Horses are spectacular animals. Their relationship with people spans back in history over many thousands of years. Far from being mere livestock they are workers, pets and even entertainers, but to their owners they are friends.
Horses need excellent care, feeding and adequate shelter. They are grazing animals so they need good quality pasture on which to feed and sometimes hay can be supplemented into their diets. Some people feed horses grain, but even if they are eating grain their primary food source should be from grazing. They need a lot of fresh water every day. Horses can get colic because they cannot vomit and this condition can be fatal. Predominantly horses live outdoors, but they still require some sort of shelter to protect them from inclement weather. They can adapt to a small open shed to a large hay filled stall in a stable.
Horses have the largest eyes of any land mammal, and they have unique vision. A horse can see in monocular and binocular vision. Horses cannot see what they eat, their eyes are positioned on the sides of their head and they use their whiskers and other keen senses to help them find the food. They are especially sensitive to movement and are ready in a moment to bolt because they are easily preyed upon by other animals. A windy day or a lot of commotion around a horse can make them uneasy and jumpy. They have excellent hearing and can hear sounds around them without moving their head. They have a good sense of smell but their other senses are much more keen. They do have an exceptional sense of taste and are especially particular to what they eat. Generally a horse will not eat a poisonous plant. Grooming is important to keep a horse healthy. Horses require washing and brushing regularly.
Horses are intelligent animals and are able to communicate with other horses as well as with their owners. They can be vocal and use motions with their heads to give signals of what they want. They are easily startled, being a prey animal and have a strong fight or flight sense and their first instinct is to run. They will stand their ground if they feel threatened and fight. Horses command a lot of attention and training and with a lot of work can become a stealthy companion. They are social animals and enjoy being around other horses.
Before owning a horse, taking time to research different breeds and needs of horses is essential. A horse requires a lot of work, training and care to offer a healthy quality of life.