What do my readers think of all this snow that has fallen? It has me kicking up my heels in the morning! In between these bouts of fun, I’ve been doing some serious planning. Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, and I want to give my sweetheart the perfect day. I’ve discovered some fun facts about the horse’s heart along the way. Hearts are, after all, the shape we associate with Valentine’s Day. Of course, I want to share my newfound knowledge with you!
Which of these facts do you already know?
- The horse heart weighs, on average, 1% of the horse’s body weight. That means a 1,000 lb. horse will have a heart that weighs around 10 lbs. That’s the same as a medium-sized bowling ball! In contrast, a human heart only weighs 7 to 15 ounces and is the size of your fist. No wonder horse are amazing athletes! Secretariat’s heart is generally regarded as one of the largest horse hearts. It is estimated to have weighed a whopping 21 pounds. That’s a big heart!
- A horse’s typical resting heartrate is around 30-40 beats/minute. (You can go listen to your horse’s heart if you have a stethoscope! You can also find a horse’s pulse to measure its heart rate. This factsheet has more information on how to check your horse’s vital signs). Under stressful conditions or when exercising, horses can rapidly increase their heart rate up to 250 beats/minute (that’s an eightfold increase)! Humans have a resting heart rate of 60-80 beats/minute and can only increase it up to 200 beats/minute (roughly a fourfold increase).
- The heart is responsible for pumping blood through the body. Blood returning to the heart is high in carbon dioxide and low in oxygen. The heart pumps this blood to the lungs where carbon dioxide is exchanged for oxygen. This highly oxygenated blood returns to the heart which pumps it back out into circulation to supply oxygen to the rest of you body or your horse’s body. An average horse has about 14 gallons of blood. Humans only have about 1.5 gallons of blood.
You can wow all your friends on Valentine’s Day this year with these cool facts about horse hearts! I’m off to put the finishing touches on my Valentine’s Day plans. Christi is going to be so surprised and pleased with my work!
Until Next Time.