It was very common in South Africa and it was often described as a horse and zebra hybrid. You cannot train and teach a zebra to be ridden like a horse.
We find a very different type of animal with the zebra when it comes to domestication. This all has to do with the herd mentality among horses which would don’t find to the same extent with zebras.
Among a group of horses, we will always have the leading alpha male which is the leader of the flock. Zebras live more like individuals than in herds, and they do not like to be managed.
They do move around in groups but that’s more because there are obvious benefits than because they follow the leader of the flock. As we looked at above, the horse’s legs are longer and it also enables it to run quite a lot faster than the zebra.
The seating area of the horse where you mount the saddle is also very different build on the zebra. Zebras don’t have the wither which is where the neck of the horse begins.
Some people believe that zebras are faster than horses, but they are wrong. As you can see below horses are faster than zebras and there’s a good physical explanation for that.
Zebras are typically around 5 feet (1.5 meters) from the shoulder to the hoof. The horse, on the other hand, is more like 5.5 feet (1,68 meters) from the shoulder to the hoof.
Horses have long beautiful manes that can be braided in many ways. As you can see from the picture above, the mane of the zebra is standing up and looks much more like that of a Donkey.
We all know that a horse will neigh and you can also hear this sound among a flock of zebras. The zebra can also produce a barking-type sound that is more similar to that of a smaller dog.
There is a tiny bump where the horse withers is but nothing to support the saddle or keep the rider in place. The dip is also absent and that makes it very hard to ride the zebra even if they had the temper for it.
We will look a lot more at why it’s almost impossible to domesticate and train a zebra in the next section. They will both kick a fellow stallion if they are provoked They both have hoofs that are similar They sleep standing up.
They are both herbivores and will eat primarily herbs, leaves, and grass in the wild. Zebras and horses belong to the same family tree.
That the main thing there is to say about similarities between zebras and horses. Other than that, they have an obvious list of commonalities when you look at how they are built and how they move.
They are obviously closely related, as we mentioned at the beginning of the article. Zebras are closer related to horses than donkeys.
They all belong to the Equus family tree and zebras are directly related to horses whereas donkeys are one branch farther away from horses than zebras are. As you can see, they are all a part of the “Equus” family tree which we mentioned earlier.
Kings (Found in Kashmir, Kazakh, and the Tibetan plateau) Persian Managers (Endangered species native to Iran) Turkmenistan Kulaks (smaller breed found in Central Asia) Most racehorses and draft horses are a bit bigger than zebras.
But zebras are still taller than some smaller horse breeds. So it’s quite hard to tell whether they are intelligent enough to do much else than just living their life on the African Savannah.
Remember, they are very aggressive and people have not managed to domesticate them in any way or to ride them. The Equine family again belongs to the Perissodactyla order, that includes Tapirs and Rhinos as well.
Both zebras and horses belong to the Equine family, but they are a different species. In fact, there are three different species of zebra: plains, mountain and Gravy’s.
Just like horses, zebras are herd animals and spend most of their day grazing. A Zebra’s unique black and white striped coat pattern is thought to be a natural defense against predators.
Additionally, due to selective breeding, horses are much easier to ride and are more tamed than zebras. Baffin Leslie, an 18-year-old dwarf riding a zebra called Jimmy across a road in Berkshire, England.
Zebras tend to be much smaller than horses, generally ranging in height from 10-13 hands high. A horse below 14.2 hands is generally called a pony (although this isn’t always the case).
They have Mohawk manes, short tails, flat backs and long ears, making them more like donkeys than horses. Zebras tend to be more aggressive and unpredictable than horses, so it is not always practical or humane to tame them.
Not only are they more difficult to work with than horses, they do not have an ideal build for being ridden due to their flatter backs. Famed American explorer, filmmaker and author OSA Johnson rode zebras on multiple occasions while travelling through Africa with her husband during the early 1900s.
Horse trainer and veterinarian Horace Hayes travelled extensively for his work with wife Alice. During their time in Africa in the late 1800s, Horace trained a zebra for his wife to ride.
Alice claimed the zebra was too headstrong and would not make a good mount for a lady rider. A zebra and horse mix is called a horse, which can also be referred to as a zeroed.
The resulting animal is called a “Horse” if it is a cross between a horse and a zebra. The cross between a Zebra and a pony is more commonly referred to as a “Zone”.
Typically, horse’s are more difficult to train than a regular horse or pony. Their instincts are heightened from the infusion of wild zebra bloodlines.
Monkeys have long ears, like regular donkeys, but have more characteristics from the zebra mixed in as well. Much like with the horse / zebra cross, Monkeys may retain more wild instincts from their Zebra parent and caution must be applied when training them however, with the right training, they can make excellent companions.
In the wild, the natural thing for prey animals is to fight or flee. With the zebra, if they are contained in a small space like a corral, the fight option becomes much more exaggerated, and they may attack by biting, kicking or stomping.
While the wild mustang horse does have similar instincts, far fewer of them would choose fight over flee. If you look at a zebra, you will notice their flat back and Mohawk looking mane.
One of the interesting things about zebra is that they are all white with black stripes. You should expect that the taming process for a zebra would be much more difficult than that for a wild mustang.
A Zebra is much more prone to fight than flee when confined to a small corral. That being said, a zebra foal who grows up surrounded by humans is less likely to be scared and try to attack out of fear.
Dominance may still play a part but their fear level should be greatly reduced when they are born in captivity and handled regularly. In captivity, however, horses and zebra can often live off of the same type of diet.
For captive zebra and horses, a good quality diet consists of hay or pasture, vitamins, minerals and salt. In fact, a horse and zebra can share the same pasture and receive much of the same nutrition.
Diet should be customized to each individual but the basic elements are the same for both horses and zebra. Typically, the training is more difficult and has to be approached by a trainer with skill in order to work through the natural instincts, but the zebra hybrid is capable of functioning just like a regular horse, with the right training and temperament.
Running in a zigzag motion helps prey animals to confuse and evade predators. Zebra herds will often move in a zigzag pattern to reduce the chances of being taken by a predator like a lion or cheetah.
I hope you enjoyed this look at some facts about zebras, donkeys and horses. Zebra and their hybrids are very interesting to see in person but, for the most part, they should only be purchased from experienced trainers.
If you are willing to put the time and resources in learning how to handle a zebra hybrid, the result can be a fun and interesting looking companion! As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.