Peace Crane by Hilary Taylor

Peace Crane by Hilary Taylor
Picture by Justin Wyatt
To read Hilary's story buy this special book...

This magical story has a touch of the supernatural. When an injured crane is found and nursed, something happens, something magical and inspiring...

Gentle Footprints launched- AS SEEN ON TV

Gentle Footprints was officially launched Fri June 4th at the Hay Festival with guest speaker Virginia McKenna and some of the authors

Buy from Bridge House Publishing by clicking on the link BUY:


Virginia McKenna at Hay Launch

Virginia McKenna at Hay Launch

Animal Anthology To Raise Funds for Born Free

Bridge House Publishing announce new book coming Spring 2010. For more about Bridge House please see their website.
This book is the annual charity book for Born Free...if you want to get involved with promoting and selling this book- email me!

Visit the Born Free Website to find out more about their valuable work...

Visit the Born Free Website to find out more about their valuable work...

Friday, 19 March 2010

Although the horse, as a mammal, follows the basic design of all mammals and vertebrates, it evolved certain physical features ideally suited for its life on the high plains and steppes. Its specialities are lightning standing starts to escape sudden danger, speed, stamina, and the ability to rest, and even sleep, standing up.

The legs are proportionally long and light relative to the body size. There are no muscles below the knee and hock, and the feet are fairly small and light, particularly in fast types. Muscle is heavy, so the nearer it is to the source of movement (the shoulder and hip), and the less weight there is to be moved in those parts moving furthest (the lower limb), the faster the horse can go with the least energy consumption.

Rather like our own toenails, the horse’s hooves protect the delicate structure of the foot from injury. The horn of the hoof grows from the coronet down, and it takes roughly a year to grow from coronet to ground at the toe. Regular trimming is essential as many horses’ feet become soft in the field and can crack on hard, rough ground.

The horse has a crucial adaptation that enables it to rest and sleep, quite relaxed, while standing up, usually resting one hind leg at a time, with joints flexed, and weight on the toe. It has been shown that a horse uses about 10 per cent less energy standing up than when lying flat out.

Horse Needs

A horse’s personal wants are reasonable and simple. It wants to be physically comfortable and mentally content – and that is it.
Physical comfort depends on protection from the elements, lack of hunger and thirst, freedom of movement and lack of prolonged pain, discomfort, or sickness. Mental contentment results partly from feeling physically comfortable and partly from feeling safe, which involves social acceptance and space.
Although horses evolved as ‘outdoor’ animals, many show clearly that they do not want to be exposed to extreme weather. Horses vary from the thin-skinned, fine-haired to thick-skinned, woolly coated. All, however, use natural or artificial shelter when they need to – as long as they are not frightened off by, say, a bullying herd mate, a muddy or stony approach to the shelter, or a small, dark entrance or interior.
As well as meeting horses’ immediate personal needs, humans must attend to a number of other factors that contribute to horses’ longer-term, overall well-being. Horses need to be groomed, their shoes need to be checked daily, they need to be kept free from flies and their manure must be cleaned away.

Some pics to end:

Essential Features of Horses

This is the last post for The Week of the Horse
Next Week The Week of the Honey Badger!

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