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5 Myths About Horses – Separating Fact From Fiction

July 25th, 2019 Alan Barnes


Horses can only sleep standing up

It’s widely acknowledged that horses can only sleep standing up. We have probably all seen a horse throughout the day taking that power nap or snoozing for hours, standing on all fours. However, we are here to tell you that horses can in fact also sleep lying down or sitting upright. What many people don’t understand is why horses may seem to be on their feet all day, and some seem to spend their days resting on the ground. We have seen that many groups of horses will tend to rest on the ground, in order to feel safe in a big group. If we look at horses who are kept within a stable, or inside, these animals will stay up to keep guard in the event of potential danger.

Read more about horses sleeping patterns and how horses sleep.

Horses are colour blind

Many people believe that horses are colour blind and can only see in shades of black, white or grey. In fact, they can see blues and greens, but find it very difficult to see red and yellow. Even though horses have amazing night vision, they are only able to see two out of the three visible wavelengths in the colour spectrum.


Horses can smile

Throughout the internet, we have all seen a funny video of a horse making silly faces or ‘smiling’. In reality, the horse isn’t actually smiling or making that face because they are happy, but it is in fact part of a special nose-enhancing technique, called the ‘flehmen’ response. This is a technique to direct scents towards the olfactory glands, located at the end of their nasal passages. So, next time you come across that funny video of a horse making that silly face, they just want to know what you smell like.

Riding a horse is not exercise

Some may think that riding a horse isn’t what you’d call ‘exercise’ in a traditional sense. However, they have clearly never saddled up. To ride a horse not only takes brilliant co-ordination and flexibility, but it also requires core strength and stamina. All these factors put together will make anyone just starting to ride a powerhouse of strength, health and focus. 

Horses can grow new teeth

It is believed that horses grow new teeth in the same way as a human. Again, this is another myth. A horse is born with a full set of teeth that will stay with them for the rest of their life. When looking at the structure in the mouth, we can see that most of the tooth is located above the gum line – the teeth will grow through as and when needed, as a horse will grind its teeth when chewing on hay. We would strongly advise that you get your horse’s teeth checked annually, just to maintain and check that there are no problems with growth that may cause pain. It is also said that you can tell a horses age by his teeth! 

If you own a horse and would like to see how our product range could be beneficial to your horses health, watch our best practice video here or contact us for further information on our products.

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