Portal:Horses

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Horses

Horse and foal
The horse (Equus ferus caballus) is a hoofed (ungulate) mammal, a subspecies of one of seven extant species of the 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; by 2000 BC the use of domesticated horses had spread throughout the Eurasian continent. Although most horses today are domesticated, there are still populations of wild and feral horses. There are over 300 breeds of horses in the world today, developed for many different uses.

The 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. Horses and humans interact in many ways, including a wide variety of sport competitions, non-competitive recreational pursuits and working activities. A wide variety of riding and driving techniques have been 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.

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LaurentiaTan-portrait-20080920.jpg
Laurentia Tan Yen Yi is a United Kingdom-based Singaporean Paralympic equestrienne. Tan developed cerebral palsy and profound deafness after birth, and moved to the United Kingdom with her parents at the age of three. She took up horse riding at age of five years as a form of physiotherapy. She subsequently completed her A-levels at the Mary Hare Grammar School, a residential special school for the deaf, and graduated with an honours degree from Oxford Brookes University in hospitality management and tourism.

In March 2007, the Riding for the Disabled Association Singapore (RDA) invited Tan to join the Singapore team for the World Para Dressage Championships at Hartpury College in Hartpury, Gloucester, in England in July that year. At this event, her first international competition, she did well enough to qualify for the 2008 Paralympic Games. In September 2008, at the Hong Kong Olympic Equestrian Centre at Sha Tin, she achieved bronze medals in the Individual Championship and Individual Freestyle Tests (class IA). These were Singapore's first Paralympic medals and Asia's first equestrian medals at the Paralympic Games. Tan was conferred the Pingat Bakti Masyarakat (Public Service Medal) by the President of Singapore at a ceremony at the Istana Singapore on 20 September 2008.

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Brumbies near the Sandover Highway in the Northern Territory, 2006
A Brumby is a free-roaming feral horse in Australia. Although they are found in many areas around the country, the best-known brumbies are found in the Australian Alps region in south-eastern Australia. Today, the most are found in the Northern Territory, with the second largest population in Queensland. A grouping of Brumbies is known as a "mob" or a "band".

Brumbies are the descendants of escaped or lost horses, dating back in some cases to those belonging to the nation's early European settlers. These horses included the "Capers" that arrived from South Africa, Timor Ponies from Indonesia, British pony breeds, various British draught horse breeds and a significant number of Thoroughbreds and Arabians.

Today they live in many places, including some National Parks. Occasionally they are mustered and domesticated for use as campdrafters, working stock horses on farms or stations, but also as trail horses, show horses, Pony Club mounts and pleasure horses. These horses are the subject of some controversy, sometimes regarded as a pest and threat to native ecosystems, but valued by others as part of Australia's heritage.

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Credit: User:Richard Bartz

Horses are able to sleep both standing up and lying down. Horses sleep better when in groups because some animals will sleep while others stand guard to watch for predators. A horse kept alone will not sleep well because its instincts are to keep a constant eye out for danger.

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