The Thoroughbred Riding Horse
The order Perissodactyla, odd-toed, hoofed mammals, includes horses, asses, zebras, rhinoceroses, and tapirs. A small primitive horse, Eohippus, differentiated from the early ungulates in the Eocene Age (40 mya). By the beginning of the Ice Age, large, single-toed horses could be found on every continent except Australia. Horses actually walk on tiptoe; only one toe—the remaining middle one—supports the weight. This toe has evolved a hoof, which consists of a curved covering of horn composed mostly of keratin that protects the distal digit. Horses have long tails made up of heavy coarse hairs that can swish away irritating insects. Their front teeth are sharp for cropping grass; farther back in the jaw, they have large, flat molars for grinding their foodstuff, grass and hay. A mare produces and nurtures a foal about once every 2 years. Riding horses are almost always thoroughbreds, the so-called “hot-blooded” strain, which results from crossbreeding with an Arabian strain. Many of our wild horses, including the mustang, have Arabian blood inherited from the horses brought in by the invading Spaniards.
KeywordsHorse Blood Blood Picture Thoroughbred Horse Wild Horse Slow Clotting
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