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Equine Science M1

Behavior, Digestion, HIstory, Breeds, etc

QuestionAnswer
Why is the horse unlike any other animal? Uncommon beauty Grace Sensitivity Athletic ability Willingness Relationship with man Intelligence
Why are we furnished with one of the best documented examples of evolutionary change of any animal species Well preserved fossils
Is evolution branching or linear? Evolution is branching, not linear, so not all lines of horses share evolutionary trends.
Give an example of branching evolution? For example, some lines of horses became larger, only to shrink again. Most of the recent horses were three-toed; one-toed horses prevailed only because all the three-toed lines died out.
Does evolution occur at the same rate? No. Depending on the environmental pressure on the species, during some time periods the animals changed a great deal, or hardly at all. Different evolutionary changes can also occur at the same time, separately, or both over a period of time.
What else evolved around the same time as the horse? Other species such as the donkey, zebra and ass evolved at the same time as the horse.
When and where did the horse originate? 60 million years ago in North America
When did the first "true horse" originate? 15 million years ago became first “true horse”
What happened during the Ice Age? Ice Age – migrated from North and South America throughout the world over land bridges Became Extinct in North and South America
In evolution, what were the four major changes? Increase in body size. Reduction in the number of toes. Increase in the size of cheek teeth. Lengthening of the face.
What was the first prehistoric horse? Eohippus (dawn horse) Hyracotherium (mole beast) Was the size of a cat
How big was Eohippus, Hyracotherium and Orohippus? And how many toes and how many teeth? Only 2 feet long and 8 to 9 inches high at the shoulder. It had 4 hoofed toes on the front feet and 3 hoofed toes on the hind feet. It had a long skull with 44 long-crowned teeth.
What did Eohippus, Hyracotherium, and Orohippus eat? Grazing herbivore that ate soft leaves and plant shoots.
When and where did Eohippus, Hyracotherium, and Orohippus live? Lived during the early Eocene epoch, about 50 million years ago. It lived in the Northern hemisphere (in Asia, Europe, and North America).
What is the physical description of Mesohippus (middle horse)? It had longer legs than Eohippus and stood about two feet tall. It had 3 toes on each foot that ended in hooves. Mesohippus had low crowned brachyodont teeth for browsing.
When and where did Mesohippus live? Was after Eohippus, Hyracotherium, and Orohippus. First appeared during the Oligocene epoch, about 35 million years ago and lived on the Great Plains of the US and Canada. It is believed to have gone extinct 7 million years ago.
What is the physical description of Merychippus (ruminant horse)? 35-40 inches tall. Its lateral toes were diminished and no longer reached the ground. The feet were without pads and the weight was carried on the enlarged single hoof on the central toe.
What did Merychippus develop that was unique? Developed complicated grinding teeth similar to present-day horses. Gregarious and lived in herds.
When and where did Merychippus live? Merychippus evolved in North America about 20 million years ago in the Miocene epoch.
What is the physical description of Pliohippus? Pliohippus was about the height of a donkey. First true monodactyl (one-toed animal) of evolutionary history. Its denture and extremities were the nearest approach to our present-day horses.
When and where did Pliohippus live? Also gregarious, Pliohippus spread from North America into South America, as well as Asia, Europe, and Africa. Lived during the Miocene epoch about 12-6 million years ago.
What is the modern horse? Equus
What is the history of equus? Became extinct in Western Hemisphere 8,000 years ago. Reintroduced by Spanish explorers in 1400’s.
What is interesting about equus? Modern horse- One-toed with long extremities and skull Many breeds lead to great variation in the Equus species
Where does the modern horse fit in the zoological scheme? Equus caballus – today’s true horse Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalia Order: Perissodactyla Family: Equidae Genus: Equus
What are some species related to horses? Equus asinus – the true asses and donkeys of northern Africa Equus burchelli – the zebras of Africa Equus caballus – the true horse Equus grevyi – Grevy’s zebra, the most horse-like zebra
What are some more species related to horses? Equus hemionus – the desert-adapted onagers of Asia and the Mideast Equus przewalski – the oldest living species of the horse, discovered in remote Mongolia Equus zebra – the Mountain zebra of South Africa
What is the physical description of Przewalski’s Horse? About 12 to 14 hands high, it is dun colored with a black upstanding mane, black tail and legs, and prominent dorsal stripe.
Tell me about the Przewalski's Horse. The oldest species of horse still in existence is the wild Przewalski’s horse. It was not discovered until 1879, when it was found by Russian Captain Przewalski in remote Mongolian Valleys.
Has the Przewalski's horse ever been tamed? Although held in captivity in zoos all over the world, it has never been effectively domesticated or tamed.
What is the first known interaction between human and horse? And how do we know? The first known interaction between horses and people was the hunting of equine species as a food source. Evidence of this has been found in cave paintings of Western Europe.
How did we hunt the horse? Not as fast as a horse, or the technology to kill it from a distance, prehistoric humans learned to drive horses to their death. Skeletal remains of more than 10,000 horses have been found at the base of a cliff in Salutre, France.
When did humans begin to domesticate the horse? Only in relatively recent past (4000-3000 BC) did humans begin to domesticate horses.
What did horses first do when domesticated? At first, horses were domesticated and kept for meat and possibly milk. Archeological evidence suggests horses became more important as they began to be used to transport goods of nomadic tribes.
When and where were horses first used as cart animals? Between 3000 and 2000 B.C., the horse appeared as a domesticated draft animal in the Near East. The horse quickly became the favorite draft animal due to its speed
What is the horse's relation to the invention of a more lightweight wheel? As horses became more numerous, a light chariot with spoke wheels was developed. Yoked to horses, it was a formidable weapon in war and hunting.
When and why were the yoke changed for cart horses? By 1500 B.C, the yoke saddle was developed in Egypt. Its design took pressure off the windpipe and shifted it to the shoulders, allowing horses to breathe more easily.
What is the history of bits? Metal bits came into use at 1500 BC. 2 types of snaffle bits came into use at the same time, the plain bar snaffle and the jointed bit. Both types of bits had studs on the inside of the cheekpieces to apply pressure when the opposing rein was pulled.
What is the very beginning of the history of riding horses? Before 1000 B.C. horses were used primarily as driving animals, with riding pursued only casually. Military mounts, that were highly trained and were ridden in formation, appeared around 1000 B.C.
At first, what did riders use to control their horses? a rope around the jaw or hackamore. Cheekpieces made of antler that would have been connected by soft bits of rope, rawhide or sinew have been found by remains of the earliest domesticated horses on the steppes north of the Black Sea.
Describe the history of cavalries: The Scythians. A group of nomadic horsemen, archers who used their mounts to get close to the enemy and for their speed. Their nomadic way of life, made possible by their large herds of horses, enabled them to survive even when they encountered Alexander the Great.
Describe the history of cavalries: The Roman Army. At first an infantry, the Romans switched to cavalry to be effective against their mounted opponents.
Describe the Huns influence on China's cavalry. The horse was 1st used to pull light war chariots, but constant invasions by the Huns prompted the switch to mounted cavalry. Around 200 B.C., the Chinese began to use saddles as the Huns did, and new techniques of saddle making and riding developed.
Describe the history of cavalries: China. Huns influence. By 700 A.D., the Chinese had vast herds of horses, with stud farms holding hundreds of thousands of animals. Paintings from 1000-1100 A.D. show the Chinese as complete horsemen, with equipment very similar to modern equipment.
Horse history: the Middle Ages and the Dark Ages. The Middle and Dark Ages were times of religious war and barbarian invasion. The horse was at first primarily used in war and hunting.
History of the horse: after the Romans (the Middle Ages and the Dark Ages). As lords had the money to keep horses, they were able to supply their farmers with them. The horse was used extensively in agriculture for the first time. As travel was difficult, the chariot disappeared and wagons were used as farm vehicles.
How and when did hunting on horseback become a sport? Hunting on horseback became popular, and turned into a sport enjoyed primarily by the upper class. During the Dark/Middle ages, after the Romans.
What 3 main things happened in The Renaissance? the scientific study of equine anatomy. Riding became a disciplined art, taught by masters of the craft. Vehicle design, including the development of light carriages, progressed enormously, and horses were used more in transporting goods and people
How did horses get to the US? When Spanish conquistadors came to the Americas in the early 1500s, they brought horses with them.
Why were horses important in the growth of the US in past times? By the 1800s, the horse was a central element in urban life. The exploration and settlement of new frontier land in America created an enormous need for horses.
In the past, why did the US have a demand for mules? The demand for mules increased, because the horse could not handle the harsher working conditions like coal mines. Mules also had a long career in the US army.
What were the commercial uses of horses in the past? Horse-powered mass transit systems allowed the cities to expand into new suburbs. Heavy horses hauled cargo unloaded at city terminals by railroads, steamships, and canal boats, and they distributed the goods produced in urban factories.
What was the biggest factor(s) in selecting horses for commercial use? Strength and endurance were the prime considerations in selecting the horses to haul goods.
How was the horse involved in the development of agriculture in the US? New & improved farm equipment greatly increased the productivity of the American farmer. During harvest, you would see giant combines pulled by teams of over 40 draft horses. With new equipment and fertilizers, wheat yields increased 7x between 1850-19
What are other uses for horses? Fire protection- horses pulled fire wagons. Rodeos Recreation and Sport Racing Movies and Entertainment Military
How is the horse related to the military? Cavalries were important components of the armies of all major world powers. The last cavalry unit fought on horseback during WWII.
What is the world population of horses? 55 million.
What percentage of horses are found in the US? 10%
Where are more than half of the world's horses found? Asia and South America
What is the fluctuation of world horse population? a high of 61 million in 1960, to a low of 55 million in 2005
How many horses in the US in 1915? 21 million
How many horses in the US in 1960? slightly over 3 million
What is the population of horses in the US today? 5 million
What are the top 3 leading horse states? Texas California Florida
What are the top 3 activities in horse industry? Recreation is the leading activity for horses, with showing and racing as second and third place uses.
What are the top 3 breeds with the highest individual registrations? Quarter horse Arabian Thoroughbred
What is the horse industries impact on the US economy? The horse industry directly produces goods and services amounting to $38.8 billion and has a total impact of $101.5 billion on US gross domestic products.
How much do racing, showing, and reactreation contribute to the total value of goods and services produced by the horse industry? Racing, showing, and recreation each contribute more than 25%
How much does the horse industry pay in taxes to the federal, local, and state governments? $1.9 billion
How many full time jobs in the horse industry? 450,000
How many people employed by the horse industry, including seasonal and part time? over 700,000
How many full time jobs does the horse industry directly and indirectly (in related services create)? 1.4 million
What is the attendance at racetracks per year? Exceeds 70 million
How much is wagered on horse races per year? More than $13 billion
How did different types of horses come into existence? Through selection, inbreeding and outcrossing, humans created different types of horses
What are the differences in breed based on? Differences are for speed, strength, size, good nature, hardiness, athletic ability, etc.
How many different breeds of horses today? Over 300 breeds exist.
What is breeding true? Breeding true means that the offspring will almost always possess the same characteristics as the parents
What is a breed of horse? A breed of horses is a group of horses with a common ancestry that breed true to produce common characteristics such as function, conformation and color.
What are the 3 foundation sires for Thoroughbreds? the Darley Arabian, the Byerly Turk and the Godolphin Arabian.
Breed Fact!! Many recognized breeds have certain foundation sires and all registered foals must trace their ancestry back to these stallions
Explain breeds based on color. Those who found particular colors appealing established registries with color requirements. Some of these registries require only color for registration, but others have conformation standards as well
What is the first color breed association? The Palomino Horse Association
What are examples of other color breeds? Appaloosas Albinos Paints Pintos Buckskins Whites Cremes
Requirements for the APHA registration are similar to those of the AQHA. TRUE or FALSE True
Describe Tobiano paint. white crosses the back, head is marked like that of a solid colored horse, all legs are white, body spots are oval-shaped and distinct, one or both flanks are dark
Describe Overo paint. white does not cross the back, one or more legs are dark, head is often bald, apron, or bonnet-faced, body markings are splashy/irregular, tail is one color
Besides breed, how can horses be classified? horses can be grouped as light, draft or pony, according to size, weight and build.
How can horses be further classified after breed and size/weight/build? riding , racing, driving, jumping, or utility.
What is the size of a hand? 4 inches
What are the sizes of light horses? They are 12 to 17.2 hands high (hh) and weigh 900-1,400 pounds
What is the use of light horses? Primary use: riding, driving, showing, racing or utility on a farm or ranch Light horses are capable of more action and greater speed than draft horses.
TRUE or FALSE: Most color breeds are also classified as light horses. True
Describe warmblood horses. The name refers to the overall temperament of light-to-medium horse breeds. Warmbloods are fine boned and suitable for riding. Warmbloods fall into the light horse category. Used for jumping and dressage.
Describe coldblood horses. They are heavy, solid horses with a calm temperament. Could be another way as describing a draft horse
When and where was the Arabian developed? Developed in the Mid-East or Northern Africa 2000 to 3000 years ago
General description of an Arab. General purpose, light horse, ranging from 14.1-15.1 hands and 800-1000 lbs.
Physical description of an Arab. Known for its distinctive head: relatively small, dished head, with wide set eyes. Colors acceptable to be registered are: bay, brown, chestnut, grey, and black
TRUE or FALSE: The Thoroughbred breed developed largely from Arabians. True
History of the Thoroughbred. The breed began in England and was developed for high speeds in intermediate distances. Thoroughbreds today are generally two hands taller than the foundation Thoroughbreds of 1750
Physical description of the Thoroughbred. Usually range in size from 15.1-16.2 hands and 900-1150 lbs; dark bay, brown, black, chestnut, grey and roan are common colors
What do some claim is the first breed developed in the US? The Quarter Horse
Info about Quarter horses. Quarter Horses have exceptional short-distance speeds Known for being a shorter coupled, muscular horse Color does not matter for registration; horses that are spotted or albino are not eligible for registration
Where did American Saddlebred originate? Originated from United States, especially Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Missouri.
Physical description of American Saddlebred. Dark coloring preferred (bay, brown, black, chestnut, gray, or roan) Considered the “peacock” of the horse world; the Saddlebred is noted for its flashy, exaggerated gaits, high head carriage, and distinctive tail set
Purpose and specialness of Saddlebred. Mainly bred and used for show purposes: harness, saddleseat, pleasure Horses can be 3- or 5-gaited: walk, trot, canter, the slow gait (high stepping 4 beat gait) and the rack (fast, flashy 4 beat gait) which is easy on the rider but tiring for the horse
Purpose and history of Hanoverians. Breed originated in Hanover, Germany The breed is the most numerous in Europe These horses excel as heavy hunters, and in dressage and show jumping. Plain colors because bred for performance
Clydesdales history and temperament. Bred in Clydesdale, Scotland. Clydesdales were considered more nervous than other draft breeds, making them more difficult for American farmers to handle
Physical description of Clydesdales. Extensive white markings on legs and face, as well as feathering on the fetlocks, give the Clydesdale a unique appearance; they are also noted for a long, springy stride. Clydesdales have cleaner, flatter bones than most draft breeds
Shetland Ponies... Come from the Shetland Islands 100 miles north of Scotland Maximum height is 11.2 hands and come in all colors Preferred as a small child’s mount or for harness Noted for a shaggy, furry coat used to keep ponies warm in North Seas winters
What is the American Shetland? American Shetlands, which are more refined, were crossed with Arabians, Barbs, and Hackneys
The Miniature Horse Association Statement: The true Mini is simply a small horse, and are as healthy as regular horses
Miniature Horses: Miniature horses are rare; only one in several thousand horses qualify as miniature Miniature horses are defined as 32 inches at the wither Used as pets or in harness
Definition of feral horses. Horses that were once domesticated and have become wild are called feral horses or mustangs.
History of feral horses. During the 1700’s and 1800’s, the number of feral horses in America were between 2-5 million. Mostly located in the Southwest.
Present with feral horses. Currently the feral horses are run on public lands administered by the BLM and Forest Service. Public concern for the plight of feral horses led to the passage of two federal laws to protect them.
What is a mule? A cross between a male donkey (jack) and a female horse (mare) is a mule. A mule is like a horse in size and body shape but has a shorter, thicker head, long ears and braying voice of a donkey.
What is a hinny? The reverse cross between a male horse (stallion) and a female donkey (jenny) is called a hinny. A hinny is similar to the mule in appearance but is smaller and more horse-like, with shorter ears and a longer head.
What are the 5 main components of the equine digestive tract? mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine
Explain the basis function and type of digestive system in a horse Horses are nonruminant herbivores who eat roughages. Instead of a rumen like cattle they have a large cecum(part of the colon) to aid in fiber digestion
What are the two main functions of the mouth? to masticate (grind) feed and to wet the feed with saliva
Describe equine saliva. Saliva is produced from three pairs of glands: parotoid, sub-maxillary and sublingual. The volume of saliva is quite large (up to 12 liters a day) and contains minerals such as sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, and buffers to help maintain proper pH
Why is vomiting in horses so rare? Horses have tonus muscle in the lower portion of the esophagus which makes the occurrence of vomiting rare In the horse distention of the stomach can be so severe it will rupture before the horse will vomit.
Size of esophagus? Length: 50 to 60 inches in a mature horse (4 to 5 feet)
Horse stomach. Provides 8% of the capacity of the gastrointestinal tract Limited bacterial digestion takes place here because the stomach begins to empty soon after feeding
Size of the small intestine. Provides 30% of the capacity of gastrointestinal tract The contents of the small intestine only contain about 5-8% dry matter
Small intestine facts Enzymes that digest carbohydrates and proteins are present in the secretions of the small intestine Horses do not have a gall bladder so bile salts which aid in lipid digestion are constantly secreted into the small intestine
Size of large intestine. Length: 25 feet.
What are the 7 sections of the large intestine? cecum, right and left ventral colon, left and right dorsal colon, transverse colon, small colon and rectum
What is the size of the colon? The colon contains 40-50% of the capacity of the gastrointestinal tract, the largest portion of any section
Importance of microbes in the large intestine. Microbial populations in the large intestine play a large role in fiber digestion There are approximately 10^7 microbes per gram of intestinal contents
What is rate of passage? Rate of passage is the amount of time it takes for feed that was ingested to appear in the feces Rate of passage is affected by particle size and digestibility Grain or pelleted rations have a slightly faster rate of passage
95% of the food particles destined to appear in the feces pass through the digestive tract in 65 to 75 hours after digestion TRUE
How do you measure how efficiently the equine digestive system works? Digestibility= 100 x (Nutrient intake – Nutrient in feces)/Nutrient intake To measure digestibility all feed, feces and urine input and output is measured
More on Digestibility However there is also material, such as sloughed microbes that appear in the feces that need to be accounted for, these are called the endogenous factor True digestibility subtracts this endogenous factor to find the dietary residue
Where are proteins digested? Primary site of digestion is the small intestine Broken down by acid hydrolysis and by proteases (enzymes) Provides amino acids
Where are carbohydrates digested? Primary site of digestion for soluble carbohydrates is the small intestine where as the fiber portion is mainly digested in the large intestine
More on where carbohydrates are digested. In the small intestine carbohydrases digest the monosaccharides that have been formed from the breakdown of polysaccharides by pancreatic secretions In the large intestine bacteria ferment carbohydrates into digestible volatile fatty acids (VFA’s)
Where are fats digested? Dietary lipids are absorbed in the small intestine There digestion is aided by bile salts that are secreted into the intestine by the liver Mature horses can tolerate up to 20% fat in their diets
Where is water digested? Primary site of water absorption is the cecum although significant amounts are also absorbed in the colon The feces of horses contain 66-76% water Feces of horses fed grain diets will by lower than those on hay
Where are vitamins digested? Fat soluble vitamins (A,D,E,K) are absorbed in the small intestine as well as dietary B vitamins Large amounts of B vitamins are synthesized by microbes in the cecum, however the majority of these can not be absorbed unlike ruminants
Where are minerals digested? Calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc are all absorbed in the small intestine Calcium is actively absorbed, and the calcium binding proteins require vitamin D for synthesis Phosphorus can also be absorbed in the large intestine
What are factors affecting digestion? Processing of feeds, level of intake, and frequency of feeding Work, individuality, and time of watering
Processing of feeds affects digestion how? Processing may influence digestion Pelleting decreases fiber digestion Rolling of grains is important in digestion
How does level of intake affect digestion? Digestibility of diets containing forage and grain may be decreased by increased dietary intake whereas an all roughage diet does not seem to have this consequence
How does frequency of feeding affect digestion? Frequent feedings are recommended for horses because of their relatively small stomach Frequency of feeding does not appear to affect digestibility
How does work affect digestion? Early studies showed that light exercise might improve digestibility where as heavy work may inhibit it
How does individuality affect digestion? Horses will differ from each other slightly in their ability to digest protein and fiber
How does time of watering affect digestion? Time of watering does not affect digestibility, but they should be watered before or along with feed to encourage consumption
Comparative digestion... Horses are slightly more efficient in the digestion of protein than ruminants. However ruminants are more efficient if the digestion of fiber and the utilization of phytic acid and phosphorous The horse is more efficient at digesting fiber than a rabbit
Balancing nutrition. The horse eats a wide variety of plants when in the wild. In captivity, we must ensure that we provide the nutrients required in the daily diet. A horse requires a different balance of nutrients depending on the work.
Oats a great energy feed, it contains enough fiber to have limited digestibility and it therefore harder to overfeed with.
Corn very high energy, cheaper per unit of energy than barley, but easier to overfeed
Barley higher energy content than oats, but less than corn.
Molasses a good source of energy but low in protein and phosphorus, often added to feeds to reduce dust and increase palpability.
Prepared/manufactured feeds The energy and nutrient content is often geared for a specific purpose, such as weight gain, energy for work or support for the pregnant mare and foal. The advantage is low variability of nutrients, unlike natural products. not as economical.
Legume hay Legume hays contain more digestible energy, calcium, protein and vitamin A than grass hay harvested at the same stage of maturity. Examples are alfalfa, clover, and soybeans.
Grass hay Grass hay is less energy dense and is often an excellent feed for horses, especially those with little work. Examples are timothy hay, oat hay, orchard grass, rye grass and bermuda grass.
How to choose good quality hay. Hay looses nutrients the older it gets, and younger plants have higher digestibility. Hay should not be moldy or dusty.
Supplements Depending on the nutrient content of the energy feeds and forage fed to a horse, he may need supplements to provide protein, vitamins and/or minerals.
Balancing rations When planning the diet of the horse, it is important to first determine the horse’s requirements, and then formulate the diet to satisfy these requirements.
Choosing hay hint... The same type of hay may vary greatly from season to season and batch to batch.
Consequences of overfeeding foals. Osteochondrosis (improper maturation of cartilage into bone) and epiphysitis (irregular cartilage growth plates) have been attributed to overfeeding of foals.
When do foals start eating solids? Foals will often begin eating solid feeds at 2 weeks of age, but will not consume much until older.
What do foals have increased requirements for? Foals have increased requirements for protein, calcium and phosphorous.
TRUE or FALSE: The calcium, protein and phosphorous requirements decrease with age, muscle and bone growth is considerably slower in the yearling than the foal. TRUE
The nutritional requirements of a horse in little or no work is _____ low. just need good quality hay, free choice salt/mineral blocks, and water
Does horses energy requirements increase as it gets colder outside? Yes. The horse may require some energy feed
Proper diet of pregnant mare... During the first 2/3 of the gestation period, the nutrient requirements of the mare barely increase. It is important not to overfeed her during this time. need sufficient protein, minerals & energy in her diet to ensure proper development of the foal.
Last trimester for pregnant mare During the last 1/3 of gestation, the fetus grows rapidly & the nutrient requirements of the mare increase. The mare will often decrease the amount of bulky feeds she eats in the last third of gestation, so she must be fed more concentrated energy feeds.
Lactating mares peak lactation=8-10 weeks after birth the mare’s nutrient needed up the foal gets almost all its nutrients from the dam. lack adequate nutrition, take minerals out of her body to make the milk, which can decrease her future breeding/lactating ability.
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