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Horse Glossary

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  • Laceration - Cut.
  • Lactation - Milk production.
  • Lameness - Unevenness in the horses stride when moving.
  • Laminitis - Founder, inflammation of the sensitive laminae, or plates of vascular tissue, of the wall of the horse's hoof.
  • Larvae - Insects or parasites that have hatched from eggs but are not yet mature. For example, maggots.
  • Lateral Movements - Work in which the horse moves with the forehand and haunches on different tracks. Shoulder-in, haunches-in (travers), haunches-out (renvers), and half-passes are the lateral movements.
  • Lateral (1) - A sideways movement. Also, lateral aids, such as outside rein and outside leg.
  • Lateral (2) - In anatomy, away from the midline as opposed to toward the midline.
  • Latigo - Cinch strap on a Western saddle.
  • Lead rope - A rope usually having a snap on one end, used to lead or tie a horse.
  • Lead shank - A webbing or leather strap with short length of chain and a snap, used to lead a horse.
  • Lead - A specific footfall pattern at the canter or lope in which the inside legs of the circle reach farther forward than the outside legs. When working to the right on the right lead, the horse's right foreleg and right hind leg reach farther forward than the left legs. If a horse is loping in a circle to the right on the left lead, he is said to be on the wrong lead or is counter-cantering.
  • Leg Yielding - Exercises designed to teach the horse to move away from leg pressure.
  • Legging up - Conditioning a horse's muscle tone by gradually increasing his work.
  • Legume - A class of plants that manufacture their own nitrogen while growing; alfalfa and clover are the most common.
  • Leptospirosis - An infectious disease caused by various leptospira bacteria affecting most warm-blooded species.
  • Let down - Stopping training, usually done gradually; when milk begins to flow from the mare.
  • Ligaments - Strong. fibrous bands connecting bone to bone.
  • Limited - Type of class with entry restrictions for the horse and/ or the rider, related to prior winnings at specified shows. May be based on number of blue ribbons (usually six) or monetary earnings.
  • Line - The strap leading from the bit to the driver's hands in a driving harness.
  • Liniment - A liquid applied externally to increase circulation to a part of the body.
  • Liver chestnut - A very dark red chestnut color, with mane, tail, and legs the same color as the body or flaxen.
  • Long trot - An extended jog or trot. Or in the giated equine, a slang used to refer to the gait of a horse that is being pushed or over ridden in the fox trot. A horse that is long trotting will have some fly time on the front end, but may not have fly time on the back end. A long trotting horse will have at least three feet off the ground part of the time, and will not give as smooth a ride as a horse that is foxtrotting correctly.
  • Longe - To work a horse in a circle usually on a 30-foot line around you at various gaits.
  • Loose rein - A slack rein.
  • Lope - A three-beat gait: (1) an initiating hind leg; (2) a diagonal pair including the leading hind leg and the diagonal foreleg; and (3) the leading foreleg. Also, to canter slowly.
  • Lymph node - Gland in the body that filters the lymph.
  • Lymph - A usually clear fluid similar to blood serum; it may be free in the tissues of the body, in lymph vessels, or part of the blood.

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