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12 astonishing facts about horses

By: Jaymi Heimbuch on Oct. 12, 2015, 10:10 a.m.
A gray pony plays in a field of flowers.

Photo: Rita Kochmarjova/Shutterstock

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Horses have a weird side

Horses have been around for around 50 million years, and in that time they've had a chance to develop some really interesting quirks and features to their anatomy. Horses began their history in North America, and spread into Asia and Europe using the land bridge. While they died out in North America, they continued to thrive in eastern Europe and central Asia, continuing to evolve to their new landscape.

The species has been domesticated for the last 6,000 years and that, too, has been plenty of time for human influence to play some pretty interesting tricks on horses. Since domesticating the horse, humans have created some 400 different breeds, used for purposes from racing to war, from plowing to pulling carts and carriages.

Our own human history has been greatly shaped by our partnership with the horse, and the horse has of course been shaped significantly by us. But many of the odd features of the horse developed well before we had a hand in their evolution.

Alongside photos of gorgeous and oddball horses, you'll learn about the more fascinating features of the species that we all know and love.