with much flat land, of which the broad river plain of north India was the most suitable. Chariots are unsuitable for crossing mountains and deserts, as the Aryan invasion requires. Meanwhile the term "asvarohi" or one who mounts horses does not occur in the Rig Veda, showing no basis for the idea of the Vedic people as mounted horsemen from the steppes. That the Vedic culture used iron - and must date later than the introduction of iron around 1500 BC - revolves around the meaning of the Vedic term "ayas," interpreted according to the invasion theory as iron. Ayas in other Indo-European languages like Latin or German usually means copper, bronze or ore generally, not specifically iron. It is the basis of the English word ore and traced to the old Indo-European root "Ais, (a lump of) bronze or copper, later used to designate iron."(*18) There is no reason to insist that in such earlier Vedic times, ayas meant iron, particularly since other metals are not mentioned in the Rig Veda (except gold which is much more commonly referred to than ayas). Moreover, the Atharva and Yajur Vedas speak of different colors of metals along with ayas (such as red and black), with the black being the likely candidate for iron. Hence it is clear that ayas generally meant metal and not specifically iron, most likely copper as in the Rig Veda it is compared to gold in its luster and can be a synonym for gold. Moreover, the inimical peoples in the Rig Veda, not only have horses, they use ayas, even for making their cities, as do the Vedic people themselves.(*20) There is nothing in Vedic literature to show that either the Vedic culture was an iron-based culture or that their enemies were not. Both had the same metal whatever it was. The Vedic battle was between people of the same cultural complex including horses, ayas and chariots and does not reflect the cultural divide proposed by the Aryan invasion. Early Vedic civilization, as evidenced in the Rig Veda, centers around the use of ayas or copper, barley (yava) as the main grain and cattle as the main domesticated animal. Pre-Harappan sites in India show copper, barley and cattle as the basis of the civilization. In Harappan times rice and wheat were also used, such as are mentioned in later Vedic texts like Atharva Veda. The general civilization shown in the Vedas reflects both Harappan and pre-Harappan eras and shows the development between them.

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Mythological status
The horse has been present in South Asia from at least the mid 2nd millennium BC, more than two millennia after its domestication in Central Asia. The earliest uncontroversial evidence of horse remains on the Indian Subcontinent date to the early Swat culture (ca. 1600 BC). There are claims of stray finds dating to earlier times, as early as the mid 3rd millennium, but these are not generally accepted. The topic is of some importance to the dating of Indo-Aryan migration to India. Ashva (a Sanskrit word for a horse) is one of the significant animals finding references in several Hindu scriptures.
Village deity Aiyanar with his horse.

According to RV 7.18.19, Dasyu tribes (the Ajas, Shigrus and Yakshus) also had horses. McDonnell and Keith point out that the Rig-Veda does not describe people riding horses in battle (see Bryant 2001: 117). This is in accord with the usual dating of the Rig-Veda to the late Bronze Age, when horses played a role as means of transport primarily as draught animals (while the introduction of cavalry dates to the early Iron Age, possibly an Iranian (specifically Parthian) innovation of ca. the 9th century BC). RV 1.163.2 mythologically alludes to the introduction of the horse and horse riding: This Steed which Yama gave hath Trita harnessed, and him, the first of all, hath Indra mounted. His bridle the Gandharva grasped. O Vasus, from out the Sun ye fashioned forth the Courser. (trans. Griffith)

Yajurveda
The Ashvamedha or horse sacrifice is a notable ritual of the Yajurveda.

Hayagriva
One of the famous avatars of Vishnu, Hayagriva, is depicted with a horse head. Hayagriva is worshipped as the God for Knowledge.

Horse symbolism
The legend states that the first horse emerged from the depth of the ocean during the churning of the oceans. It was a horse with white color and had two wings. It was known by the name of Uchchaihshravas. The legend continues that Indra, one of the gods of the Hindus, took away the mythical horse to his celestial abode, the svarga (heaven). Subsequently, Indra severed the wings of the horse and presented the same to the mankind. The wings were severed to ensure that the horse remain on the earth (prithvi) and does not fly back to Indras suvarga. According to Aurobindo (Secret of the Veda, pp. 44), Asva may not always denote the horse. Aurobindo argued that the words asva and asvavati symbolize energy. Asva or ratha was also interpreted to be sometimes the "psycho-physical complex on which the Atman stands or in which it is seated". [2] In another symbolic interpretation based on RV 1.164.2 and Nirukta 4.4.27, asva may also sometimes symbolize the sun.

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Social role
War
The horse proved its worth first in war, as it was by far the fastest, most agile and most maneuverable engine for a chariot or a mounted soldier. Oxen and donkeys, although much calmer than horses, could not come even close to the horse on the ancient battlefield. They simply were too slow. The Hittites, or Hyksos, invented the war chariot and conquered Mesopotamia and Egypt around 1800 B.C.E. as a result. The swift-moving chariots held two men, one to drive and one to fight. The appearance of these unfamiliar animals and the speed at which chariot-borne spearmen and bowmen could deliver their deadly blows must have been as terrifying to Bronze Age foot soldiers as the thought of the hydrogen bomb is to us today. Since its first recognized contribution to civilization was on the battlefield, the horse immediately became identified with power and privilege, while cattle and donkeys were relegated to the peasantry. In an ancient Mesopotamian fable cited by John Keegan, in A History of Warfare, the horse boasts to the ox that he lives near kings and eats without being eaten. It is an early indication of the horse being associated with pride and wealth. Individual mounted soldiers do not appear in historical records until some 800 years later, around 1,000 B.C.E. Scholars explain the long interval as the result of needing to breed larger and stronger horses to carry an armored man. I believe other factors contributed to the delay. As pointed out previously, ponies can carry adults; size alone does not tell the whole story. People needed to figure out how to ride a horse. There is nothing obvious about horseback riding! Reins, leg aids, the type of seat -- all the signals a rider of today takes for granted -- had to be invented, as did all the equipment. It probably took months and years of effort, with advice being handed down orally from wise old grooms and herders.

Travel
After winning the wars, the conquerors had to keep control over their far-flung territories. Until the steam engine and the telegraph appeared in the 19th century, there was no match for the horse for swift travel and communications. The Persians in the fifth century B.C.E., who built the largest empire of their time, dispatched commands from their capital using relays of mounted couriers whom "neither snow, rain, heat, nor darkness stays from the swift completion of their appointed rounds," in the words of Herodotus (adopted as the motto of the U.S. Post Office). Building and maintaining empires was in early times the principal means of encountering other cultures. Travel and trade extended that contact and produced the spread of ideas that created the civilizations of the ancient world. Making much of that possible perhaps all of it was the horse.

Leisure
When people took time out from fighting each other, they found in the horse a handy source of entertainment. As soon as humans learned to ride, they realized they could chase bigger and more challenging game for the table or for sport. Persians and Greeks staged horse races and both seem to have been the earliest people to take an active interest in horsemanship as a discipline. The Art of Horsemanship, a treatise by the Greek historian and philosopher Xenophon, who lived from 430 to 354 B.C.E., is the oldest surviving text of its kind in the world, and much of his advice is followed by horsemen today.

Work
Although having proved its worth in war, travel and sport, the horse had to wait some time before joining the regular workforce. Throughout Hellenistic, Roman and early Medieval times, oxen and donkeys remained the primary forerunners of the internal combustion engine. The horses available then in the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern empires were too light and small to compete with the ox in pulling large loads. Moreover, horses were at all times more expensive to keep than oxen or donkeys. Their relatively less efficient digestive systems meant they had to be fed more often and they required more expensive feed. Until heavier breeds were introduced to the West, the horse was limited to military campaigns, chariot races and other forms of aristocratic luxury.

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Role in Stories
The Use of Horses in Ancient Rome
In Ancient Roman times, horses were used quite often. They were a big part in military, daily life, and in mythology and stories. One might not think of the horse to be an asset to a culture but the horse played a big role. Horses were used every day for everyday things such as:

Farming Getting around Money for trading Sports Battle Stories and Mythology Art

Horse and Transportation


Horses played a big role in the transportation of people and goods. People would travel from town to town by means of the hoof. Horses were also used in the transportation of goods such as mail. The horse was mainly used to transport people though.

Horses and Farming


Horses were used as sacrifices to the Gods to have a bountiful harvest. They would be raced in a chariot race and then the winning horse would then be stabbed by a priest and then sacrificed to the harvest god. The blood, tail, and the head were used in a ritual after the sacrifice.

The blood was used to purify livestock. The tail was brought to the king for health. The head of the horse was nailed to a wall in hopes it would bring a bountiful harvest.

Horse and Sport


The main sport in Ancient Rome the horse was a big part of was chariot racing. Chariot racing was considered an important yet dangerous activity for these reasons:

They had professional charioteers Romans would gather everyday to watch the races take place. Some emperors were known to murder the opposing team's charioteers. If the chariot were to tip over, the horse would continue to run and therefore the charioteer risked getting his hand cut off by the strap.

There were other sports in Ancient Rome dealing with the horse besides chariot racing, these being:

Pageants in which chariots were paraded by teams of horses. Horses were in exhibitions dancing to music and performing what is called "Tripudium." Roman riding first came to use in Ancient Roman times, this is now known as vaulting, or aerobatics on horseback.

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Horses for Money


As with many civilizations, money to Romans was important so, the horse, for the Romans, was a means by which they could make trades instead of using money. One would use the horse in trades and agreements. In these cases, one would use a horse as an offer, and the mightier the steed, the higher the value.

Horses in Battle
To have a horse in battle was to have a greater advantage over the enemy. The horse was sometimes considered a soldier in itself. The Calvary was mainly made up of young men who owned their horses. Men on horseback were at the front of the fighting line. By using horses, it made the Roman army faster and more efficient when time was an issue. Horses aided in this by:

Ability to scout out territory. Send urgent messages. Have an overall height advantage over the opposing army.

The Horse in Stories


The horse was portrayed many times in stories, some being:

Alexander the Great Stories of the Roman god Neptune Homer's the Iliad when Athena made herself known through the horse's voice at Patroluklus' funeral. The myth of Pegasus

Use of the Horse in Art


The coming of Athenian sculptures were responsible for a new subject in Roman art: the equestrian statue. As quoted by Mellin "...a great number of equestrian statues pranced and pirouetted on their pedestals all over Rome. Indeed the market was flooded with equestrian figures of emperors and centurions." Art was important for the Romans and the felt the horses deserved a place in the artistic world.

Horses as a Whole
The horse has shown great importance in the history of Ancient Rome. They were important in the ways of farming, getting around, money for trading, sports, battle, stories and mythology, and art.

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Mythological role in Indian stories


Uchchaihshravas
In Hindu mythology, Uchchaihshravas (Sanskrit: , "long-ears" or "neighing aloud", Uccairavas) or (; Uccairav) is a seven-headed flying horse, that was obtained during the churning of the milk ocean. It is considered the best of horses, prototype and king of horses. Uchchaihshravas is often described as a vahana ("vehicle") of Indra - the god-king of heaven, but is also recorded to be the horse of Bali, the king of demons. Uchchaihshravas is said to be snow white in color. George Harrison's Dark Horse Records music label uses a logo inspired by Uchchaihshravas. Mahabharata mentions that Uchchaihshravas rose from the Samudra manthan ("churning of the milk ocean") and Indra - the god-king of heaven seized it and made it his vehicle (vahana). He rose from the ocean along with other treasures like goddess Lakshmi - the goddess of fortune, taken by god Vishnu as his consort and the amrita the elixir of life. The legend of Uchchaihshravas, rising from the milking ocean also appears in the Vishnu Purana, Ramayana, Matsya Purana, Vayu Purana etc. While various scriptures give different lists of treasures (ratnas) those appeared from the churning of the milk ocean, most of them agree that Uchchaihshravas was one of them. Uchchaihshravas is also mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita (10.27, which is part of the Mahabharata), a discourse by god Krishna - an Avatar of Vishnu - to Arjuna. When Krishna declares to the source of the universe, he declares that among flying horses, he is Uchchaihshravas - who is born from the amrita. The 12th century Hariharacaturanga records once Brahma, the creator-god, performed a sacrifice, out of which rose a winged white horse called Uchchaihshravas. Uchchaihshravas again rose out of the milking ocean and was taken by the king of the demons (Asura) Bali, who used it to attain many impossible things.Vishnu Purana records when Prithu was installed as the first king on earth, others were also given kingship responsibilities. Uchchaihshravas was then made the king of horses.

Uchchaihshravas

A seven-headed winged Uchchaihshravas with other treasures from Samudra manthan

Mahabharata also mentions about a bet between sisters and wives of Kashyapa - Vinata and Kadru about the color of Uchchaihshravas's tail. While Vinata - the mother of Garuda and Aruna said it was white, while Kadru said it was black. The loser would have serve a servant of the winner. Kadru told her Naga ("serpent") sons to cover the tail of the horse and thus make it appear as black in color and thus, Kadru won. Kumarasambhava by Kalidas, narrates that Uchchaihshravas, the best of horses and symbol of Indra's glory was robbed by the demon Tarakasura from heaven. Devi Bhagavata Purana narrates that once Revanta, the sun-god Surya's son came to god Vishnu's abode, riding Uchchaihshravas. Seeing Uchchaihshravas - her brother's brilliant form, Lakshmi was mesmerized and ignored a question asked by Vishnu. Suspecting that Lakshmi lusted for Uchchaihshravas and thus ignored him, Vishnu cursed her to be born as a mare in her next birth.

Cavalry in gupta period


The Kautaliya and Megasthenes was a well-organized and efficient cavalry force in the army of Chandragupta. In the ArthaVeda we hear of dust-raising horsemen. In this connection it is interesting to consider the oft-repeated statement that horses are nonIndian. It is not the whole truth. They were known to the Asuras of Vedic literature. There is a legend narrated in the third book of the Hariharacaturanga (though this is work of the late 12th century A.D., the tradition recorded is very ancient). In the epoch of the epics and the Arthasastra, we find that the cavalry occupied as important a place in the army as any other division. Megasthenes corroborates the evidence of the Arthasastra. There was a special department in the State for the cavalry. The horses of the State were provided with stables and placed under the care of good grooms and syces. There were several trained horsemen who could jump forward and arrest the speed of galloping horses. But the majority of them rode their horses with bit and bridle. When horses became ungovernable they were placed in the hands of professional trainers who made the animals gallop round in small circles. In selecting horses of war, their age, strength, and size were taken into account. We may remark in passing that Abhimanyu's horses were only three years old.

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How important the science of horses was to the ancient Indians is best seen from the Laksanaprakasa which quotes from several important old authorities some of which are probably lost to us. Among them are the Asvayurveda and Asvasastra, the former attributed to Jayadeva and the latter to Nakula. Both the Puranas and the epics agree that the horses of the Sindhu and Kamboja regions were the finest breed and that the services of the Kambojas as cavalry troopers were requisitioned in ancient wars. In the Mahabharata war the Kambojans (Cambodians) were enlisted. The steeds of Bahalika were also highly esteemed. Horses had names and so did elephants. Unlike the chariot horse, the cavalryman drove his animal with a whip which was generally fixed to the wrist. This allowed his hand free play. The cavalryman was armed with arrow or spear or sword. He wore breastplate and turban (unsnisa). Worth noting is the fact that horses were made to drink wine before actually marching to battle. The tactical use of the cavalry was to break through the obstacles on the way, to pursue the retreating enemy, to cover the flanks of the army, to effect speedy communication with the various parts of the army unobserved (bahutsara) and to pierce the enemy ranks from the front to the rear. The cavalry was responsible, in a large measure, for the safety and security of the army in entrenched positions, forests or camps. It obstructed movements of supplies and reinforcements to the enemy. In short, the cavalry was indispensable in situations requiring quickness of movement.

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Breeds

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Breeds of horses seen in general and wild life


Horse Breed Directory AC

Abaco Barb Abtenauer Abyssinian horse Aegidienberger Akhal-Teke Albanian horse Altai horse Altr Real, see Lusitano American Cream Draft American Indian Horse American Paint Horse American Quarter Horse American Saddlebred American Warm blood Andalusian horse some bloodlines also called Pura Raza Espaola (PRE) or Pure Spanish-bred Andravida horse Anglo-Arabian Anglo-Arabo-Sardo Anglo-Kabarda Anglo-Norman horse Appaloosa AraAppaloosa, also called Ara-Appaloosa, Arappaloosa or Araloosa Arabian horse Ardennes horse, or Ardennais Arenberg-Nordkirchen Argentine Criollo

Asturcn Australian Brumby Australian Draught Horse Australian Stock Horse Austrian Warmblood Auxois Avelignese Azerbaijan horse Azteca horse Baise horse, also known as Guangxi Balearic horse, see Mallorqun and Menorqun Balikun horse Baluchi horse Ban'ei Banker Horse Barb (horse) Bardigiano Bashkir Curly Basque Mountain Horse Bavarian Warm blood Belgian (horse) Belgian Warm blood (includes Belgian Half-blood) Black Forest Horse, also called Black Forest cold blood or Schwarzwlder Kaltblut Blazer horse Boulonnais horse Brabant, see Belgian (horse) Brandenburger Brazilian Sport Horse (Brasileiro de Hipismo) Breton horse, or Trait Breton Brumby Budyonny (horse) or Budenny

Burguete horse Byelorussian Harness Calabrese horse Camargue (horse) Camarillo White Horse Campolina Canadian horse Canadian Pacer Carolina Marsh Tacky Carthusian horse Caspian horse Castilian horse Catria horse Cavallo Romano della Maremma Laziale Chickasaw Horse Chilean Corralero Chilean Horse Choctaw Horse Cleveland Bay Clydesdale (horse) Colonial Spanish Horse Colorado Ranger Cold blood trotter Comtois horse Costa Rican Saddle Horse Cretan horse Criollo horse, also spelled Crioulo Cuban Criollo horse Curly Horse Czech warm blood

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D-K

Daliboz Danish Warmblood Danube Delta horse Dole Gudbrandsdal, also called Dole, or Dlahest Don, see Russian Don Draft Trotter, also called Light Dole, Dole Trotter Dutch harness horse Dutch Heavy Draft Dutch Warm blood East Bulgarian East Friesian horse Estonian Draft Estonian horse Falabella Faroese or Faroe horse Finnhorse, or Finnish Horse Fleuve, see Fouta Fjord horse also called Norwegian Fjord Horse Florida Cracker Horse Fouta or Foutank Frederiksborg horse Freiberger French Trotter Friesian cross (includes Friesian Sport Horses)

Friesian horse Friesian Sporthorse (a type of Friesian cross) Furioso-North Star Galiceno or Galiceo Galician Pony (Caballo de pura raza Gallega) Gelderland horse Georgian Grande Horse German Warmblood or ZfDP Giara Horse Gidran Groningen Horse Gypsy Vanner horse, sometimes called "Gypsy Horse," "Vanner Horse," "Gypsy Cob" or "Colored Cob" Hackney Haflinger Hanoverian horse Heck horse Heihe horse Hirzai Hispano-Bretn Hispano horse also known as Hispano-Arabe or Spanish Anglo-Arab Holsteiner horse Hungarian Warmblood Icelandic horse Indian Half-Bred Iomud

Irish Draught, also spelled Irish Draft Irish Sport Horse sometimes called Irish Hunter Italian Heavy Draft Italian Trotter Jaca Navarra Jutland horse Kabarda horse, also known as Kabardian or Kabardin Kaimanawa horses Karabair Karabakh horse also known as Azer At Karossier see Ostfriesen and AltOldenburger Kathiawari Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse Kiger Mustang Kinsky horse Kisber Felver Kladruber Knabstrupper Konik Kustanair

L-R

Latvian horse Lipizzan or Lipizzaner Lithuanian Heavy Draught Lokai Losino horse

Morgan horse Moyle horse Murakoz horse, Murkozi, or Murakzi l (Hungary) Murgese Mustang (horse)

Paint, see American Paint Horse Pampa horse Paso Fino Pentro horse Percheron

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Lusitano Lyngshest M'Bayar, see Fouta Malapolski Mallorqun Mangalarga Mangalarga Marchador Maremmano Marismeo horse Marsh Tacky Marwari horse Mecklenburger Menorqun Mrens horse Messara Mezhegyes felver, Hungarian Warmblood Metis Trotter Miniature horse Misaki Missouri Fox Trotter Monchina Mongolian Horse Monterufolino Morab

Namib Desert Horse Nangchen horse National Show Horse Nez Perce Horse Nokota horse Noma Nonius horse Nordlandshest/ Lyngshest Noriker horse, also called Pinzgauer Normandy Cob Norsk Kaldblodstraver (Norwegian coldblood trotter) North Swedish Horse Norwegian Fjord Novokirghiz Oberlander Horse Oldenburg horse Orlov trotter Ostfriesen and Alt-Oldenburger

Persano horse Peruvian Paso, sometimes called Peruvian Stepping Horse Pintabian Pleven horse Poitevin horse also called Mulassier Pottok Pryor Mountain Mustang Przewalski's Horse, also known as Takhi, Mongolian Wild Horse or Asian Wild Horse. Qatgani Quarab Quarter Horse Racking horse Retuerta horse Rhenish-German Cold-Blood also known as Rhineland Heavy Draft Rhinelander horse Riwoche horse Rocky Mountain Horse Romanian Sporthorse Rottaler, see Heavy warmblood Russian Don Russian Heavy Draft Russian Trotter

S-Z

Saddlebred Salerno Samolaco horse San Fratello horse Sarcidano horse Sardinian Anglo-Arab, also known as Sardinian Horse Sella Italiano

Svensk Kallblodstravare (Swedish cold blood trotter) Swedish Ardennes Swedish Warm blood Swiss Warm blood Taishuh Tawleed Tchernomor

Vlaamperd Vladimir Heavy Draft Vyatka Waler horse, also known as Waler Walkaloosa Warm blood Warlander

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Selle Franais Shagya Arabian Shire horse Siciliano indigeno Sorraia Sokolsky horse Soviet Heavy Draft Spanish Jennet Horse Spanish Mustang Spanish-Norman horse Spanish Tarpan, see Sorraia Spotted Saddle horse Standardbred horse Suffolk Punch

Tennessee Walking Horse Tersk horse Thoroughbred Tinker horse Tiger Horse Tolfetano Tori (horse) Trait Du Nord Trakehner Tuigpaard Ukrainian Riding Horse Unmol Horse Uzunyayla Ventasso horse (Cavallo Del Ventasso) Virginia highlander

Welsh Cob Westphalian horse Wielkopolski Wrttemberger or Wrttemberg Xilingol horse Yakutian horse Yili horse Yonaguni horse Zweibrcker emaitukas, also known as Zemaituka, Zhumd,Zhemaichu, or Zhmudk.

Existing Horse breeds


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. Thus, powerful but refined breeds such as the Andalusian developed as riding horses that also had a great aptitude for dressage, while heavy draft horses such as the Clydesdale developed out of a need to perform demanding farm work and pull heavy wagons. Other horse breeds developed specifically for light agricultural work, carriage and road work, various sport disciplines, or simply as pets. 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. 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. 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. These pedigrees were originally transmitted via an oral tradition. In the 14th century, Carthusian monks of southern Spain kept meticulous pedigrees of bloodstock lineages still found today in the Andalusian horse. 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. 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 "warm bloods", 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.

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Pony Breeds
Ponies are usually classified as members of Equus caballus that mature at less than 14.2 hands. However, some pony breeds may occasionally have individuals who mature over 14.2 but retain all other breed characteristics. There are also some breeds that now frequently mature over 14.2 hands due to modern nutrition and management, yet retain the historic classification "pony." For the purposes of this list, if a breed registry classifies the breed as a "pony," it is listed here as such, even if some individuals have horse characteristics. (Please note: Because of this designation by the preference of a given breed registry, most miniature horse breeds are listed as "horses," not ponies)

A-K

American Shetland American Walking Pony Anadolu pony also called Anadolu Ati Ariegeois Pony see Mrens horse in horse section Assateague Pony Asturian pony Australian Pony Australian Riding Pony Bali Pony Bashkir Pony Basque Pony Basuto pony, also spelled Basotho pony Batak Pony Bhutia Pony, also Bhotia, Bhote ghoda, Bhutan, Bhutani Boer Pony Bosnian Pony British Riding Pony British Spotted Pony

Burmese Pony Carpathian Pony Canadian rustic pony Caspian pony Chincoteague Pony Chinese Guoxia Coffin Bay Pony Connemara pony Czechoslovakian Small Riding Pony Dales Pony Danish Sport Pony Dartmoor pony Deli pony Deutsches Reitpony Dlmen Pony Eriskay pony Esperia Pony Exmoor pony Falabella Faroe pony Fell Pony Flores pony

French Saddle Pony Galician Pony Garrano Gayoe German Riding Pony, also called Deutsche Reitpony or Weser-Ems Pony Gotland Pony Guizhou pony Guangxi Go-xa pony Hackney pony Highland Pony Hokkaido Pony Hucul Pony Hunter Pony Icelandic pony Indian Country Bred Java Pony Kazakh Pony Kerry bog pony

L-Z

Landais Pony Lijiang pony Lundy Pony

Petiso Argentino Pindos Pony Poney Mousseye

Timor Pony Tokara Pony Virginia highlander

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Manipuri Pony Merens Pony Miniature horse Misaki Miyako Pony Narym Pony New Forest Pony Newfoundland pony Noma pony Nooitgedacht pony Northlands Pony Ob pony also called Priob pony Peneia Pony

Pony of the Americas Pottok Quarter pony Riding Pony Sable Island Pon Sandalwood Pony Sardinian Pony, see Sardinian horse Shetland pony Skogsruss Skyros Pony Spiti Pony Sumba and Sumbawa Pony Tibetan Pony

Vyatka (horse) Welara Welsh pony Welsh mountain pony Welsh Welsh pony of cob type Western Sudan pony Yakut Pony Yonaguni Zaniskari pony emaitukas, also known as Zemaituka, Zhumd, Zhemaichu, or Zhmudka

Distribution of Population
Domestication of the horse most likely took place in central Asia prior to 3500 BC. 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 35004000 BC.By 3000 BC, the horse was completely domesticated and by 2000 BC 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. 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 c. 2100 BC. 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, while many mares were part of early domesticated herds. 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, but a great deal of genetic variation in mitochondrial DNA.There is also regional variation in mitochondrial DNA due to the inclusion of wild mares in domestic herds. Another characteristic of domestication is an increase in coat color variation. In horses, this increased dramatically between 5000 and 3000 BC. 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.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. 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. Many populations of feral horses exist throughout the world. Studies of feral herds have provided useful insights into the behavior of prehistoric horses, as well as greater understanding of the instincts and behaviors that drive horses that live in domesticated conditions.

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There are also semi-feral horses in many parts of the world, such as Dartmoor and the New Forest in the UK, where the animals are all privately owned but live for significant amounts of time in "wild" conditions on undeveloped, often public, lands. Owners of such animals often pay a fee for grazing rights.

Critically Endangered Breeds


Fewer than 200 annual registrations in the United States and estimated global population less than 2,000.

American Cream Draft-The only draft horse breed native to the Caspian-One of the oldest and rarest breeds in the world, a United States. A medium draft breed characterized by an small horse with exceptional driving (it was used as a chariot outstanding cream colored coat and an even, trustworthy horse by the ancient kings of Persia) and jumping ability. disposition.

Cleveland Bay-A hardy, versatile, and friendly sport horse originating from Yorkshire, the population of Cleveland Bays was decimated by their use as artillery horses in World War I and they are still rare today. Uniformly a handsome bay color.

Exmore-Descended from the wild native ponies of Britain, the Florida Cracker-A small, agile gaited horse descended from Suffolk Punch-One of the few draft breeds bred specifically for Exmoor is an exceptionally hardy and sturdy little pony horses brought to America by the Spanish conquistadors and agricultural work rather than for use as chargers in medieval especially well-suited to cold climates and poor forage quality. traditionally used for working cattle in Florida. warfare, the Suffolk Punch was especially hard hit by the mechanization of agriculture. A handsome, bright chestnut horse, Suffolk's are renowned for their easy, willing disposition, strength, hardiness, and great "heart."

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Threatened Breeds
Fewer than 1,000 annual registrations in the United States and estimated global population less than 5,000.

Akhal Teke-One of the most unique horses in the world, the Akhal-Teke is an outstanding sport horse from the arid deserts of Turkmenistan. They are also famous for the unusual metallic sheen of their coats, but are prone to have difficult, "oneperson" dispositions.

Canadian-Renowned for their strength, versatility, and easy- Dales Pony/Fell Pony-Two of the five native pony breeds of going disposition, Canadian horses are great family horses, Britain, the Dales and Fell are exceptionally hardy and thrifty ideally suited for pleasure riding, driving, farm and ranch work, little ponies, well suited for driving and riding. and many other disciplines. Generally black in color.

Dartmoor-A sturdy, handsome riding pony with a friendly Hackney Horse-Tthe Hackney Horse is a brilliant harness Lipizann-Developed for royalty, the Lipizann is a breed of disposition. Generally dark in color, they are also good horse, with spectacular action, proud carriage, outstanding exceptional elegance and dignity. Almost uniformly a handsome reputation for soundness. grey color, Lipizanns are sturdy, powerful animals with an innate driving ponies. sense of rhythm that makes them especially well-suited to dressage and the arts of the haute cole.

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Watch Breeds
Fewer than 2,500 annual registrations in the United States and estimated global population less than 10,000. Also included are breeds that present genetic or numerical concerns or have a limited geographic distribution. Clydesdale-A British draft breed made famous by Budweiser Beer, the Clydesdale is Gotland-An ancient Swedish pony breed, Gotland's are hardy, athletic, and an especially handsome animal well-suited to driving, riding, and farm work. intelligent, used most commonly for driving and as children's mounts. Clydesdales are exceptionally sound have showier action than many of the other draft breeds.

Mountain Pleasure/Rocky Mountain Horse-Mountain Pleasure and Rocky Mountain Shire-The largest breed in the world, it was originally bred for use as a war Horses are closely related gaited breeds that actually hail from the mountains of horse by medieval knights. Later, it was used primarily for agricultural and draft Appalachia. Somewhat variable in physical type, they are marked by their easy, work. The Shire is an exceptionally gentle animal and has good action. comfortable gaits and calm, friendly dispositions.

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Recovering Breeds
Breeds that were once listed in another category and have exceeded Watch category numbers but are still in need of monitoring.

Belgian-The most popular draft breed in America, the Belgian Friesian-Originally a light draft or carriage horse, Friesians have Percheron-A handsome, powerful heavy draft breed of French is an immensely powerful animal of gentle temperament and experienced a renaissance in recent years due to their origin, with a calm, gentle disposition and willing nature willing disposition. magnificent appearance, brilliant action, and excellent disposition. Versatile and willing, they are good pleasure or driving horses and are becoming increasingly familiar as dressage horses and jumpers.

The Most Popular Horse Breeds in the World


Our two charts below show the detailed breakdown and comparative ranking of all 6,831 sites hosted by horse breeders and horse breed associations that Google, the world's premier internet search engine, reported as registered as of October 2007. Combined, they show the 72 most renowned horse breeds in the world, as of October 2007. Each breed bar has two numbers, their respective breed popularity rank shown to the left (e.g. Friesian is No. 12), and their relative support index to the right (e.g. Friesian is 116). The support (or demand) index is the number of sites hosted by breeders and breed associations referenced above. The second chart has its scale enlarged so that the lesser supported breeds, whose support indices span a smaller range, can be shown comparatively.

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Domination of The Top Horse Breeds


Ranking No. 1, just topping the increasingly popular American Quarter Horse, is the famed Arabian with an incredible 939 hosting breeders and breed association sites. The domination of these top two breeds is clearly reflected in their strong world-wide popularity on the internet. Both these two breeds overwhelm all others, sporting a comined 1,850 of the total 6,831 sites, or over 27% of all horse breeder and horse breed associations sites world-wide on the internet. Moreover, the world's top 18 horse breeds combined showcase 5,425 of the total 6,831 sites. Assuming each breed's index reflects the same proportion of its own breed's total number of breeders and breed associations, we estimate that over 75% of the world's horse breeding resources are devoted to the 18 most popular breeds (shown below).

Horse Breed
Arabian American Quarter Horse Paint Minature Thoroughbred Appaloosa Morgan Tennessee Walking Welsh Pony and Cob

Support Index
939 911 698 543 371 334 294 241 215

Popularity Rank
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Horse Breed
Andalusian Missouri Fox Trotting Friesian Peruvian Paso Paso Fino Icelandic American Saddlebred Trakehner Hanoverian

Support Index
164 127 116 84 84 81 76 73 65

Popularity Rank
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Breeds of Legend and History


The 20th Century advances in transporation and agriculture mechanization drastically reduced mankind's dependence upon horses, and many horse breeds have since become extinct, now living only in our history books. Now, in the Post Modern Era, only the most popular horse breeds are widely supported. We estimate that less than 25% of the world's pure horse breeds are supported by more than 75% of the world's resources devoted to pure horse breeds. Scores of horse breeds of legend and history, vital to genetic diversity and health, rank below the top 18 breeds, at a time when horse breeds ranked as high as 21 are endangered (Rocky Mountain - Ranked 21, Support Index 58, classified as "Watch" by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy).

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Biology

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Life Span and Life Stages

Depending on breed, management and environment, the modern domestic horse has a life expectancy of 25 to 30 years. It is uncommon, but a few animals live into their 40s and, occasionally, beyond. The oldest verifiable record was "Old Billy", a 19th-century horse that lived to the age of 62. 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 at age 56. 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 and August 1 in the southern hemisphere. The exception is in endurance riding, where the minimum age to compete is based on the animal's actual calendar age. The following terminology is used to describe horses of various ages:

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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. Most domesticated foals are weaned at 5 to 7 months of age, although foals can be weaned at 4 months with no adverse physical effects. Yearling: a horse of either sex that is between one and two years old. Colt: a male horse under the age of four. A common terminology error is to call any young horse a "colt", when the term actually only refers to young male horses. Filly: a female horse under the age of four. Mare: a female horse four years old and older. Stallion: a non-castrated male horse four years old and older. Some people, particularly in the UK, refer to a stallion as a "horse". Gelding: a castrated male horse of any age.

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

Size and Measurement of Horse and Pony


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 because 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 and inches. One hand is equal to 4 inches (101.6 mm). The height is expressed as the number of full hands, followed by a point, then the number of additional inches, then the abbreviation "h" or "hh" (for "hands high"). Thus, a horse described as "15.2 h" is 15 hands (60 inches, 152 cm) plus 2 inches (5.1 cm), for a total of 62 inches (157.5 cm) in height. 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). 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).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). The largest horse in recorded history was probably a Shire horse named Mammoth, who was born in 1848. He stood 21.2 hands high (86.5 in/220 cm), and his peak weight was estimated at 1,500 kilograms (3,300 lb).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 57 pounds (26 kg).

Ponies
The general rule for height distinguishing 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. However, there are many exceptions to the general rule. In Australia, ponies measure under 14 hands (56 inches, 142 cm).The International Federation for Equestrian Sports, which uses metric measurements, defines the cutoff between horses and ponies at 148 centimeters (58.27 in) (just over 14.2 h) without shoes and 149 centimeters (58.66 in) (just over 14.2 h) with shoes. Some breeds which typically produce individuals both under and over 14.2 h consider all animals of that breed to be horses regardless of their height. 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. 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. In fact, small size, by itself, is sometimes not a factor at all.

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While the Shetland pony stands on average 10 hands (40 inches, 102 cm),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.

Colors and Markings


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. Horses of the same color may be distinguished from one another by white markings, which, along with various spotting patterns, are inherited separately from coat color. 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" allele that is controlled by the Melanocortin 1 receptor, also known as the "extension gene" or "red factor." Additional genes control suppression of base red and black color to point coloration as seen in bay, spotting patterns such as pinto or leopard, dilutions such as palomino or dun, as well as graying, and all the other factors that create the dozens of possible coat colors found in horses. These colors can be modified by at least ten other genes to create all other colors. Horses which have a white coat color are often mislabeled; 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. Different and unrelated genetic factors can produce white coat colors in horses, including several different alleles of dominant white and the sabino-1 gene. However, there are no "albino" horses, defined as having both pink skin and red eyes.

Bay (left) and chestnut (sometimes called "sorrel") are two of the most common coat colors, seen in almost all breeds

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Reproduction and Development


Gestation lasts for approximately 335340 days and usually results in one foal. Twins are rare. Horses are a precocial species, and foals are capable of standing and running within a short time following birth. A group of horses is a herd 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. 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 epiphysis 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. 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. Although Thoroughbred race horses are put on the track as young age two in some countries, 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. For endurance riding competition, horses are not deemed mature enough to compete until they are a full 60 calendar months (5 years) old The male parent of a horse, a stallion, is commonly known as the sire and the female parent, the mare, is called the dam. Both are genetically important, as each parent provides half of the genetic makeup of the ensuing offspring, called a foal. (Contrary to popular misuse, the word "colt" refers to a young male horse only; "filly" is a young female.) Though many horse owners may simply breed a family mare to a local stallion in order to produce a companion animal, most professional breeders use selective breeding to produce individuals of a given phenotype, or breed. Alternatively, a breeder could, using individuals of differing phenotypes, create a new breed with specific characteristics In the horse breeding industry, the term "half-brother" or "half-sister" only describes horses which have the same dam, but different sires. Horses with the same sire but different dams are simply said to be "by the same sire", and no sibling relationship is implied."Full" (or "own") siblings have both the same dam and the same sire. The terms paternal half-sibling and maternal half-sibling are also often used. Three-quarter siblings are horses out of the same dam, and are by sires that are either half-brothers (i.e. same dam) or who are by the same sire. Thoroughbreds and Arabians are also classified through the "distaff" or direct female line, known as their "family" or "tail female" line, tracing back to their taproot foundation bloodstock or the beginning of their respective stud books. The female line of descent always appears at the bottom of a tabulated pedigree and is therefore often known as the bottom line. "Line breeding" technically is the duplication of fourth generation or more distant ancestors. [5] However, the term is often used more loosely, describing horses with duplication of ancestors closer than the fourth generation. It also is sometimes used as a euphemism for the practice of inbreeding, a practice that is generally frowned upon by horse breeders, though used by some in an attempt to fix certain traits.

Gender differences in training horses


To a large degree the generalizations are true. Stallions are driven by the need to find a mate and reproduce. This drive also impels them to prove they are the strongest and most impressive horse in the area. The result is often a horse that is argumentative and constantly challenges its handler. It takes an experienced handler to get and keep a stallions attention on the training job at hand. Mares also have hormonal drivers. When they are in season they can be as single minded as stallions about the need to reproduce. The hormonal changes that occur as they come into and drop out of season can also cause dramatic mood swings. They can go from being the perfect partner one day to the most argumentative the next. Mares are used to taking responsibility and may find it difficult to release that power to you. Lead mares in particular can take some convincing that you are in charge and some will never be satisfied that they dont get to make the decisions.

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Geldings dont have the hormonal forces operating that engage the attention of stallions and mares. Fewer distractions usually mean it is easier to capture and hold a geldings attention when training so less experienced handlers may find it easier to train them. As with all generalizations there are always exceptions to the rule and stallions exist who do not have a strong drive to reproduce or display their importance. Similarly some mares will not give any hint that they have come into season. All horses have individual personalities and gelding a colt does not automatically make him a more forgiving horse it simply removes distraction. The age at which a horse is gelded will also make a difference. A horse who is allowed to reach complete maturity and breed will continue to act as if he is a fully equipped stallion even after he is gelded. If you want a gelding without the disruption created by the reproductive drive they should be gelded before they develop a stallions mind. Gender actually plays no part in how trainable a horse is it does however impact their willingness to focus their full attention on the training task. The more easily distracted a horse is the more experienced a trainer needs to be to keep them on track.

Gender differences from the human point of view


There is another aspect of gender differences that can impact training. Because generalizations about gender differences in horses are so widely accepted most people are more relaxed around geldings than they are around mares or stallions. Horses understand and can interpret their handlers moods and body language better than most people understand their horses. Geldings rarely have to deal with the same level of tension and fear that stallions face with a new handler. When the trainer is relaxed it is easier for the horse to relax so geldings receive preferential treatment in this respect simply because we believe they are safer. Training tasks should be approached in exactly the same way no matter the gender of the horse. All should be started at the beginning and progress one step at a time through the training levels according to their individual capability. Gender is often used as an excuse for flaws in our training activities but if we are honest we will understand it is never a reason.

Cross breeds
An interspecific hybrid is created when a male and female from two closely-related species (usually from the same genus) mate and produce offspring. This offspring shares characteristics with both its parents. Normally hybrids are sterile: this prevents genetic characteristics from passing between the two gene pools and thus explains why they are two distinct species. This sterility is sometimes due to a difference in the number of chromosomes: for example, donkeys have 62 chromosomes, horses have 64, mules have 63, and the zebra has between 32 and 46 (depending on species). Rarely, however, a fertile hybrid will appear. A hybrid has a number of chromosomes somewhere in between. The chromosome difference makes female hybrids poorly fertile and male hybrids sterile due to a phenomenon called Haldane's Rule. Hybrid animals are often referred to by a portmanteau formed by combining the names of the two parent species: traditionally the father's species forms the first part of the name.

HebraMale horse + female zebra -> Hebra A hebra is a cross between a zebra mare and a horse stallion the rarest of equine inter-species breeding. Horse stallions as a general rule do not like to breed zebra mares.
Both Zorses and hebras combine the zebra striping overlaid on colored areas of the hybrid's coat. Zorses are most often bred using solid colour horses. If the horse parent is piebald (black and white) or skewbald (some other colour and white) (these are known in the USA as paint/pinto) the zorse may inherit the dominant de-pigmentation genes for white patches.

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Hebra

ZorseMale Zebra + female horse -> Zorse


So, a zorse is a cross between a zebra stallion and a horse mare. The zorse takes the colour or dominant colour gene of the mare and the zebra sire gives it stripes. Zebra stallions usually must be raised in a special environment to induce them to breed horse mares. The zorse is a strong animal with traces from both its parents. James Cossar Ewart crossed a zebra stallion with horse and pony mares in

order to investigate the theory of telegony, or paternal impression. Cossar Ewart used Arabian mares. Similar experiments were carried out by the US Government and reported in "Genetics in Relation to Agriculture" by E.B. Babcock and R.E. Clausen, and in "The Science of Life" by H.G. Wells, J. Huxley and G.P. Wells (c.1929). Zorses are also bred in Africa and used for trekking on Mount Kenya.

. Zorse

Why the Zorse was originally bred The crosses of zebras with horses, donkeys and ponies were originally done in England and Africa to try to produce a domestic horse like animal that was resistant to diseases spread by the tie tse fly in Africa. Zebras have natural resistance, where domestic donkeys and horses do not.

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The experimental crosses were actually becoming popular until early in the 20th century when the auto displaced the horse and mule. At that point cross-breeding was largely abandoned. A revival of interest came in the early 1990s, with just about every breed of domestic horse imaginable is being tried. Mares of quality, especially Quarter horses and American Paint horses, produce some very beautiful zorses that have a good working attitude. Longevity of Zorses Zorses tend to be very hardy and live into their 30s with good care. Their temperaments are generally similar to those of their mothers, but like the zebra they do have a strong flight response. Because of this it's best for a first time hybrid owner to get a zedonk instead. When a zedonk startles he freezes up like a donkey rather than bolting blindly like a horse or zebra. The temperament of a zorse, hebra, zony, or zonkey is more like that of the donkey, than the horse. This is not an animal for a novice to handle. Zebras are quite strong for their size and very aggressive in the wild. They possess a highly developed flight or fight survival response to anything they perceive as dangerous or frightening. The first defence in this psychology is to run away from danger. But, if they can't escape, the next defence is to fight for their lives, and they will. In the wild, zebras win at least as often as the predators who hunt them. This instinct is hundreds of times stronger in a wild animal than a domestic breed.

Zorse with zebra father

A gorgeous chestnut zorse

Close-up of Zorse Stripes

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Anatomy

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Skeletal system

The skeletal system of a modern horse

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Horses have a skeleton that averages 205 bones. A significant difference between the horse skeleton and that of a human, is the lack of a collarbonethe 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.

Ligaments and tendons Ligaments-Ligaments attach bone to bone or bone to tendon, and are vital in stabilizing joints as well as supporting structures. They are made
up of fibrous material that is generally quite strong. Due to their relatively poor blood supply, ligament injuries generally take a long time to heal. Tendons-Tendons are cords of connective tissue attaching muscle to bone, cartilage or other tendons. They are a major contributor to shock absorption, are necessary for support of the horses body, and translate the force generated by muscles into movement. Tendons are classified as flexors (flex a joint) or extensors (extend a joint). However, some tendons will flex multiple joints while extending another (the flexor tendons of the hind limb, for example, will flex the fetlock, pastern, and coffin joint, but extend the hock joint). In this case, the tendons (and associated muscles) are named for their most distal action (digital flexion). Tendons form in the embryo from fibroblasts which become more tightly packed as the tendon grows. As tendons develop they lay down collagen, which is the main structural protein of connective tissue. As tendons pass near bony prominences, they are protected by a fluid filled synovial structure, either a tendon sheath or a sac called a bursa. Tendons are easily damaged if placed under too much strain, which can result in a painful, and possibly career-ending, injury. Tendinitis is most commonly seen in high performance horses that gallop or jump. When a tendon is damaged the healing process is slow because tendons have a poor blood supply, reducing the availability of nutrients and oxygen to the tendon. Once a tendon is damaged the tendon will always be weaker, because the collagen fibers tend to line up in random arrangements instead of the stronger linear pattern. Scar tissue within the tendon decreases the overall elasticity in the damaged section of the tendon as well, causing an increase in strain on adjacent uninjured tissue.

Respiratory system
The horse's respiratory system consists of the nostrils, pharynx, larynx, trachea, diaphragm, and lungs. Additionally, the nasolacrimal duct and sinuses are connected to the nasal passage. The horse's respiratory system not only allows the animal to breathe, but also is important in the horse's sense of smell (olfactory ability) as well as in communicating. The soft palate blocks off the pharynx from the mouth (oral cavity) of the horse, except when swallowing. This helps prevent the horse from inhaling food, but also means that a horse cannot use its mouth to breathe when in respiratory distressa horse can only breathe through its nostrils. For this same reason, horses also cannot pant as a method of thermoregulation. The genus Equus also has a unique part of the respiratory system called the guttural pouch, which is thought to equalize air pressure on the tympanic membrane. Located between the mandibles but below the occiput, it fills with air when the horse swallows or exhales.

Digestive system
Horses and other Equids evolved as grazing animals, adapted to eating small amounts of the same kind of food all day long. In the wild, the horse adapted to eating prairie grasses in semi-arid regions and traveling significant distances each day in order to obtain adequate nutrition. Therefore, the digestive system of a horse is about 100 feet (30 m) long, and most of this is intestines. The mouth-Digestion begins in the mouth, which is also called the "oral cavity." It is made up of the teeth, the hard palate, the soft palate, the tongue and related muscles, the cheeks and the lips. Horses also have three pairs of salivary glands, the parotid (largest salivary gland and located near the poll), sub maxillary (located in the jaw), and sublingual (located under the tongue). Horses

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select pieces of forage and pick up finer foods, such as grain, with their sensitive, prehensile lips. The front teeth of the horse, called incisors, clip forage, and food is then pushed back in the mouth by the tongue, and ground up for swallowing by the premolars and molars. The esophagus-The esophagus is about 4 to 5 feet (1.2 to 1.5 m) in length, and carries food to the stomach. A muscular ring, called the cardiac sphincter, connects the stomach to the esophagus. This sphincter is very well developed in horses. This and the oblique angle at which the esophagus connects to the stomach explains why horses cannot vomit. The esophagus is also the area of the digestive tract where horses may suffer from choke. The stomach-Horses have a relatively small stomach for their size, and this limits the amount of feed a horse can take in at one time. The average sized horse (800 to 1,200 pounds (360 to 540 kg)) has a stomach with a capacity of around 4 US gallons (15 L), and works best when it contains about 2 US gallons (7.6 L). Because the stomach empties when 2/3 full, whether stomach enzymes have completed their processing of the food or not, and doing so prevents full digestion and proper utilization of feed, continuous foraging or several small feedings per day are preferable to one or two large ones. The horse stomach consists of a non-glandular proximal region (saccus cecus), divided by a distinct border, the margo plicata, from the glandular distal stomach. In the stomach, assorted acids and the enzyme pepsin break down food. Pepsin allows for the further breakdown of proteins into amino acid chains. Other enzymes include resin and lipase. Additionally, the stomach absorbs some water, as well as ions and lipid soluble compounds. The end product is food broken down into chyme. It then leaves the stomach through the pyloric valve, which controls the flow of food out of stomach. The small intestine-The horses small intestine is 50 to 70 feet (15 to 21 m) long and holds 10 to 12 US gallons (38 to 45 L). This is the major digestive organ, and where most nutrients are absorbed. It has three parts, the duodenum, jejunum and ileum. The majority of digestion occurs in the duodenum while the majority of absorption occurs in the jejunum. Bile from the liver aids in digesting fats in the duodenum combined with enzymes from the pancreas and small intestine . Horses do not have a gall bladder, so bile flows constantly. Most food is digested and absorbed into the bloodstream from the small intestine, including proteins, simple carbohydrate, fats, and vitamins A, D, and E. Any remaining liquids and roughage move into the large intestine. The large intestine Cecum -The cecum is the first section of the large intestine. It is also known as the "water gut" or "hind gut." It is a cul-de-sac pouch, about 4 feet (1.2 m) long that holds 7 to 8 US gallons (26 to 30 L). It contains bacteria that digest cellulose plant fiber through fermentation. These bacteria feed upon digestive chyme, and also produce certain fat-soluble vitamins which are absorbed by the horse. The reason horses must have their diets changed slowly is so the bacteria in the cecum are able to modify and adapt to the different chemical structure of new feedstuffs. Too abrupt a change in diet can cause colic, as the new food is not properly digested. Colon-The large colon, small colon, and rectum make up the remainder of the large intestine. The large colon is 10 to 12 feet (3.0 to 3.7 m) long and holds up to 20 US gallons (76 L) of semiliquid matter. It is made up of the right ventral (lower) colon, the left ventral colon, the left dorsal (upper) colon, the right dorsal colon, and the transverse colon, in that order. Three flexures are also named; the sternal flexure, between right and left ventral colon; the pelvic flexure, between left ventral and left dorsal colon; the diaphragmatic flexure, between left dorsal and right dorsal colon. The main purpose of the large colon is to absorb carbohydrates, which were broken down from cellulose in the cecum. Due to its many twists and turns, it is a common place for a type of horse colic called an impaction. The small colon is 10 to 12 feet (3.0 to 3.7 m) in length and holds only 5 US gallons (19 L) of material. It is the area where the majority of water in the horse's diet is absorbed, and is the place where fecal balls are formed. The rectum is about 1 foot (30 cm) long, and acts as a holding chamber for waste matter, which is then expelled from the body via the anus.

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Circulatory system
The horse's circulatory system includes the four-chambered heart, averaging 8.5 lb (3.9 kg) in weight, as well as the blood and blood vessels. Its main purpose is to circulate blood throughout the body to deliver oxygen and nutrients to tissues, and to remove waste from these tissues. The hoof (including the frog - the V shaped part on the bottom of the horses hoof) is a very important part of the circulatory system. As the horse puts weight onto the hoof, the hoof wall is pushed outwards and the frog compressed, driving blood out of the frog, the digital pad, and the laminae of the hoof. When weight is removed from the hoof, the release of pressure pulls blood back down into the foot again. This effectively creates an auxiliary bloodpumping system at the end of each leg. Some of this effect is lost when a horse is shod (eliminating the expansion and contraction of the hoof wall and raising the frog higher from the ground).

Hooves
The hoof of the horse encases the second and third phalanx of the lower limbs, analogous to the fingertip or toe tip of a human. In essence, a horse travels on its "tiptoes." The hoof wall is a much larger, thicker and stronger version of the human fingernail or toenail, made up of similar materials, primarily keratin, a very strong protein molecule. The horse's hoof contains a high proportion of sulfur-containing amino acids which contribute to its resilience and toughness.

The hoof is made up by an outer part, the hoof capsule (composed of various cornified specialized structures) and an inner, living part, containing soft tissues and bone. The cornfield material of the hoof capsule is different in structure and properties in different parts. Dorsally, it covers, protects and supports P3 (also known as the coffin bone, pedal bone, PIII). Palmarly/plantarly, it covers and protects specialized soft tissues (tendons, ligaments, fibro-fatty and/or fibrocartilaginous tissues and cartilage). The upper, almost circular limit of the hoof capsule is the coronet (coronary band), having an angle to the ground of roughly similar magnitude in each pair of feet (i.e. fronts and backs). These angles may differ slightly from one horse to another, but not markedly. The walls originate from the coronet band. Walls are longer in the dorsal portion of the hoof (toe), intermediate in length in the lateral portion (quarter) and very short in palmer/plantar portion (heel). Heels are separated by an elastic, resilient structure named the 'frog'. In the palmer/plantar part of the foot, above the heels and the frog, there are two oval bulges named the 'bulbs'. When viewed from the lower surface, the hoof wall's free margin encircles most of the hoof. The triangular frog occupies the center area. Lateral to the frog are two grooves, deeper in their posterior portion, named 'collateral grooves'. At the heels, the palmer/plantar portion of the walls bend inward sharply, following the external surface of collateral grooves to form the bars. The lower surface of the hoof, from the outer walls and the inner frog and bars, is covered by an exfoliating keratinized material, called the 'sole'. Just below the coronet, the walls are covered for about an inch by a

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cornified, opaque 'periople' material. In the palmer/plantar part of the hoof, the periople is thicker and more rubbery over the heels, and it merges with frog material. Not all horses have the same amount of periople. Dry feet tend to lack this substance, which can be substituted with a hoof dressing.

Sense Organs
Sight 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. They have the largest eyes of any land mammal, and are lateral-eyed, meaning that their eyes are positioned on the sides of their heads. 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. 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 as a shade of green.

Hearing A horse's hearing is good and the pinna of each ear can rotate up to 180, giving the potential for 360 hearing without having to move the head. Their sense of smell, while much better than that of humans, is not their strongest asset; they rely to a greater extent on vision. The pinna of a horse's ears can rotate in any direction to pick up sounds .The hearing of horses is good, superior to that of humans, and the pinna of each ear can rotate up to 180, giving the potential for 360 hearing without having to move the head. Often, the eye of the horse is looking in the same direction as the ear is directed. the ear is directed.

Taste

Horses have an advanced sense of taste that allows them to sort through fodder to choose what they would most like to eat, and their prehensile lips can easily sort even the smallest grains. A muscular organ on the floor of the mouth; it aids in chewing, swallowing, and speech, and is the location of organs of taste . The taste buds are located in the papillae, which are projections on the upper surface of the tongue. The condition of the tongue can sometimes be a guide to the general condition of the body. GLOSSITIS (inflammation of the tongue) can accompany anemia, scarlet fever, nutritional deficiencies, and most general infections. Sometimes it is part of an adverse reaction to medication. One form of glossitis causes a smooth tongue, with a red, glazed appearance. A coated or furry tongue may be present in a variety of illnesses, but does not necessarily indicate illness. A dry tongue sometimes indicates insufficiency of fluids in the body, or it may result from fever. When the tongue is extremely dry and has a leathery appearance, the cause may be uremia.

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Teeth
A horse's teeth include incisors, premolars, molars, and sometimes canine teeth. A horse's incisors, premolars, and molars, once fully developed, continue to erupt throughout its lifetime as the grinding surface is worn down through chewing. Because of this pattern of wear, a rough estimate of a horse's age can be made from an examination of the teeth. The front biting teeth of the horse are called Incisors. Incisors are broken down to central incisors, corner incisors and lateral incisors. The rear, grinding teeth of the horse are called Molars. Between the molars and incisors, there is a gap called the interdental space or bars.

On a mature horse, behind this space are 6 molars on each side that are used for grinding feed. The front molars are called premolars. The molars grind feed by lateral movement of the lower jaw against the upper jaw. Canines (Tushes or Bridle) Teeth These are all commonly used terms to describe the smaller teeth that grow about half way between the premolars and the incisors in the interdental space. Geldings and stallions most commonly develop these teeth at about four years of age. They are not removed, but they may require occasional trimming to keep them shorter than the incisors so that they do not interfere with bridling. Mares do not usually get bridle teeth. Wolf Teeth - Wolf teeth are very small rudimentary teeth that sometimes develop in front of the premolars. They usually grow in at one to two years of age and both colts and fillies can have them. They are more commonly found on the upper jaw but can develop on the lower jaw as well. They should be removed because they can easily break and cause problems with bridling. Number of Teeth - Some identifications can be made by the number of teeth a horse has: Foal: 12 molars Mature 24 molars Mature 24 molars 12 incisors Mare 12 incisors Stallion/ 12 incisors Gelding: 4 canines 24 Teeth 36 Teeth 40 Teeth

Teeth and Age Teeth can be used to determine the age of a horse. In time the teeth of the horse change according to a known pattern. The method is reasonably accurate but it may be affected by the type of feed the horse eats and the habit of cribbing. When a foal is born, it has no incisors. The first two central incisors (upper and lower) appear within 10 days. The next incisor (corner) on each side will appear up to six weeks later. The lateral incisors grow in when the horse is six to ten months of age. In a young horse, it is easy to identify baby teeth and permanent teeth. Baby teeth are round, white and have a narrow base. Permanent teeth are yellow and are an even width from top to bottom.

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Eruption of Teeth

First Period

Second Period

This period covers the growth of the baby teeth to 24 months. The baby teeth all appear and After two and a-half years the temporary central incisors loosen and the permanent central are being used by 2 years. Temporary baby teeth are replaced with permanent teeth. incisors erupt. Three and one-half to four years, the permanent corner incisors erupt. Four and one-half to five years, the permanent lateral incisors erupt.

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Third Period
This is the period noted by the wearing of the lower incisors and the disappearance of the cup. Six years of age is estimated by the size, shape and disappearance of the cup of the central teeth. The cup will be gone by the time the horse is 10-12 years old. The cup does not disappear from all of the incisors at the same time. At age six, the cup disappears from the lower central incisors. By eight, the cups have disappeared from the central, corner and lateral incisors of the bottom jaw. All the cups of the top and bottom incisors will be gone by the time the horse is 1012 years old.

Fourth Period
This period is noted by further wearing of the teeth, including the upper incisors and the angle of the teeth. After nine years it is difficult to age a horse accurately by its teeth. The most noticeable change is in the tooth angle, which slants outward further as the horse ages. By 12 years of age, the dental cup disappears in the upper incisors and the horse has what is called a smooth mouth. At 15 years the dental star is smaller, but centered and clearer. After 20 years of age, the teeth may become shorter. Space between the incisors may increase. The angle of the tooth from the gum to the crown slants further.

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Horse Tail
The tail of the horse and other equines consists of two parts, the dock and the skirt. The dock consists of the muscles and skin covering the coccygeal vertebrae. The term "skirt" refers to the long hairs that fall below the dock. On a horse, long, thick tail hairs begin to grow at the base of the tail, and grow along the top and sides of the dock, In donkeys and other members of Equus asinus, as well as some mules, the zebra and the wild Przewalski's horse, the dock has short hair at the top of the dock, with longer, coarser skirt hairs beginning to grow only toward the bottom of the dock. Hair does not grow at all on the underside of the dock. The tail is used by the horse and other equidae to keep away biting insects, and the position and movement of the tail may provide clues to the animal's physical or emotional state. Tail carriage may also be a breed trait. Tails of horses are often groomed in a number of ways to make them more stylish for show or practical for work. However, some techniques for managing the tails of horses are also controversial and may constitute animal cruelty. Body organs and Bone structure in detail

Study of Muscular System and Muscle movements


Muscular System
The muscles are the largest tissue mass in the horses body. Muscles are classified as: smooth muscle - this muscle type is involuntary (automatic) and is active in the digestive tract, respiratory and urinary and reproductive systems. cardiac (heart) muscle - this muscle type is involuntary (automatic) and is active in the circulatory system. skeletal muscle - this muscle type is voluntary and functions in the movement of the horse. Muscles work by contracting (shortening of muscle fibers) and relaxing (lengthening of muscle fibers). Skeletal muscles tend to work in pairs because muscles can only pull, not push. One muscle group flexes (bends a joint) and another extends (straightens). In the leg of the horse are a group of muscles that cause flexion of a joint (flexor muscles) and an opposing group that extends or straightens the joint (extensor muscles). Flexion - The shortening (flexing) of a muscle to bend a joint. Extension - The lengthening (extending) of a muscle to straighten a joint. The contractive process is a chemical reaction within the muscle that produces heat in addition to performing work. The heat of contraction and recovery is important in body temperature regulation. This is why, in cold weather, horses shiver to produce heat to help them maintain body temperature. Muscle is an extremely adaptable tissue. A horses muscles adapt in relation to the specific type of training it receives. Training for quick bursts of highintensity exercise involves training for strength. This involves increasing muscle mass through high-intensity exercises for short periods of time to increase strength. Training for endurance, three-day evening, cattle drives or combined driving etc. involves building up the muscles over a period of time where the work load on the muscles is progressively increased. Overexertion of a muscle, without adequate conditioning, will lead to muscle fatigue. A careful conditioning program, combined with proper nutrition, will prevent muscle disorders.

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Main skeletal muscles of the horse Muscles of the neck, shoulder, chest, and back

Brachiocephalicus: originates from the temporal bone, atlas, and 3rd and 4th cervical vertebrae, and inserts on the humerus. Pulls the forelimb forward, raises scapula in collection. Cervicalis ascendens: originates at the transverse process of the final 3-4 cervical vertebrae, inserts into the first rib. Cutaneous coli: originates from the cariniform cartilage and inserts into the cervical fascia. Lies on the ventral parts of the neck (near the jugular groove). Deltoideus: originates at the scapula, inserts into the humerus. Helps to flex the scapulohumeral joint. Intertransversales lumborum: between the transverse processes of 1-4th lumbar vertebrae. Intertransversalis colli: occurs between the transverse articular space of the vertebrae, and the lateral side of the vertebrae. Latissimus dorsi: originates at the supraspinous ligament & thoracolumbar fascia, inserts in the humerus. Antagonist to brachiocephalicus. Supports the back, helps to pull the body of the horse forward when a limb is extended and placed on the ground, also helps to flex the scapulohumeral joint. Longissimus capitis: originates on the first 2 thoracic vertebrae and the cervical vertebrae. Inserts into the atlas. Longissimus costarum: originates on lumbar dorsal fascia, insert on caudal side of ribs, and the cervical vertebrae. Longus colli: originates from the cervical vertebrae and the first 5-6 thoracic vertebrae. Masseter: cheek muscle, moves the jaw open and closed and allows for chewing Multifidus cervicis: originates on last 4-5 cervical vertebrae and first thoracic, insert into the spinous and articular processes of the cervical vertebrae. Multifidus dorsi: originates on lateral side of sacrum, the articular processes of the lumbar and transverses processes of the thoracic vertebrae. Inserts into spinous processes of first 2 sacral vertebrae on through the final cervical vertebrae. Obliquus capitis cranialis: originate on ventral side of wing of atlas, inserts on occipital bone. Obliquus capitis caudalis: originates on dorsal side of spine and the articular process of the axis, insert into dorsal side of the atlas' wing. Omohyoideus: originates from the subscapular fascia of the scapulohumeral joint, inserts in the hyoid. Allows for flexion of the jaw. Omotransversarius: originates in the atlas and the cervical vertebrae (C2-C4), continues down dorsal to the brachiocephalicus to the point of the shoulder, then combines with the trapezius and inserts into the humerus. Helps raise the scapula and move the limb forward. Pectoral muscles: there are 4 pectorals, and they all function in adduction of the limb. The pectoralis descendens (cranial superficial pectoral) originates from the cariniform cartilage of the sternum, and inserts into the humerus. The pectoralis transversus (transverse superficial pectoral) originates from the ventral side of the sternum and inserts on the proximal third of the horse's forearm. The largest of the pectorals, the pectoralis profundus (caudal deep pectoral), originates on the caudal side of the sternum, and inserts into the humerus and onto the tendon of the coracobrachialis muscle. The pectoralis ascendens (caudal superficial pectoral), or the subclavius, originates on the cranial side of the sternum, and inserts into the dorsal side of the supraspinatus muscle. Rectus capitis dorsalis major and rectus capitis dorsalis minor: originate on spinous process of axis and dorsal side of the atlas, respectively, both insert into occipital bone. Rectus capitis ventralis minor and rectus capitis lateralis: originate from the atlas, insert into the occipital bone. Rhomboideus: originates from the nuchal and supraspinous ligaments, inserts on the medial scapular cartilage, is under the trapezius. Helps to raise the shoulder toward the head, and raise the neck upward. Scalenus: originates on the cranial and lateral side of the first rib, inserts into the transverse process of the cervical vertebrae (C4-C7). Semispinalis capitis: originates on the cervical vertebrae and first 6-7 thoracic vertebrae. Inserts on the occipital bone, ventral to the nuchal crest. Serratus dorsalis cranial and caudal: originates on the lumbar dorsal fascia, inserts into the lateral side of the 5-12 or 10-18th rib respectively. Serratus ventralis: includes the serratus cervicus, which originates from the final 4-5 cervical vertebrae and inserts into the scapula, and the serratus thoracis, which originates on the lateral side of the first 8-9 ribs and inserts into the scapula. The two muscles are antagonists to each other, with the serratus cervicus pulling the scapula towards the neck, and the serratus thoracis pulling the scapula away from the neck. They help move the forelimb forward and back. Spinalis: part of the longissimus dorsi. Splenius: originates from the 3rd-5th thoracic vertebrae, the dorsal scapular ligament, and the nuchal ligament. Inserts on the nuchal crest, the atlas, and the 3rd-5th cervical vertebrae. Sternocephalicus: originates from the cariniform cartilage of the sternum, inserts into the caudal side of the mandible. Lowers the head. Sternothyroideus and sternohyoideus: originate from cartilage of the sternum, insert on caudal side of the lamina of the larynx and on the hyoid bone.

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Trapezius: originates along the dorsal side of the neck near the poll, inserts on the spine of the scapula. Includes the trapezius cervicalis (originates along the cervical vertebrae) and trapezius thoracis (originates along the thoracic vertebrae). Helps to raise the shoulder, also involved in moving the scapulohumeral joint. Well-developed if horse is worked round and "up through the back."

Muscles of the forelimb

Biceps brachii: originates from the caudal side of the scapula and inserts into the radial tuberosity. Flexes the elbow, and is the part of the stay apparatus that keeps the elbow and shoulder from bending. Brachialis: originates from the caudoproximal side of the humerus, inserts into the craniomedial side of proximal radius. Flexes the elbow joint. Anconeus: originates from the distal side of the caudalr humerus, inserts into the lateral side of the olecranon. Raises the joint capsule to help prevent it from undo pressure during extension. Tensor fasciae antibrachii: originates from the tendon of the latissimus dorsi and the caudal side of the scapula, inserts on the olecranon. Covers the medial side of the triceps bracii. Helps to extend the elbow, albeit slightly. Triceps brachii: has three heads which originate and insert into separate places: the caudal side of the scapula and into the lateral & caudal side of the olecranon, from the humerus and into the lateral side of the olecranon, and from the medial side of the humerus and into the medial and cranial side of the olecranon. The triceps brachii is the most important extensor of the elbow. Important part of the stay apparatus to keep the elbow fixed. Extensor carpi radialis: originates from the humerus, continues distally along the dorsal side of the radius, and inserts on the metacarpal tuberosity. Flexes the elbow, extends the carpus. Also used in the stay apparatus to fix the carpus. Common digital extensor: part originates from the humerus and travels distally, to become the common digital extensor tendon at the bottom third of the radius (see above). The other part originates from the lateral tuberosity of the radius, and inserts into the tendon. This muscle extends the carpal, pastern, and coffin joints. It also flexes the elbow. Lateral digital extensor: originates from the lateral tuberosity of the radius and from the ulna, becomes the lateral digital extensor at the proximal portion of the metacarpus. This muscle extends the carpal and fetlock joints. Extensor carpi obliquus: originates from the radius and inserts into the top of the second metacarpal. Helps to extend the carpus. Flexor carpi radialis: originates from the humerus and inserts into the proximal side of the second metacarpal. Flexes the elbow, extends the carpus. Ulnaris lateralis: originates on the lateral side of the humerus, inserts into the accessory carpal bone and on the proximal side of the lateral splint bone. Flexes the carpus, extends the elbow.

Muscles of the hindquarters and lower hindleg

Adductor: originates from the ventral side of the pubis and ischium, inserts into the caudal side of the femur (near the third trochanter) and the medial epicondyle of the femur (including the medial ligament of the femoropatellar joint). Adducts the limb, rotates the femur towards the medial plane, flexes the hip. Biceps femoris: originates from lateral sacroiliac ligaments, the coccygeal fascia and gluteal fascia, the intermuscular septum between the biceps femoris muscle and semitendinosus. Inserts into the caudal side of the femur, lateral patellar ligaments, cranial side of the patella, and calcanean tuber. Allows the leg to extend, for movement as well as kicking and rearing, and allows for abduction of the limb. Gemellus: a deep muscle that originates on lateral side of the ischium, inserts into the trochanteric fosse and ridge of the ischium. Helps rotate femur out. Gluteus superficialis: originates from the gluteal fascia and tuber coxae, inserts into the femur. Lies under the tensor fascia latae muscle. Helps flex the hip and allows for it to abduct (rotate outward). Gluteus medius: originates from the ilium, from the aponeurosis of the longissimus dorsi muscle, from the gluteal fascia, and from the dorsal, lateral, and sacroiliac ligaments. Inserts into the femur and the ribs. Extends the hip and allows for the limb to abduct. Gluteus profundus: originates from the superior ischiatic spine and shaft of the ilium, inserts into the femur. Allows the limb to rotate inward. Gracilis: originates from the pelvic symphysis all the way to the pubic tendon. Inserts into the medial femorotibial ligament, medial side of the tibia, and medial patellar ligament. Adducts the limb. Iliacus: originates on ventral side of ilium, inserts into trochanter minor of femur with a tendon that intersects with a tendon of the psoas major. Lies under the medial gluteus muscle. Allows the hip to flex, rotates the femur to rotate out. Iliocapsularis originates on ilium, inserts into the proximal third of the femur. Raises femoropatellar joint capsule during flexion of stifle joint. Obturator externus: originates from the ventral side of the pubis ad ischium, inserts into the trochanteric fosse. Adducts the thigh. Obturator internus: originates on pelvic surface of the pubis, ischium, and ilium, and the wing of the sacrum, inserts into the trochanter fosse. Rotates femur outward. Pectineus: originates from the prepubic tendon, the accessory ligament, and the cranial side of the pubis. Inserts into the medial side of the femur. Adducts the limb, flexes the hip joint.

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Psoas minor: originates from first 4-5 lumbar and last 3 thoracic vertebrae, inserts into ilium. Flexes the pelvis. Psoas major: originates on lumbar vertebrae and last 2 ribs, inserts into the trochanter minor of femur with a tendon that intersects with a tendon of the iliacus. Allows the hip to flex and the femur to abduct. Quadratus femoris: originates on ventral side of ischium (cranial to semimembranous muscle), inserts into the caudal side of the femur. Adducts the thigh, extends the hip. Quadratus lumborum: originates on the side of the final 2 ribs, inserts into the wing of the sacrum. Allows the horse to flex laterally. Quardriceps femoris: has four heads which include the rectus femoris (originates from ilium, inserts into base and cranial of patella), vastus medialis (originates on medial side of femur, inserts into medial side of patella), vastus intermedius (originates from cranial side of femur, inserts into medial side of patella), and vastus lateralis (originates on lateral side of femur, inserts on lateral and cranial side of patella). These four muscles extend the femoropatellar joint (stifle joint). Additionally, the vastus intermedius raises the femoropatellar capsule, and the rectus femoris flexes the hip. Sartorius: originates from the iliac fascia and the tendon of the psoas minor, inserts into the medial patellar ligament and tuberosity of the tibia. Adducts the limb, flexes the hip. Semimembranosus: originates from ventral side of tuber ischii and caudal side of sacrosciatic ligament. Inserts into medial epicondyle of femur. Extends the hip joint, adducts the limb. Semitendinosus: originates from transverse processes of 1st and 2nd coccygeal vertebrae and ventral side of tuber ischium. Inserts into the cranial side of the tibia and the tuber calcis. Flexes the femoropatellar joint, causes inward rotation of the leg, and extends the tarsus and hip. Tensor fascia latae: originates from the tuber coxae, inserts into the lateral patellar ligament, the cranial side of the tibia, and the broad aponeurosis of the patella. Helps to flex the hip and extend the femoropatellar joint.

Tendons of the lower leg


Tendons attach muscles and bone, and are classified as flexors (flex a joint) or extensors (extend a joint). However, some tendons will flex multiple joints and extend another (the flexor tendons of the hind limb, for example, will flex the fetlock, pastern, and coffin joint, but extend the hock joint). In this case, they are classified according to whether they flex or extend the joints of the digit. The following tendons are the main tendons found in the lower leg. When they pass over a joint, they are protected in a tendon sheath, which contains synovial fluid as a lubricant.

Common digital extensor: the common digital extensor muscle becomes tendon at the bottom third of the radius and continues down the front of the leg. The tendon pulls upward to extends the carpal, pastern, and coffin joints. It is the major extensor tendon of the leg. However, unlike the flexor tendons, a horse with a damaged or non-functional "extensor unit" (i.e. tendon and musculature) is not lame, but rapidly learns to compensate by "flicking" the lower limb using the carpal or tarsal extensor units. Lateral digital extensor: the lateral digital extensor muscle becomes the lateral digital extensor tendon at the proximal portion of the metacarpus. The tendon continues down the front of the leg and inserts into the proximal portion of the first phalanx. Important in the treatment of stringhalt in the hindlimb. Extends the carpal, pastern, and coffin joints Deep digital flexor: 3 tendons of the deep digital flexor muscle travel distally and join at the carpus, were they pass through the carpal canal, and travel distally along the back of the leg, finally inserting into the palmar side of the third phalanx. Below the knee/hock, the tendon is superficial to the suspensory ligament, but deep to the SDFT. Fairly commonly injured by horses doing fast work, the DDFT is round in cross section. Superficial digital flexor: Runs down the back of the leg, behind the carpus and cannon, branches below the fetlock and inserts into the distal side of the 1st phalanx and proximal side of the 2nd phalanx. Flexes the elbow, carpus and lower joints. Additionally, the superior check ligament inserts into this tendon from the caudal side of the radius. The SDFT is the most commonly injured tendon, and appears oval or flattened in cross section.

Muscles of the tail


The Coccygeus, Intertransversal caude, Sacralcoccygeus ventralis, Sacral coccygeus dorsalis, Sacral coccygeus lateralis, Sacro-coccygeus ventralis raise and move the tail.

Superficial digital flexor: originates on the humerus and the caudal side of the radius, travels distally to become the superficial digital flexor tendon. Flexes the carpus and lower joints, Deep digital flexor: has three heads. One originates from the humerus, one on the proximal side of the radius, one on the proximal side of the ulna. Their tendons travel distally and join at the carpus, to become the deep digital flexor tendon (see above). Extends the elbow, flexes the carpus and lower joints.

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Existing Fantasy based Anatomical enhancements


Pegasus
Pegasus is the mythical winged horse of the ancient Greeks. His story begins when Perseus, said to be the son of Zeus, is sent to kill Medusa by a man who wanted to marry his mother but did not want the burden of the son. Medusa was one of the three Gorgons who live on a little island They were winged creatures with writhing snakes in place of hair and golden scales. Anyone who was so unfortunate as to gaze upon her face would be turned to stone. Out of the three only Medusa could be killed for the others were immortal. Hermes and Athena came to aid Perseus. Their gifts, which permitted him to kill the Gorgon, were of a magical sword which would not break upon the Gorgon's scales, a polished shield of bronze which could function as a mirror and a pair of winged sandals. While Medusa slept he crept up to her backwards, using the shield to see behind him. This was so he did not have to look upon her, which would most surely turn him to stone at first sight. When he was close enough, he used the sword to behead her, Athena guiding the blow. He then placed the helmet of invisibility upon his head to escape the wrath of Medusa's sisters. From the blood which gushed forth from the severed neck, Pegasus was born. During this time, Queen Cassiopeia had compared her beauty and that of her daughter, Andromeda, to that of the sea-nymphs of the Mediterranean, the Nereids. In their anger they asked Poseidon, the god of the oceans, the punish her. He created great storms against the land of Ethiopia, and much flooding occurred. Poseidon also sent the sea dragon Borea (or Cetus) to slaughter the people on the coasts of the country. The Ethiopians, who were very afraid, asked for help from the oracle of Ammon. They were told to sacrifice Andromeda to the dragon. Perseus heard of Andromeda's sacrifice and mounted Pegasus in the hopes of saving her. He arrived at the coast where Andromeda was chained to a rock just as the dragon appeared. He displayed Medusa's head, which he had till then carried in a bag, to the dragon, thus turning the creature to stone. Then using the magic sword, killed the dragon and freed Andromeda. They were married and there was much rejoicing in the land. Thus in the sky one can find the constellation of Pegasus with that of Andromeda and Perseus nearby. Minerva (or Athena) carried the young Pegasus to Mount Helicon where he was entrusted to the care of the Muses. When his hoof had struck the ground, the spring Hippocrene welled up and began to flow. This spring became sacred for the nine muses. Another hero, Bellerophon, longed to capture Pegasus, but could not fathom how one could tame such a wild and magnificent creature. A wise man advised Bellerophon to sleep in the temple of Athena. There he saw the goddess before him holding a golden bridle in her hand. When he awoke he was alone but the bridle remained. He ran forth from the temple and found Pegasus drinking at the Corinthian spring, Pirene. Once Pegasus spotted the shine of the gold, Bellerophon put the charmed bridle on the noble steed's head with little difficulty. The bridle in place, Pegasus became gentle and tame. Thus Bellerophon became master of the winged horse. While the guest of King Proetus, Bellerophon attracted the attention his host's wife, Anteia. She had fallen in love with him, and when he would not return her feelings, she told her husband that he had wronged her and therefore must pay with his life. As Proetus did not wish to break the bond between host and guest and suffer the wrath of Zeus, Proetus asked Bellerophon to deliver a letter to the King of Lycia. There the king welcomed him and entertained him for nine days before reading the letter, which contained the message that Bellerophon should be killed. Also not wanting to break the trust between guest and host, he sent Bellerophon to destroy the Chimera, who was said to be undefeatable. The Chimera was described as a monster with a lion's head, a serpent's tail with a and a goat's body, or possibly a creature with three heads, one of each animal. It was said to have been born from a volcano on whose slopes lived these animals. For not only was it a fearsome creature as is, but it could breath flame upon its victims. By night it would ravage the kingdom of Lycia, killing the villagers.

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Bellerophon agreed to his mission and went to slay the creature. Astride his noble steed he could fly above the monster's flaming breath and deadly claws. He fired arrows at the monster, then timing it right, he waited for the creature to open its mouth to release more flame. He held in his hand a spear with a piece of lead attached to the point. Just as the creature prepare to flame, Bellerophon threw the lance down the monsters throat. In the fiery heat of it belly, the lead melted and killed the creature from the inside. Bellerophon then returned to Proetus, and after several quests over many years, the king conceded and allowed Bellerophon to marry his daughter. He lived happily for a while but his ambition and success made him think of greater things, things which a man should not think. Bellerophon wanted to ride to the top of Mount Olympus to take his place there with the gods. Some say that Pegasus was wiser and threw his rider of his own will or that Zeus became displeased and sent an insect to sting Pegasus who then bucked and dislodged his rider. Bellerophon then either fell to his death, or wandered the earth blind , "devouring his own soul and avoiding the paths of men". Pegasus continued towards the peak where he became the servant of the gods. There he was the mount of Eos to help bring the dawn, or was ridden by Apollo to bring the sun. Pegasus also served Zeus by bringing to him the thunder and lightning needed for the thunderbolts. For all his noble services, Pegasus was honored by a constellation in the autumn sky. The Constellation of Pegasus

Pegasus, The Winged Horse, is a constellation that appears in the south in the autumn for the northern latitudes. Its main geometrical figure is the "Great Square of Pegasus." To the observers on earth, the winged horse appears to be flying upside down. The vernal equinox, the sun's location when spring begins, is not far south of the square. To locate features of this area, it may be convenient to imagine that the square is the bowl of a large dipper, having as its handle the line formed by three bright stars of Andromeda (her head and length of body) and a fourth star in Perseus (his hand holding the Gorgon's head). The hind legs of Pegasus appear to make up the constellation of Andromeda. The constellation can be found below the Summer Triangle which has the constellations of Lyra, Cygnus and Aquila. To the left would be located Aquarius The main stars (marked with larger star icons) found in this constellation are: Alpheratz (it's the head of Andromeda as well), Algenib, Scheat and Markab make up the square. The head and neck end with Enif. One hind leg ends with the star Andromeda

Bruno Tomba, in Stories of the Sky (1959)

Unicorn
The word unicorn comes from the Latin for "one-horned" and refers to an imaginary beast that appears in the legends of China, India, Mesopotamia*, and Europe. Since medieval times the unicorn has often been portrayed as a horse with a single horn growing from its forehead. Descriptions of the animal in various sources differ somewhat, but they all agree on the horn. Some images of unicorns were probably based on real animals, such as the one-horned rhinoceros or the narwhala small whale with a single long tooth or tusk that resembles a spiral ivory horn. In Chinese tradition, the unicorn was one of four magical or spiritual creaturesalong with the phoenix, tortoise, and dragonthat were regarded as signs of good fortune. The appearance of a unicorn signaled the birth or death of a great person; one was said to have appeared when Confucius, a famous wise man, was born. The Western image of the unicorn comes in part from the Hebrew Bible. During its translation into Greek, a Hebrew word for "wild ox" was changed to a Greek word that people interpreted as a reference to either a unicorn or a rhinoceros. Around 400 B.C. , the Greek historian Ctesias wrote of a wild beast in India that had a single horn and fought elephants. It was probably the rhinoceros, though later writers developed an image that much more closely resembled a horned horse. By the Middle Ages, Europeans had come to believe that these horse like unicorns really existed in remote parts of the world. Among the legends linked to them was the belief that water touched by a unicorn's horn became safe for animals and people to drink. From this tradition developed the idea that powdered unicorn horn offered protection against poison and possibly cured disease as well. Rich and important people treasured horns

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Unicorns are imaginary beasts that appear in legends from China, India, Mesopotamia, and Europe. This image of a unicorn is located on the Babylon Gate, one of the eight fortified gates that enclosed the ancient city of Babylon. Some kings, fearing that rivals might try to poison them, drank from vessels that they believed to be unicorn horns. Although unicorns were thought to be fierce fighters, they were also symbols of purity. Perhaps this was because the ancient Greeks and Romans had associated them with virgin goddesses such as Artemis, whose chariot was said to be drawn by eight unicorns. According to tradition, one way to capture a unicorn was to send a very young virgin into the forest. The unicorn would be attracted to her and would rest its head in her lap, at which point a hunter could catch the animal. Appearance: The Unicorn is truly a breath-taking animal as those lucky enough to have encountered one would tell you. It is taller than an average horse, eventually reaching the height of around two peds when fully grown. Its ragged yet magnificent mane and tail is always a translucent silver colour, which can shine so bright under the sun that it can be dangerous to look directly at the beast. The coat of a Unicorn can be in a range of colours, spanning through dark brown, jet-black, moonlight silver, dazzling gold, although commonly it is seen to be pure white. This is thought to be another representation of the purity of the Unicorn, linking it once again to the elven Injr. Rumours have told of beasts with red or blue coats, these have never been confirmed though, and many believe the possibility of this colouring to be non-existent.A Unicorns eyes are generally a sky blue, or a purple haze. Their hooves will match the colour of their eyes, and are solid in shape, leaving a distinct mark, but this is only seen on marshy land. It is rare to find the hoof mark of a Unicorn, for they tread very lightly, some even believe that they hover just above the ground, as they will leave few traces of their presence.The horn of the Unicorn is what truly gives the distinguished air and presence that it carries. Protruding from the forehead of the animal, it appears to have a spiral engraved upon it, which catches the sun and reflects the rays to the area around, giving the impression that the Unicorn has an ever-present aura or shield surrounding its form. The horn can be any colour, some people even believe that the animal can change the shade itself, reflecting the mood of the beast. Special Abilities. The Unicorn is a highly intelligent creature, as one would expect from a creature of the Gods. Whilst one has never been caught and studied intensively, it is known that the eldest and wisest of the creatures are telepathic, and able to broadcast their thoughts and feelings to whomever they wish. Younger animals have a certain degree of empathy, being able to sense the emotions of people around them, and also able to communicate theirs.However, despite these abilities, what the Unicorn is truly known for is the amazing power of its horn. Supposed to be able to cure any illness instantly if taken into the body, many of the great beasts have died for the simple greed of the people of Caelereth. For, once the horn is taken, the beast will die almost immediately, robbed of its very identity by the hideous crime that has been committed to it. There are noted exceptions to this however. If a Unicorn judges a person in need to be worthy of its remarkable healing power, it will offer the tip of its horn to the sufferer. To have this happen is indeed a great honour. In this case, the beast will not die.The final astonishing ability as told in many legends is the power of the Unicorn's blood. For the blood of a Unicorn to be spilt means that something of great evil has happened to it. And so every drop of blood that touches the ground is deadly to whatever encounters the thick, scarlet liquid, should it be an ant on the ground, the grass beneath, or perhaps even a human which might have caused the death of the Unicorn. It is truly an irony for an animal so pure to harbour a weapon so deadly within the very essence of its form.

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Shadowfax
Full name: Shadowfax Name meaning: Shadowy grey coat (Old English) Aliases: Shadowfax the Great, Prince of Horses, Chief of the Mearas Date of birth: Unknown Date of death: Unknown Race: Meara Parents: Unknown Siblings: Unknown Spouse: None Children: Unknown Hair color: Silver-grey Eye color: Unknown in the books; dark in the movies Played in the movies by: A 16-year-old Andalusian stallion named Domero and more Thoroughbred-y horse named Blanco History: Shadowfax was one of the mearas, the lords of horses. The mearas may have been descended from Orom the Vala's horse, Nahar. Shadowfax was also a descendant of Felarf, the horse that killed Lod, father of Eorl the Young. Until Shadowfax's time, the mearas could only be ridden by the Lords of the Rohirrim. After Gandalf escaped from his prison atop Orthanc, he fled to Edoras, where King Thoden bid him take any horse and be gone. Gandalf, in his insolence (at least in the minds of Thoden and Grima), took Shadowfax. On September 21st, TA 3018, the wizard met the horse, who wouldn't allow Gandalf to come near. Gandalf followed Shadowfax and overtook him the next day. Gandalf tamed the horse, and, after Thoden was healed of Grima's leechcraft, the King officially gave Shadowfax to Gandalf. Gandalf rode Shadowfax through every battle in the War of the Ring, and, when he departed over the Sea, may have taken his beloved horse with him.

Greatest of all horses at the end of the Third Age; steed of Gandalf. Shadowfax was the chief of the magnificent breed of horses known as the mearas. The mearas were descended from Felarof, a wild horse tamed by Eorl, the first King of Rohan. It was believed that the ancestors of the mearas were brought to Middle-earth from the Undying Lands by Orome, one of the Valar. Shadowfax was a beautiful horse. In the daylight his coat appeared silver, while at night it was a shadowy grey that made Shadowfax nearly invisible in the dark. He was light-footed and extremely swift and could run great distances without tiring. Shadowfax was the finest horse in Rohan, but no one had ever been able to ride him. On September 20, 3018 of the Third Age, Gandalf met with King Theoden of Rohan to warn him of Saruman's treachery. Theoden would not listen to Gandalf and threw him out, telling him to take any horse and go. The name Shadowfax means "shadowy grey coat." It is an anglicized version of the name Sceadu-faex in the language of Rohan. The word fax is an obsolete English word meaning "hair." Also called Shadowfax the Great and Prince of Horses.

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Horse Hair

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Hair
Horsehair is the long, coarse hair growing on the manes and tails of horses. It is used for various purposes, including upholstery, brushes, the bows of musical instruments, a hard-wearing fabric called haircloth, and for horsehair plaster, a wallcovering material formerly used in the construction industry and now found only in older buildings. Horsehair can be very stiff or very fine and flexible; mane hair is generally softer and shorter than tail hair. The texture of horsehair can be influenced by the breed and management of the horse, including natural conditions such as diet or climate. Processing may also affect quality and feel. Horsehair is a protein fiber that absorbs water slowly, but can be dyed or colored effectively using traditional dyes suitable for protein fibers. It can be felted, but not easily. Depending on which breed, the hair can be longer or shaggier. Some horses will grow a longer coat for the winter and then shed it in the spring. What is horsehair? modern Swedish word "tagel" has the same root as the English word "tail". Hereby we can conclude that "horsehair' is the tail of the horse. When I say "horsehair', the tail and mane of a horse as well as the "tuft' at the end of a cow's tail are sources that I think of. There probably are other animals that have the same type of slick, stiffish hair, but horses' tails are the only ones to have fibers long enough to weave with without spinning. What properties does it have? Being hair, it is a protein fibre, so it has more or less the same properties as other protein fibers. Being harder and stiffer means it takes longer to absorb water, and it takes considerably more work to felt (but it does). It can be dyed with dyes suitable for protein fibers. What has it been used for? In Scandinavia, peasants and fishermen have mostly used it spun for ropes, for fishing lines (possibly plaited), for milk sieves, fishing mittens, outer socks, horse reins and horse rugs. Unspun it has been used for flour sieves and brushes. Upholstery fabrics with horsehair as weft has primarily been used by the wealthier classes, and (I guess) the same went for "stiffening fabrics" as in men's coats and crinolines, (which happens to mean "horsehair and linen").

History
here has been some speculation as to the first use of horsehair. Many sources indicate the Spaniards in the 8th century were the first to use horsehair as a textile. However, the first documented use was from the 9th century in Switzerland where the Swiss used it for the plans of St. Gall Abbey. The plans, a blueprint for a monastic compound in medieval times, are a national preserved treasure to the Swiss that were said to have been weaved with horsehair. It was commonly used in the 19th century as upholstery stuffing (such as for fabric sofas) and as covering fabric for furniture. It was almost always the fiber used to make shaving brushes. It was also common in hats and women's undergarments. It was used in the hair to create the "Gibson Girl" look, and in the 18th century it was used in wigs. Until the 20th century, it was commonly used to make fine arts paintbrushes, along with sable, fox, wolf, goat, and lamb hair. Calligraphy brushes are made from rabbit, fox, or horse hair, among others. For thousands of years, fishing lines were made of plaited horsehair.

Uses
Horsehair is used for the crafts of horsehair hitching, horsehair braiding, pottery, and in making jewelry items such as bracelets, necklaces, earrings and barrettes. It is used to make some wall and fine arts paintbrushes. Painting is one of the areas where horsehair is still widely used today. The horsehair is processed, cut to size and fitted to paint brushes that are used for anything from painting walls to painting pictures to be hung in galleries. Horsehair is desirable for paint brushes because of its smooth lay and ability to hold a large amount of paint acting as a reservoir and allowing the painter to stop less frequently. Horsehair is used for violin and other stringed instrument bows. Another use in the art community comes from pottery and basket weaving where the hair is used for distinct accents and styling.

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The use of horsehair for fishing has a wide range of applications. The most widely applied use for horsehair is in the fishing line. The hair is spun together and made into very long lines. One historic use was for gloves commonly used for fishing in the medieval age leading up to the 17th century in cold climates. Gloves woven from horse hair fibers were a very popular option in cold climates because horsehair is a very good insulator and also has a natural oil and rigid structure that allows them to be woven tightly and remain water proof and warm. The fibers also absorb water much slower than other materials making them more desirable for fishing. Crinoline was originally a stiff fabric with a weft of horsehair and a warp of cotton or linen thread.

What is horsehair used for today?


Brushes and stuffing are the most common uses today. Upholstery fabric is woven industrially in France and Great Britain. Horsehair, animal fibre obtained from the manes and tails of horses and ranging in length from 8 inches (20 cm) to 3 feet (90 cm) and most often of black color. It is coarse, strong, lustrous, and resilient and usually has a hollow central canal, or medulla, making it fairly low in density. Hair taken from the mane is softest and ranges from 50 to 150 microns (a micron is about 0.00004 inch) in diameter. Hair from the tail, coarser and with greater resilience, ranges from 75 to 280 microns in diameter and is marketed separately. The longest hairs are used for fabrics; medium lengths are used to make bristles for paint, industrial, and domestic brushes; and very short hair is curled for use as stuffing in upholstered furniture and mattresses. High-grade white horsehair is used for the strings of fine violin bows. Horsehair fabric, or haircloth, stiff and with an open weave, is usually made with lengthwise yarns of another fibre, such as cotton, and long, crosswise yarns of horsehair. It is used as interlining or stiffening for tailored garments and millinery but is gradually being replaced for such purposes by materials of synthetic fibers. The fabric, at one time made into shirts worn by religious penitents, became a popular upholstery material in the 19th century. Horsehair for the textile industry is exported chiefly by Argentina and Canada; other producers include Mongolia, China, and Australia.

Horsehair sieves from Skansen

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Horse Movements

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Horse walks
Walk
The walk is a four-beat gait that averages about 4 miles per hour (6.4 km/h). When walking, a horse's legs follow this sequence: left hind leg, left front leg, right hind leg, right front leg, in a regular 1-2-3-4 beat. At the walk, the horse will always have one foot raised and the other three feet on the ground, save for a brief moment when weight is being transferred from one foot to another. A horse moves its head and neck in a slight up and down motion that helps maintain balance. Ideally, the advancing rear hoof oversteps the spot where the previously advancing front hoof touched the ground. The more the rear hoof oversteps, the smoother and more comfortable the walk becomes. Individual horses and different breeds vary in the smoothness of their walk. However, a rider will almost always feel some degree of gentle side-to-side motion in the horse's hips as each hind leg reaches forward.
The walk, a four-beat gait

The fastest walk is the hereditary "running walk" of the Tennessee Walking Horse, described under "Ambling gaits" below. If a horse begins to speed up and lose a regular cadence to its gait, the horse is no longer walking, but is beginning to either trot or move into an alternative ambling or "single-foot" gait. Gaits can be roughly categorized into two groups: the "natural" gaits that nearly every horse will use without special training, and the "amble," or the "ambling" gaits, a collection of several other smooth footfall patterns that may appear naturally in some individuals but which usually occur only in certain breeds, and often require special training of the horse before a rider can request them on command.

Trot
The trot is a two-beat gait that has a wide variation in possible speeds, but averages about 8 miles per hour (13 km/h). A very slow trot is sometimes referred to as a jog. An extremely fast trot has no special name, but in harness racing, the trot of a Standard bred is faster than the gallop of the average non-racehorse. In this gait, the horse moves its legs in unison in diagonal pairs. From the standpoint of the balance of the horse, this is a very stable gait, and the horse need not make major balancing motions with its head and neck. The trot is the working gait for a horse. Despite what one sees in movies, horses can only canter and gallop for short periods at a time, after which they need time to rest and recover. Horses in good condition can maintain a working trot for hours. The trot is the main way horses travel quickly from one place to the next. The Fairman Rogers Four-in-Hand (1879-80) by Thomas Eakins, was the first painting in history to demonstrate precisely how horses move based on systematic photographic analysis. Eakins based these on Eadweard Muybridge's 1878 photographs of the trotter "Abe Edgington".

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Depending on the horse and its speed, a trot can be difficult for a rider to sit because the body of the horse actually drops a bit between beats and bounces up again when the next set of legs strike the ground. Each time another diagonal pair of legs hits the ground, the rider can be jolted upwards out of the saddle and meet the horse with some force on the way back down. Therefore, at most speeds above a jog, especially in English riding disciplines, most riders post to the trot, rising up and down in rhythm with the horse to avoid being jolted. Posting is easy on the horse's back, and once mastered is also easy on the rider. To not be jostled out of the saddle and to not harm the horse by bouncing on its back, riders must learn specific skills in order to sit the trot. Most riders can easily learn to sit a slow jog trot without bouncing. A skilled rider can ride even a powerfully extended trot without bouncing, but to do so requires well-conditioned back and abdominal muscles, and to do so for long periods is tiring for even experienced riders. A fast, uncollected, racing trot, such as that of the harness racing horse, is virtually impossible to sit. Because the trot is such a safe and efficient gait for a horse, learning to ride the trot correctly is an important component in almost all equestrian disciplines. Nonetheless, "gaited" or "ambling" horses that possess smooth 4-beat intermediate gaits that replace or supplement the trot (see "ambling gaits" below), are popular with riders who prefer for various reasons not to have to ride at a trot. Two variations of the trot are specially trained in advanced dressage horses: the Piaffe and the Passage. The Piaffe is essentially created by asking the horse to trot in place, with very little forward motion. The Passage (rhymes with "massage") is an exaggerated slow motion trot. Both require tremendous collection, careful training and considerable physical conditioning for a horse to perform.

Canter
The canter/lope is a three beat gait with a moment of suspension (hesitation). The head and neck are carried above the natural position of the neck to lift the forequarters and help front leg action. The canter is a controlled, three-beat gait that usually is a bit faster than the average trot, but slower than the gallop. The average speed of a canter is between 1627 km/h (1017 mph), depending on the length of the stride of the horse. Listening to a horse canter, one can usually hear the three beats as though a drum had been struck three times in succession. Then there is a rest, and immediately afterwards the three-beat occurs again. The faster the horse is moving, the longer the suspension time between the three beats.[9] The word is thought to be short for "Canterbury gallop." In the canter, one of the horse's rear legs the right rear leg, for example propels the horse forward. During this beat, the horse is supported only on that single leg while the remaining three legs are moving forward. On the next beat the horse catches itself on the left rear and right front legs while the other hind leg is still momentarily on the ground. On the third beat, the horse catches itself on the left front leg while the diagonal pair is momentarily still in contact with the ground.

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The more extended foreleg is matched by a slightly more extended hind leg on the same side. This is referred to as a "lead". Except in special cases, such as the counter-canter, it is desirable for a horse to lead with its inside legs when on a circle. Therefore, a horse that begins cantering with the right rear leg as described above will have the left front and hind legs each land farther forward. This would be referred to as being on the "left lead". When a rider is added to the horse's natural balance, the question of the lead becomes more important. When riding in an enclosed area such as an arena, the correct lead provides the horse with better balance. The rider typically signals the horse which lead to take when moving from a slower gait into the canter. In addition, when jumping over fences, the rider typically signals the horse to land on the correct lead to approach the next fence or turn. The rider can also request the horse to deliberately take up the wrong lead (counter-canter), a move required in some dressage competitions and routine in polo, which requires a degree of collection and balance in the horse. The switch from one lead to another without breaking gait is called the "flying lead change" or "flying change". This switch is also a feature of dressage and reining schooling and competition. If a horse is leading with one front foot but the opposite hind foot, it produces an awkward rolling movement, called a cross-canter, disunited canter or "cross-firing." The lope is a Western term for the canter.

Gallop

The gallop is very much like the canter, except that it is faster, more ground-covering, and the three-beat canter changes to a four-beat gait. It is the fastest gait of the horse, averaging about 25 to 30 miles per hour (40 to 48 km/h), and in the wild is used when the animal needs to flee from predators or simply cover short distances quickly. Horses seldom will gallop more than a mile or two (about 1.53 km) before they need to rest, though horses can sustain a moderately-paced gallop for longer distances before they become winded and have to slow down. The gallop is also the gait of the classic race horse. Modern Thoroughbred horse races are seldom longer than a mile and a half (about 2.5 km), though in some countries Arabian horses are sometimes raced as far as two and a half miles (4 km). The fastest galloping speed is achieved by the American quarter horse, which in a short sprint of a quarter mile or less has been clocked at speeds approaching 55 miles per hour (89 km/h).Like a canter, the horse will strike off with its non-leading hind foot; but the second stage of the canter becomes, in the gallop, the second and third stages because the inside hind foot hits the ground a split second before the outside front foot. Then both gaits end with the striking off of the leading leg, followed by a moment of suspension when all four feet are off the ground. A careful listener or observer can tell an extended canter from a gallop by the presence of the fourth beat.

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Contrary to the old "classic" paintings of running horses, which showed all four legs stretched out in the suspension phase, when the legs are stretched out, at least one foot is still in contact with the ground. When all four feet are off the ground in the suspension phase of the gallop, the legs are bent rather than extended. In 1877, Leland Stanford settled an argument about whether racehorses were ever fully airborne: he paid photographer Eadweard Muybridge to prove it photographically. The resulting photo, the first documented example of high-speed photography, clearly showed the horse airborne. According to Equix, who analyzed the biometrics of racing thoroughbreds, the average racing colt has a stride length of 24.6 feet (7.5 m); that of Secretariat, for instance, was 24.8 feet (7.6 m), which was probably part of his success. A controlled gallop used to show a horse's ground-covering stride in horse show competition is called a "gallop in hand" or a hand gallop. Note that when a horse jumps over a fence, the legs are stretched out while in the air, and the front legs hit the ground before the hind legs, which is completely different from the suspended phase of a gallop. Essentially, the horse takes the first two steps of a galloping stride on the take-off side of the fence, and the other two steps on the landing side. A horse has to collect its hindquarters after a jump to strike off into the next stride.

Pace
The Pace is a lateral two-beat gait. In the pace, the two legs on the same side of the horse move forward together, unlike the trot, where the two legs diagonally opposite from each other move forward together. In both the pace and the trot, two feet are always off the ground. The trot is much more common, but some horses, particularly in breeds bred for harness racing, naturally prefer to pace. Pacers are also faster than trotters on the average, though horses are raced at both gaits. Among standard bred horses, pacers breed truer than trotters that is, trotting sires have a higher proportion of pacers among their get than pacing sires do of trotters. A slow pace can be relatively comfortable, as the rider is lightly rocked from side to side. A slightly uneven pace that is somewhat between a pace and an amble, is the sobreandando of the Peruvian Paso. On the other hand, a slow pace is considered undesirable in an Icelandic horse, where it is called a lull or a "piggy-pace". With one exception, a fast pace is uncomfortable for riding and very difficult to sit, because the rider is moved rapidly from side to side. The motion feels somewhat as if the rider is on a camel, another animal that naturally paces. However, a camel is much taller than a horse and so even at relatively fast speeds, a rider can follow the rocking motion of a camel. A pacing horse, being smaller and taking quicker steps, moves from side to side at a rate that becomes difficult for a rider to follow at speed, so though the gait is faster and useful for harness racing, it becomes impractical as a gait for riding at speed over long distances. However, in the case of the Icelandic horse, where the pace is known as the skei, "flying pace" or flugskei, it is a smooth and highly valued gait, ridden in short bursts at great speed. A horse that paces and is not used in harness is often taught to perform some form of amble, obtained by lightly unbalancing the horse so the footfalls of the pace break up into a four beat lateral gait that is smoother to ride. A rider cannot properly post to a pacing horse because there is no diagonal gait pattern to follow, though some riders attempt to avoid jostling by rhythmically rising and sitting.

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Ambling gaits
The gait of a horse refers to the different sequences in which the horses feet touch the ground.The common gaits for horses are the walk, trot, canter and gallop. Some breeds pace and rack. The terms used to describe a horses gait is determined by the style of riding that is being done. For example, the western horse jogs and lopes while the English trots and canters. There are some breeds of horses that naturally do other gaits than walk, trot, lope or gallop. For example: Standard reds pace a two beat gait where the horse moves the legs on the same side together. There are a significant number of names for various four-beat intermediate gaits. Though these names derive from differences in footfall patterns and speed, historically they were once grouped together and collectively referred to as the "amble." Today, especially in the United States, horses that are able to do an ambling gait are referred to as "gaited."In almost all cases, the primary feature of the ambling gaits is that 3 of the 4 feet are on the ground at any time, reflected in the colloquial term, "single-foot." All ambling gaits are faster than a walk but usually slower than a canter. They are smoother for a rider than either a trot or a pace and most can be sustained for relatively long periods of time, making them particularly desirable for trail riding and other tasks where a rider must spend long periods of time in the saddle. [14] There are two basic types: lateral, wherein the front and hind feet on the same side move in sequence, and diagonal, where the front and hind feet on opposite sides move in sequence.[15] Ambling gaits are further distinguished by whether the footfall rhythm is isochronous, four equal beats in a 1-2-3-4 rhythm; or a non isochronous 1-2, 3-4 rhythm created by a slight pause between the groundstroke of the forefoot of one side to the rear of the other. Not all horses can perform an ambling gait. However, many breeds can be trained to produce them, and there are several breeds of horses who inherit the ability to perform these gaits either naturally from birth or with a minimal amount of training. The major ambling gaits include:

The fox trot is most often associated with the Missouri Foxtrotter breed, but is also seen under different names in other gaited breeds. The fox trot is a four-beat diagonal gait in which the front foot of the diagonal pair lands before the hind. The same footfall pattern is characteristic of the trocha, pasitrote and marcha batida seen in various South American breeds. Many South American horse breeds have a range of smooth intermediate lateral ambling gaits. The Paso Fino's speed variations are called (from slowest to fastest) the paso fino, paso corto, and paso largo. The Peruvian Paso's lateral gaits are known as the paso llano and sobreandando. The lateral gait of the Mangalarga Marchador is called the marcha picada. The rack or racking is a lateral gait most commonly associated with the Five-Gaited American Saddlebred. In the rack, the speed is increased to be approximately that of the pace, but it is a fourbeat gait with equal intervals between each beat. The Running Walk, a four-beat lateral gait with footfalls in the same sequence as the regular walk, but characterized by greater speed and smoothness. It is a distinctive natural gait of the Tennessee Walking Horse. The slow gait is a general term for various lateral gaits that follow the same general lateral footfall pattern, but the rhythm and collection of the movements are different. Terms for various slow gaits include the stepping pace and single-foot. The Tlt is a gait that is often described as being unique to the Icelandic Horse. The footfall pattern is the same as for the rack, but the tlt is characterized by more freedom and liquidity of movement. Some breeds of horses that are related to the Icelandic horse, living in the Faroe Islands and Norway, also tlt. The revaal or ravaal is a four-beat lateral gait associated with Marwari, Kathiawari or Sindhi horse breeds of India.

Different types of walk and run


GALLOP (fast canter, two beat gait) SPANISH WALK (walk with front legs coming straight out) PIAFFE (slow trot in one place) PASSAGE (slow elevated and suspended trot moving forward with legs high up) My favorite! EXTENDED TROT (fast collected trot, front legs extend forward) SCHOOL WALK (walk where each slow step is dictated by the rider) SPANISH TROT (very difficult, front legs extended strait out in a controlled trot)

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TROT BACKWARDS (done long ago an mostly forgotten, except when our horses do it for fun) All the gaited horse paces! (need a gaited person here!) Each gaited breed has its own special gaits. Rack, slow gait, tolt and so many more... PACE (a racing favorite like a trot bit both legs on one side move forward and back together) (special gait) Special Haute Ecole movements: LEVADE: a position wherein the horse raises up both front legs, standing at a 45 degree angle, entirely on its hind legs in a controlled form that requires a great deal of hindquarter strength. COURBETTE: a movement where the horse balances on its hind legs before jumping (levade), keeping his forelegs off the ground and his hind legs together as he "hops." CAPRIOLE: a jump in place wherein the stallion leaps into the air, tucking his forelegs under himself, and kicking out with his hind legs at the height of elevation. ballotade is same tied between pillars. CROUPADE: similar to the capriole, but both for and hind legs are tucked under the body at the height of elevation. Other special moves: (sideways, pivots, etc) PIROUETTE: horse continues its leg pattern in W,T, C or piaffe... but moves it's front end in a circle around the haunches with one back leg staying same place. Bends direction it moves. Similar to a ROLL-BACK in western or jumping. FLYING CHANGES: Horse changes leads at the canter or over a jump. Can be done once or at every stride HALF PASS: horse moves forward and sideways at the same time, but is bent in the direction he is moving. Done in W,T,C LEG YIELD: (your horse will do this when he spooks!) horse travels both sideways and forward at the same time, is easier than half pass because horse's body is straight or bent away from where he moves. Done in W,T,C SIDE PASS: the horse moves sideways without stepping forward. done in halt TURN ON THE FORE-HAND: moving the horse's hindquarters around his front legs in one place TURN ON THE HAUNCHES: while bent in the direction of the turn, horse moves his forehand around his hindquarters so that he makes a very small circle with the inside foreleg. Done at walk or halt. In western riding if he pivots on that hand foot, it is called a SPIN (and is fun) Horses do this often when spooked HAUNCHES-IN (TRAVERS): the horse bends his hindquarters slightly to the inside of the arena, away from the arena wall, so that he is bent in the direction of movement. HAUNCHES-OUT (RENVERS): the horse is similarly bent in the direction of movement, but his hindquarters are bent toward the arena wall instead of away from it. SHOULDERS IN- horse's shoulder bent to the inside, horse is bent away from direction he is moving. SHOULDERS OUT: Shoulder bent outside to the wall, horse bent away from direction he is moving

Jumping
The jumping position is a position used by equestrians when jumping over an obstacle. It usually involves what is known as the "forward seat" or "2 point" because the rider has 2 points in contact with the horse; the legs and hands. It was first developed by Captain Fredrio Caprilli.This involves the rider centered over his or her feet, with the stirrup leathers perpendicular to the ground. Continuing a line upwards from the stirrup leathers, the head and shoulders fall in front of the line, as do the knees, the hips fall behind it. A correct jumping seat serves two purposes: It gives the horse the freedom to jump the obstacle, allowing it to keep the forelegs and hind legs tight, thereby decreasing the chance of a rail down or a fall. It also encourages the horse to basculeover the fence, which improves jumping form and ability to jump higher obstacles. It provides the rider the support needed to stay out of the horse's way while still maintaining a secure seat so that the horse is less likely to fall on landing.

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Movement of Tail
The tail can communicate basic information about the horse's physical condition or state of mind. A high-carried tail often reflects high spirits, while a tail tucked in tightly to the buttocks often indicates discomfort. A horse will carry its tail higher and farther from its body the faster it goes. A horse must also raise its tail to defecate, and certain digestive disorders, such as gas colic, may include the clinical sign of the tail being carried higher and farther from the body than is typical for a particular animal. A horse that is irritated or unhappy may violently swish its tail from side to side, and an extremely angry animal may go so far as to wring its tail up and down as well as side to side. A horse that is content will usually have the dock of the tail in a relaxed state, not moving other than to sway with the natural movement of the animal.

Horse Sleep Patterns


A horse does, in fact, sleep, and often needs two to four hours of sleep a day to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and two hours of REM sleep a week, or else the horse could become sleep deprived and sick, resulting in spontaneous REM sleep while those around it are not expecting it. Horses like to sleep standing up, and laying down although standing up is more common. Once a week, horses will lie down to sleep so that they can get their 2 hours of REM sleep (which can only be accomplished while laying on the ground). the reason horses do not like to sleep laying down is that it will feel vulnerable unless there are other horses nearby who can keep a lookout for predators. Horses are herd animals, and always sleep easier when there are more horses around them this means that more horses will be on watch for any predators. It is, however, unlikely that your horse will be very comfortable if they are a lone horse as it will feel alone at night and remain alter rather than sleep. Instincts tell it to not sleep, and so the horse drains its energy and becomes deprived of sleep. That hazard of this is that when it takes a standing nap (15 minutes to an entire hour) it may experience REM and hurt itself by reacting whereas when it is lying down it will not do so (since it is lying down after all). Some people have the misconception that a horse that lies down is sick, this is untrue as all horses lay down at least once a week for sleep and rest that involves REM. Other symptoms of lack in sleep include being easily spooked or distracted, sluggishness in obeying orders and commands, along with turning slowly when riding and possibly stumbling. Horse Sleeping Patterns Horses are able to sleep both standing up and lying down. They are able to doze and enter light sleep while standing, an adaptation from life as a prey animal in the wild. When horses lay down it makes them more vulnerable to predators. Horses are able to sleep standing up because a "stay apparatus" in their legs allows them to relax their muscles and doze without collapsing. Unlike humans, horses do not sleep in a solid, unbroken period of time. They obtain sleep by means of many short periods of rest. Horses may spend anywhere from four to fifteen hours a day in standing rest, and from a few minutes to several hours lying down. Total sleep time in a day may range from several minutes to a couple of hours. Horses require approximately two and a half hours of sleep, on average, in a 24-hour period. Most of this sleep occurs in many short intervals of about 15 minutes each. 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. 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. This condition differs from narcolepsy, though horses may also suffer from that disorder. Horses sleep better when in groups because some animals will sleep while others stand guard to watch for predators. A horse kept entirely alone will not sleep well because its instincts are to keep a constant eye out for danger.

Biomechanics of horse
This process, which is known as gait analysis, measures a horse's performance objectively and allows us to quantify some aspects of performance that are not visible to the human eye.

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Biomechanics applies mechanical principles to the study of living systems. In this case the system we are interested in is the horse and, more specifically, we are using biomechanical techniques to study how the horse moves. This process, which is known as gait analysis, measures a horse's performance objectively and allows us to quantify some aspects of performance that are not visible to the human eye. Here are some examples of the applications of gait analysis in dressage horses:

measurement of a horse's performance or level of training by comparing an individual with others of known ability detection of subtle lameness problems through finding asymmetries in the limb movements, or in the carrying or propulsive abilities of the left and right sides of the body monitoring recovery from lameness by repeated examinations of the horse during its recuperation measurement of strains in different parts of the horses body in response to exercise assessment of the effects of footing and shoeing on performance and soundness

Biomechanical Techniques
In my research, I use a variety of equipment and techniques, each of which provides a different kind of information about the horse's movement. The methods include video analysis, force platforms, electromyography, strain gauges, pressure transducers, and accelerometers. Video Analysis is a means of quantifying movement patterns through timing, distance and angular measurements. The timing variables describe the tempo, rhythm and regularity of the stride. The distance variables describe the stride length and the distances between individual limb placements, such as the amount of over-tracking. The angular variables describe the position of the bones and joints, for example, how much flexion occurs at different joints. In dressage competition the judge's eye is an important component in determining the scores a horse receives. Analysis of videotapes is a way of quantifying what the judge sees. Video analysis involves digitizing specific points on the horse's body in each video frame. The points are then connected to form stick figures representing the horse's body and limbs (Figure 1). A Force Platform is a rectangular, metal plate that is embedded in the ground, then covered with a suitable surface (usually rubber) over which the horse moves. When the horse steps on the force platform, it measures the carrying and propulsive forces as the hoof pushes against the ground. Analysis of forces can be used to measure the contribution of each limb to the carrying and propulsive responsibilities. It detects differences between the front and hind limbs, and can monitor changes as a horse progresses through training. The force patterns also reveal differences between the left and right sides due to lameness or sidedness. Electromyography (EMG) is a technique for determining which muscles are active at specific times in the stride. We need to know which muscles are used in the various movements and how muscle use in dressage differs from ?normal? locomotion. This knowledge will be useful for preventing and treating muscular injuries and soreness. Strain gauges and accelerometers measure the strains and accelerations, respectively, of the surface to which they are attached. They can be attached directly to the hoof wall to detect concussion on the limb. An example of their use is in monitoring the effects on the horses limb of different types of footing. Pressure transducers indicate the distribution of forces over a specific area. They can be used to measure the pressure of the saddle and the effect of the rider's weight and aids on the horse's back. As you can see, the techniques available for biomechanical research are capable of providing a great deal of pertinent information. In my laboratory we use several of these techniques simultaneously to give us a more complete understanding of the mechanics of the dressage horse.

Collecting Data
Some of the equipment, such as the video cameras, is completely portable, and can be used to collect data at almost any location. This is a particularly useful feature for studying competition performances; the footage we recorded in the Barcelona and Atlanta Olympic Games has yielded valuable insight into the performance of dressage horses at the highest levels of competition. However, the cameras must be set up and operated with precision, if the resulting videotapes are to be used for scientific evaluation. It takes a lot of time to analyze videos recorded during competition because we aren't able to use markers on the horses for automatic digitization by the computer. Another drawback in analyzing competitive performance is that it's not possible to gather data from other sources (force platform, EMG) during competition, which limits the amount of information. To gather the full range of video, force platform and EMG data, experiments are conducted under controlled conditions in a gait laboratory. Reflective markers are glued to the horses hair over specific bony landmarks, and illuminated by a spotlight, which makes them glow brightly. When

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the videotapes are analyzed, the computer detects the markers automatically which speeds up the digitization process. The video data can be synchronized with recordings from a force platform and with EMG signals from selected muscles. Unfortunately, at the present time, there are no facilities in North America suitable for performing this type of analysis in horses under saddle. The only laboratory suitable for complete biomechanical analysis of ridden horses is at Utrecht University in The Netherlands. I spent a sabbatical leave there in 1995-96 with the objective of gaining a better understanding of the biomechanics of dressage horses.

Concussion Of horse Limbs


At the instant the hoof strikes the ground, it is rapidly decelerated, and this sends a shock wave up the horse's limb. The shock wave is characterized by having a high amplitude and rapid vibration frequency; these characteristics make it particularly damaging to the bones and joints. In people, the effects of impact shock are responsible for the development of problems such as arthritis. Activities that involve running or jumping, in which there is an airborne phase, are much more damaging than walking or stepping, in which there is always at least one foot on the ground. This is why people tend to get fewer injuries when doing low impact aerobics. In horses, impact of the hoof with the ground is the most important phase of the stride in relation to the development of degenerative joint diseases, such as arthritis, which is the most frequent cause of premature retirement from training and competition in dressage horses. The big movement and lofty suspensions that are favoured in dressage, combined with the large size and weight of our horses, exaggerate the damaging effects of the impact shock and increase the likelihood of arthritic changes later in the horses career. Since footing and shoeing have a profound effect on impact shock, we need a lot more information about the surfaces and shoes that reduce impact shock. It is possible to get some information about the hardness and other properties of the footing using mechanical testing devices (drop hammer tests, cone penetrometers), but the horses limb responds rather differently than a steel testing apparatus. A more realistic approach is to attach an accelerometer to the hoof wall to measure the hoof deceleration during impact. To interpret the likely effect on the horse, we need to know how the shock wave is transmitted from the hoof wall to the bones and joints of the limb. Our research shows that the soft tissues within the hoof, which include the laminae and the digital cushion, reduce some of the damaging effects of the impact vibrations before they reach the bones and joints. Precisely how this occurs, and how the characteristics of the hoof-ground interaction affect the shock wave reaching the bones has not yet been investigated.

Movement Patterns of the Trot


I have studied the timing, distance and angular characteristics of the walk, trot and canter, and have investigated how these characteristics differ among the collected, working, medium and extended gaits. The top competitors maintain almost the same tempo in the transitions between the collected, working, medium and extended gaits. Consequently, the increased speed of the extensions is a result of taking longer strides. Using the trot as an example, the stride length depends on the diagonal distance (the distance between the diagonal pair of limbs when they are on the ground) and the over tracking distance (the distance between the imprint of the front hoof and the subsequent imprint of the hind hoof on the same side). Only a small fraction of the increase in stride length is due to a longer diagonal distance; between working and medium trot the diagonal distance increases by about 2" associated with the lengthening of the horse's frame. However, the vast majority of the increase in stride length is a result of more over-tracking. In the collected trot, the horses are about 3" short of tracking up whereas in the extended trot there is about 16" of overtracking. This is achieved as a result of a bigger suspension; the horse is propelled higher into the air, stays airborne longer, and covers a greater forward distance during the airborne period. Incidentally, forging at the trot (catching the toe of the front shoe with the toe of the hind shoe) is a consequence of insufficient lifting into the suspension. It occurs in horses that are either not yet strong enough (or too lazy) to generate enough upward propulsion into the suspension. Sometimes the problem disappears when a more experienced rider gets the horse moving more actively and with more impulsion. In other cases, strength training exercises, such as walking and trotting over raised rails or trotting up gradients, help to develop the appropriate muscles.

Collection and Self Carriage


Throughout dressage training, we seek to improve the collection and self carriage of the horse. As a result, the horse becomes better balanced and the movements are easier to perform. The trained horse moves with the hindquarters lowered and the hind limbs acting underneath the horses body, while the forehand is elevated, with the neck raised and arched. These characteristics can be measured by analysis of videotapes. However, self carriage is much more than a position of the horses body parts; to achieve the required lightness and balance, the horse must alter the way it pushes against the ground. I have always been curious as to how this was achieved in biomechanical terms, and I dedicated my sabbatical leave in Utrecht to unravelling the mysteries of self carriage. This study required the participation of high-level dressage athletes, and I was fortunate that Tineke Bartels agreed to bring her own horses and those of her students to the laboratory. The horses Tineke provided included her Barcelona horse, Courage, and her Atlanta horse, Barbria.

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Each horse performed working trot, collected trot, passage and piaffe on the force plate (Figure 2), while video recordings were made simultaneously. The results show that as the horse becomes more collected, both the movement patterns and the force patterns change. The results from the force platform were particularly interesting. Traditionally, we assume collection involves the hind limbs carrying a greater share of the weight and providing progressively more of the forward propulsion. As a consequence of engaging the hind limbs, the front limbs carry less weight, which allows the forehand to become lighter and more mobile. Data from the force platform confirm some of our assumptions, but in other respects provide a new insight into the way the horse achieves self carriage. The carrying forces recorded by the force platform indicate how the weight is distributed between the front and hind limbs and whether there is a weight shift (movement of the centre of gravity) as the horse becomes more collected. In a standing horse the front limbs carry about 55% of the horses weight, the hind limbs about 45%. In many top dressage horses, the weight does not shift significantly from the front to the hind limbs as the horse becomes more collected. However, a few horses do show a marked weight shift, and these seem to be the horses who are particularly well balanced. Therefore, balance may indeed be related to the horses ability to carry more weight on the hindquarters, but the absence of this ability does not preclude a horse from competing successfully at the highest levels of competition. The force platform also measures the amount of braking and propulsion provided by the front and hind limbs. In a horse moving freely in hand, the body rolls over the limb while the hoof is in contact with the ground. Initially, each limb has a braking effect that tends to slow the forward movement. Around the time the cannon bone becomes vertical, the braking force changes to a propulsive force that drives the horse forward. These effects can be appreciated by visualizing the way the horse uses its limbs if it wants to stop suddenly by maximizing the braking effect ? all four limbs are fixed in a forward position like struts. The opposite occurs when the horse is trying to maximize propulsion, as in accelerating from a standing start, all four limbs tend to act behind the vertical position. Dressage training changes these basic patterns of braking and propulsion. The hind limbs become almost entirely responsible for providing propulsion, which is in agreement with our traditional concepts. The role of the front limb, however, is not what we would have expected. The front limbs lose most of their propulsive thrust; instead they provide more braking, which is used in combination with the carrying force of the front limbs to push the shoulders and forehand upwards and backwards. Therefore, raising the forehand is much more than simply a result of lowering the hindquarters, it is an active process brought about by the action of the front limbs. A crucial component is the ability to use the braking activity of the front limbs to produce self carriage. Passage shows a similar force pattern to the collected trot, but the piaffe is very different with the roles of the front and hind limbs being reversed in terms of the braking and propulsive forces (Figure 3). In piaffe, the front limbs provide propulsion and the hind limbs provide braking. The fact that the force patterns are very different in piaffe than in any other gait that we have studied (except the rein back), is a sign that it involves unique muscle activation patterns. This explains why the transitions between piaffe and passage are so difficult to perform. A more complete understanding of the mechanics of self carriage and the mysteries of collection awaits EMG data, which I hope to gather in the not too distant future. Hilary Clayton, BVMS, PhD, MRCVS, is a faculty member in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences at Michigan State University's College of Veterinary Medicine. She was appointed as the first incumbent of the Mary Anne McPhail Dressage Chair in Equine Sports Medicine in July 1997. In that capacity, she performs scientific investigations that directly benefit the sport of dressage, with special emphasis on prevention and treatment of lameness problems. Dr. Clayton is a certified equestrian coach in the UK and Canada, and has competed in eventing, show jumping and dressage.

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Behavior

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Behavior
Horses are prey animals with a strong fight-or-flight response. Their first reaction 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. [75] Horses are herd animals, with a clear hierarchy of rank, led by a dominant individual, 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.[76] However, when confined with insufficient companionship, exercise, or stimulation, individuals may develop stable vices, an assortment of bad habits, mostly stereotypes of psychological origin, that include wood chewing, wall kicking, "weaving" (rocking back and forth), and other problems.

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, meeting mental challenges that include food procurement and social system identification. They also have good spatial discrimination abilities. 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. Recent studies even suggest horses are able to count if the quantity involved is less than four. Domesticated horses tend to face greater mental challenges than wild horses, because they live in artificial environments that stifle instinctive behavior while learning tasks that are not natural. 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.

Temperament
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, while the "cold-bloods", such as most draft breeds, are quieter and calmer. Sometimes "hot-bloods" are classified as "light horses" or "riding horses", with the "cold-bloods" classified as "draft horses" or "work horses".

Description of hot bloods, warm bloods and cold blood breeds


"Hot blooded" breeds include "oriental horses" such as the Akhal-Teke, Arabian horse, Barb and now-extinct Turkoman horse, as well as the Thoroughbred, a breed developed in England from the older oriental breeds. Hot bloods tend to be spirited, bold, and learn quickly. They are bred for agility and speed. They tend to be physically refinedthin-skinned, slim, and long-legged. 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. 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. They are sometimes nicknamed "gentle giants". Well-known draft breeds include the Belgian and the Clydesdale. Some, like the Percheron are lighter and livelier, developed to pull carriages or to plow large fields in drier climates. Others, such as the Shire, are slower and more powerful, bred to plow fields with heavy, clay-based soils. The cold-blooded group also includes some pony breeds.

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"Warm blood" 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. Certain pony breeds with warm blood characteristics have been developed for smaller riders.Warmbloods are considered a "light horse" or "riding horse". Today, the term "Warm blood" refers to a specific subset of sport horse breeds that are used for competition in dressage and show jumping. Strictly speaking, the term "warm blood" refers to any cross between cold-blooded and hot-blooded breeds. 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.

Interaction with humans


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. Worldwide, horses play a role within human cultures and have done so for millennia. 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. 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. 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. Communication between human and horse is paramount in any equestrian activity; 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. Sometimes horses are ridden without a saddle, and occasionally, horses are trained to perform without a bridle or other headgear. Many horses are also driven, which requires a harness, bridle, and some type of vehicle.

Sport

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. 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. 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. 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.[ 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.

A horse and rider in dressage competition at the Olympics

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Although the horse requires specialized training to participate, the details of its performance are not judged, only the result of the rider's actionsbe it getting a ball through a goal or some other task. 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, and buzkashi, a team game played throughout Central Asia, the aim being to capture a goat carcass while on horseback. Horse racing is an equestrian sport and major international industry, watched in almost every nation of the world. There are three types: "flat" racing; steeple chasing, 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. A major part of horse racing's economic importance lies in the gambling associated with it.

Work
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. Cattle ranches still require riders on horseback to round up cattle that are scattered across remote, rugged terrain. Search and rescue organizations in some countries depend upon mounted teams to locate people, particularly hikers and children, and to provide disaster relief assistance. 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. 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. 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. Logging with horses can result in reduced damage to soil structure and less damage to trees due to more selective logging.

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. 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. 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. Horses are frequently seen in television and films. They are sometimes featured as a major character in films about particular animals, but also used as visual elements that assure the accuracy of historical stories. Both live horses and iconic images of horses are used in advertising to promote a variety of products. 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. 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.

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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. 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).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. 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. 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

Warfare

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 BC,and the use of horses in warfare was widespread by the end of the Bronze Age. 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.

Products
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. 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. The drug Premarin is a mixture of estrogens extracted from the urine of pregnant mares (pregnant mares' urine), and was previously a widely used drug for hormone replacement therapy. The tail hair of horses can be used for making bows for string instruments such as the violin, viola, cello, and double bass. 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, and a subject of political controversy in others. Horsehide leather has been used for boots, gloves, jackets,baseballs,and baseball gloves. Horse hooves can also be used to produce animal glue. Horse bones can be used to make implements. 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. In Asia, the Saba is a horsehide vessel used in the production of kumis.

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Horse Care

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Horse Nutrition and care Care


Horses are grazing animals, and their major source of nutrients is good-quality forage from hay or pasture. 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 Sometimes concentrated feed such as grain is fed in addition to pasture or hay, especially when the animal is very active. When grain is fed, equine nutritionists recommend that 50% or more of the animal's diet by weight should still be forage. Horses require a plentiful supply of clean water, a minimum of 10 US gallons (38 L) to 12 US gallons (45 L) per day 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. 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. If horses are kept inside in a barn, they require regular daily exercise for their physical health and mental well-being. When turned outside, they require well-maintained, sturdy fences to be safely contained. Regular grooming is also helpful to help the horse maintain good health of the hair coat and underlying skin. Basic tail grooming enhances the appearance of the horse and promotes the health of the hair and skin. Horses that are placed into work or competition often have their tails cut, braided or styled in a number of ways. For pleasure riding, the tail is usually brushed or combed to remove tangles and foreign material. Horses used in exhibition or competition may have far more extensive grooming. Certain types of show grooming can inhibit the ability of the horse to use its tail for defense against insects The tail may be encouraged to grow as long as possible and sometimes even has additional hair artificially attached. Other times, it may be clipped, thinned, or even cut very short (banged). A few breeds are shown with docked tails.

Checking teeth and other physical examinations are an important part of horse care

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"Natural" grooming
A "natural" tail is not clipped or braided and is commonly seen in many competitive disciplines, including most western performance disciplines and some English riding events, particularly at lower levels. The tail may be encouraged to grow as long as naturally possible and may have the skirt kept braided when not in competition to encourage longer growth. In some breeds, a natural tail, neither thinned nor artificially enhanced, is a show requirement.

Thinning
Tails can be thinned and shaped by pulling hairs at the sides of the dock, or by pulling the longest hairs in the skirt of the tail, to make the tail shorter and less full, though retaining a natural shape. This grooming style is currently out of fashion, though was once popular for the hunter and western breeds.

Cutting and clipping


Banging the tail is quite common, particularly in Europe. It involves cutting the bottom of the tail straight across at the bottom, usually well below the hocks. It is seen most often in dressage. In some nations, banged tails are also seen in other disciplines and may be considered standard grooming. Tail extensions, described below, are often sold with a banged bottom, and so the style is sometimes seen in western disciplines, though it is considered a fad and not a traditional look. Sometimes, the sides of the dock are clipped, to a point from a few inches to about halfway down the dock, where the tail "turns over" when the horse is in motion, and the rest of the tail is kept long. This is claimed to show off the horse's hindquarters. It is most commonly seen in dressage and in areas where dressage styling prevails. A variation, shaving the dock close to the skin for about half its length, was also once a styling fad for "three-gaited" American Saddlebreds, though is less often seen today. Today, polo horses played in competition often have their docks trimmed or shaved, and the skirt is braided, folded up on the tailbone, and tied off with either a lock of hair excluded from the braid, taped, or both.

Braiding
French braiding and its variant, Dutch braiding are common. Tail braiding for show or other competition is often a task for professional grooms. An improperly done braid may fall out if too loose, or if left in too long may cause discomfort and itching to the horse. Braiding of the dock is seldom left in more than 12 hours, as the horse will often begin to itch and rub its hindquarters, either breaking hairs or rubbing out the braid.

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Braiding of the dock of the tail, with the skirt left loose, is most commonly seen in show hunters, equitation, and field hunters. The tail is not braided in dressage, as it is thought that an uncomfortable braid may cause the horse to carry the tail stiffly. In eventing and show jumping, the tail is usually not braided, in part for convenience, but also in case a tight braid might inhibit performance.

Fake tails
"Tail extensions," also known as "false tails," or "tail wigs," are false hairpieces which are braided or tied into the tail to make it longer or fuller. This is sometimes seen when a horse has a naturally short and skimpy tail in a discipline where long tails are desired. It is also common in certain breeds with "set tails," when the dock has been shaped by a tail set, which, by raising the dock, also shortens the skirt of the tail, and a tail extension makes the tail look a more natural length. On the other hand, in other breeds where a long natural tail is a breed trait, use of tail extensions is illegal.

Controversial management
Docking
In modern use, the term "docking" does not always refer to tail amputation as it does with some dog breeds. However, historically, docking was performed on some horses, often as foals. Prior to mechanization, tail docking of both light and heavy harness horses was common, viewed as a safety measure to prevent the tail from catching in the harness or on the vehicle. In the modern era, where most horse driving is for show rather than daily use, and even for working animals, the time needed to braid or wrap the tail is feasible, the need for partial amputation of the tail is not generally viewed as necessary. The practice has been banned in the British Isles, Norway, parts of Australia, and in eleven states in the USA, but is still seen on show and working draft horses in some places. It is also practiced at some PMU operations. The objections to docking include a concern that the horse can no longer use its tail to swat flies as well as concerns about the pain and discomfort of the docking process itself. Some horses used for driving still have the tail cut especially short to keep it from being tangled in the harness. In these cases, the term "docked" or "docking" only refers to the practice of cutting the hair of the tail skirt very short, just past the end of the natural dock of the tail. Though less drastic than amputation, it can still be difficult for a horse with a very short tail to effectively swat flies.

Docked tail on a Clydesdale horse.

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Setting
Modern tail setting to raise the tail involves placing the dock of the tail in a harness-like device that causes it to be carried at all times in an arched position. The set is used when the horses are stalled, and removed during performances. The device is meant to help stretch the muscles to keep the tail in a position that is desired for show, and is not used after the horse is retired from competition, allowing the tail to relax back to a normal position. Tail setting is only used by a few breeds, such as the American Saddlebred and the Tennessee Walking Horse. Setting, like docking, is not without controversy. In many cases, the check ligament of the tail is nicked or cut prior to placing the tail in a set. The tail obtains the desired shape sooner, and in most cases the ligament heals in a longer position. However, upon retirement, the ligament will sometimes not return to its natural tension, and the animal later may have difficulty swatting flies and holding its tail down and in when needed. However, this method is still less drastic than in the past, when the tail was actually broken and then placed into the tail set, healing in the artificial position. Tail-breaking for highset tails is no longer used, and tail-nicking is banned in a few states. In certain Iberian-descended gaited horse breeds, notably the Paso Fino, where a quiet, low-carried tail is desired, the low tail set was occasionally achieved by actually breaking the tailbone at a certain point so that it would remain in the desired position. The horse can still use its tail to some degree, but cannot keep it raised when in motion. This practice was banned in some nations, and in places such as the United States, a horse with a broken tail, even if imported from a nation where the practice is legal, is permanently banned from the show ring.

Blocking or numbing
Because a swishing tail is penalized in some horse show events, particularly western pleasure classes, handlers sometimes resort to methods that numb the tail or block the sensation of the nerve endings so it cannot move. Because tail-swishing is often linked to poor training methods or to the horse being "ring sour", i.e. burned-out on competition, artificial methods to keep the tail from moving are illegal in nearly every discipline where trainers are tempted to use it. However, it is difficult to detect, thus enforcement is a problem. Various techniques are used to numb the tail, most carrying significant health risks. Initially, tail-nicking was used to make the tail lay flat. However, this left a telltale scar. Next, mechanical means such as use of heavy rubber bands to constrict circulation in the tail were used, but these also left marks and could cause visible, permanent damage to the skin, hair and nerves of the tail. Injections of various sorts began to be used to numb a tail, usually grain alcohol injected directly into the tail at a certain point, sometimes slightly down from the base of the dock so that the horse may appear to carry its tail in a natural manner, but only for the first few inches, and the animal still cannot move the entire tail structure. While simple local anesthetics could be used, such medications can show up in drug tests. Conversely, grain alcohol acts locally and degrades the myelin sheaths of the nerves so that the horse cannot move its tail. While promoters of the practice claim that most injections eventually wear off if done carefully, a badly done injection can cause abcesses or permanent nerve damage. Sometimes normal tail function never returns. Another complication that may occur is a temporary inability to defecate and/or urinate due to paralysis of the muscles that control rectum and bladder emptying. In extreme cases, especially if the alcohol injected migrates from the tail to nearby muscles and skin, damage can be so severe that necrosis can set in. Another damaging outcome is the development of ataxia due to nerve damage in the hindquarters. Blocked tails can be recognized by experienced horse judges, as the tail hangs lifelessly, rather than swaying slightly with the movement of the horse. The animal may also be seen to defecate without raising its tail. In some cases, the discomfort of the injection leads the horse to move stiffly in the hindquarters.

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Horse Facts

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Here are some interesting facts about a horse's body.

Horse's hooves grow at a rate of about 1cm per month. The forelock on a horse's head helps to keep flys out of the eyes. Horse's legs are built so that they can sleep standing up, but to get a good rest they need to lying down. Each leg has a small spot that looks like a scar called a 'chestnut'. Horse's knee caps are not done fusing until they are about 3 1/2 years old. That's why many young racehorses are injured. Mares come in to heat around age 1, but usually can't be safely bred until 4. Stallions are mature and can breed around 2 or 3 years of age. A horse's heart weighs about 10 pounds. A horse's back cannot bend, it remains stiff when the horse moves. That's why it's hard for horses to get up after rolling or resting. The teeth take up more room in a horse's head than its brain does. Horses can see color. Horses can see in two directions at once. Horses have two blind spots where they cannot see- directly in front of them, and directly behind them. Human hair and fingernails are made from the same protein as horse hooves. Horses have 36-42 teeth, with females usually having 36 and stallions and geldings having 40-42. "Canine teeth", remains of fighting teeth, are present on some horses, usually males, in either 1 or 2 pairs. "Wolf teeth" can be present in males or females, and sometimes have to be pulled because they cause pain. Most breeds of horses have 18 ribs, 6 lumbar bones, and 18 tail vertebrae. Arabians have 17 ribs, 5 lumbar bones, and 16 tail vertebrae. A full grown horse that weighs about 1,000 pounds contains approximately 13.2 gallons of blood. Horses have about 175 bones in their body. Horses make 8 basic sounds- snort, squeal, greeting nicker, courtship nicker, maternal nicker, neigh, roar, blow. It is almost impossible for a horse to vomit-- if they do, their stomachs usually rupture soon after. It takes a horse 60 days to double its birth rate. A horse focuses its eye by changing the angle of its head, not by changing the shape of the lens of the eye, as humans do. While horses graze, they keep a look out for predators. A racehorse averages a weight loss of between 15 and 25 pounds during a race. Adult electric eels 5 feet to 7 feet long produce enough electricity 600 volts to stun a horse. A horse weighing around 1000 lbs. voids from 1 1/2 to 8 1/2 quarts of urine daily. A horse's gestation period is 11 months, but can be anywhere from 10-12 months long. Dogs and cats drink by lapping water with their tongues while cattle and horses make use of a sucking action. A baby female is called a filly, a baby boy is called a colt, a baby boy or girl is also known as a foal. When first born, foals cannot eat grass because their legs are too long to reach the ground. Foals can stand up within one hour of being born. Most foals are born at night. Thoroughbreds all have the same birthday which makes it easier to keep breeding, racing, and showing records. As well as using them for fly swatting, horses use their tails to send signals to each other about how they are feeling. A horse's height is measured in hands. 1 hand = 4 inches. Horses belong to the equus family which comes from the Greek word meaning "quickness". A pony is not a baby horse, but rather a full grown small horse. Ahorses brain is the size of a potato A horse can poop up to 15 times a day- well that explains why barns look and smell like they do and why stalls need constant cleaning and mucking out The ears point where they are looking

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In the wild mares decide where the herd goes Horses can interpret tones rather than words Horses see better at night than people A horse sees two different images from each eye Horses can't breathe through their mouths A horses age can be determined by their teeth till the age of 9 The oldest recorded horse was 62 years old when he died. He was a barge horse. He lived from 1760 to 1822. That is longer than some humans live! Talk about being sleep deprived. Horses only sleep 3-4 hrs in a 24 hr period. A horse in Chilie actually jumped an astonishing 8 feet! Talk about being sleep deprived. Horses only sleep 3-4 hrs in a 24 hr period. A horse in Chilie actually jumped an astonishing 8 feet! The country of China not only is populated by the most people but apparently they have the most horses too! They have 10,000,000 horses!

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PRE PRODUCTION Refrence images

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Model Sheets
The model was done in the first week of january.Using image refrences of the horse a model sheet was made based on them.By using the model sheet the basic geometry of the horse's body was formed.

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StoryBoards
Storyline:We have tried to depict a realistic horse who is tied to a tree and we show him struggling to achieve freedom which he fails at.

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3D Modeling,Unwrapping And Texturing Modeling


Step by step Construction of the Horse

Initail Body construction with Minimal definaitions,Keeping in mind the anatomy of the horse.There were no issues in the modeling at this stage.

Face was initially very difficult to make.It was even difficult to get ear to a proper shape .By doing some trial and error was finally able to bring a right shape to it.

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When it cmae to the hoove part,it was unclear how to go about modeling it but taking one section at a time it all puzzled together. It was made seperately and attaching it to the body was a little difficult because of the difference in loops.
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The body and face was attached easily

Muscle Cuts at the thoracic limbs and at the pelvic region were defined more along with face cuts and ear was given finer details.

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The model was sent for test rig but it was sent back for changes as the frontal limbs were closely placed which had to be rectified.

As the concept required secondary elements straps were modeled as per the storyboard.It was easy to model the straps,by using the make live option i initially created curves and then extruded the faces along the curve.

Rope was another secondary element that was modeled keeping the story in mind.First curves were drawn to get the length of the rope. It was a little challenging to draw the knot using curves .But by using the option of lock length a knot was achieved. Then a face was extruded along the curve and rope was made. The jaw of the horse.The teeth and gums were modeled along with that even the inner jaw was modeled with a tongue attached to it.

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The final model that was sent for skinning,animation and Lighting 108

UnWrapping

Unwrap of the horse was done in 2 days using Headus UV layout .These Uv's were transferred on the main model in maya.

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Texturing
Then comes the texturing part.A lot of problems occured because mudbox 2011 as it did not support the model at level 5 and kept showing an error.After opening the model again and again in mudbox 2011 and not getting any result we decided to use mudbox 2012.In 2012 software the UV's were recreated easily and texturing started. Horse was divided into2 UV sets.In the first set the body was placed and in the second set the head was placed along with the eye balls and jaw.First displacement map was created.Some fine nerve deatils,muscle cuts,detail on the snout was given and finally on the top most layer a fur texture was given to show a feel of hair on the horse.

Snapshots of the body in Autodesk Mudbox with displacement details.

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Snapshots of the face in Autodesk Mudbox with displacement details.

Displacement and normal map of horse body 111

Displacement and normal map of horse head

Then came the color map.Body was painted manually painted in mudbox and the realistic look did not appear in the character,and it was becoming a problem in lighting so i used the refrence images of the horse in an other layer and projected them on the model with a less opacity.

The fur of the horse is really fine.We were not able to achieve the right fur using shave and haircut so we decided to give an illusion of fur in the texture itself.The displacement map was extracted with very high opacity in mudbox and then applied in the top most layer of the colormap in photoshop with 50% opacity.The horse has really sharp speculars so a specular map was also required.The map that was extracted for giving the illusion of fur was used as specular map with some changes in it.

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Close up images of the textured horse and secondary elements in Mudbox and Maya.

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During Lighting,we realised that the seam was seen in the neck area so the model was taken back in mudbox and the problem was rectified.

Color map of the horse

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PRODUCTION Rigging, Skinning and Animation Rigging


I was given the model for test rig around the starting of February. Analyzing horses body anatomy along with skeletal structure I built the joints and set LRAs .To check deformities at the basic level I applied bind skin. There was a little issue with the horse's frontal limbs hence the model was sent back for rectifying the error. Finally the on the 14th of Feb I was given the final modified horse along with its unwrap set.

For rigging I applied similar attributes of the quadrupeds we studied in class. Watched some reference videos on horse walk patterns and movements to incorporate similar features in the rig. The rig took around a week to finish but after showing it to sir he asked me to add a few more controls and clean the attributes along with the outliner. I started with the frontal limb rig. Set the iks and constructed the fetlocks for the reverse lock joints and added pole vectors. Gave the constrains to the curve controls and added attributes to the hooves using the fetlock bones and set them using set driven key. Again bound the skin to check the deformations and the attributes. 115

Skinning

Then came the back limbs which had a different ik set up unlike the frontal limbs. Mirrored the curves and set attributes similar to the frontal fetlocks using set driven key again.

The spine had the spline ik treatment on it with added clusters that were weighed onto controls to help in animation stage using weighted node. The spine was divided into three parts for catering the animation requirements.

The neck also had a spline ik inserted same as the spine. The face took basic orientations for the head, jaw and even the ears. Attributes were given using set driven key for connecting the joints with their respective functions. Along with this a face rig was done that I tried using joints , clusters, both of them gave issues. Hence I had to do this procedure 6 times to get it right by using control curves and each curve was given influence on using the add influence option and weights were added on each curve using paint weights tool. The tail also took a spline ik with similar controls as the neck and the back. The attributes of tail swish, twist and curl were given on the back control curve. Finally the rig setup was completed and rectified as per requirement and a global control was inserted to bound the entire character to it. Lastly the attributes were cleaned along with the outline that had been segregated. 116

Skinning took quite some time to finish. The chest muscles and the limbs were the hard spots to skin. Facial skinning was the only part that had to be done several times and all the skin done on one side had to be mirrored onto the other side using mirror skin weights.

10 blendshapes of the entire horse were removed and were linked to the main body, which came handy as the mouth cavity of the horse was not responding to any weights applied on it.

Initially we had considered the idea of using dynamics for the rope to help aid our animation but sir's opinion was to go ahead with a spline ik rig set up to give more command to control the rope. Simple as it sounded, the rope rig gave a lot of problems, either the stretch attribute was not working or on moving one control the base of the rope that was tied to the tree was also moving and skinning issues also arose. Sir also tried two three set ups to help but some issue or the other kept coming up. Finally we decided to use hair dynamics alongside clusters influenced using locators. Hence it was partly dynamics plus i had to animate the hair dynamics curve to help give the feel of a rope. 117

Animation
In the first shot of animation i had to go about using referencing technique which backfired majorly. Due to the server problem the referencing link was lost and my final shot file was corrupted hence had to start the animation all over again.

Our second shot was difficult to animate as the task of showing the entire body weight fall along with overlapping in the head was hard to accomplish. Also had to do referencing to rectify the limit how much the hind limbs could bend. Overall this shot took more than a week to animate and improvise.

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The files that got corrupted of the first scene, same happened with the second shot inspite of keeping the previous mistakes in mind but thankfully my rigging sir was able to recover the file due to the character sets that I had created during rigging. This was the reason my second shot took time to recover than it had taken to animate.

Apart from the rope I faced a lot of problems regarding full body animation of the horse. It was very hard for me to show weight in the horses movement sine we had not learnt four legged animal walk before and so at points the horse felt mechanical and fake. Taking 20 frames at a time, I added overlap and finally I was able to justify a horse to some extent.

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VFX,Lighting,Fur,Dyanmics And Compositing Matchmove


Firstly we decided to take the footage of our clip. Shooting was done using canon 550d with 18-135mm camera for quality. It was a quite challenging task as we had to visualise our CG horse in the environment.Footages were taken from different camera angles according to the concept drawn in the storyboard.

SH_01

SH_03

SH_02 & 4

Footages of the shots,where the footage of shot 2 and shot 4 is the same

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While match moving the videos, we realised that there was a problem with shot 4 where the height of the horse was not matching the footage. The problem was that the framing of the horse in the extreme pose was not setting with the footage. While taking footages we have measured the horse width but not its height, this mistake made us reshoot the entire footage again.

After rectifying this mistake we started the matchmove and color correction.Below are the stills from the footages.Since the third shot does not have any contacts it was not required to matchmove.

SH_01

SH_02 & 04

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POST PRODUCTION Lighting


The idea was to use Smart Image based Lighting with the help of HDRI to achieve realistic light bounces and reflections.But when Image based Lighting was used the result was not very effective and the alpha value was not generated, so we decided to go ahead with mannual CG lighting.

HDRI Image We created a light rig that comprised of 9 spot lights which included 5 sky lights and 3 bounce lights and 1 key light. The intensity of key light is 4.00 with raytrace shadows and the intensity of sky lights is 0.8 . Blinn shader was assigned to the horse with diffuse of 0.8,eccentricity-0.350 and specular of 0.300.Reflectivity was 0 as horse does not have any reflectivity. Horse was divided into 2 UV sets so because of this we had to create two different shading groups. For reflectivity in the eye we used the HDRI image.
Key Light

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Fur
While dealing with fur, we had two ways to go about it. One was manually combing hair using all the tools of shave and haircut and the other was drawing curves on each vertex of horse manually. It took us two weeks to draw curves as the poly count was 15,560.

After applying fur and tweaking some values ,a trial render was done but the time it took for one frame gave us second thoughts as its took 4.49mins because the Hair count was 8,00,000.If we increased the hair count further then immediately maya would crash

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Horse basically has really fine hair hence it was not wise to reduce the hair count.So we started thinking of other options.We thought of giving the illusion of hair in the texture by projecting refrence images of the horse onto the main texture and the illusion of fur was given even in the color map .This gave a better output and reduced render time .

Even after doing this we simultaneously stil kept working on fur and we did not achieve right speculars and this made the horse look fake.So we thought of putting the fur only on the tail and forehead.

Dyanmics of shave and haircut had to be used to incorporate the movement of the fur along with the tail. There was a problem with the simulation as the stifness and dampen hair properties were not working as expected and the collision were not taking place between the hair and the body. Collision was taking place only to a single geometry.We were not able to collide the tail fur to the body as well as ground. During the rendering of fur we realised that the fur was not rendering in passes.Passes were required to achieve the flexibility of changing the specular value in the compositing software. So we took the fur in the master layer and rendered it.

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Render Passes
After lighting the shots we took multiple render passes so that we would have a flexibilty and scope of further corrections in the compositing software.Following passes were used in all the shots: Diffuse without Shadow Specular Occlusion Shadow Ground Occlusion Matte Hair diffuse

RENDER PASSES

Ground Occlusion

Master Beauty

Occlusion

Specular

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Fur Diffuse in Alpha mode

Fur specular

Matte

Gobo

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Dynamics
To incorporate the dust effect in the first shot we initially thought of dynamics which did not seem very feasible ,hence we came up with the idea of composing with live footage. We had a test shoot to see whether the compositing idea will work out or not. With very little time on our hands we decided not to experiment but coincidentally the trial composing idea went smoothly when we applied it on a basic rendered animation sequence of shot1.

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Compositing

SH_01

SH_02

SH_03

SH_04

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Malakpet Race Course The owner of our Horse 'MAGIC MILLION'-Mr.Khaja Naeemuddin Trainer-Mr.Leo De Silva Horse Caretaker-Mr.Hamid We thank our mentors and friends for their guidance and support throught out the project.

E-Books - Comparative Animal Anatomy


An atlas of Animal Anatomy for Artists

Sites

- http://animal.discovery.com/guides/horses/horses.html http://www.barnqueenadventures.com/id4.html http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/4h7933 www.youtube.com

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