The Wonder of the Horse

By Elizabeth Ector, Community Coordinator for The Oily Stable

Horses have influenced the world and have been significant to humans for more than 6,000 years. That in itself is impressive and worthy of honor. Horses have been food, soldiers, transportation, machines, athletes, the spirit of the West, and incredible companions.  Few animals have been quite a resource as horses throughout civilization.  Horses were necessary in developing the United States of America and have shaped so many societies all over the world. Horses have become symbols of freedom, hard work, strength, grace and power.   

In the equestrian sport, I find it very easy to get so caught up in ribbons and the brand on your show breeches and forget why we love the sport so much. Isn’t it the animal that gives us so much to be thankful for?

Here are some fascinating facts about horses:

  • Researchers have found that horses have 17 distinct facial expressions (three more than the chimpanzee)! (University of Sussex)

  • Horses can read human facial expressions and emotions and respond accordingly. (University of Sussex)

  • Horses’ laterally placed eyes allow them to have almost 360 degree vision. (Larson,

  • The horse’s memory is second to the Elephant’s in the Animal Kingdom.  (Larson,

These are just a few of the many wonderful things about horses! And I’m sure every horse lover could share their favorite things about the the animal that means so much to us all.  Doesn’t this make you thankful?

I often think of my favorite childhood horse and how spending time with her would make headaches and stomachaches go away.  When I was sad, riding her made the tears stop.

I am so thankful for her.

I’m thankful that horses have taught me how to work hard for my dreams and goals.

I’m thankful for the opportunities I’ve had and the people I’ve met because of horses.  

The definition of gratitude is expression of warm or deep appreciation of kindness or benefits received. 

Did you know that research has shown expressing gratitude can make you happier and positively impact others around you?  (Brooks, NY Times)

Make a gratitude list this week, and make sure to include the reasons why you’re thankful for horses!  Then share this list with the people in your life and spend some extra time loving on the horses around you. They are so special, my friend, and we are incredibly blessed to be called equestrians.