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HORSE TERMINOLOGY

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Abortion The premature expulsion of the fetus or foal generally attributed to one of three causes:
(1) Improper rations; (2) Injuries; (3) Bacillus abortus.
Aged Horse A horse known to be nine years old or older.
Anemia Condition of the body resulting from a lack of red corpuscles in the blood.
Bad Keeper A horse who does not eat well or does not digest what he does eat.
Bedding Straw, sawdust, wood shavings, sand, peat moss, leaves or sugar cane stalks are considered to be good bedding for horses.
Blemish An abnormality that does not seriously affect the serviceability of a horse.
Body brush A soft brush used to make a horse shine.
Box stall A stall in the shape of a large box (12 x 14 or so)
Breeches Riding pants
Breed Registry A group of breeders banded together for the purposes of recording the lineage of their animals, protecting the purity of the breed, encouraging further improvement of the breed, and promoting the interest of the breed.
"Buy a lot" An expression used in racing circles for falling off.
Castration Removal of the testicles of a male to make him sterile.
Colostrum The milk secreted by the dam for the first few days following birth of a foal.
Colt A young stallion.
Concentrates Feeds that are low in fiber and high in total digestible nutrients. Examples of this class of feeds are the various grains and high grade by products.
Conception The fertilization of the egg and beginning of growth of the embryo inside the mare's body.
Conformation Symmetrical disposition of the parts of a horse
(how the horse is proportionally put together).
Cribbing A vice in which the horse bites or places its upper incisor teeth on some solid object, pulls down, arches his neck, and swallows gulps of air which go into the stomach, not the lungs.
Dam A name for a mare which has a foal.
Dismounting Getting off of a riding horse. This should always be done on the "near" or left side of the horse.
Drag hunt A form of hunting in which an artificial scent is first laid.
Drench A method of giving liquid medicine to a horse by elevating his head and pouring it down his throat from a bottle.
Equitation Art of riding horses gracefully.
Farrier A blacksmith or one who shoes horses.
Feathers Long hair found on a horse such as on the fetlocks.
Feeds Standard feeds for a horse are hay, grass, oats, barley, corn, sweet feed and bran.
Filly Female horse under three years of age.
Firing A method of strengthening tendons by piercing the skin of the foreleg between the knee and pastern with a red hot iron. This is practiced largely with race horses which have broken down in the tendons.
Fixed or bridged reins Reins crossed and rested on top of horse's withers so that the horse pulls against himself.
Foal Colt or filly under one year.
Gaits The ways a horse moves. The three natural gaits (paces) of a horse are walk, trot and canter.  Others are foxtrot, gallop, pace, rack, running walk, slow pace, stepping pace and the traverse or sidestep.
Gelding A male horse which has been castrated before he is two years old.
Gestation The act or period of carrying the young during the pregnancy period; 11 to 11 1/2 months or 330 to 340 days for the mare.
Gymkhana An all-games show or event (egg-in-spoon race, musical chairs, etc.) for horses and their riders.
Hand Unit of measuring horse's height (to highest part of the withers):
1 hand = 4 in. = 10 cm.      Subdivided into inches.  
(For example, 16.2 hands = 16 hands and 2 inches.)
Head-shy Horse is afraid of having the head touched or of quick movements about the head.
Heat period The period in which the mare can be bred. Heat periods usually recur at about 21-day intervals. This interval may be as short as 10 days or long as 37. The duration of the heat period averages 4 to 6 days, but it may range from 1 to 37 days.
Hogging or roaching Clipping the mane close to the neck.
Light horses Animals produced to meet the specific purposes of riding, racing, stock horses, etc.
Mare A female of the horse species.
Measuring The four common measurements of a horse are bone, girth, height, and weight.
Mounting Getting onto a horse properly. Always mount from the "near" or left side.
Near-side The left side of a horse.
Off or far side The right side of a horse.
Pace see Gait (above).
Parasite An organism living on or in the horse such as lice (external) and worms (internal).
Parturition Act of giving birth.
Pedigree A form showing the line of ancestors and their performance for an individual horse.
Poling or rapping A cruel practice of striking the underpart of a horse as he goes over a jump with any number of devices from a bamboo pole to a heavy bar wrapped with barbed wire, or with an electrified wire.  It is a short cut taken by inefficient trainers to make a horse jump higher than the object over which he is being schooled, mainly to prevent ticks or knocking off of the bar.
Pony A horse of a small breed, 14.2 hands and under.
Puberty The state of being capable of begetting or bearing offspring (point of sexual maturity). Mares generally reach the age of puberty when 15 to 24 months of age.
"Pulling leather" Hanging onto the saddle to keep your balance.
Purebred An animal whose blood lines are pure.
Red ribbon on tail A sign that a horse kicks.
Registration Entering horse into the registry of the breed association if he meets qualifications laid down by the organization.
Roughage Feeds that are high in fiber and therefore low in digestible nutrients. Such feeds as hay, corn fodder, and straw belong to this class.
Saddle A leather covered seat for the rider on horseback. The English saddle and the Western saddle are the common types.
Shank A long strap or rape used for leading the horse.
Sire The male parent of a horse.
Stallion A male horse of breeding age.
Stallion foal A male foal (colt).
Sterility or barrenness Not fertile - horses that are incapable of producing young are sterile.
Stock A hunting necktie which can be used as a bandage for horse or rider should an emergency arise.
Straight or tie stall An area between two partitions in which the horse is generally tied to his manger. tie stall:(5 or 6 ft. x 9 ft.)
Tack The saddle, bridle, girth, martingale, etc.
Types of horses A classification of the different kinds of horses.  One type is the light horse which is sub-divided into driving horses, racing horses, and riding horses.   Under driving horses we find fine harness, heavy harness, ponies, and roadsters; under racing horses are harness-race, quarter-race, and running-race; and under riding horses are five-gaiter, hunters, jumpers, plantation walking horses, polo mounts, ponies, stock horses, and three gaited horses.  The second type is work horses which is sub-divided into draft horses, farm chunks, southerners, and wagon horses.
Umbilical cord A tube-like structure connecting the mare's body with the growing fetus.
Vices Objectionable traits found in a horse but not serious enough to be classified as unsoundnesses. The common ones are weaving, biting, wind-sucking, cribbing kicking, blanket tearing, halter pulling and crowding.
Weanling A weaned foal before he becomes a yearling.
Western saddle A common type of saddle. The parts of this saddle are horn, fork, seat, cantle, saddle:skirt, back housing or back jockey, lace strings, Dee ring, leather flank girth, fender or sudadero, stirrup, stirrup leather, front tie strap or cinch strap, front jockey and seat jockey (one piece), wool lining, rope strap and pommel.
Wind The breathing ability of a horse.
Withers Area of a horse at the base of the neck, above the shoulders, where the neck joins the body.
Yearling A foal born in the spring becomes on the following January 1 a yearling.

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