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|A Gradual Science|
|Plain Monkey Business|
“”"A horse is dangerous at both ends and uncomfortable in the middle."
|—Ian Fleming (stolen by the recent Sherlock Holmes film)|
Horses are four legged animals used for pulling things, racing, transport, jumping over things and for keeping rich teenage girls away from boys. They are big herbivores (apart from ponies like the Shetland Pony, which aren't quite so big, and draft horses such as Shire horses which are best described as "bloody huge"). Along with cows, they are used as beasts of burden, and with the proper training can be obedient. Horses have a smoother gait than cattle, however, and as such are prized for riding.
They live all over (and sometimes under) the world, except in the sea, sky and Polar Regions, but only because they are useful to us. Mostly their usefulness involves harnessing (literally) their strength to carry people or things. Moreover, horse meat is eaten in numerous cultures, including traditional cuisines in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Poland, Slovenia, Italy, Sweden, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Japan and Canada. And McDonald's. 
Horse racing is a popular sport. In the sport, small people (because they're light and the horse can run faster) whip horses as hard as possible to make them run faster. If a horse falls and breaks an ankle, it is sometimes shot. Naturally, animal rights activists aren't impressed by this. 
Horse development is one of the classic examples of evolution in action. The fossil record of horse-like animals shows the gradual transition of a finger-like arm/leg forming into a hoof as the animal became larger, and as climate change led to the development of extensive grasslands.
There were also several offshoots from this line of descent, but today only Equus, which includes horses, donkeys and zebras, has survived. Their nearest relatives are tapirs and rhinos.
Types of horses
“”"If it doesn't fart or eat hay, she isn't interested."
|—Prince Phillip on his daughter Princess Anne. (Phillip curiously derives from the Greek for horselover)|
- The zebra is a horse that can cross the road safely.
- The donkey is a horse for riding into Jerusalem on.
- The burro is an Hispanic donkey. The burrito is a cooked Hispanic donkey.
- The mule is a horse that carries drugs, usually concealed in its rectum, across borders or across town. These half-assed hybrids are usually the result of a lady horse accidentally fornicating with a gentleman donkey. (When the sexes of the animals are reversed, the hybrid is called a hinny.)
- Pegasus is a horse with wings (epic phail).
- A centaur is a horse with a man's body protruding from its chest.
- A unicorn is a
narwhalhorse with a single horn on its forehead, the most adored of whom is the Invisible Pink Unicorn (PBUH).
- My Little Pony is a dwarf variety, in many different color schemes, generally owned by children and man-children.
- A zonkey is a hybrid of a zebra and a donkey, allowing one to safely cross the road into Jerusalem. These should not be confused with zonks which were usually goats.
- "A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse!", Richard III according to William Shakespeare - actually someone else of the same name.
- "'Tis pity she's a horse", original title of a tragedy by the English playwright John Ford (1586 – ca. 1639).
- "I know two things about the horse, and one of them is rather coarse", Naomi Royde-Smith (ca. 1875 – 1964).
A horseshoe is a piece of metal attached to the feet of horses to make them roadworthy (and protect them from damage). Some other animals are or have been similarly shod. Minor horseshoe woo is that having a horseshoe pinned to a house wall will bring good luck if the points face up (if facing down, the luck goes away). Supposedly, a visitor to Niels Bohr's country cottage, noticing a horseshoe hanging on the wall, asked the scientist if he believed the ancient superstition. "Of course not," replied Bohr, "but I am told it works even if you don't believe in it."