An illustration from The Horse Who Wouldn't Gallop by Clare Balding showing two horses being stroked by an older lady

Illustration: Tony Ross

1. There are more than two hundred breeds of ponies, but the Shetland Pony is the most well-known. 

2. When compared to standard-sized horses, ponies are actually stronger, pound for pound.

3. During the Industrial Revolution, ponies were called ‘pit ponies’ as they were used to haul coal.

4. Ponies and horses have two blind spots where they cannot see. One blind spot is behind them and if they sense someone or something behind them, they will give a powerful kick.

5. In the wild, ponies often live in harsh, bleak areas such as moors and fields, where they are able to survive with little food.

6. All members of the horse family have just one toe (a hoof) on each foot. For this reason, they are often called ‘odd-toed animals’.

7. Stallions (male horses) defend their territory and protect their mares (female horses) by lashing out with their front feet.

An illustration from The Horse Who Wouldn't Gallop by Clare Balding showing Charlie Bass in the stables with the horses

Illustration: Tony Ross

8. A baby horse of one year or younger is called a foal.

9. Horse-riding is often used as a form of therapy for people with disabilities.

10. Horses can sleep both lying down and standing up.

11. Horses usually gallop at around 27 mph but the fastest recorded sprinting speed of a horse was 55 mph!

12. Estimates suggest that there are around 60 million horses in the world.

13. About an hour after a foal is born it can stand up, and within a few hours, it is able to trot along by its mother.

14. The scientific name for a horse is Equus ferus caballus.

15. Horses have excellent senses, including good hearing, eyesight, and a tremendous sense of balance.

An illustration from The Horse Who Wouldn't Gallop by Clare Balding showing Charlie Bass riding her horse Noble Warrior

Illustration: Tony Ross

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