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5 Reasons Horses Are Not Just Big Dogs



Reasons Horses Are Not Just Big Dogs

Horses are often compared to dogs due to their friendly and affectionate nature, but is it really accurate to treat them like big dogs? While there are some similarities between the two animals, horses are vastly different from dogs in several key ways.

In this post, we’ll explore why horses should be treated as unique animals in their own right.

1. Size Matters

One of the most obvious differences between horses and dogs is their size. Even small horses are several times larger than the biggest dogs. This size difference means that horses can easily overpower humans if they feel threatened or scared. Horse handlers must always be mindful of the animal’s size and strength to prevent accidents.

2. Flight Response

Horses are prey animals, which means that they have a heightened sense of awareness and a strong flight or fight response. Unlike dogs, horses are easily frightened by loud noises, sudden movements, and unfamiliar objects. An inexperienced handler might startle a horse without even realizing it, which could result in the horse bolting or kicking out in fear.

3. Unique Social Structure

Horses are herd animals and have a unique social structure that is very different from dogs. In a herd of horses, there is a clear hierarchy, and each animal has a role to play. When introducing a new horse to a herd, the existing members may become aggressive towards the newcomer until a new hierarchy has been established. Handlers need to understand this social structure to ensure that horses are happy and healthy in their environment.

4. Different Nutritional Needs

Dogs and horses have vastly different nutritional needs. While dogs are omnivorous and can eat a variety of foods, horses are herbivores and need to graze for long periods throughout the day to stay healthy. Horses require a diet rich in roughage like hay and grass, and nutritional supplements may need to be added to their diet based on their age, activity level, and health conditions.

5. Unique Healthcare Needs

Finally, horses have unique healthcare needs that are different from those of dogs. For example, horses require regular dental care because their teeth continue to grow throughout their lives, and dental issues can cause a variety of health problems. Horses also require regular hoof care and more exercise than dogs to stay healthy.


While horses and dogs share some similarities, it’s important to recognize that horses are unique animals in their own right. They require a specific kind of handling, nutrition, and healthcare to stay healthy and happy.

By understanding and respecting these differences, we can ensure that horses receive the care and attention they deserve.

I am Tommy, an avid equestrian who is passionate about the lifestyle. Writing for an equestrian blog has been a lifelong dream of mine, as I have been around horses my whole life. My mission is to share all the knowledge and experiences I have gathered throughout the years in order to help others reach their goals in this amazing sport. My dedication and enthusiasm towards horses and all things related to them never cease to amaze me!

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