Horse Family History
Sounds pretty simple, as long as you know what a horse is. Now everyone typically knows what a horse looks like, but what truly makes a horse a horse? More specifically what makes something not a horse? First let 's answer the question what makes a horse a horse in scientific terms. “The horse family today is quite small, consisting only of seven living species, which include donkeys and zebras. The closest relative outside of the Equus family are Perissodactyls, most of which are extinct. They include rhinocerose, which is the horses’ closest living relative” (MacPhee, 2008). According to the Integrated Taxonomic Information System, the modern horse 's …show more content…
The evolution of a horse from a small dog sized, four-toed creature to the large servant and friend of mankind today, is most accurately described by Dr. MacPhee from the American
Museum of Natural History. Most scientists agree the first members of the horse family began in the Northern Hemisphere fifty million years ago with Eohippus or drawn horse. Also called
Hyracotherium or mole beast, the earliest know horse was roughly the size of a small dog. The
Eohippus had four hoofed toes on it’s front limbs and three hoofed toes on it’s rear limbs. This herbivore had a long skull and forty four crowned teeth. The next primitive horse in the line of evolution is called Mesohippus meaning middle horse. The Mesohippus existed thirty seven to thirty two million years ago in the great plains of Canada and the United States in such places as the Dakotas, Colorado and Nebraska. This all leads us to the grandfather of the modern horse
Pliohippus. Pliohippus existed about twelve to six million years ago in the similar locations …show more content…
Additionally, horse teeth grow continuously so dental care maintenance is a must.
Uneven wear of teeth can lead to sharp edges and can cause pain and difficulty chewing, leading to an unhealthy horse and can pose serious issues. Early symptoms of dental disease can include bad breath, undigested hay in the stools, nose and mouth discomfort, and quidding, which is where food falls out of the mouth when chewing. Unlike our smaller furry house pets, horses need a lot of care when it comes to their toes. Hooves should be trimmed every six to eight weeks for horses whose feet do not get adequate natural wear. Trimming should only be performed by a experienced farrier or a equine veterinarian (“Horse Care”, 2006).
In the wild a horse can walk miles in a day, sometimes even trot, so they require a lot of daily exercise. “Typically the amount of land needed is one acre per horse, but two acres is of course more adequate. 70% of the ground should be vegetative cover and no more than 30% should be bare ground” (Navarra, 2014). Stables and stalls need cleaned and bedding should be discarded and replaced daily. “Whenever animals are kept in confined areas, cleanliness becomes synonymous with healthiness. Aside from smelling and looking unsightly, a poorly kept stall