Zebras are frequently mistaken for wild horses because of their stripes. However, many people are unaware of the distinctions between a horse and a zebra. A zebra, is it a horse?
Although they are both members of the Equidae family, zebras and horses are separate species. Compared to horses, zebras are slower, lighter, smaller, and more challenging to tame.
Donkeys and zebras are more closely related than horses. They resemble donkeys more than horses because of their long ears, flatbacks, and mohawk-styled manes.
The appearance of a horse and a zebra is what visually distinguishes them from one another. Horses typically have a one-color coat, whereas zebras have a black-and-white striped jacket.
African grasslands are the zebras’ natural habitat. Zebras are herd animals, like horses, and spend most of the day grazing. They are friendly creatures and frequently reside in family units.
A zebra’s distinctive black and white striped coat is believed to be a natural deterrent to predators. In addition, zebras’ striped coat pattern makes it challenging for predators to identify a specific zebra when a group of them is around.
Zebra and Horse Size Comparison
Horses are larger and more stocky than zebras. Horses are 16 to 16 hands tall, but zebras are between 10 and 14 hands tall. Zebras typically weigh between 550 and 990 pounds, but horses usually weigh between 900 and 1,100 pounds.
The mountain zebra is usually the most significant type, followed by the Grevy’s zebra, and the plains zebra is the smallest.
Can You Ride a Zebra like a Horse?
Zebras can be ridden, and horses are pretty challenging to ride compared to horses. Only some individuals have ridden zebras because they are unsuitable animals for riding due to their flat backs, unpredictable demeanor, and reduced strength.
Zebras can only accommodate small riders because they are small animals. Moreover, they are unpredictable because they do not even have temperaments like horses. Therefore, zebras should be kept from being ridden, even by the most seasoned riders. But as you’ll see below, zebras have been ridden by humans.
Famed American Explorer Osa Johnson Rode a Zebra
There have been cases of people riding zebras throughout history. For example, famous American explorer, author, and filmmaker Osa Johnson frequently rode zebras while touring Africa with her husband in the early 1900s.
Horace Hayes, a veterinarian and horse trainer, frequently traveled for work with his wife, Alice.
Horace trained a zebra for his wife to ride while living in Africa in the late 1800s. However, the zebra, according to Alice, is too obstinate and would not be a suitable mount for a female rider.
All the riding scenes were performed on a zebra named Sammy, who had previously appeared in other movies. Sammy was described as having a personality more akin to a horse and being quite laid back for a zebra.
Are Zebras Faster Than Horses?
Zebras cannot outrun horses. Zebras’ top speed is only 38 miles per hour, compared to horses’ top speed of 54 miles per hour. Although zebras move more slowly than other animals, their agility and ability to reverse direction fast while running help them avoid predators.
Recently, zebras have even been raced and ridden. A few zebras, camels, and ostriches were run in 2016 at the Paradise Turf racetrack in Phoenix, Arizona.
Can Zebras be Domesticated?
Zebras can be tamed and domesticated, although horses are more complex. However, it is not usually practicable or humane to tame zebras because horses are more unpredictable and violent than horses.
Due to their numerous wild predators, zebras are considerably more inclined to bite and kick than horses. Zebras’ instinctive reaction to being confined is to flee.
Zebras can be domesticated, but it takes a lot of work and patience. Therefore, when handling zebras, you must exercise extreme caution.
What is a Cross Between a Zebra and a Horse Called?
The progeny of a zebra stallion and a mare horse is known as zorses. A zebra is a name for reverse pairing. A zorse is sterile and incapable of procreation. Zorses are larger, calmer, and have a more comprehensive range of colors than zebras.
Zorses are more frequently employed for riding than zebras since they are more extensive and more straightforward to handle. Although they rarely give birth in the wild, they only give birth to domesticated animals. Zorses are a unique hybrid of horses and zebras.
Learn more: 8 Clear Signs a Horse Likes & Trusts You