Horses Scientific name: Equus caballus Varietal range difference There is a range of breeds in use in Australia that are classified according to activity: • Thoroughbred/Warmblood in Olympic disciplines • Thoroughbred/Pony/Arab in hack ring • Thoroughbred in racing • Stockhorse types in farm work • Arabian used extensively in endurance rides. Number of offspring: 1.
On rare occasions, twins are born but usually they have a low survival rate.
Range of breeding ages: mares: 3–20 years.
Progesterone is sometimes used to help maintain pregnancy in mares over 15 years.
Weaning age: 6–9 months Healthy characteristics: temperature: 38.0– 38.3ºC.
At 38.4ºC you would be concerned.
Heart rate: 30–40/min Respiration: 10–20/min.
Varies between individuals. Physical attributes Size: 8 hands high, eg Shetland pony, to 18.2 hands high such as Draught breed or large Warmblood. 1 hand = 10 cm.
The height of the horse is taken to the top of the withers.
Weight: varies from 200 kg (Shetland pony) to 700 kg (draught breeds).
Weight at birth: Shetland is 30 kg; Draught is 100 kg. Environment Space A horse kept at pasture will require at least one hectare to provide adequate feed.
Supplementation may still be required in summer and winter.
Horses stabled, or kept in restrictive yards for long periods, will require regular daily exercise.
Recommended minimum size for a stable is 3.5 x 3.5 m, with a height of at least 2.5 m, and for a yard, 5 x 5 m, with some form of shelter. Schools Animal Care and Ethics Committee Age at adult size: 4 years.
Some variation between breeds.
Gestation period: 322–345 days.
Average is 336 days. Movement and exercise Pastured horses will keep themselves exercised.
Horses kept confined in yards or March 2008 www.schools.nsw.edu.au/animalsinschools/index.htm
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