Tuesday, May 8, 2007

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Monday, May 7, 2007

Some Facts about Horses (Part 1) - By Keith Londrie


Depending on breed, management and environment, the domestic horse today has a life expectancy of 25 to 30 years. It is uncommon, but a few horses live into their 40s, and, occasionally, beyond. The oldest verifiable record was "Old Billy," a horse that lived in the 19th century to the age of 62. The size of horses varies by breed, but can also be influenced by nutrition. The general rule for cutoff in height between what is considered a horse and a pony at maturity is 14.2 hands(h or hh) (147 cm, 58 inches) as measured at the withers. An animal 14.2h or over is usually considered a horse and one less than 14.2h is a pony.

However, there are exceptions to the general rule. Some smaller horse breeds who typically produce individual horses both under and over 14.2h are considered "horses" regardless of height. Likewise, some pony breeds, such as the Pony of the Americas or the Welsh cob, share some features of horses and individual animals may occasionally mature at over 14.2h, but are still considered ponies. The difference between a horse and pony is not simply a height difference, but also a difference in phenotype or appearance. There are noticeable differences in conformation and temperament. Ponies often exhibit thicker manes, tails and overall coat. They also have proportionally shorter legs, wider barrels, heavy bone, thick necks, and short heads with broad foreheads.

Light horses such as Arabians, Morgans, Quarter Horses, Paints and Thoroughbreds usually range in height from 14.0 (142 cm) to 16.0 hands (163 cm) and can weigh from 386 kg (850 lbs) to about 680 kg (1500 lbs). Heavy or draft horses such as the Clydesdale, Belgian, Percheron, and Shire are usually at least 16.0 (163 cm) to 18.0 hands (183 cm) high and can weigh from about 682 kg (1500 lb) up to about 900 kg (2000 lb). Ponies are less than 14.2h, but can be much smaller, down to the Shetland pony at around 10 hands, and the Falabella which can be the size of a medium-sized dog. The miniature horse is as small as or smaller than either of the aforementioned ponies but are classified as very small horses rather than ponies despite their size. The largest horse in history was a Shire horse named Sampson, later renamed Mammoth, foaled in 1846 in Bedfordshire, England. He stood 21.2½ hands high (i.e. 7 ft 2½ in or 2.20 m ), and his peak weight was estimated at over 3,300 lb (approx 1.5 tonnes). The current record holder for the world's smallest horse is Thumbelina, a fully mature miniature horse affected by dwarfism. She is 17 inches tall and weighs 60 pounds.


Keith Londrie II is the Webmaster of http://horse.about-animals.info A website that specializes in providing information on horses that you can research on the internet at your own pace.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Keith_Londrie


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Horses -- Edwin Muir

Barely a twelvemonth after

The seven days war that put the world to sleep,

Late in the evening the strange horses came.

By then we had made our covenant with silence,

But in the first few days it was so still

We listened to our breathing and were afraid.

On the second day

The radios failed; we turned the knobs, no answer.

On the third day a warship passed us, headed north,

Dead bodies piled on the deck. On the sixth day

A plane plunged over us into the sea. Thereafter

Nothing. The radios dumb;

And still they stand in corners of our kitchens,

And stand, perhaps, turned on, in a million rooms

All over the world. But now if they should speak,

If on a sudden they should speak again,

If on the stroke of noon a voice should speak,

We would not listen, we would not let it bring

That old bad world that swallowed its children quick

At one great gulp. We would not have it again.

Sometimes we think of the nations lying asleep,

Curled blindly in impenetrable sorrow,

And then the thought confounds us with its strangeness.

The tractors lie about our fields; at evening

They look like dank sea-monsters crouched and waiting.

We leave them where they are and let them rust:

"They'll molder away and be like other loam."

We make our oxen drag our rusty plows,

Long laid aside. We have gone back

Far past our fathers' land.

And then, that evening

Late in the summer the strange horses came.

We heard a distant tapping on the road,

A deepening drumming; it stopped, went on again

And at the corner changed to hollow thunder.

We saw the heads

Like a wild wave charging and were afraid.

We had sold our horses in our fathers' time

To buy new tractors. Now they were strange to us

As fabulous steeds set on an ancient shield

Or illustrations in a book of knights.

We did not dare go near them. Yet they waited,

Stubborn and shy, as if they had been sent

By an old command to find our whereabouts

And that long-lost archaic companionship.

In the first moment we had never a thought

That they were creatures to be owned and used.

Among them were some half a dozen colts

Dropped in some wilderness of the broken world,

Yet new as if they had come from their own Eden.

Since then they have pulled our plows and borne our loads,

But that free servitude still can pierce our hearts.

Our life is changed; their coming our beginning.





Saturday, March 24, 2007

Thursday, March 22, 2007