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Ponies often exhibit thicker manes, tails, and overall coat.
Specific terms and specialized language are used to describe equine anatomy, different life stages, colors and breeds.Height is not the sole criterion for distinguishing horses from ponies.Breed registries for horses that typically produce individuals both under and over 14.2 h consider all animals of that breed to be horses regardless of their height.Light riding horses usually range in height from 14 to 16 hands (56 to 64 inches, 142 to 163 cm) and can weigh from 380 to 550 kilograms (840 to 1,210 lb).Heavy or draft horses are usually at least 16 hands (64 inches, 163 cm) high and can be as tall as 18 hands (72 inches, 183 cm) high.Thus, a horse described as "15.2 h" is 15 hands plus 2 inches, for a total of 62 inches (157.5 cm) in height.
The size of horses varies by breed, but also is influenced by nutrition.They may have calmer temperaments than horses and also a high level of intelligence that may or may not be used to cooperate with human handlers.Additional genes control suppression of black color to point coloration that results in a bay, spotting patterns such as pinto or leopard, dilution genes such as palomino or dun, as well as graying, and all the other factors that create the many possible coat colors found in horses.Horses' anatomy enables them to make use of speed to escape predators and they have a well-developed sense of balance and a strong fight-or-flight response.Related to this need to flee from predators in the wild is an unusual trait: horses are able to sleep both standing up and lying down.Female horses, called mares, carry their young for approximately 11 months, and a young horse, called a foal, can stand and run shortly following birth.