This sentence is translated to be a general statement: horses are big animals.
I have seen a few comments indicating that होता (hota) is used as a general term, ie. चुहे काले होते हैं - Rats are black.
Why doesn't this sentence translate to "the horses are big animals" since होवे is not included in this sentence?
Agreed, the rules on this are not clear, since in English "The horse" can mean a particular individual horse or it could mean the Horse as in the species. Imagine if any other noun was used: "The teapot is black" obviously wouldnt require a 'hote' so why would "The horse is an animal"? Quite a bit is being inferred by the translator and without context how can we know what is correct in the case of general vs. specific?
In this sentence, the first two words contain ड़, which is supposed to be "ḍ". In previous words such as लड़का , it does sound like a D to me. However, in घोड़े and बड़े it sounds clearly like a "R" to me: "ghoRe baRe" rather than "ghoDe baDe". Is this because of some systematic change? Is it just for a select few words, and this sentence just happens to contain two exceptions? Is the pronunciation in the audio wrong? Do tell, if you're in the know. Note that as of now, I'm most probably not capable of properly distinguishing between the various "versions" of "D": ड, ढ, द and ध, but I'm pretty sure none of them is supposed to sound like "R" to me.
Addendum. As the first sentence in the next lesson I started, I got "पक्षी उड़ता है ।". There, उड़ता also makes ड़ sound like R. I am getting more and more convinced that there is some funny business with this letter: perhaps its pronunciation is a wildcard, randomly changing hue between ḍ/r, and there is no better way than to just treating it as an anomaly and learning it word by word rather than as a letter that plays nice, with a pronunciation that follows rules.