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Portal:Horses

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Horse and foal

The horse (Equus ferus caballus) is a domesticated one-toed hoofed mammal. It belongs to the taxonomic family Equidae and is one of two extant subspecies of Equus ferus. The horse has evolved over the past 45 to 55 million years from a small multi-toed creature, Eohippus, into the large, single-toed animal of today. Humans began domesticating 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 are adapted to run, allowing them to quickly escape predators, possessing an excellent sense of balance and a strong fight-or-flight response. 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, with younger horses tending to sleep significantly more than adults. 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 a saddle or in a 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 more than 300 breeds of horse in the world today, developed for many different uses. (Full article...)

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Engraving of William T. Porter
William Trotter Porter (December 24, 1809 – July 19, 1858) was an American journalist and newspaper editor who founded an early American newspaper devoted to sports. After working at a number of small newspapers, Porter moved to New York City in the 1830s. After employment at a newspaper in the city, he founded the Spirit of the Times, a newspaper modeled on a London paper called Bell's Life in London. The Spirit, which went through a number of names and incarnations over the years, was devoted to sports and other recreational pursuits. One of Porter's main interests involved horse racing, and he was involved in attempts to create the first stud book in the United States, which did not bear fruit. He was also instrumental in the development of American literature, as the Spirit published a number of short stories by American tall tale writers, and Porter edited two collections of short stories by American writers. After publishing the Spirit through the 1830s, he sold it to another printer but continued as the editor into the 1850s. He left the original Spirit in 1855 and in 1856 was hired as editor for another sporting newspaper, Porter's Spirit of the Times, published by George Wilkes. Porter died in 1858. (Full article...)

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Credit: Softeis

Thoroughbred horse racing in Germany on a turf race course

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Finnhorse stallion, trotter section

The Finnhorse or Finnish Horse (Finnish: suomenhevonen, literally "horse of Finland"; nickname: suokki, or Swedish: finskt kallblod, literally "finnish cold-blood") is a horse breed with both riding horse and draught horse influences and characteristics, and is the only breed developed fully in Finland. In English it is sometimes called the Finnish Universal, as the Finns consider the breed capable of fulfilling all of Finland's horse needs, including agricultural and forestry work, harness racing, and riding. In 2007, the breed was declared the official national horse breed of Finland.

The Finnhorse is claimed to be among the fastest and most versatile "coldblood" breeds in the world. In Finland, the term "universal horse" is used to describe the Finnhorse and breeds such as the Fjord horse that are relatively small with a body type that is heavy for a riding horse but light for a draught. There are four separate sections within the Finnhorse stud book, each with different goals: to develop a heavier working horse, a lighter trotter type, a versatile riding horse, and a proportionally smaller pony-sized animal. The combined breed standard for all four sections defines the breed as a strong, versatile horse with pleasant disposition. The average height of the breed is 15.1 hands (61 inches, 155 cm), and the most typical colour is chestnut, often with white markings and a flaxen mane and tail. (Full article...)

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HorsePonyAsinusEquus (genus)EquidaeZebraGlossary of equestrian termsList of horse breedsEvolution of the horseDomestication of the horseHorse careStableHorse trainingEquestrianismHorse tackSaddleEquine nutritionEquine anatomyEquine conformationEquine coat colorEquine coat color geneticsHorse markingsEquine visionHorse hoofHorseshoeHorse gaitHorse behaviorHorse breedingBreed registryEquine infectious anemiaHorse colicLamenessLaminitisHorse slaughterHorses in warfareArabian horseThoroughbred

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