The fastest recorded speed for a racehorse, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, was attained by Winning Brew in 2008, who reached 43.97 mph (70.76 km/h). That is swift. It moves pretty quickly.
So why do horses move so quickly? How do horses run at such high speeds? In order to get the answers to these questions, it will be necessary to examine how horses evolved as well as their psychology, physiology, and anatomy.
WHY DO HORSES RUN SO FAST: THE PSYCHOLOGY BEHIND RUNNING FOR YOUR LIFE
It took 60 million years for the modern horse, scientifically known as Equus caballus, to evolve into its current state. It was originally called the Eohippus, a considerably smaller, 14 to 15-inch-tall prehistoric predecessor of the contemporary horse that was akin to a fox in size. The horse has evolved over time to cope with shifting surroundings and new predators.
For instance, the current horse has all of its predecessors beat in size, strength, and speed. The horse has benefited from each of these adaptations by allowing it to live in the wild.
Horses run for a variety of purposes, including receiving exercise, amusement, excitement, and participation in races. Why do horses run so quickly, though?
Horses must run quickly for various reasons, which is one of them. Horses are creatures that are prey in the wild. Predators are therefore always on the prowl for them. Survival meant moving quickly.
Horses have had to develop their running speed in order to live. While some horse species went extinct along the evolution trail, those that underwent rapid speed development survived. In the same way, horses started competing in long-distance races.
This process of evolution produced the family of creatures known as Equidae, which includes contemporary horses, zebras, asses, donkeys, and the Mongolian wild horse (also called Przewalski’s horse).
HOW DO HORSES MOVE SO QUICKLY? THE JOINTS, FEET, HOOVES, AND LEGS
The legs, joints, feet, and hooves of a horse are the main bodily parts that enable it to move so quickly.
In comparison to their bodies, horses have lengthy legs. This enables them to run more quickly and with longer strides. The muscles in a horse’s legs below the knee are oddly absent. Thus, lengthy tendons link the foot to the thigh muscles.
Although this structure places a considerable deal of stress on the legs—during a gallop, the horse’s weight may be supported entirely by just one leg—it also allows for great joint mobility and makes the thin legs lighter for speed and easier to move.
The feet and hooves of a horse are also uniquely designed for speed and endurance. The hoof is circular but has an aperture that gives it a crescent shape, making it comparable to a bird’s claw or a human nail. The heel is in the gap.
The walls of the hoof are rigid, while the heel is flexible. In this way, the hoof walls can support the weight of the horse while the flexible heal enables tiny changes to the hoof’s structure, enabling it to adapt to changes in weight and the angle at which the weight is applied to the hoof.
The horse can run on nearly any surface thanks to these modifications to the foot and heel, which also help the animal maintain its speed and agility when running over uneven terrain.
CIRCULATION AND RESPIRATION WHICH MAKE IT POSSIBLE
The respiratory and circulatory systems of a horse have also been modified to provide for speed and endurance. The circulatory and respiratory systems interact. The horse’s respiratory system draws oxygen from the air it breathes, and its circulatory system makes sure that the oxygen gets to the cells of the body.
The horse may have to start immediately running from a resting position because it is a prey animal. This implies that the horse’s muscles could suddenly want oxygen. It is frequently forgotten how important the horse’s spleen is to this process.
Red blood cell storage has become a function of the horse’s spleen. The spleen constricts and releases the additional red blood cells into circulation when the horse suddenly begins to run or during periods of severe effort. This permits more oxygen to enter the muscles of the horse at precisely the right time.
Horse performance depends on respiratory health, yet this fact is frequently overlooked or misunderstood. Because horses’ respiratory systems differ significantly from those of humans, even at submaximal levels of exertion, horses can experience oxygen deficiency.
Due to these restrictions, even a minor amount of respiratory tract irritation or obstruction can have a significant effect on your horse’s performance. Coughing and nasal discharge are obvious signs of respiratory issues, but other symptoms like “feeling heavy,” “heavy breathing,” lack of energy, and slow recovery times may point to a condition in the milder end of the equine asthma spectrum.
You can perform the following things to support your horse’s respiratory health:
- Ensuring the barn has adequate airflow.
- Reducing the amount of dust in the barn and your horse’s stall.
- Keeping an eye out for mold growth on the walls, especially close to where hay is kept.
- If you use floor mats, be sure nothing is growing inside or underneath them. Think about choosing flooring that can be cleaned thoroughly or that can be disinfected.
Authentic Haarlem oil offers the equine industry a versatile and multifaceted approach to treating and preventing illness. When employing Haarlem oil, remarkable outcomes can be observed.example of direction of uses:
Muscular troubles: 10ml per day orally or mix in the feed for 10 consecutive days, the 10ml per week. Repeat treatment after 4 weeks if problem persist.
Bronchitis and pulmonary disorders: 10ml per day orally or mix in the feed for 14 consecutive days. Repeat treatment if necessary, then 10ml per week.