- Horses are measured in ‘hands’, an old measurement that was used in Ancient Egypt.
- The average racehorse measures 16 hands, the same as 162cm or 5 feet 4 inches.
- Horses weigh up to a whopping 550kg, around seven or eight times the weight of an average man.
- Racehorses wear shoes made of aluminium, the metal that fizzy drinks cans are made of, because it’s light and lets them run fast.
- Horses’ feet, aka hooves, are looked after by a ‘farrier’, who makes sure the shoes fit perfectly.
The need for speed
- Horses can reach speeds of 45 miles per hour – nearly twice as fast as Usain Bolt!
- In a single minute, a racehorse can cover one kilometre in just 150 strides.
- Horses have huge hearts that weigh as much as four bags of sugar.
- A racehorse’s heart pumps 60 pints of blood during a race.
- During a race a horse’s heart will beat 240 times a minute – well over twice as fast a human’s.
- Horses also have big lungs and breathe in and out 150 times a minute.
- They breathe 150 litres of air every second!
- A racehorse will breathe 10,000 litres of air during a race – that’s as much as a human uses in a whole day!
Food for thought
- It’s thirsty work being a racehorse. They’ll drink 5-10 gallons a day – that’s between 40 and 80 pints.
- A racehorse eats up to 12kg of food a day – humans eat around 1.5kg.
- Racehorses eat roughly 35,000 calories a day – that’s an amazing 1,650% more than humans – equal to over 250 Weetabix, 135 Mars Bars or 65 Big Macs!