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Scientific classification
Kingdom Information
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Information
Phylum Chordata
Sub-phylum Vertebrata
Class Information
Class Mammalia
Order Information
Order Perissodactyla
Sub-order Hippomorpha
Family Information
Family Equidae
Genus Information
Genus Equus
Species Information
Species E. caballus (Domestic Horse)
E. ferus przewalskii (Wild Horse)
Population statistics

Horses are large mammals known for their beauty and usefulness to humans. They provide a source of rapid transportation for hunting and travel and can pull wagons and carts. The mule is the offspring of a male horse and a female donkey. Before they were replaced by tractors and trucks, horses and mules were invaluable to farmers who used them to plough fields and haul heavy loads.

Horses have been bred since antiquity. Their use for transportation was curtailed in the early 1900s as automobiles (then called "horseless carriages") replaced them. In imperial measurements, motors are still measured in terms of horsepower.

The height of a horse is usually measured in "hands", with one hand corresponding to approximately four inches or ten centimetres.

A male horse is called stallion and a mare is the term for a female horse.


Years Old Male Female
< 1 foal, suckling, or weanling foal, suckling, or weanling
1-2 yearling yearling
< 4 colt filly
> 4 stallion mare
Any: Parent sire dam
Any: Neutered gelding

Horse racing

A leading horse racing website declares:

Horse racing is an ancient sport. Its origins date back to about 4500 BC among the nomadic tribesmen of Central Asia (who first domesticated the horse). Since then, horse racing has flourished as the sport of kings. In the modern day, horse racing is one of the few forms of gambling that is legal throughout most of the world, including the United States.

Horse racing is one of the most widely attended spectator sports in America. In 1989, over 50 million people attended 8,000 days of racing and wagered over $9 billion. Horse racing is also a popular sport in Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, the Middle East, South America and Australia.

In the United States, the most popular races comprise of Thoroughbred horses racing over flat courses between 3/4 of a mile and 1 1/4 miles. Quarter horses are also popular as well as harness racing.[1]

Young Earth Creationist view of origins

Creationary biologists believe that the horse baramin is one of the kinds taken by Noah aboard the Ark. Therefore, all horse-like animals (including zebras and donkeys) are descended from the fourteen horses taken on board by Noah.[2]

Creationists reject that Hyracotherium is a horse at all (it was named by Richard Owen as being similar to a hyrax, not a horse,[3] and consider the rest of the so-called horse series as simply variations within the horse baramin, and not evidence of evolution at all. Modern horses have considerable variation, with height varying between four hands and 20 hands, the number of ribs varying between 17 and 19, and some horses having three toes, like some supposed evolutionary ancestors.[3]

Creation Ministries International on the failings of evolutionary arguments

Creation Ministries International declared:

A study of fossil horses reveals at least three groups of animals within the horse family Equidae, in addition to some unrelated animals such as tapirs. The three equid groups correspond closely to different subfamilies of Equidae, and could be considered three separate created kinds. Most of these different kinds lived (or actually, were buried!) nearly at the same time and do not show much progressive change as far as horse evolution is concerned, just a general increase in size.

No one has explained how new, specialized kinds of teeth could have supposedly evolved, and it appears rather to be a case of intelligent design instead of “microevolution” (variation within a kind, as suggested by various creationists) or “macroevolution” (new kinds of organisms, as suggested by evolutionists).

The available fossil and biological evidence does not support horse evolution and in fact argues against evolution.[4]

Modern horses are a testament to divine intelligence and the magnificence of God's creation.[5]

The Cavanaugh et al. (2003) hypothesis of intrabaraminic variation of all animals that belong to Equidae (or animals that they did put into Equidae, even if the evolutionists put some of them in different families) is not well supported by the available evidence and ought therefore to be abandoned...

According to Julian Huxley (arguably one of the most prominent evolutionists of the last century) at least one million positive mutations were required for the modern horse to evolve. He believed that there is a maximum of one positive mutation in a total of 1,000 mutations. With the help of these values Huxley calculated the probability for the horse to have evolved from one single unicellular organism was 1 in 103,000,000. He believed, however, that natural selection would be able to solve this problem. But this faith did not help him in the end, and will not help any other evolutionist either, as this calculation is based on the origin of positive mutations, even before natural selection would start to work. If all electrons in the universe (about 1080) would have participated in 1012 reactions every second, during the 30 billion years which evolutionists have put as the upper age limit of the universe, there would still not have been more than c. 10110 possibly interactions—still a long way from the Huxley calculation.[4]

Evolutionary view of origins

Evolutionary biologists believe that the modern horse has slowly evolved into its present form over the course of about 60 million years, from Hyracotherium (60 million years ago) to our "modern-day horse," Equus (1 million years ago). This claim is based on various pieces of fossil evidence arranged in an apparent evolutionary pattern, such as the change from five toes on Hyracotherium (some vestigial) to three toes on Mesohippus and then to the single toe of Equus along with the progressing development of hooves. The skulls also shows an evolutionary trend from fossil to fossil, as do the teeth changing from a browser to a grazer.[6]

Irreligion and the treatment of horses

See: Irreligion and the treatment of horses

Although horses are seen as an intelligent animal by many and a useful partner in getting work accomplished in many areas around the world, there are irreligious countries that also see horses as a source of food.[7] See: Irreligion and the treatment of horses

Irreligion and the consumption of horse meat

Geographical location of most of the irreligious

The current atheist population mostly resides in East Asia (particularly China) and in secular Europe/Australia primarily among whites.[8] See: Global atheism and Western atheism and race

Razib Khan points out in Discover Magazine, "most secular nations in the world are those of East Asia, in particular what are often termed “Confucian societies.” It is likely therefore that the majority of the world’s atheists are actually East Asian."[9] See: Asian atheism and China and atheism

Irreligion and the eating of horse meat

China produces more horse meat than any other country in the world, creating nearly half of the world’s supply of this animal protein.

The reason why it is considered a dangerous animal protein is that horses are often given a medicine called phenylbutazone [or “bute” for short] that is dangerous to humans.[10]

The article 21 Intriguing Horse Meat Consumption Statistics indicates:

Although horses are seen as an intelligent animal by many and a useful partner in getting work done in many areas around the world, there are many countries and households that also see horses as a source of animal protein. Although horse meat consumption is actually illegal in some countries, most notably the United States, it is a widely consumed product in other parts of the world and sometimes a primary part of a household’s diet.

Over 200,000 horses every year are slaughtered to create a meat supply in the European Union.

Horse Meat Consumption

The European Union is by far the largest consumer when it comes to horse meat. Not only do they produce the most of it in the world, but they are the largest importer of this animal protein as well. Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, and Uruguay all export horse meat to the EU in large quantities and even the United States, where consumption of this animal protein is illegal, has slaughterhouses that produce and export the meat to the world.

China produces more horse meat than any other country in the world, creating nearly half of the world’s supply of this animal protein.

The reason why it is considered a dangerous animal protein is that horses are often given a medicine called phenylbutazone [or “bute” for short] that is dangerous to humans.[11]

Related trivia

Medical school professors routinely tell their students, "If you hear hoof beats in Texas, think horses not zebras." This is to illustrate that when diagnosing a patient think of the more common diseases rather than rare exotic ones.

A Highland Pony. Ponies are small horses.

See also


  1. History of horse racing
  2. Sarfati, Jonathan, How did all the animals fit on Noah's Ark?, Creation 19(2):16–19, March 1997.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Sarfati, Jonathan, The non-evolution of the horse, Creation 21(3):28–31, June 1999.
  4. 4.0 4.1 The Evolution of the Horse by Mats Molén],
  5. The non-evolution of the horse by Dr. Jonathan Sarfati
  6. Horse Evolution from Tufts University
  7. 21 Intriguing Horse Meat Consumption Statistics
  8. A surprising map of where the world’s atheists live, By Max Fisher and Caitlin Dewey, Washington Post, May 23, 2013
  9. Most atheists are not white & other non-fairy tales, Discover magazine
  10. 21 Intriguing Horse Meat Consumption Statistics
  11. 21 Intriguing Horse Meat Consumption Statistics