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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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Gná is flanked by the horse Hófvarpnir, while standing before the enthroned Frigg
In Norse mythology, Gná is a goddess who runs errands in other worlds for the goddess Frigg and rides the flying, sea-treading horse Hófvarpnir (Old Norse "he who throws his hoofs about", "hoof-thrower" or "hoof kicker". Gná and Hófvarpnir are attested in the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. Scholarly theories have been proposed about Gná as a "goddess of fullness" and as potentially cognate to Fama from Roman mythology. Hófvarpnir and the eight-legged steed Sleipnir have been cited examples of transcendent horses in Norse mythology. In chapter 35 of the Prose Edda book Gylfaginning, the enthroned figure of High provides brief descriptions of 16 ásynjur. High lists Gná thirteenth, and adds that Hófvarpnir has the ability to ride through the air and atop the sea.

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Dole eating grass.jpg
The Dole Gudbrandsdal, Dølahest or Dole is a draft- and harness-type horse from Norway. The Dole is originally from the Gudbrandsdal Valley, and is probably descended in part from the Friesian horse. Over time the breed has had Thoroughbred, Arabian and other blood added in, especially during the creation of the smaller harness type in the 19th century. Although originally used mainly as a pack horse, today the heavier Dole type is used mainly for agricultural purposes. Both types have been crossed with other breeds to develop horses for harness racing and riding.

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Equus grevyi (aka).jpg
Credit: Aka

Grévy's Zebra, sometimes known as the Imperial Zebra, is the largest species of zebra.

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