In nature, horses function
as prey animals. They have a natural tendency to flee from danger,
though they will fight if cornered. Their eyes lie to the side
of the head, giving them a wide view while grazing (slightly less
than 180 degrees to each side, overlapped in front and leaving
a blind spot in the rear). Even domesticated horses startle easily
and must, for the safety of riders, undergo careful introductions
to strange objects and situations.
Horses live in
family groups in primarily grassland habitats. These normally
consist of a mature stallion, his harem of about one to ten mares,
and the mares' offspring. Once young males reach breeding age
and begin to attempt to breed with mares or to challenge the herd
stallion, the latter drives them out of the herd to form "bachelor
bands" with other young stallions. Usually not until a stallion
reaches 7 or 8 years old does he stand a real chance of acquiring
mares, eventually becoming, if successful in the attempt, a "band
stallion", i.e. having a harem of his own, having separated
female equids from another stallion's band.
Images 1 Though 21 Are From The Bureau Of Land Management
Images 23 And 24 Are Form The U.S.D.A.