Science Trek: Horses
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Science Trek: Horses

August 25, 2019


ANNOUNCER: PRESENTATION OF SCIENCE TREK ON IDAHO PUBLIC TELEVISION IS MADE POSSIBLE THROUGH THE GENEROUS SUPPORT OF THE LAURA MOORE CUNNINGHAM FOUNDATION, COMMITTED TO FULFILLING THE MOORE AND BETTIS FAMILY LEGACY OF BUILDING THE GREAT STATE OF IDAHO, BY THE FRIENDS OF IDAHO PUBLIC TELEVISION, AND BY THE CORPORATION FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING. [MUSIC] JOAN CARTAN-HANSEN: THERE ARE MORE THAN 200 BREEDS OF HORSES, AND THEY COME IN ALL SHAPES AND SIZES AND DO ALL SORTS OF DIFFERENT JOBS. WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT HORSES? WELL, STAY TUNED. SCIENCE TREK IS NEXT. [MUSIC] CARTAN-HANSEN: HI, I’M JOAN CARTAN-HANSEN, AND WELCOME TO SCIENCE TREK, AND WELCOME TO THE WESTERN STAR RANCH. EXPERTS ARE STANDING BY TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS ABOUT HORSES. AND LATER ON IN THE SHOW, WE’LL MEET SOMEONE WHO’S LEARNING THE ART OF DRESSAGE. BUT, FIRST, LET’S FIND OUT A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT HORSES. HORSES ARE MAMMALS KNOWN AS UNGULATES. THAT MEANS THEY HAVE HOOVES. HORSES ARE RELATED TO OTHER UNGULATES LIKE COWS OR ZEBRAS. THE PEOPLES OF NOMADIC MONGOLIA WERE THE FIRST TO DOMESTICATE HORSES AND BY 1,000 BCE CHINESE OFFICERS USED HORSE-DRAWN CHARIOTS IN BATTLE. EMILY SLOOP: HORSES ARE PREY ANIMALS. THEY ARE BUILT FOR SPEED AND STRENGTH. CARTAN-HANSEN: HORSES HAVE TOUGH HOOVES TO PROTECT THEIR FEET FROM POUNDING. THEY CAN RUN OVER ROUGH GROUND WITHOUT INJURY BECAUSE THEIR LEGS MOVE FORWARD TO BACK, NOT SIDE TO SIDE, AND THEIR LEGS ARE WELL SPACED TO COVER LOTS OF GROUND WITH EACH STRIDE. HORSES HAVE THE LARGEST EYEBALLS OF ANY LAND MAMMAL. A HORSE’S EYES ARE SET HIGH UP AND TO THE SIDE OF ITS HEAD SO IT CAN SEE ALL AROUND. ITS EARS CAN SWIVEL 180 DEGREES LIKE RADAR DISHES. A HORSE HAS EXTRA LARGE NOSTRILS BECAUSE IT CAN’T BREATHE THROUGH ITS MOUTH. HORSES ARE HERBIVORES. THEIR LARGE TEETH HAVE A LONG GRIPPING EDGE, PERFECT FOR CUTTING AND PULLING UP GRASS, AND BECAUSE THOSE TEETH WEAR DOWN AFTER YEARS OF CHEWING, HORSES’ TEETH GROW THROUGHOUT THEIR LIFETIMES, AND HORSES HAVE A LONG NECK TO ALLOW THEM TO GRAZE WITHOUT HAVING TO BEND THEIR LEGS. KATIE ANDERSON: HORSES ONLY SLEEP FOR ABOUT THREE HOURS A DAY AND LIE DOWN ONLY FOR A SHORT REST. CARTAN-HANSEN: HORSES HAVE FOUR SPEEDS CALLED GAITS. THEY WALK. THAT’S THEIR SLOWEST SPEED. NEXT IS A TROT, A LITTLE FASTER THAN WALKING. NEXT A CANTER, FASTER THAN A TROT. AND THEN A GALLOP, A HORSE’S FASTEST GAIT. WHEN HORSES ARE BORN THEY’RE CALLED A FOAL. A FOAL CAN WALK SOON AFTER THEY’RE BORN. A YOUNG MALE IS CALLED A COLT. A YOUNG FEMALE IS CALLED A FILLY. A HORSE IS CONSIDERED TO BE AN ADULT AT FOUR. HORSES ARE MEASURED IN HANDS, A UNIT FIRST USED IN ANCIENT EGYPT. SLOOP: A HAND IS SET AT FOUR INCHES, AND A HORSE’S HEIGHT IS MEASURED FROM THE GROUND TO ITS WITHERS, THE BUMP BETWEEN ITS NECK AND BACK. CARTAN-HANSEN: HORSES COME IN ALL SHAPES AND SIZES AND DIFFERENT COLORS. THERE ARE MORE THAN 200 DIFFERENT BREEDS OF HORSES. THE SMALLEST ARE SHETLAND PONIES THAT CAN BE ABOUT SEVEN HANDS OR ABOUT 28 INCHES TALL. THE TALL BREEDS LIKE THE SHIRE CAN BE UP TO 19 HANDS TALL AND WEIGH MORE THAN 2,000 POUNDS. HORSES HAVE BEEN BRED TO DO LOTS OF DIFFERENT THINGS. LARGE HORSES OR DRAFT HORSES PULL WAGONS. RANCH HORSES HELP WORK WITH CATTLE. THOROUGHBRED HORSES CAN GALLOP FASTER THAN ABOUT 37 MILES PER HOUR. WILD OR FERAL HORSES ARE DECENDENTS OF ANIMALS TURNED LOOSE OR ESCAPED FROM EARLY SPANISH EXPLORERS OR LATER FROM SETTLERS OR PEOPLE WHO ABANDONED THEIR ANIMALS. IT ONLY TAKES ONE GENERATION TO TURN A DOMESTICATED HORSE INTO A WILD HORSE. THERE ARE ALMOST 50,000 WILD HORSES, WAY TOO MANY FOR THE HERDS TO SURVIVE, SO THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT AND OTHER AGENCIES OCCASIONALLY ROUND UP WILD HORSES FOR ADOPTION. ANDERSON: A HORSE REQUIRES A LOT OF CARE. YOU NEED TO BRUSH HIS COAT, FEED HIM, WATER HIM, EXERCISE HIM AND GIVE HIM A GOOD CLEAN PLACE TO LIVE. YOU NEED TO DO IT FOR A LONG TIME, TOO, BECAUSE A HORSE CAN LIVE WELL INTO HIS THIRTIES. CARTAN-HANSEN: HUMANS HAVE A STRONG RELATIONSHIP WITH HORSES. THEY’VE WORKED FOR US. THEY’VE BEEN OUR COMPANIONS. TO PARAPHRASE WINSTON CHURCHILL, THE OUTSIDE OF A HORSE IS GOOD FOR THE INSIDE OF A PERSON. CARTAN-HANSEN: AND JOINING ME NOW TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS ABOUT HORSES ARE MYRON AMSDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE IDAHO QUARTER HORSE ASSOCIATION AND A FARRIER, AND DR. MADISON SEAMANS, AN EQUINE VETERINARIAN. THANK YOU BOTH FOR JOINING US. DR. SEAMANS: THANKS FOR HAVING US, JOAN. AMSDEN: THANK YOU. APPRECIATE BEING HERE. CARTAN-HANSEN: OKAY. LET’S GO TO YOUR QUESTIONS. [MUSIC] ISABELLA: HI, MY NAME IS ISABELLA. I GO TO LIBERTY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. MY QUESTION IS, HOW MANY BREEDS OF HORSES ARE THERE? AMSDEN: WELL, THERE’S ABOUT 200 BREEDS. THERE’S SOME SUBCATEGORIES OF THAT, BUT WE CAN BASICALLY SETTLE ON ABOUT 200 BREEDS OF HORSES. PATRICK: MY NAME IS PATRICK, AND I’M FROM LIBERTY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, AND MY QUESTION IS, HOW TALL CAN A HORSE GET? DR. SEAMANS: OKAY. THE LARGEST LIVING HORSE, I BELIEVE HIS NAME IS BIG JOHN, AND I THINK HE LIVES IN MINNESOTA OR SOMEPLACE IN THE MIDWEST, AND HE’S A SHIRE OR A CLYDESDALE, I CAN’T REMEMBER WHICH, BUT HE’S ABOUT 84 INCHES TALL, WHICH IS A PRETTY BIG HORSE. LANCE: HI, MY NAME IS LANCE. I’M FROM BASIN ELEMENTARY. MY QUESTION IS, DO HORSES HAVE A LARGE BRAIN? DR. SEAMANS: THE ANATOMICAL SIZE OF YOUR AVERAGE HORSE BRAIN THAT WEIGHS ABOUT 1,000 POUNDS IS ABOUT AS BIG AS BOTH OF YOUR FISTS DOUBLED UP TOGETHER AND WHICH — I MEAN, WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT IT FROM A — JUST FROM A PHYSIOLOGIC STANDPOINT, THAT SHOULD BE MORE THAN ENOUGH TO BE PRETTY SMART, BUT THEY SURE DO SOME THINGS THAT DON’T SEEM TO BE VERY SMART TO US. AMSDEN: SO IT’S ABOUT HALF THE SIZE OF A HUMAN BRAIN, ISN’T IT? DR. SEAMANS: YEAH, YEAH. WILL: HI, MY NAME IS WILL, AND I GO TO KAMIAH ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IN KAMIAH, IDAHO. MY QUESTION IS, HOW FAST CAN A HORSE RUN? AMSDEN: WELL, ACTUALLY, HORSES CAN RUN ABOUT 40 TO — TOP SPEED OF ABOUT 40 MILES AN HOUR. IT DEPENDS ON IF IT’S A THOROUGHBRED RUNNING A MILE OR IF IT’S A QUARTER HEAD — QUARTER HORSE RUNNING A SHORT QUARTER MILE, BUT 25 TO 35 IS AN AVERAGE SPEED WITH A TOP SPEED OF PROBABLY ABOUT 40 MILES AN HOUR. [MUSIC] CARTAN-HANSEN: SAMANTHA ASKS, WHAT IS A FARRIER? AMSDEN: A FARRIER IS A PERSON THAT GOES OUT AND TAKES CARE OF HORSES’ FEET. THEY CAN BE A FARRIER THAT WILL JUST TRIM THE FEET AND KEEP THEM BAREFOOT, WHICH WE DO A LOT OF, BUT, ALSO, WE PUT SHOES ON HORSES OR APPARATUSES, DEPENDING ON WHAT THEY NEED. A FARRIER CAN BUILD SHOES TO FIT THAT HORSE’S FOOT BASED ON DIFFERENT SIZES OF STEEL, ALUMINUM, IF THEY NEED IT. WE CAN SHOE A HORSE FOR — IF THEY NEED TRACTION, LIKE THEY’RE GOING UP IN THE MOUNTAINS, THEY NEED HILLOCKS, AND THEY NEED TRACTION TO GET UP TO WHEREVER THEY’RE GOING, OR THEY CAN — WE CAN USE THE ABSENCE OF TRACTION. LIKE IN A SLIDING HORSE, WE CAN MAKE A SLIDING PLATE SO THEY HELP THEM SLIDE TO THE BEAUTIFUL MANEUVERS THAT THEY DO. WE GET INTO WORKING WITH VETERINARIANS AS FAR AS LAMENESS ISSUES, TREATING ABSCESSES, PACKING THE FEET WITH DIFFERENT KINDS OF SUBSTANCES TO HELP THE LAMENESS ISSUES BASED ON WHAT THE VET SHOWS X-RAYS NEED. BUT THAT’S — WE’RE OUT THERE EVERY DAY JUST TAKING CARE OF HORSES’ FEET. ANNABELLA: HI, MY NAME IS ANNABELLA. I GO TO LIBERTY, AND MY QUESTION IS, WHAT IS THE HORSE’S GESTATION PERIOD? DR. SEAMANS: THE GESTATION PERIOD OF A HORSE IS ABOUT 345 DAYS. THAT’S FROM CONCEPTION OR BREEDING TO THE BIRTHING PROCESS. IT BOILS DOWN TO ABOUT THREE WEEKS SHORT OF ONE YEAR. VEGAS: MY NAME IS VEGAS, AND I’M FROM LIBERTY ELEMENTARY, AND MY QUESTION IS, HOW LONG DO HORSES CARE FOR THEIR YOUNG? AMSDEN: WELL, IT MOSTLY — FOUR TO SIX MONTHS IS PROBABLY ABOUT THE TIME THAT WE START WEANING THEM, SO MINIMUM OF FOUR MONTHS AND MAXIMUM OF SIX, BUT IN THE WILD THEY CAN — THEY CAN HAVE THAT COLT WITH THEM FOR UP TO A YEAR OR LONGER. LOUIE: HI, MY NAME IS LOUIE. I GO TO SAGLE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, AND MY QUESTION IS, WHY DO HORSES SLEEP STANDING UP? AMSDEN: WELL, ACTUALLY, THE HORSE HAS WHAT THEY CALL A STAY APPARATUS. AND THE PREHISTORIC HORSES, AND EVEN THE HORSES IN THE WILD, IF ANIMALS — IF PREDATORS ARE GOING AFTER THEM, THEY WANT TO BE READY TO GO. THEY DON’T WANT TO HAVE TO BE GETTING UP AND GETTING AWAY FROM A LION. SO THEY HAVE A STAY APPARATUS THAT HELPS THEM REST AND SLEEP STANDING UP SO THEY CAN GET AWAY FROM THOSE ANIMALS. JONAHVAN: HI, MY NAME IS JONAHVIN. I’M FROM BASIN ELEMENTARY, AND MY QUESTION IS, WHY DO HORSES FIGHT? DR. SEAMANS: WHY DO HORSES FIGHT? NOW, THAT’S A PRETTY GOOD QUESTION. I GUESS YOU SORT OF HAVE TO GO BACK TO THE WILD. THE — OBVIOUSLY ONE OF THE BIG THINGS THAT WOULD CAUSE HORSES TO FIGHT WOULD BE FIGHTING OVER FOOD, BUT IN THE WILD IT’S NOT LIKE THEY’RE CONFINED IN A REALLY SMALL AREA AND THEY HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT WHO’S GOING TO GET — WHO’S GOING TO GET TO EAT FIRST. I THINK THE FIGHTING IS MORE OF A — MORE SYSTEM OF A HERD ORGANIZATION IN HIERARCHY. THE YOUNG STALLIONS ARE GENERALLY DRIVEN AWAY FROM THE MAIN HERD, AND THAT WILL PREVENT SOME INBREEDING FROM OCCURRING, AND SO THEY WILL GO OFF AND TAKE YOUNGER MARES WITH THEM. SO I BELIEVE THAT WOULD PROBABLY BE ONE OF THE MAIN REASONS THAT HORSES WOULD FIGHT. IN CAPTIVITY — THERE’S A LOT OF FACTORS THERE, AND I’M NOT REALLY SURE ABOUT PERSONALTIES, EXACTLY WHAT MAKES HORSES FIGHT WITH ONE ANOTHER. DO YOU HAVE ANY QUESTION — DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING TO ADD TO THAT? AMSDEN: WELL, I THINK A HORSE’S PERSONALITY IS ACTUALLY, IN THAT CASE, SIMILAR TO A HUMAN’S. SOME HORSES JUST GET ALONG WITH EVERYBODY, AND OTHER HORSES, THEY JUST DO NOT LIKE PEOPLE IN THEIR SPACE OR OTHER HORSES IN THEIR SPACE. SO YOU CAN TIE TWO HORSES TOGETHER AND THEY WILL — THEY WILL KICK, THEY WILL BITE, AND YOU CAN TIE ANOTHER HORSE WITH THEM, AND THEY’LL GET ALONG. SO IT’S LIKE MADISON SAID, IT’S — IT’S FOOD, IN YOUR SPACE, SOCIAL ASPECT, HERD, ALL THOSE COMBINED. CARSON: HI, MY NAME IS CARSON. I GO TO SCHOOL AT LIBERTY ELEMENTARY, AND MY QUESTION IS, WHAT IS A HORSE’S DIET? AMSDEN: WELL, A DIET CONSIST MOSTLY OF — IT DEPENDS ON IF THEY’RE OUT ON GRASS, THEY’RE GOING TO BE FORGING FOR GRASS ALL DAY LONG. IF WE HAVE THEM IN STALLS, WE’RE GOING TO FEED THEM HAY. IT DEPENDS ON THE USE OF THE HORSE, TOO. IF YOU’RE USING A HORSE A LOT, RACING THEM, REALLY WORKING HARD, CUTTING AND REINING, THEN YOU’RE GOING TO WANT TO SUPPLEMENT THAT DIET WITH SOME GRAIN AND MAYBE UP THEIR FORAGE A LITTLE BIT. BUT HAY AND GRASS IS THEIR MAIN STAY. WE USE APPLES AND THINGS LIKE THAT AND CARROTS FOR TREATS, BUT THEIR DIET IS FORAGE, IS WHAT WE CALL IT. ROUGHAGE. DR. SEAMANS: THEY DON’T HAVE TO EAT BRAN MUFFINS. THEY GET ENOUGH FIBER IN THEIR DIET AS IT IS. [MUSIC] CARTAN-HANSEN: HORSES PLAY A BIG ROLE IN IDAHO. THE STATE HORSE IS THE APPALOOSA. THE NEZ PERCE TRIBE HELPED SAVE THE BREED. THE STATE FOSSIL IS THE HAGERMAN HORSE. IT’S 3.5 MILLION YEARS OLD AND IS MORE CLOSER RELATED TO TODAY’S ZEBRAS. [MUSIC] CARTAN-HANSEN: MYRON, WHY DID YOU WANT TO LEARN ABOUT HORSES? AMSDEN: WELL, I GREW UP WITH HORSES. WE HAD — WHEN I WAS A LITTLE KID, WE HAD WORK HORSES WHICH WE — DAD WAS A LOGGER. SO WHEN I WAS SIX AND MY BROTHER WAS EIGHT, I’D RIDE OLD DAN UP AND DOWN THE HILL. MY BROTHER WOULD HOOK A CHAIN ON THE LOG. I’D RIDE DAN DOWN THE HILL AND CLIMB DOWN, UNHOOK IT AND CLIMB BACK, AND UP THE HILL WE’D GO. SO WE ALWAYS HAD HORSES WE ROAD IN THE MOUNTAINS. WE GOT AWAY FROM IT WHEN WE WERE IN SCHOOL, BUT WHEN THE KIDS GOT BACK INTO 4-H BACK IN THE SEVENTIES, I JUST GOT BACK INTO HORSES. I ALWAYS ENJOYED RIDING THEM AND WORKING WITH THEM. AND THEN IN ’92 WHEN I RETIRED, I DECIDED I COULD MAKE A LIVING SHOEING HORSES AND TRAINING HORSES. THEY’RE JUST A GOOD PARTNER. THEY LISTEN TO YOU. YOU CAN TALK TO THEM. THEY’RE GOOD FOR THE — THEY’RE GOOD FOR THE SOUL. NICE TO BE AROUND. ADDISON: HI, MY NAME IS ADDIE. I GO TO KAMIAH ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IN KAMIAH, IDAHO. MY QUESTION IS, WHY DO YOU CALL IT GALLOPING INSTEAD OF RUNNING? AMSDEN: GALLOPING IS A GAIT WHEREAS RUNNING IS JUST WHERE THEY’RE RUNNING WIDE OPEN. THERE’S REALLY NO CONTROL TO IT. GALLOPING, CANTERING, WALK, TROT, THEY’RE ALL PART OF A SPEED THAT THE HORSE GOES. GALLOP IS DIFFERENT THAN A CANTER. DR. SEAMANS: IT’S INTERESTING WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE ORIGIN OF THAT WORD “GALLOP.” IT ACTUALLY COMES FROM OLD FRENCH WHICH MEANS TO JUMP WELL. AND SO A HORSE THAT’S GALLOPING IS JUMPING WELL. I THINK, TOO, THE OTHER THING TO CONSIDER IS THAT I THINK OF RUNNING AS A TWO-LEGGED ANIMAL RUNNING, WHEREAS A FOUR-LEGGED ANIMAL HAS TO HAVE A LITTLE DIFFERENT CADENCE TO ITS STRIDES IN ORDER FOR ONE FOOT NOT TO INTERFERE WITH THE MOTION OF ANOTHER FOOT. AND SO WE KNOW FROM SOME WORK THAT WAS DONE BY LELAND STANFORD BACK AT THE TURN OF THE 20TH CENTURY — AND I THINK HE DID THIS TO SETTLE A GAMBLE, ABOUT DO THE HORSE’S FEET LEAVE THE GROUND, ARE ALL FOUR OF THE FEET OFF THE GROUND DURING A HORSE’S STRIDE AT A RUN OR A GALLOP? AND THEY ARE. KARTER: HI, MY NAME IS KARTER. I’M FROM BASIN ELEMENTARY. MY QUESTION IS, WHY ARE HORSES SO MANY DIFFERENT COLORS? AMSDEN: YOU CAN PROBABLY ANSWER THAT ONE BETTER. YOU KNOW A LOT ABOUT DNA AND COLOR AND EVERYTHING. (LAUGHTER) IT’S GENETIC. DR. SEAMANS: IT’S DEFINITELY GENETIC. THE COLOR GENETICS ARE NOT WELL UNDERSTOOD, AND WHY THERE ARE SO MANY DIFFERENT COLORS, I MEAN, YOU WOULD THINK THAT IN THE WILD THE HORSE WOULD BE BEST SUITED TO HAVE SOMETHING THAT SORT OF CAMOUFLAGED HIM AND HE WOULD BLEND IN WITH THE BACKGROUND, BUT, YOU KNOW, THE PAINT HORSES HAVE DONE FAIRLY WELL, AND THEY’RE NOT VERY WELL CAMOUFLAGED, SO I GUESS THE GOOD LORD JUST DECIDED HE WANTED A LITTLE VARIETY, AND SO THAT’S WHY WE’VE GOT DIFFERENT PAINT JOBS ON THEM. THAT’S AS GOOD AN ANSWER AS I CAN COME UP WITH. AMSDEN: EVEN THE CLONED HORSES, THEY HAVE A DIFFERENT — SIMILAR COLORS, BUT THEY HAVE DIFFERENT MARKINGS ON THEM. [MUSIC] CARTAN-HANSEN: LANDON ASKS, HOW LONG IS A HORSE’S TONGUE? DR. SEAMANS: A HORSE’S TONGUE IS ABOUT A FOOT LONG. IT ANCHORS BACK UP IN THEIR THROAT, SO YOU MAY NOT BE ABLE TO SEE A FOOT OF IT, BUT IT GOES BACK IN THERE A WAYS. AMSDEN: WELL, THE BONES OF THE HEAD ARE SO LONG THEY WOULD HAVE TO HAVE THAT LONG TONGUE IN ORDER TO REACH AND GET A HOLD OF SOMETHING AND HELP GET IT INSIDE. DR. SEAMANS: THE PREHENSILE ORGAN OF A COW IS THEIR TONGUE, AND SO WHAT THEY DO, WHEN A COW IS GRAZING, THEY RUN THEIR TONGUE OUT AND WRAP IT AROUND THE GRASS AND PULL IT OUT OF THE GROUND, WHERE THE PREHENSILE ORGAN OF A HORSE IS HIS UPPER LIP, AND SO THEY WILL — THEY WILL GRAB A HOLD OF STUFF FIRST WITH THEIR UPPER LIP, AND THEN IF IT’S — IF IT’S GRASS THEY’RE GRAZING, THEY’LL BITE IT OFF WITH THEIR INCISORS, BUT IF IT’S JUST LOOSE HAY OR GRAIN OR SOMETHING, THEY JUST USE THEIR UPPER LIP TO PULL IT INTO THEIR MOUTH. SO I DON’T KNOW WHY THEY HAVE A LONG TONGUE. THAT’S A GREAT QUESTION. BRENNIN: HI, MY NAME IS BRENNIN, AND I’M FROM BASIN ELEMENTARY, AND MY QUESTION IS, HOW DO HORSES COMMUNICATE WITH EACH OTHER? AMSDEN: HORSES COMMUNICATE A LOT OF DIFFERENT WAYS. THEY WILL COMMUNICATE WITH SOUND BY NEIGHING, NICKERING. THEY COMMUNICATE WITH SMELL. THEY HAVE EXCELLENT SMELL. THEY CAN TELL A HORSE COMING FROM A LONG WAYS OFF. THEY COMMUNICATE WITH SIGHT. THEY COMMUNICATE MOSTLY, I THINK, WITH BODY LANGUAGE. YOU CAN TAKE A HORSE, AND TWO OUT THERE WILL BE LOOKING AT HAY OR SOMETHING, AND ONE CAN GET WITHIN 20 FEET OF IT, AND ALL THAT HORSE HAS TO DO IS FLICK AN EAR AT THAT HORSE, AND THAT HORSE WILL MOVE AWAY. SO THEIR COMMUNICATION IS BODY LANGUAGE. THEY REALLY READ OURS. THEY’RE TREMENDOUS AT READING OUR BODY RESPONSES. ELEK: HELLO, MY NAME IS ELEK, AND I’M FROM LIBERTY ELEMENTARY, AND MY QUESTION IS, WHAT KIND OF INJURIES OR ILLNESSES CAN HORSES GET? DR. SEAMANS: WELL, THE MOST — THE MOST COMMON ILLNESS WOULD BE SOMETHING THAT VETERINARIANS CALL AN ACUTE ABDOMINAL CRISIS, AND THAT’S AN $8 WORD THAT MEANS THEY HAVE A BAD STOMACHACHE, AND THAT’S PROBABLY THE MOST COMMON ILLNESS. INJURIES, BECAUSE OF DOMESTICATION, WE PUT THEM IN PLACES WHERE THEY DON’T MAYBE FIT SO WELL, AND SO RUNNING INTO FENCES AND STUFF LIKE THAT, LACERATIONS, CUTS, TRAUMA, BRUISES, CONTUSIONS, THOSE ARE THE COMMON THINGS THAT WE SEE. BUT THE MOST COMMON ILLNESS WOULD BE COLIC OR THE STOMACHACHE, AND THEN THE MOST COMMON INJURY WOULD BE WIRE OR FENCE POST CUTS. THOSE ARE THE THINGS THAT WE SEE MOST COMMONLY IN VETERINARY PRACTICE. CARTAN-HANSEN: DR. SEAMANS, IF SOMEONE IS INTERESTED IN BECOMING A VETERINARIAN, WHAT SHOULD HE OR SHE STUDY IN SCHOOL? DR. SEAMANS: IF YOU WANT TO GO TO VETERINARY COLLEGE, YOU NEED TO BE REALLY GOOD AT MATH AND SCIENCE, BECAUSE THAT’S A LOT WHAT THIS IS ABOUT, AND SO YOU NEED TO DEVELOP REALLY GOOD STUDY HABITS EARLY ON. YOU NEED TO MAKE A’S, IF YOU POSSIBLY CAN, AND WORK REALLY, REALLY, REALLY HARD AT THE MATH AND SCIENCE, AND YOU ALSO HAVE TO LOVE SCHOOL. AND SO THEY CAN’T — YOU CAN GO TO COLLEGE FOR ABOUT EIGHT YEARS OR SO. MINE WAS A LITTLE LONGER, BECAUSE I’M A LITTLE SLOW, BUT YOU GO TO COLLEGE FOR EIGHT YEARS OR SO. THEY CAN’T TEACH YOU HOW TO BE A VETERINARIAN IN ONLY EIGHT YEARS. THEY CAN JUST TEACH YOU HOW TO PASS THE BOARD EXAMS TO GET A LICENSE TO BE REALLY DANGEROUS FOR ABOUT 20 YEARS WHILE YOU’RE LEARNING HOW TO BE A VETERINARIAN. BUT THE REALITY IS THAT IT’S A LEARNING PROCESS, AND IF YOU DON’T LOVE SCHOOL, YOU’RE NOT GOING TO LIKE THE PRACTICE OF VETERINARY MEDICINE. I SPEND AT LEAST A WEEK, SOMETIMES TWO OR THREE WEEKS IN SCHOOL EVERY YEAR LEARNING — LEARNING THE ART AND SCIENCE OF PRACTICE IN EQUINE MEDICINE AND SURGERY. [MUSIC] CARTAN-HANSEN: DRESSAGE IS THE HIGHLY SKILLED STYLE OF RIDING A HORSE. SO LET’S MEET SOMEONE WHO’S LEARNING THE ART OF DRESSAGE. KATIE ANDERSON: HI, MY NAME IS KATIE, AND THIS IS MY HORSE HANS. I’VE BEEN RIDING FOR ABOUT FIVE YEARS. MY MOM THOUGHT IT WOULD BE FUN TO TRY ONE OF THESE CAMPS BECAUSE I HAD NEVER RIDDEN HORSES BEFORE, AND THAT’S HOW IT STARTED BASICALLY. CARTAN-HANSEN: KATIE RIDES TWO OR THREE TIMES A WEEK. SHE AND HER FRIEND EMILY ARE LEARNING THE ART OF DRESSAGE. DRESSAGE IS THE ART OF RIDING IN HARMONY WITH YOUR HORSE. IN COMPETITIONS, JUDGES LOOK AT RHYTHM AND BALANCE AND HOW WELL THE RIDER AND HORSE WORK TOGETHER. ANDERSON: I THINK PART OF WHAT’S SO MUCH FUN ABOUT DRESSAGE IS THAT YOU GET TO MEMORIZE ALL THE DIFFERENT COURSES AND THINGS LIKE THAT. CARTAN-HANSEN: THE GIRLS RIDE IN A PATTERN LOOKING FOR LETTERS ON THE WALLS AS CUES. ANDERSON: A LOT OF TIMES YOU HAVE — LIKE FOR TESTS, YOU HAVE TO MEMORIZE A COURSE, SO IT MIGHT BE FROM K TO Z TO B TO L OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT, OR IT MIGHT JUST LOOK LIKE YOU’RE GOING IN A CIRCLE. THE HARDEST THING TO LEARN, I BET, IS YOUR HORSE’S MOODS, BECAUSE TO BE ABLE TO TELL, IT’S PRETTY HARD TO BE ABLE TO TELL WHAT THEY’RE GOING TO DO NEXT, BUT THAT’S ALSO ONE OF THE FUN PARTS. CARTAN-HANSEN: THERE’S MORE TO DRESSAGE THAN JUST LEARNING TO RIDE. YOU HAVE TO LEARN TO CARE FOR YOUR HORSE AND ITS GEAR. ANDERSON: DRESSAGE IS SOMETHING THAT YOU REALLY HAVE TO COMMIT TO. YOU NEED TO COMMIT IT TO — WITH YOUR YOURSELF, AND YOUR HORSE ALSO NEEDS IT, BECAUSE YOU CAN’T JUST LEAVE YOUR HORSE IN THE STALL ALL DAY. YOU NEED TO GIVE IT EXERCISE, CLEAN WATER AND FOOD AND A GOOD PLACE TO LIVE. CARTAN-HANSEN: AND KATIE HAS A SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP WITH HER HORSE. ANDERSON: HANS IS A TINY, CUTE, FAT HAFLINGER, AND HAFLINGERS ORIGINATED FROM AUSTRIA, BECAUSE THEY NEEDED THOSE HORSES THAT WERE SHORT BUT STRONG TO PULL THE COAL THROUGH THE MINES AND THE STUFF. AND HANS IS A WARM-BLOODED HORSE, SO HE’S NOT LIKE A HOTHEAD LIKE HILDA. I REALLY LIKE RIDING BECAUSE HORSES — I REALLY LIKE THE HORSES, THEIR DIFFERENT ATTITUDES AND THE DIFFERENT KINDS. CARTAN-HANSEN: AND WHAT PIECE OF ADVICE DOES KATIE HAVE FOR OTHER KIDS WHO ARE THINKING OF LEARNING TO RIDE? ANDERSON: TO NEVER GIVE UP REALLY. IF YOU FALL OFF, GET BACK ON. [MUSIC] DUSTY: HI, MY NAME IS DUSTY. I GO TO BASIN ELEMENTARY. MY QUESTION IS, WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF A HORSE’S HOOVES? AMSDEN: THE PURPOSE OF A HORSE’S HOOF, IF YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT THE CAPSULE OF THE HOOF, THAT’S THE HARD CAPSULE THAT JUST KEEPS ALL OF THE INNER STRUCTURE OF THE HOOF TOGETHER, AND THAT’S THE FROG, THE SENSITIVE TISSUE, THE SOLE, THE LIVE SOLE, THE DEAD SOLE, THAT GIVES — AND GIVES THE HORSE THE ABILITY TO SENSE WHERE IT’S MOVING WITH THAT FOOT. THE — IF YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT THE WHOLE HOOF ITSELF, THEN THAT’S ONE OF THE AMAZING STRUCTURES THAT HELPS THAT HORSE LAND AND MOVE AND RUN, AND IT’S REALLY JUST AN AMAZING STRUCTURE THAT’S ALL WORKING INSIDE THERE TOGETHER. DR. SEAMANS: IT’S JUST A REALLY VERY, VERY FIRM — IT’S A LIVE TISSUE. THERE’S A BONE IN THERE. THERE’S BLOOD VESSELS IN THERE. THERE’S NERVES IN THERE. IT’S JUST — IT’S AN AMAZING STRUCTURE IN AND OF ITSELF. AND ONE OF THE REASONS THAT A HORSE CAN RUN SO RAPIDLY FOR SO LONG IS BECAUSE OF THE STRUCTURE OF THAT HOOF. AND SO INSTEAD OF RUNNING AROUND, LIKE IF I WAS RUNNING AROUND BAREFOOTED, I COULDN’T RUN FROM HERE TO THE TRUCK WITHOUT LIMPING, BUT A HORSE HAS THAT VERY, VERY FIRM STRUCTURE AT THE END OF HIS LEG THAT ALLOWS FOR PROTECTION OF THOSE SOFT LIVING TISSUES AND ALLOWS HIM TO TRAVEL AT A HIGH RATE OF SPEED FOR A VERY LONG TIME. SINCE HORSES ARE PREY ANIMALS, SINCE THEY RUN FROM — SO THEY CAN AVOID BECOMING BREAKFAST FOR SOMEBODY, IT’S REALLY IMPORTANT THAT THEY CAN AVOID PREDATORS, AND I THINK THAT RUNNING IS A BIG PART OF THAT. THEY’RE NOT CAMOUFLAGED. THEY DON’T LAY IN THE GRASS AND HIDE. THEIR DEFENSE MECHANISM IS — THE FALLBACK MECHANISM IS ALWAYS TO FLY, TO FLEE, TO RUN. CALLEN: MY NAME IS CALLEN, AND I GO TO LIBERTY ELEMENTARY, AND MY QUESTION IS, WHY DO HORSES HAVE MANES? AMSDEN: WELL, ONE OF THE REASONS HORSES HAVE MANES IS TO FLICK AWAY FLIES, THE TAIL TO FLICK AWAY FLIES, AND I THINK THE MANE — THE HORSES MAINLY SWEAT AROUND THE NECK AND THAT MANE HELPS WICK AWAY SOME OF THAT SWEAT TO KEEP THEM COOL. BEAUTY. MAKES THEM LOOK NICE. FLOW WHEN THEY RUN. YOU GOT ANYTHING TO ADD TO THAT? DR. SEAMANS: I’VE ALWAYS WONDERED, IF IT WAS FOR FLY PROTECTION, WHY DON’T THEY HAVE A MANE ON BOTH SIDES? AMSDEN: THAT’S — YOU HAVE A VERSATILE HORSE THAT WAY. IT’S DIVIDED, SO TAKE YOUR PICK. DR. SEAMANS: I THINK DECORATION IS AS GOOD A REASON AS ANYTHING. I THINK THEY’RE PRETTY WHEN THEY’RE RUNNING. IT’S KIND OF LIKE A FLAG FLYING. BLAKE: HI, MY NAME IS BLAKE, AND I GO TO KAMIAH ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IN KAMIAH, IDAHO. MY QUESTION IS, HOW DO APPALOOSAS GET THEIR NAMES? AMSDEN: THE APPALOOSA WAS PART OF THE — THE SPANISH CAME FROM THE YEAR BACK IN THE 15TH CENTURY AND BROUGHT THE SPOTTED HORSE, AND IT MOVED UP INTO THE — THE NEZ PERCE INDIANS UP IN NORTHERN IDAHO ADOPTED THAT HORSE, BRED IT, MADE IT A VERY BEAUTIFUL ANIMAL, AND THE PALOUSE RIVER THAT RUNS UP THROUGH OREGON AND WASHINGTON AND IDAHO, IT WAS — SO THE HORSE WAS NAMED AFTER THE PALOUSE AND EVENTUALLY WAS SHORTENED TO APPALOOSA. DR. SEAMANS: AND, ACTUALLY, DURING THE LEWIS AND CLARK EXPEDITION, THAT’S WHEN THE — THAT WAS THE FIRST — THE EARLIEST REPORTS OF THE APPALOOSA HORSE IN THE NORTHWEST ISAIHA: MY NAME IS ISAIHA, AND I’M FROM BASIN ELEMENTARY. MY QUESTION IS, WHERE DO WILD HORSES LIVE IN IDAHO? AMSDEN: ACTUALLY, WILD HORSES LIVE IN IDAHO SEVERAL PLACES. WE HAVE A RANGE ON THE OWYHEES HERE WEST OF BOISE THAT HAS A PRETTY GOOD GROUP OF HORSES. WE HAVE SOME DOWN ON THE NEVADA BORDER TOWARD NEVADA THAT HAVE A PRETTY GOOD GROUP OF HORSES. THERE ARE SOME OVER IN — THERE ARE A FEW OVER IN EASTERN IDAHO. BUT I THINK THAT’S THE MAIN GROUP RIGHT THERE. IAN: HI, MY NAME IS IAN, AND I GO TO LIBERTY ELEMENTARY. MY QUESTION IS, WHAT IS THE FASTEST HORSE IN HISTORY? AMSDEN: FASTEST HORSE IN HISTORY WAS “SECRETARIAT.” BACK IN 1973 IT RAN THE 2.24 IN THE MILE-AND-A-HALF. AND THEN IT WAS WHAT, A FEW YEARS AGO SOMEBODY CAME ALONG AND BROKE THAT? DR. SEAMANS: “HAWKSTER,” YEAH. AMSDEN: HAWKSTER AT 2.23 IN THE MILE-AND-A-HALF, SO… DR. SEAMANS: BUT IT DEPENDS ON — BECAUSE THE THOROUGHBRED HORSES RUN A MUCH LONGER DISTANCE THAN THE QUARTER HORSES. AND SO THE WORLD RECORD FOR THE QUARTER MILE WAS SET IN 2010, I BELIEVE, BY A HORSE NAMED “APOLITICALLY CORRECT JESS”, AND HE FINISHED THE QUARTER MILE IN JUST UNDER 21 SECONDS. SO THE QUARTER HORSE CAN RUN AT SPEEDS UP TO ABOUT 43 MILES AN HOUR, A THOROUGHBRED ABOUT 37 OR SO. PRETTY FAST. JAYDEN: HI, MY NAME IS JAYDEN, AND I’M FROM BASIN ELEMENTARY, AND MY QUESTION IS, HOW HARD DO THE HORSES KICK? [LAUGHTER] DR. SEAMANS: YOU DON’T THINK I WAS BORN — AMSDEN: IT DEPENDS ON WHO’S RECEIVING IT, I GUESS. DR. SEAMANS: YEAH, YOU DON’T THINK I WAS BORN THIS UGLY, DO YOU? AMSDEN: I DON’T KNOW THAT IT’S EVER BEEN MEASURED. I KNOW THEY CAN KICK ME ACROSS 20 FEET. IT KIND OF DEPENDS ON WHERE YOU’RE STANDING ON THE HORSE. EITHER YOU WANT TO BE REAL CLOSE TO THE HORSE’S HIND QUARTERS OR FAR ENOUGH AWAY THAT THEY CAN’T KICK YOU. SO, IF A HORSE KICKS YOU AND KNOCKS YOU OUT OF THE WAY AND WE GET SOME BRUISES, WE CAN LIVE WITH THAT, BUT IF WE’RE STANDING OUT THERE MAYBE TWO FEET FROM THEM AND WE GET THE FULL BLAST OF THAT KICK, THEN THAT’S A BONE-BREAKING DEAL, SO… DR. SEAMANS: YEAH. AMSDEN: THEY CAN KICK HARD AND THEY CAN KNOCK EACH OTHER DOWN. DR. SEAMANS: THEY CAN KILL YOU. AMSDEN: YEAH. AYLA: MY NAME IS AYLA. I GO TO LIBERTY ELEMENTARY, AND MY QUESTION IS, WHAT ARE MALE HORSES CALLED? AMSDEN: MALE HORSES ARE EITHER A GELDING OR A STUD. IF THEY’RE CASTRATED, THEY’RE A GELDING, AND IF THEY’RE NOT, THEN THEY’RE — CALL THEM A STUD OR A STALLION. CARTAN-HANSEN: I’M SORRY. WE’VE RUN OUT OF TIME. MY THANKS TO MYRON AND DR. SEAMANS FOR ANSWERING STUDENTS’ QUESTIONS. AMSDEN: IT’S BEEN A PLEASURE BEING HERE. I HOPE — A LOT OF GREAT QUESTIONS. I HOPE THE KIDS GOT SOMETHING OUT OF IT AND IT’S BEEN A LEARNING PROCESS. AND APPRECIATE IT. IT’S REALLY BEEN NICE. DR. SEAMANS: IT’S BEEN FUN. THANK YOU. GET A HORSE. CARTAN-HANSEN: MY THANKS ALSO TO THE FOLKS HERE AT THE WESTERN STAR RANCH FOR HOSTING US. YOU CAN LEARN MORE ABOUT HORSES AND OTHER SCIENTIFIC TOPICS ON THE SCIENCE TREK WEBSITE. WE’LL ANSWER MORE QUESTIONS ABOUT HORSES ON SCIENCE TREK, THE WEB SHOW. AND IF YOU WANT TO SUBMIT A QUESTION FOR SCIENCE TREK, IT’S EASY, AND YOU AND YOUR CLASS CAN WIN PRIZES. YOU CAN SEND IT AS AN E-MAIL OR AS A VIDEO QUESTION, RECORD IT ON YOUR WEBCAM OR CELL PHONE. AND IF YOU’RE AN EDUCATOR, WE’LL EVEN LEND YOU A CAMERA. OUR LAST PRIZE WINNER WAS HUNTER IN MRS. DREW BLACK’S CLASS AT OWYHEE ELEMENTARY. SO TO FIND OUT ALL ABOUT HORSES, HOW TO SEND IN YOUR QUESTIONS, AND HOW TO WIN, GO TO THE SCIENCE TREK WEBSITE. AND EACH WEEK, CHECK OUT MY BLOG FOR THE LATEST SCIENCE NEWS FOR KIDS. YOU’LL FIND IT ALL AT IDAHOPTV.ORG/SCIENCETREK. THANKS FOR JOINING US. WE’LL SEE YOU NEXT TIME ON SCIENCE TREK. [MUSIC] ANNOUNCER: PRESENTATION OF SCIENCE TREK ON IDAHO PUBLIC TELEVISION IS MADE POSSIBLE THROUGH THE GENEROUS SUPPORT OF THE LAURA MOORE CUNNINGHAM FOUNDATION, COMMITTED TO FULFILLING THE MOORE AND BETTIS FAMILY LEGACY OF BUILDING THE GREAT STATE OF IDAHO, BY THE FRIENDS OF IDAHO PUBLIC TELEVISION, AND BY THE CORPORATION FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING. [MUSIC] CARTAN-HANSEN: IF YOU WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS TOPIC OR WATCH OUR VIDEOS, CHECK OUT THE SCIENCE TREK WEBSITE AT

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