A horse is a member of the equine family and is a hoofed mammal.
Historical documentation and fossils recovered by various researchers have shown horses to have evolved from a small multi toed animal to a single toed animal. Horses are the earliest known animals to have been domesticated by humans.
Almost all horse breeds have been domesticated. However, there is the Przewalski's Horse, considered an endangered species, which is the only true wild horse in the world today.
There are also the feral horses that live in the wild. However, the feral horses are known to have descended from ancestors who were domesticated.
The anatomy of horses enables them to gain a lot of speed in a short span of time. This was initially to escape predators.
However, since they have largely become domesticated and are not prone to predatory attacks any more, their speed is used to serve the purposes of human beings. They are still used for the transportation of humans and goods in many parts of the world. Horses also have a highly sensitive fight or flight instinct because of which they never lie down unless they are extremely sick or dying. A mare, a female horse, carries a foal in her womb for eleven months. The foal is able to stand almost immediately after birth and begins to run soon after. Most of the horses start receiving their domestication training when they are two years old. They are saddled and harnessed at a very early age so that their training can begin. The lifespan of horse is 25 to 30 years and they reach full maturity by the time they are five years old.
Horses are revered for their speed, endurance and their general friendly temperament. One of the most interesting horse facts is that there are two types of horses breeds—cold blooded ones that are used for heavy and slow work and hot blooded ones are spirited, muscular and fast. A cross between the two creates a new breed known as the warm bloods. Newest among all horse breeds, these horses are created specifically for riding purposes. Of the 300 different breeds of horses, many are developed for specific purposes.
Horses have always piqued human interest because of their speed, strength and beauty. Horses are used by humans for various sports and recreational activities. They are also trained to be inducted into the police force or army. They offer a mode of transportation and are also used for carrying produce in agricultural fields. Due to the increasing popularity of horses, special animals like the Arabian horse, are exported to various parts of the world. The Arabian horse is known for the distinctive shape of its head and high carriage of the tail.