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Horse Myths

We've all heard these things, but are they true?
Horses are mean

There are thousands of horses that were never properly trained or are constantly mistreated. Yes, the horses may behave badly, since they have learned hat people can't be trusted.

Horses that have grown up with kindness and love form humans are gentle, friendly, and pretty much will do anything you ask of them.

Horses will run into a burning barn

Where did this crazy idea come from? I guess a hundred years ago a confused and panicked horse did run back to its

stable where it believed it might be safe, since no horse understands that a building on fire at one side, will soon be burning up the whole place.
photo courtesy of Tom Sheridan

Old horses go to the glue factory

A hundred years ago, many old horses were killed and sent to the glue factory. But today, most glue is made from the bones and hooves of cattle, which thanks to the fast-food burger places, there are a lot of these by-products to be used.

A horse with a broken leg has to be shot

Yes, they used to have to do this. In many parts of the country, they do still shoot horses for any reason that "puts it out of it's misery".

Now-a-days, a broken leg doesn't automatically mean the horse must be destroyed. Until a few years ago, the fact that a horses legs couldn't be put in a cast because of the size of the leg and the weight of the horse, a fractured leg was a death sentence.

There are now many skilled veterinarians who perform surgery on horses, and there is equipment and metal leg implants large enough for the horse.

Horses alway sleep standing up

Horses do sometimes sleep while standing on their feet. This is probably because in the wild, they have to be ready to take off running when approached by a hungry coyote (just kidding).

But this kind of sleep is really just dozing. To get what we call REM sleep, and all horses need it, they either lie on their side or squat down with their nose on the ground.

Horses never get sick

Ponies are a hardy animal that can sometimes go years with no health problems.

Horses, however, need to be seen by the vet about twice a year on the average. They can have all kinds of health problems.

Read the next horse care article on Control Horse Owner Expenses.
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