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How to Think Like A Horse: The Essential Handbook for Understanding Why Horses Do What They Do

Horse Stable and Riding Arena Design

Horse Owner's Veterinary Handbook (Howell Reference Books)

Horsekeeping on a Small Acreage: Designing and Managing Your Equine Facilities

- Horse Terms Beginning With B -

Baby Race: a race for 2-year-olds

Back: a two beat diagonal gait in reverse

Back At The Knee: a conformational fault where the upper leg is set back in comparison to the lower leg. This fault is more serious than over at the knee because it places additional strain on the tendons running down the back of the lower leg

Back Breeding: the practice of breeding back to a certain stallion to preserve a particular desirable trait

Backed: the process of starting a young horse; mounting and riding away for the first time

Back Cinch: a cinch near the back of a Western saddle that keeps it from tipping up when the horse stops or turns suddenly. Often seen in fast events or ranch horses. It goes just in front of the flank and is much looser than the front cinch

Backstretch: the straight way on the far side of the track

Bacterin: a vaccine that provides protection against bacterial infection

Bag: a mare's udder or mammary gland

Bag Balm: a brand of balm that is made for the udders of cattle, to prevent discomfort or chaffing. Also good for rough hands and skin on people, and can be used on mare's udders or horse's skin to prevent painful cracking

Bagging Up: means that a mare's udders are filling with milk

Bake: old cowboy term. To overheat a horse by riding it too hard/long

Balance: a state of equilibrium when talking about movement; desirable proportions in regard to conformation

Bald: white color on the horse's head running from the poll to the nose, including the eyes

Bale: a square bundle of hay that is tied with strings. Also refers to the large round bales of hay that are for cattle and are poisonous for horses. Also, the act of packing cut grass into bales

Baling Twine: the twine that is used to keep bales of hay together. It is usually orange, blue, yellow, or grass-colored

Balk: to cease or refuse to move forward

Balky: stubborn

Band: a herd of horses. Used by most horse people, but esp. cowboys

Bandy-Legged: where the hocks turn outward. Also known as bow-hocks, opposite of cow-hocks

Banged Tail: a tail that has been trimmed level at the bottom, seen in dressage horses and hunters, but not in Arabians and western pleasure horses

Bangtail: old cowboy term for a wild or feral horse.

Bank: a solid ramp or wall of earth that is used as a drop jump in cross country courses

Barbed Wire: a type of wire that consists of a twisted strand of wire with sharp barbs occurring periodically along the strand. This type of wire is a poor choice for horse fencing as it is unsafe and can cause serious injuries to horses. Barbed wire was invented in the 1870s by Joseph F. Glidden of Dekalb, Illinois. After its invention, some people protested it because it seemed like a harsh type of fencing. It was called "The Devil's Rope" by some

Bardot: French for the foal of a horse or pony crossed with a female ass

Bards: armor covering for the breast and flanks of a war horse; also sometimes used for an ornamental horse covering

Bareback: riding without a saddle

Barefoot: unshod

Barley: a small grain similar to rye and wheat

Barn sour: herd- bound, a bad habit that could result in the horse bolting back to the barn or to its mates in the field

Barrel: the body of the horse between the shoulders and the hips

Barrel Racing: a timed event in Western Riding where horse and rider complete a cloverleaf pattern around three barrels as fast as possible

Barren: a mare that did not become pregnant during the breeding season

Bars: part of the saddle's tree that runs along each side and parallel to the horse's spine

Bars Of The Mouth: the area of the mouth between the incisors and the molars, where the bit rests

Bar Shoes: horseshoes with no opening between the heels, forming a continuous circle

Bascule: The desirable arc the horse's body makes as it goes over a jump

Base: The rider's seat and distributed weight

Base Narrow: the legs are very close together when viewed from in front or behind

Base Wide: the horse has a wide space between the legs when viewed from in front or behind

Bastard strangles: Strangles that result in abscesses in the internal glands

Bat fly: a fly resembling a honey bee which, according to type, lays small whitish eggs on a horse's legs, nostrils, and mouth

Bat: the grub-like larva of the bat fly, found attached to the lining of the horse's stomach; also, another name for a crop. A small whip carried by english riders to correct the horse with

Bay: The body coloring of a bay horse is brown or reddish with a black mane and tail, black on the legs and ears, with the occasional white socks or stocking and white markings on the face. Bay horses will often have black points, which are the muzzle, the tips of the ears, mane, tail, and lower part of the legs. There are different kinds of bay, described as bright bay, dark bay, light bay, mahogany bay, and blood bay. These colors are determined by the amount of lighter brown or darker brown hairs in the coat

Bayo Coyote: an old cowboy term for a dun colored horse

Bean: Common term for urethral diverticular concretion

Bearing In (or Out): failing to maintain a straight course, veering to the left or right. Can be caused by injury, fatigue, outside distractions, or poor riding

Beat: a single step in a gait, involving one leg or two. For example, the walk is a 4-beat gait, with each beat stepped off by a single leg, one at a time. The trot is a 2-beat gait, stepped off by two legs landing at the same time

Bedding: the material used on the floor of a stall to absorb moisture and provide padding

Bedouin: people of the Arabian desert who bred and lived among Arabian horses

Behind the Bit/Over Bent: when the horse holds its head behind the vertical with the chin brought in too close to the chest; it's a form of resistance

Bell Boots: Bell-shaped rubber boot that fits over the horse's foot and hoof to protect from injury

Bell Mare: in some places the lead mare of a herd is caught and a bell is fastened around her neck. That way the herd can be found by listening for the bell

Bend Or: also called smut spots, beauty marks, oil spots, or candy spots. These are dark spots that can occur on any color, but most commonly occur on chestnuts and palominos. They are darker 'smutty' looking spots that can range in size from smaller than a dime to a few feet across. Generally, they are no larger than the palm of your hand. They are called Bend Or spots after a Thoroughbred racehorse of that name who had these spots

Bib: a device fastened under a horse's lower jaw to prevent it from chewing or licking itself, but still allowing it to eat and drink.

Big Antelope: old cowboy term for another person's steer that had been killed for food

Bight: traditionally, a loop in a rope. With closed veins, such as with an English bridle, bight refers to the ends of the reins. Even though Western reins are often split, their ends are also referred to as the bight.

Big Licked: slang term used to refer to a horse that has more than the average stride and or animation when performing its gaits

Billet Straps: straps by which the girth is attached to the saddle

Bishop-ing: obsolete term. Description as found in a 19th Century book: Fraudulent dealers with the view of deceiving the unwary occasionally simulate marks on the incisors by means of caustic or the hot iron. The fraud is readily detected, because though it is easy to make a black mark on the crowns of the teeth, yet it is impossible to restore the wall of pearly enamel, with surrounds the natural mark. The ideas are to make the horse appear younger than he is

Bit-Guard: a rubber or leather ring that lies between the horse's cheek and the snaffle bit ring to prevent skin pinching or rubbing

Bit: a device placed in the mouth of the horse as a means of control attached to the bridle and the reins or lines. Example: curb, snaffle, port

Biting: a bad habit common to young horses, stallions, and spoiled horses, commonly resulting from hand-fed treats, petting, or improper training.

Black: a body color that is true black over the entire body, but can have white leg and face markings.

Blanch: to temporarily squeeze the blood out of capillaries

Blanket: a fabric cover for the horse's body, usually made of wool or heavy material; a marking of lighter color over the rump of a dark horse

Blanket Finish: when the horses finish so close for the win you could theoretically put a single blanket across them

Blastocyst: an early stage of the developing embryo

Blaze: white coloring on a horse's face, between the eyes from poll to nose

Blazer Horse: a breed of horse developed in 1959 by Neil Hinck in Idaho, known for their easy maintenance and versatility

Bleeder: a horse who had pulmonary bleeding during or after a workout or race due to ruptured blood vessel

Blemish: permanent mark made by injury or disease

Blinding: to cover a horse's eyes. Old cowboy way to calm a horse when saddling. Also, may be used on any type of scared horse to calm the animal down, or to make the horse behave, such as during a barn fire when a horse may be afraid to move. If blinded or blindfolded, he may be able to be lead to safety

Blind Spot: the portion of the visual field behind the line of sight that cannot be seen without changing eye and head position

Blind Staggers: common name for leukoencephalomalacia. Degenerative brain disorder, apparently caused by a toxin produced by the mold Fusarium moniliforme; also called cornstalk disease, moldy corn poisoning, forage disease

Blinkers: equipment worn on the bridle to restrict a horse's vision on the sides to help maintain attention and avoid distractions

Blistering: the application of a caustic agent, or blister, to the leg. is was formerly and occasionally still is used in the treatment of a number of conditions, such as spavin, ringbone and bowed tendon. Thought to encourage internal healing in some cases

Blinkers: flaps on the bridle to keep the horse from looking anywhere but straight ahead

Blood Horse: A horse of Thoroughbred and/or Arabian blood

Bloodlines: the family lineage

Bloodstock: Thoroughbred horses that are bred for racing

Blood Typing: a laboratory procedure by which the red blood cells in a blood sample are identified as belonging to one of several blood groups

Bloodworm: usually refers to strongyles

Blow A Stirrup: cowboy term. To loose a stirrup (have your foot come out).

Blowout: a short fast workout, usually a day or two before a race, designed to sharpen a horse's speed

Blow up: when a horse suddenly loses its temper and goes nuts

Blue Feet: Horn that is dense, blue-black in color

Blue Roan: a body color that has a uniform mixture of black and white hairs all over the body

Board: the tote board on which odds, betting pools and other race information is displayed

Boarding Stable: an equestrian facility where horse owners may keep their horse for a monthly fee

Bobble: a bad step away from the starting gate, sometimes caused by the ground breaking away from under a horse and causing him to duck his head or go to his knees

Body: the back, chest, and flank that form the part of the horse the rider sits on

Bog Spavin: a soft, synovial swelling seen on the inside of the hockthat does not usually cause lameness, unlike regular spavin

Boil: a deep-seated bacterial infection of a hair follicle, producing a painful skin nodule containing pus; also called a furuncle

Bolt: sudden veering from a straight course

Bolting: gulping feed without chewing; running away with the rider

Bone: the measurement around the leg, just below the knee or hock. This measurement determines the horse's ability to carry weight, therefore a light-boned will be limited in weight carrying capacity

Bone Spavin: a degenerative arthritis of the lower joints of the hocks; the most common cause of hind limb lameness in horses

Bonnet Face: a white facial marking that is usually wide around the horse's forehead and may cover both eyes, but then is narrower down the bridge of the nose and toward the nostrils. Often seen in some pintos or minimal pintos, usually frame overos

Bony Orbit: the eyeball sockets of the horse that protect the eyeball

Book: jockey's record of riding engagements

Booster: a repeat immunization to restore or increase the amount of immunity in the horse's blood

Boots: protective covering for the horse's hoofs and legs

Borium: a hard metal spot welded to the bottom of a horseshoe to help keep a horse from slipping

Bosal: a rawhide noseband often used in Western training and showing that works on the principles of balance, weight, and pressure

Bot Block: a rough, porous synthetic black "stone" whose uniformly abrasive surface will remove bot eggs from the horse's hair; the block can be "sharpened" by drawing it across a hard edge

Bot Fly: a fly that looks like a bee and lays eggs in a horse's hair, usually on the legs

Bot Knife: a knife-like scraping tool designed to remove bots from horses. Usually has a slightly sharp, serrated end that is scraped along the leg to dislodge the bots

Bottom Side: on a pedigree, refers to the maternal side, which geometrically is placed beneath the paternal side on a pedigree

Bots: parasitic flies; Gasterophilus

Bowed Tendon: inflammation or damage to a tendon, usually caused by overstretching due to improper conditioning, overwork, or an accident; rupture of the sheath enclosing the tendon from the knee to the fetlock joint

Bow Hocks: bandy-legged, where the hocks turn outwards; opposite of cow-hocks

Bow Knees: the front legs appear wide just above the knees when viewed from the front

Box: box stall, a four-sided stall to confine a horse; can be different sizes

Boxy Hooves: narrow, upright hooves with a small frog and closed heel

Brand Artist: old cowboy term. A rustler who is good at changing brands

Branding: an identification mark burned into a horse's coat. The brand indicates to which ranch a horse belongs in case it is stolen. Other ways a horse can be "branded" or marked is with dry ice (freeze burning), tattooing their lip or marking the horse's hooves

Breakdown Injury:  the rupture of the suspensory apparatus, i.e., loss of one or more supporting structures of the fetlock

Breaking the Barrier: in some rodeo events, such as calf roping, a rope is stretched across the starting line. The calf will exit the chute and this rope will snap off. However, if the rider starts from the chute too quickly (before the calf), then he will 'break the barrier' and get a time penalty

Breastcollar: a collar that fits over the horse's chest instead of around its neck

Break Maiden: when a horse gets his first win

Breechen: the part of the harness that fits over the horse's hindquarters and holds the load back or permits the horse to back it up; also called "britchen" 

Breech Presentation: a birth in which the fetus is delivered rear-end first

Breed: a selectively bred group having particular features and recognized because of them

Breed Association: the organization that registers the birth and pedigree of a particular breed of livestock

Breed Character: the quality of conforming to the description of a particular breed

Breeding: act of copulation between a stallion and a mare

Breeding Class: a conformation class

Breeding Shed: the building in which breeding takes place

Bridle Path: the 4" to 6" area between the forelock and the mane that is usually clipped for passage of the browband of the bridle

Bridle: to maintain contact with the reins so the horse moves "in a frame" and "on the bit"

Bridle: equipment used in controlling the horse's head

Bridoon: a snaffle bit used in conjunction with a curb bit in a double bridle.

Brilliance: flash or dazzle, as related to the horse's performance

Brindle Dun: a dun body color with darker streaks

Breaking In: initial training of a horse

Breeze: working a horse at a moderate speed; less effort than handily

Broad and Deep: a well-structured chest that is solid and wide, but not too wide. Traditionally, if a bowler hat could be placed between the two front legs directly under the chest, it was an indication of a good size of chest

Broke: a trained and reliable horse

Broken In: also called broke. Refers to a horse that is trained and can be ridden and handled. An 'unbroke' or 'green broke' horse is one that has no or very little training. Also refers to tack that is soft, supple, and usable- tack that has been, like a horse, 'broken' so that it can be used

Brios: spirit, used in reference to Spanish style horses. (Paso Fino)

Broke To Ride: a horse that has been accustomed to the tack and the rider and has begun initial training

Broken Winded: a term used to describe horses having an abnormal breathing pattern due to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Also known as heaves

Bronc: a bucking horse, usually used in the rodeos of the American West

Bronc Rein: a rope that is attached to a saddle bronc's halter that runs to the cowboy's hand. It provides a place for the saddle bronc rider to hold on to. It is usually 1.5 to 2 inches in diameter and longer than 6 1/2 feet

Bronc Riding: a rodeo sport where a cowboy must ride an untrained horse, or 'bronc', for 8 seconds. Cowboys get injured and sometimes even die; however, this is a much safer sport for the horses, which are hightly valuable animals

Broodmare: a mare used for breeding

Broodmare Sire: the sire of the dam of a Thoroughbred

Browband: the topmost horizontal leather strap of the bridle which fits under the forelock

Brown: a body color with mixed brown and black hair, usually with black mane, tail, and legs

Brush/to brush/brushing: a faulty action where the horse strikes into the fetlock and lower leg region with the shoe of the opposite foot

Brushing Boots: an item of horse equipment used to protect the horse's legs from injury due to brushing

Buck: when the horse leaps into the air with its back arched and lands on stiff forelegs

Bucked Shins: a painful condition caused by inflammation and hemorrhage over the front surface of the cannon bone; a common injury of 2- and 3-year-old race horses

Bucking Strap: also called a flank strap. A soft leather belt lined with sheepskin that goes around a rodeo bronc's belly as a cue to buck. The fuzzy wool tickles them so they will buck. It is worn looser than a cinch and it is softer than a cinch; it goes a little father back than a back cinch would go on a Western saddle. Though people are often mislead into thinking it is cruel, it in fact does not cause pain or injuries at all

Buckskin: a horse's body color that is tan, yellow, or gold with black mane, tail, and lower legs

Buckstitching: the decorative wide, white stitching used on western saddles and bridles

Bug: see apprentice. The mark (*) placed next to the apprentice riders names in the program resembles a squashed bug so they came to be called bug riders

Buggy Trot: slang used when referring to the gait of a horse that is long trotting or square trotting

Bulb of heel: the rounded portion of the horse's foot just behind the hoof

Bulk: indigestible fiber found in feed

Bullet Work: the best workout time for the distance on a given day at a track

Bull Pen: a training corral, also called a "round" pen, in which horses are often exercised

Bull Ring: small racetrack less than one mile around

Bump: to pull and release the reins for a brief contact with the horse's mouth

Burner: a rawhide section on a rope, covering the eye of the hondo to protect the rope from undue wear and tear

Bute: Phynalbutazone, a drug which reduces pain

Buttress: the thickened angle at the heel of a horse's hoof wall

Buttress Foot: an advanced form of degenerative arthritis, caused by new bone growth in the region of the extensor process of the coffin bone

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