Horses are of course one of the world's most popular domesticated animal, having been used over the years for transport, farmwork, entertainment and companionship.We've got a fun collection of horse-related activities to enjoy with the children, including a selection of colouring pages for a wide range of ages, and a set of our popular printables.
Horses are large mammals of the family Equidae and the common horse was domesticated from wild horses by humans at least 5000 years ago, on the grasslands of Ukraine, southwest Russia and west Kazakhstan. Today there are an estimated 60 million horses in the world, combining wild and domesticated horses.
There are now more than 300 different horse breeds in the world. The Shire Horse originates from Great Britain and has held the world record for both the tallest and largest horse breed - the largest horse recorded in history is the shire 'Mammoth', who was 219cm tall. The smallest horse in the world is a dwarf miniature horse called Thumbelina who stands at 43 cm tall.
Horses have been used by humans in lots of different ways including for travel, work, food, and pleasure. Cavalry horses were also used in wars until the middle 20th century.
Horses are herbivores, which means they eat grass and other plants. Some plants can be poisonous to horses, such as ragwort, lemongrass (oil grass) and sometimes acorns.
Some Interesting Facts
- Horses can sleep either standing up or lying down.
- Horses are measured in hands. A hand is equivalent to four inches.
- When a horse gallops, all four hooves leave the ground at one point.
- The fastest horse ever recorded could reach 55 miles per hour!
- The eyes of a horse are bigger than those of any other land mammal.
The horse is one of the twelve animals of the Chinese Zodiac. If your child is born in the Year of the Horse, you might want to have a look at our activities, here:
Year of the Horse