The practice of braiding a horse’s mane and tail has a functional history dating back many centuries. One of the earliest reasons for braiding the mane was to keep it from becoming tangled in riding or farming equipment, or in the weapons of mounted hunters and soldiers. In ancient folklore, it was thought that fairies would sneak into the stables at night to tie “elf knots” in the mane, using them as stirrups to mount and ride the horses.
Horses and risk are words that often appear together. Riding, trailering, coaching, operating a boarding facility, working with horses and the public – pretty much anything that involves a 500-kilogram horse and a 60-kilogram human - has elements of risk. Historically, those risks weren’t well recognized or managed. For example, velvet-covered hunting caps looked pretty but did little to prevent concussions, while uncertified coaches routinely plopped unsuspecting children on devilish ponies adept at dumping their charges.
Scientists learned in recent years why zebras have black and white stripes — to avoid biting flies. But a study published on February 20, 2019 in the journal PLOS ONE probes the question further: What is it about stripes that actually disrupts a biting fly’s ability to land on a zebra and suck its blood? Professor Tim Caro of the University of California, Davis, and University of Bristol’s Martin How led a series of new experiments to better understand how stripes manipulate the behaviour of biting flies as they attempt to come in to land on zebras.
Horse owners in Canada know that opportunities for finding the perfect feed for their horse have probably never been better. Canadian horse owners have a multitude of feed manufacturers utilizing superior nutritional expertise to formulate an array of feeds designed to meet just about every equine need. With our increasing comfort using the internet and social media, all we need to do is sit down at the computer to find a feed that appears to best meet the needs of our horses.
Recently, genetic research published in the journal Science showed that the Przewalski’s horse, also known as the Mongolian wild horse and the Takhi, was actually not wild as defined by its heritage but descendants of the horses first domesticated by Botai people of Kazakhstan over 5,500 years ago.