To this day, few animals have been more useful than equines . It is rare that someone does not know at least what form they have. But what are they? What are their characteristics? What distinguishes them from other animals? We will talk about this today.


What is an equine?

The group of mammals in which horses , donkeys and zebras are inserted is known as equine . They are about a family that possibly arose in North America, in the Pleitoscene . They are easily distinguishable by their absence of fingers and their prominent hooves.

  • Equine characteristics
  • Source
  • Evolution
  • Equine types
  • Species
  • Habitat
  • Equine feeding
  • Reproduction
  • Livestock
  • Diseases
  • Importance
  • Examples of equines

Equine characteristics

It is a group of mammals that belong to the perissodactyla family. This means that, instead of fingers, they consist of extremely powerful hooves .


Horses , donkeys and zebras are included in this group . It is said that, in ancient times, several million years ago, other species existed. This sadly led to the extinction of many specimens.

They are distinguished from other mammals by having extremely strong legs. This makes them excellent pack and transport animals , outspeeding the best sprinter .

Unlike other genera (horses and donkeys), zebras are the only non-domesticated creatures in this group.

Its diet is clearly herbivorous . This is because their teeth and digestion are not made to process meats like other animals .

They are animals whose longevity can be around fifteen years. However, if they are under the right conditions, they can live to be 40 years old.


Etymologically, we know that the equine is a Latinism from equinus . This, in its translation, refers us to “belonging to the horse . ” Likewise, it is known that this is a word that arises from equus (horse), which is a word of Indo – European origin with the same meaning. It is said that, from its roots, the word has a common origin with hippos ( horse ), which has given rise to other expressions (hippodrome, for example) that have been closely associated with chivalry.


Evolutionarily, we know that equine is a group of animals whose roots are found in the Pleitoscene . At that time, this family was distancing itself from the perissodactyls. This was a family of which today we have some heirs such as rhinos. It is known that its origins are in North America , when it had not yet separated from the other continents. From there, they migrated and spread to Africa and Eurasia . At some point in their history , the equines of America became extinct, and it was only after European colonization that they found a home there again.

Equine types

Today, we can say that there are only three types of equines that are well known to common people. In ancient times, long before man, there were many other species. But these did not manage to survive evolution , becoming extinct with time. Among the existing types, we have:


The only equines in the wild. They are creatures with black fur, with white stripes due to faults in pigmentation. They are especially found in Africa .


Animals domesticated by man since the Bronze Age. They are used as draft animals, pack animals and as horses .


Domesticated, it is said, at the same time as horses . They are used for the same purposes as horses.


We have some species still living such as:

  • African Wild Ass
  • Asian Wild Ass (Onagro).
  • Common Zebra.
  • Grevy’s zebra.
  • Mountain Zebra.
  • Domestic Horse.
  • Mongolian Wild Horse.


It is one of the families of animals with the greatest versatility when it comes to adapting to an environment. In their wild state, we can find equines in grasslands, forests, savannas and deserts. It is common for some of them to prefer mountainous and free areas to live in in winter. Sadly, equines are hard to find in the wild due to poaching.

Equine feeding

The equine is known to eat everything except meat. They are herbivores by nature. Their digestive system is made only to process what they can graze on. It is also well known that many horses require considerable amounts of water to survive .


The horses are, as a rule generally very animals social . This means that it is common to see them form herds in their natural state . In these, a stallion is usually erected that has the right to reproduce with the rest of the females .


Equines have long been one of the animal groups preferred by humans for breeding and domestication . It is rare that human groups consume their meats , since they are not to the taste of the majority. However, you can find consumer objects such as mare’s milk , which is highly demanded by humans . Apart from this, it is common for equine breeding to be used to obtain other products such as horse leather, with which many products (textiles) are obtained .

For the rest, the main meaning of equine breeding is for sports and recreational use, as well as for the mobilization of loads and heavy equipment.


We could say that the most common diseases that we can find in this group of mammals are:

  • Tetanus
  • Rage.
  • Encephalomyelitis
  • West Nile virus.
  • Equine Influenza.
  • Potomac fever.
  • Equine Viral Arteritis.
  • Colt rotavirus A.
  • Possum disease.
  • Botulism.
  • Mumps.
  • Among many others.


We must emphasize that few species have reached the point of closeness with humans like equines. Even though it is a group with few species within the animal kingdom , equines and humans have been interrelated for many millennia. With your participation , human labors have become easier and less cumbersome. They have been used, as we well know, for cargo, transport and cavalry work, and in the same way, today they have novel uses such as the famous equine therapy .

Examples of equines

  • Horses (whether wild or domestic).
  • Zebras
  • Donkeys
  • Mules, zebraids, zebras (All these, results of the crossing of the donkey with the horse):

Leave a Comment