horses were first domesticated 6000 years ago. All
horses and ponies are descended from wild horses that
once lived on the grassland of southern Russia. The
original wild horse is now extinct, but it probably
looked like an Asian Przewalski's horse, which comes
from Mongolia. Wild horses were smaller. They had stiff
manes, like zebras and wild asses. Several hundreds of
recognised breeds of domesticated horses exist
throughout the world, with few being truly indigenous.
There are over 200 horse and pony breeds. There has been
a lot of cross breeding to a point that some types have
For centuries, farmers used
horses as draught animals. With a collar, they could
pull ploughs and carts faster than oxen. In many parts
of the world horses still provide the power for farming.
In the 19th century, horses transported heavy goods such
as coal and iron for industry. Ponies worked in mines
and mills and are still used as pack animals in many
countries. Horses are also kept for meat and even milk
in parts of the Middle East. In many countries, horses
are now used more for sport and leisure than for work.
They have been raced for hundreds of years, some horses
are bred for show-jumping as well as racing. Other
equestrian sports are pony-trekking, polo,
carriage-driving and rodeos.
Horses eat little and often. They need at least 20
litres of clean water a day. They also need daily
exercise, grooming and health checks. Grooming should
include attention to the feet as well as the coat and if
it�s properly carried out, it promotes health, prevents
diseases, ensures cleanliness and improves appearance.
Grooming should start with cleaning out and washing the
horse�s feet and examining the shoes to see that none is
loose. The dandy brush or a hay or straw wisp is then
used to remove dirt and dried sweat adherent to the
coat; this is followed by the body brush which
penetrates through the coat and brushes the actual skin.
The mane and tail are dealt with by use of the body
brush and a comb and not a dandy brush.
must be shoed to maintain the foot in a healthy
condition. When horses are kept in a stable the debris
that accumulates on the sole of the foot and the frog
must be removed daily as it may give rise to infection
of the frog. Growth of the wall tends to be more rapid
in the summer. Shoeing of horses is a skilled practice
and should not be attempted by persons who have not had
proper and sufficient instruction, but all persons
working with horses should be able to recognise whether
the shoes have been put on properly or not.
Zoo has 2 horse species, Shire Draught horse and
Shire Draught Horse
It is from Britain and was used for pulling. The breed
is known for its easy going temperament. Shire horse is
the biggest and they have world records as largest and
tallest horse-mares from 16 hands and stallions 17 hands
and over. Heavy horses were used in battle in medieval
times, and pulling brewery wagons. Today, they are used
for forestry, leisure and promotions. The term Shire
horse was first used in the mid17th century. In the
1930s, increasing mechanization and strict livestock
feed laws caused their numbers to drop greatly until the
1950s and 60s. Their popularity increased again from the
1970s. Various breeders associations consider the breed
as critical to vulnerable with only between 500 and 1500
breeding mares active today.
Is one of the oldest animals in the
Zoo, it was born in 1976. Invading Norsemen brought
ponies with them, which crossed with native equids,
created the Shetland pony. They are probably the oldest
British horse breed. The little: Sheltie� is stocky and
muscular, with a long, shaggy mane, forelock and tail,
because of its cold, harsh original environment. The
Shetland Islander domesticated them for work, but
Shelties are now mostly pets. They still compete in
working contests. They stand at about 9.3 hands to
maximum 10.2 hands. They usually bred 1 foal per year.