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The horse (Equus ferus caballus) is one of two extant subspecies of Equus ferus, or the wild horse. It is a single-hooved (ungulate) mammal belonging to the taxonomic family Equidae. The horse has evolved over the past 45 to 55 million years from a small multi-toed creature into the large, single-toed animal of today. Humans began to domesticate horses around 4000 BC, and their domestication is believed to have been widespread by 3000 BC. Horses in the subspecies caballus are domesticated, although some domesticated populations live in the wild as feral horses. These feral populations are not true wild horses, as this term is used to describe horses that have never been domesticated, such as the endangered Przewalski's Horse, a separate subspecies, and the only remaining true wild horse. There is an extensive, specialized vocabulary used to describe equine-related concepts, covering everything from anatomy to life stages, size, colors, markings, breeds, locomotion, and behavior.
Horses' anatomy enables them to make use of speed to escape predators and they have a well-developed sense of balance and a strong fight-or-flight instinct. Related to this need to flee from predators in the wild is an unusual trait: horses are able to sleep both standing up and lying down. Female horses, called mares, carry their young for approximately 11 months, and a young horse, called a foal, can stand and run shortly following birth. Most domesticated horses begin training under saddle or in harness between the ages of two and four. They reach full adult development by age five, and have an average lifespan of between 25 and 30 years.
Horse breeds are loosely divided into three categories based on general temperament: spirited "hot bloods" with speed and endurance; "cold bloods", such as draft horses and some ponies, suitable for slow, heavy work; and "warmbloods", developed from crosses between hot bloods and cold bloods, often focusing on creating breeds for specific riding purposes, particularly in Europe. There are over 300 breeds of horses in the world today, developed for many different uses.
Some of most popular breeds of horses around the world:
American Paint Horse - Has an easy going temperament & used for cattle work.
American Quarter Horse - Versatile, popular equine breed that's great for new riders.
American Saddlebred Horse - Result of selective breeding of four breeds of horses.
American Standardbred Horse - Most of this breed complete a mile race in 3 minutes.
Appaloosa Horse - This horse's spotted coat and fur is its most recognize characteristic.
Arabian Horse - Arabians are know for being affectionate and a dished head profile.
Clydesdale Horses - Known for their large frames and study working abilities.
Ponies - Distinctive pony breed (breeding two ponies) & is less than 14.2 hand high.
Hanoverian Horse - This breed of horse excels in jumping, dressage, and eventing.
Missouri Fox Trotter - Breed named after its unusual gait and smooth movement.
Morgan Horse - Historically the official horse breed of the United States.
Palomino Horse - Breed admired for their beauty, versatility, & endurance.
Peruvian Paso / Paso Fino - Breed known for an easy ride on rocky terrain.
Tennessee Walking Horse - Distinct breed with no trot - only a "running walk."
Thoroughbred Horse - Horse of choice for racing and speed related equestrian sports.
Miniature Horses - Miniature Horse Breed Makes a Great Household Pet.
Pinto Horses - Their coloring provided a degree of natural camouflage.
Mustang Horses - Mustangs can range in size of between 13 and 16 hands.
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