Sleep patterns

Horses can sleep standing up or lying down. Most horses usually sleep standing because they are ‘prey’ animals and it’s easier to get away from the danger of predators if standing rather than laying down. Horses can relax their muscles while standing without falling over when sleeping. A lot of the time you can find a horse dozing with one of their hind legs cocked, this means they are relaxed. It is really amazing that horses don’t actually ‘sleep’ as often as you might think they do. They ‘sleep' about two and a half hours in a 24-hour period. They have to lay down to fall into a real sleep. 

Horses will doze than actually sleep and keep alert to things around them because they are a prey animal. Horses can sleep better in herds because one will sleep while while the other keeps watch for predators. 

Little Red Riding Hood

I drew this from a picture my grandpa took of a walk he had in France near his house. Of course there wasn't Little Red Riding Hood in the photo but there could be a big bad wolf lurking somewhere in those woods. Here is the picture he took:

(The pictures are mirrored partly on purpose).

Counting Stars

I have never made a pinkish/purple sky at night but this worked out better than I thought! I actually was looking at my brother's picture he took at night of a pink night, it also had a river and a farm next to it. The river in his picture was the Sacramento river that is next to our house, his picture he took is really similar to my drawing. 

Horse blankets 'n saddle blankets

A horse blanket (or rug) is a blanket that covers a horse from the rump to the chest. Some blankets have an additional neck and head cover including leg coverings. This blanket is to keep the cold out and even sometimes to keep the hair short. The blanket is basically their winter coat. The blanket is sometimes kept on the horse all winter to prevent their natural winter haired coat from growing so shedding their hair won't be such a problem in the summer. But without a winter haired coat or a blanket a horse could become really ill. 

Another kind of blanket is called a 'saddle blanket'. This saddle blanket is much smaller and goes between the horse's back and the saddle. The blanket is to prevent the horse's sweat from touching the leather saddle. The saddle straight on the back could make bad rashes or other things like that. Also the blanket keeps the saddle still and in place when riding; it's much more comforting to the horse to have a blanket between than the saddle straight on his back because it's softer. 

A horse's bit

A 'bit' is a small metal stick that goes into a horse's mouth which helps control the horse more easily. There is what part of a horse's mouth that has a big gap where there are no teeth and this is where the bit is placed when riding. There are many different kinds of bits and they are usually in two pieces that are connected together by a smaller piece. (Sometimes it's all one piece with a dip in it of the shape of a 'U'). All of that is in the horse's mouth but connected to that is an 'O' or 'D' shaped ring on either side of the bit that is outside of the mouth and has the reins connected to it. Other than the reins, the horse wears headgear called a bridle. 

The bit works by allowing the rider to turn the horse's head by pulling on the reins.  With this, the rider has much more control over the horse than a bitless bridle. Having the ability to turn the horse's head while riding also gives the advantage of turning the whole body. 

Not all the time can a bit be good for a horse. If it's used wrongly, it can give much pain to a horse and could injure its mouth, lips, tongue, and especially its teeth very badly. When a horse is made to do a particular type of work (like reining), the bit may be different from other bits. English and Western bits may also be different as well.

 The first bits were made of rope, horn, bone or hard wood. Metal bits became in use between 1300 and 1200 BC. Sometimes bits are made of rubber, plastic or mixed with other metals.

Horse Braids

Horses have their hair braided for shows (mainly dressage or hunting shows). Braiding horses' hair (mane or tail) could be for special occasions or just to keep the hair up from the ground. Sometimes the hair is braided not only for style but to keep from getting tangled in tack that they might be wearing, or from their eyes while being ridden, or when pulling a wagon (pulling anything) to keep from getting long hair tangled in any of the harnesses or wheels. There are a lot of different ways to braid horses' hair. Usually for me I have always loved a horse with flowing long hair and not braided up into buns or tight pole line braids. 

Not only are there braids but also diamond shaped linked manes that I think looks really cool! Here is a drawing I made, to show you:

Plants That Could Be Bad For Horses

There are plants that have poisoned horses and many of them had to be put down because of it. Some plants that are poisonous (for horses) are usually not eaten by horses unless they are starved in a pasture (usually that happens in winter where there are no grass and other edible plants, causing the horse to desperately look for anything else). One plant called a 'yellow star-thistle' could poison a horse with a swollen tongue or sore lung. It can also damage the brain to the point where a horse will not be able to swallow anything.  

Another plant called an 'oleander' is actually poisonous to not only horses but all animals and humans if eaten. Oleander plants are actually so toxic to some horses that even just eating a few leaves of it could cause their death very fast. Even the burning smell of oleander can be very harmful. A horse could start suffering from 8 to 24 hours after ingesting. 

(picture from wikipedia)

I used to pick the pretty pink and white flowers of the oleander plant because they grew near a lake that I live next to. Our neighbors had a few of these bushes too and of course we all knew it was poisonous to eat but that didn't keep us from making mashed up "medicines" and potions (also mixed up with  poisonous to eat berries). We loved to mash lots of different kinds of plants for fun, at least the only plant we never touched was poison oak, (we hated getting poison oak) and there was a lot of that where we live!  Long story short we were lucky not to get sick from any of oleander or any other plant in that case. 

Horses usually avoid theses plants but sometimes they wouldn't recognize it or are really hungry, or they accidentally ingest it. I also heard that acorns, walnuts and other kinds of nuts are also not good for horses. Although most of these nuts or namely acorns don't do very much harm to horses if they eaten a little but if it has been eaten a lot it could do more harm.  

(picture from wikipedia)

'Yew' plant is a evergreen tree (looks more like a bush) that has olive like red berries. This is toxic to horses and can make them tremble and slow their heart rate in as little as five minuets after ingesting the plant. A horse that has already eaten this is usually too late to try to save and which is really sad that there is no known antidote. 


(picture from wikipedia)

'Locoweed' is poisonous to all livestock and is found all over hillsides and open pastures. There are actually over a hundred different kinds of locoweed plants. But about 20 of them are actually considered poisonous. This plant is a small green bush looking thing with usually purple colored flowers. 

I'm not going to go through all of theses different plants but I will name some of them:

Timber milk vetch

Lupine (very very pretty)

Poison Hemlock (poisonous to animals and humans)

Water Hemlock (looks the same as poison hemlock and is also poisonous to animals and humans as well)

Ground Ivy (has many other names like 'Creeping-Charlie', 'Cats-Foot', 'Alehoof' and many more names)

Larkspur (has pretty blue flowers) 

Bracken fern 

Horsetail (also called maretail, it kind of looks like thin bamboo and grows near water like cattails)

Castor bean poisoning (it is a kind of poisonous bean to horses and other animals including humans)

Red maple

Buckwheat (poisonous only to horses and not to humans. It is a grainy kind of plant and is used as rice and put in porridge, for humans of course)

Alsike Clover

Rhododendrons and other relatives

Potato and tobacco leaf

Fiddle neck and related plants

Choke cherry and wild cherry 

Sorghum and Sudan grass (bad for other livestock as well)

Bermuda grass (can sometimes actually be good for horses)

Black locust 

Oak trees (it is mainly the acorns and leaves that isn't good for horses but won't do much damage to them if eaten a little)

There are more plants that could be bad for horses. Not all of these will be very bad to all horses actually and a few of these are poisonous to all livestock and some even to humans. Some will just make a horse sick and not all the time kill them. Horses actually avoid most of these and sometimes sample a few of these, which isn't always that bad and won't do any harm unless really toxic. There are horses that could be allergic to normal feed and not because he has eaten something poisonous.