At Palmetto Carriage Works, our horses are powerful animals that work diligently. Their strong hindquarters effortlessly propel them through each day and their witty sense is admirable. But what makes these incredible animals so unique? Here are 10 horse fun facts:
For starters, horses have the largest eyes of any land animal. No wonder they are able to move so elegantly without missing a beat. Since their eyes are positioned on the sides of their head, horses can see almost 360 degrees at all times. So, rest assured, if you drop a peppermint on the ground, they’ll be the first to spot their favorite treat!
Horses’ teeth take up more room in their head than their brain. However, this happened gradually after early generations of horses were transitioned from eating a diet of predominantly fruit to grass. The bigger the teeth, the better to yank the grass!
Horses take turns keeping a lookout, like the perfect partners in crime. You’ll never catch a herd lying down simultaneously because at least one will act as the horse “on guard.”
On the underside of a horse’s hoof, there is a triangle shape area, referred to as the frog. The frog not only acts as a shock absorber, but also regulates blood flow and pumps it back up to the heart. If you’ve ever wondered how horses feel while walking on pavement, be assured that their hoofs are designed to combat a wide range of surfaces, so it’s quite literally a walk in the park for them.
Have you ever felt your heartbeat in your chest when you’re excited or scared? While your heart tends to feel heavy in these instances, a human heart actually weighs only 11 ounces, while a horse’s heart weighs 9 to 10 pounds on average! No wonder our equine friends are such incredible athletes. After all, their power source is unparalleled in any other creature.
Horses consume anywhere north of 25 gallons of water each day. Of course, in warmer climates like Charleston, horses are known to consume much more in the summer months. That’s why our horses are well hydrated before and after carriage rides. In fact, if you’re ever in doubt of a horse’s hydration level, gently pinch together a patch of their skin. If it quickly flattens out, the horse is well hydrated; If the skin stays wrinkled for a few seconds, they need a tall drink of water!
What allows a horse to swivel its ear with such ease at the drop of a hat? The 16–yes, 16–muscles in each ear! These inner ear muscles allow a horse to rotate their ears 180 degrees, allowing them to pick up on unique sounds or shoo flies away.
Without a doubt, we are all hands on deck to ensure each horse is well cared for and that includes monitoring their body temperature both prior to and after each carriage ride. In fact, when the outside temperature reaches 95 or the heat index reaches 110, all tours are halted. Additionally, if a horse’s body temperature rises above 102.9, the horse is pulled from the service and well cared for until its body temperature regulates back to normal. Did you know that you can quickly get an estimate of your horse’s temperature by feeling the area behind their ears? If it’s warm, the horse is feeling a bit overheated and should be taken to a shaded area and hydrated.
Horses are some of the most caring animals on earth. Not only are they sociable with humans, but they care greatly about their companions and other horse friends. In other words, they’re happiest being around us humans by day and trotting in the field with their horse friends by night. This is exactly what each Palmetto Carriage horse experiences!
Horses and humans have a relationship dating back thousands of years ago since the first horse was domesticated. The need for horses emerged as a method of transportation, but of course, our special friends hold a sincere place in our hearts to this day. So it may come as no surprise to learn that horses symbolize honor in many cultures. In fact, they are often linked to successful and heroic war heroes. Rightfully so!
If you found these horse fun facts fascinating and want to learn more about these animals as well as Charleston, book a carriage ride tour today! Public tours last approximately one hour and run every 15 minutes. Saddle up and let’s ride!