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Horse Glossary

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  • Cadence - The rhythmic clarity of a gait.
  • Calcium-phosphorus ratio - The amount of calcium compared to the amount of phosphorus in the diet.
  • Calk - A pointed projection on a horseshoe to prevent slipping; (v.) To injure with the calk on a shoe.
  • Calked shoes - Shoes having projections downward from the toe or heel to provide better traction.
  • Cannon - The area between the knee on the front leg, or hock on the rear leg, and the fetlock.
  • Canter - The English term for a three-beat gait with right and left leads. The canter has the same foot fall pattern as the lope.
  • Cantle - The back of the seat of the saddle. The part of the saddle which projects upwards toward the rear.
  • Capping - If the rear foot of a horse sets down squarely on the track of the same side front foot as it is set down, the horse is said to be capping.
  • Carotene - A substance that is converted to vitamin A in the animals body that is found in green and yellow feeds.
  • Caslick - The surgical technique in which the vulvar lips of the mare are cut and sutured so that they grow together making the vulvar opening smaller.
  • Cast - A horse that has fallen or laid too close to a fence or wall and can't get up without assistance.
  • Castration - Removal of the testicles of the male animal.
  • Catheter-tip dose syringe - A large hypodermic syringe with a blunt nozzle tip.
  • Cavalletti - Ground rail suspended between two wooden Xs designed to provide three different heights for working horses. A very small jump.
  • Cavesson - Leather noseband (customarily used with the English snaffle bridle) which encourages the horse to keep its mouth closed; a longeing cavesson is a leather or nylon headstall with a weighted noseband that has metal rings for various attachments of the longe line. Part of the bridle that goes over the nose and under the horse's jaw.Calcutts stock a range of cavesons in black and brown and in all sizes and can make to specification. Also stock lunge cavesons.
  • Cecum - The blind gut; in the horse it is huge compared to other animals, holding five to ten gallons of ingesta. Large, sock-shaped pouch between the small and large intestines of a horse. Important in the digestion of cellulose.
  • Cervix - The narrow neck or mouth of the uterus.
  • Change of leg or lead - Change of the leading legs at the canter or lope.
  • Check rein - A strap that fastens to the bit to keep the horse's head up.
  • Chestnut - A color in which the body, mane, and tail are various shades of brown.
  • Cheyenne roll - A style of cantle where the edge bends downward to form a rim or lip.
  • Chrome - Flashy white markings.
  • Chronic - A continually recurring condition or habit.
  • Cinch - Same as girth, used to hold saddle on.
  • Cinch strap - The strap of leather on the near side that is looped through the cinch to hold the saddle in place.
  • Chute - In cattle events, a fenced lane that contains a single cow behind a gate.
  • Cinch - Band that fastens a Western saddle in place.
  • "Click" - Breeding term for situation where certain blood lines, if crossed, produce exceptional offspring.
  • Clinches - The folded-over ends of horseshoe nails on the outside of a shod horse's hooves.
  • Clover - A legume used for hay and pasture.
  • Coarse - A horse lacking refinement, breeding, and quality. A course feed has a high fiber content.
  • Cob - A small horse.
  • Coffin joint - The joint within the hoof of the horse between its short pastern bone (second phalanx) and the coffin bone (third phalanx) also including the navicular bone.
  • Coggins certificate - A veterinarian's document that certifies the horse free of the disease, equine infectious anemia.
  • Coggins test - A laboratory blood test used to detect previous exposure to equine infectious anemia or swamp fever, developed by Dr. Leroy Coggins.
  • Cold-blooded - Refers to horses having ancestors that trace to heavy war horses and draft breeds. Characteristics might include more substance of bone, thick skin, heavy hair coat, shaggy fetlocks, and blood that makes it suitable for slow, hard work.
  • Colic - Spasmodic pain in the horse, usually caused by spasm of the intestine; (v.) The reaction of a horse to abdominal pain, kicking, rolling, sweating.
  • Collect - To coordinate the horse's moving forward with impulsion while shortening the frame for slow motion.
  • Collection - Gathered together; a state of organized movement; a degree of equilibrium in which the horse's energized response to the aids is characterized by elevated head and neck, rounded back, "dropped croup," engaged hindquarters, and flexed abdominals. The horse remains on the bit, is light and mobile, and is ready to respond to the requests of the trainer. Shortened and raised strides in any gait (walk, trot, gait, canter). The speed is slower because the stride is shortened, the joints of the fore and hind legs are more active, the head and neck are raised, with the head approaching the vertical position.
  • Color - Description or class in which body coat color and pattern, not conformation is a deciding factor.
  • Colostrum - The first milk, containing high protein, sugar, and, most important, globulins . Has a laxative quality and contains globulin's proteins that provide a temporary immunity against infectious diseases.
  • Colt - A male horse under four years of age.
  • Combination - Series of two or more fences within 39 feet 4 inches of each other that must be taken as a pair, an in-and-out.
  • Common - An ordinary. plain-appearing horse.
  • Complete ration - A usually pelleted ration, containing all the necessary nutrients except water.
  • Concentrates - Feed low in fiber and with Total Digestible Nutrients of close to 75%.
  • Conchas - The decorative round leather, metal, or silver discs through which pass the
  • saddle strings.
  • Condition - State of health.
  • Conditioning - The art and science of preparing a horse mentally and physically for a particular use such as pleasure riding, competitive trail riding, or showing.
  • Cone - A red vinyl traffic cone, used as a marker.
  • Conformation - The build of an animal. Structure, form, and symmetrical arrangement of the parts of a horse.The physical structure of a horse, which is compared to a standard of perfection or an ideal.
  • Congenital - An abnormal condition that an animal possesses at birth.
  • Conjunctiva - The white membrane that lines the eyelid.
  • Conjunctivitis - Inflammation of the conjunctiva of the eyes.
  • Consignor - The person who consigns a horse for sale or puts it up for auction.
  • Contact - The horse's stretching forward into the bit and accepting the ein as a means of communication with the rider.
  • Contracted heels - Heels are pulled close together due to the frog shriveling. caused by lack of use or disease.
  • Corona - A fancy western saddle pad featuring a border of alternating colored thick fabric.
  • Coronary band - The top of the hoof between hair-covered skin and hoof where growth takes place.
  • Coronet - Coronary band. All growth occurs here. Soft tissue is turned into the hardened horn of the hoof wall.
  • Corpus hemorrhagicum - Blood clot that fills pit on ovary immediately after ovulation.
  • Corpus luteum - Yellow gland tissue that replaces corpus hemorrhagicum.
  • Countercanter - Deliberately asking the horse to canter on the lead opposite the direction of movement. For example, in a circle to the right, requesting a countercanter would result in a canter left lead.
  • Cover - To breed a mare.
  • Cow-hocked - A horse with legs angled at the hock similar to a cow's.
  • Cow trot - Term used to refer to method of moving the back end of a horse when trotting. A cow trotting horse is stiff in the rear joints, and uses the hips for most of the forward movement. A cow trotting horse will swing its tail side to side and its feet out in an arc as it moves them forward. A cow trotting horse will not break over in the hocks, but will swing them side to side in a stiff motion. A cow trotting horse may also be either long trotting or square trotting.
  • Cradle - A device put on a horse's neck so it can't reach to bite or lick its sides or legs.
  • Creep - Area mares can't enter, but foals can, where foals can feed free choice.
  • Cribbing - A vice whereby a horse anchors its teeth onto an object, arches its neck, pulls backward, and swallows air. It can cause the horse to lose weight, suffer tooth damage, and other physical disturbances.
  • Cricket - A copper attachment to a bit's port which will spin in the horse's mouth as he moves his tongue. By having such a thing to play with the horses mouth will stay moist and it helps pacify the horse.
  • Crossbred - Offspring of a sire and dam of different breeds.
  • Cross firing - A horse is cross firing when the inside rear foot hits first, and the inside front foot hits last when the horse is in the canter or lope.
  • Crossing - Breeding horses of different pedigrees.
  • Cross-tie - A means of tying a horse in which a chain or rope from each side of an aisle is attached to the side rings of the horse's halter.
  • Crude Protein - Calculated amount of protein in the feed based on the amount of nitrogen in the feed.
  • Crupper - A leather loop which passes under the horse's tail and is attached to the saddle to prevent it from slipping forward. Also used in a biting rig or harness.
  • Culture - Cultivation of living cells in prepared media the technique used to determine if a mare's genital tract is infected.
  • Curb - A type of leverage bit with shanks and generally a hump in the middle called the port.
  • Curb strap - The leather strap on the bit passing under the horse's chin.
  • Curb chain - The chain attached to the bit passing under the horse's chin.
  • Cue - A single signal, often made up of several aids, from the rider or handler that tells a horse what to do. Often used in performing tricks.
  • Cured Hay - Hay that has been dried to allow safe storage, without molding.
  • Curry comb - A metal, plastic, or rubber device with many small teeth for cleaning hard-packed filth off a horse or cow.
  • Cryptorchidism - The retention of one or both testicles in the abdominal cavity.

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