This one is less factual, but still fun.
I still haven't got a handle on the community's theme, but this is very horsey and I think you'll like it. This is the kind of thing I don't dare post in equestrian for fear of bitching. So you get it! Crits welcomed.
Seven kinds of nosebleeds with horses, and only two belong to them. The only thing they all have in common is the blood flowing down, so much redder than you’d think, smearing or dripping or running in a slow twisting stream through fur or over flesh. Everything else is disparate.
The first you never even notice, thinking it drool flung back from a tossed head or maybe sweat from your brow that drips down your face and is wiped away with a black suede-and-cotton glove. The last traces of it vanish when you plunge your face into the horse’s trough, quenching your thirst as he does.
The second is mostly unavoidable, and is the horse’s fault. They’re all the horse’s fault at the heart of it, save one, and they’re the only thing you can rightfully blame them for. In every other case – every kick, every fall, every bite and cut and injury – it is your fault. Always. It is the one ironclad rule; only when the blood pours from your nose and down your face do they become responsible. And so you may be comforted as one part of their anatomy or other hits you full and purposefully in the face and the stars burst behind your eyes, for you are blameless. The river of red is gratifyingly bright and your nose is usually broken. Wear it as a badge of honor – it happens to everyone eventually – and watch your horse look both guilty and pleased.
The third is your own fault, the only one of its kind, and involves the handles of pitchforks, the tines of rakes, and a certain human carelessness in where you step.
The fourth is incidental, highly unexpected, strangely painful, and is the horse’s fault in a uniquely roundabout way; it usually brings about the dropping of anything you may be carrying and the clapping of a hand to your poor face in offended surprise. It can be blamed on the stiff stalks of hay that jab you in the nose as you attempt to feed your deeply amused horse, who will later refuse to eat his bloodied dinner.
The fifth is from the ground, and from the rocks half-buried in it, or from the white rail fence or the unmoving, unforgiving tree as you strike them in falling off. It is usually embarrassing, but never in any way debilitating. Often (usually, always) it is showy, but neither painful nor damaging; just enough blood to stain your show clothes, no more. Nothing is ever broken; you’ll have no battle scars.
The horses themselves get only two types of nosebleeds, the redness flowing out from the rete mirabile, the miraculous net that cools their blood: the sixth, laughably minor, and the seventh, usually deadly. Either they have bumped their nose or ruptured a lung; it is often difficult to tell which.