We all know that horses have some pretty impressive hair, such as their mane, tail, and leg feathers, but do you know why there are horses with mustaches? Yes, you did read that right, some horses can grow their very own mustache, which is one of the coolest oddities about the horse. Let’s take a look at the horse that can pull off this feat and why it happens.
Which Horse Breeds Grow Mustaches
Not every type of breed can grow a mustache. This particular talent is the reserve of hairy breeds. Hairy breeds are horses with leg feathers and heavy builds. As a default, this includes cold blood horses.
Not only do these horses grow extra long, luxurious leg hair, but they also have thick luscious manes and tails. It is this extra hair growing ability that carries over to the growth of an actual mustache on the upper lip.
Horse breeds that grow mustaches include the Clydesdale, Gypsy Vanner, and the Shire. However, it is usually the Gypsy Vanner that wins the top prize for growing the most impressive mustache. Both female and male horses can grow a mustache.
Why do Horses Grow Mustaches
The exact reason horses grow mustaches, other than genetics making them prone to more hair growth, is not certain. However, one theory states that it has a similar function to whiskers. The mustache helps the horse search out grass, especially in dark conditions.
One thing to note about mustaches, it that it is usually part of the horse’s winter attire. In the spring, the mustache sheds out with the rest of the winter coat. This helps the grass searching theory make sense.
Native types of horses will have evolved to survive in winter conditions where food is scarce. Something to help them seek out food during these months gives the breed more chances of survival.
Another reason a horse might grow a mustache is due to health issues. Hormone imbalance or malnutrition can encourage extra hair growth.
Other Weird Horse Facts
- Horse mustaches are not the only odd fact about horses. Here are some other cool and surprising facts about horses.
- Have you ever seen a horse smile? Well technically, it isn’t smiling, but it looks like it is. This is when the horse curls its upper lip up, and you can see his top teeth. This smile or laugh is the horse’s flehmen reaction.
- A horse will do this when it encounters a new or unusual smell. It enhances the horse’s ability to take in the smell, and determine if it is good or bad.
- Wonder what forms the hoof of the horse? It is keratin, the same thing as a human fingernail.
- Horses can sleep when standing up, but they must lie down for REM sleep. The horse is able to stand up due to its stay apparatus. This system of tendons and ligaments allows the horse to keep his legs locked, so he doesn’t fall over while the rest of his body relaxes.
- We consider Mustangs and other feral horses around the world as wild horses. In many ways, they are, but they are not truly wild horses. There is only one true wild horse left, this is the Przewalski’s horse, which is only found in Mongolia.
- The horse’s brain weighs 22 ounces, half that of a human. It also takes up less space in the face than the horse’s teeth.
- Finally, one odd fact you might not know about horses is that they cannot vomit.
What Other Animal Can Grow A Mustache
Horses are not the only type of animal that can grow a mustache. The emperor tamarin, a monkey from the Amazon rainforest sports a white mustache. The most famous animal with a mustache is the walrus.
The walrus’s mustache is so admired, men have worked tirelessly for generations to recreate, with only some success.
Horse Mustache Conclusion
The fact that some horses can grow a mustache is one of the strangest things about them. It is so unbelievable, pictures of horses showing off their mustache have reached the non-equine community in viral social media posts. Some exclaimed it isn’t possible.
However, it is very true that horses can grow a mustache. It is adorable, and when you see one in person, you just want to help give it a bit of styling.