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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 D -

D-Ring: a type of bit that has rings (the roundish part that attaches to the bridle) that are shaped like a D. Used Western or English

Daily Racing Form: daily newspaper of racing which provides statistics, racing news and past performance records of horses competing in races that day

Daisy Clipper: this describes a horse with a ground-hugging action (the way it moves)

Dally: to wind the rope end around the saddle horn

Dam: the female parent of a horse

Dandy: a medium-hard brush for grooming to remove loose hair and dirt

Dappled: a coat coloring where a pattern of darker hair overlays  lighter coat, often in seemingly circular or semi-circular fashion

Dark Day: a day when a track does not conduct racing during their regular season

Dead Heat: two or more horses finishing in an exact tie at the finish

Dead Track: racing surface lacking resiliency

Dead Weight: tack and lead slabs that bring the jockey up to the horse's assigned weight

Deep Going: describes the ground the horse is on when the footing is wet and heavy and the hooves of the horse sink into the ground

Depth of Girth: the measurement taken from the wither to the elbow; a good depth of girth is a desirable conformational feature indicating plenty of room for the expansion of the lungs

Derby: a stakes race for three-year-old colts

Dermatitis: inflammation of the dermal layer (outer layer) of the skin

Desert Horse: term used to describe a horse bred and raised in the desert, or horses that are descended from such horses. Examples include the Arabian and the Akhal-Teke

Dewormer: a medication given to a horse to kill and remove worms

Diagonals: when the horse trots the way its legs move is called the diagonals. The left diagonal is when the left fore and right hind leg move, and the right is when the right fore and left hind leg move. Posting is done on the diagonals

Dilation: expansion

Dipped Back: a hollow space between the withers and the croup, often occurring in old age

Digestible Protein: the amount of protein in a feed that can be used by the animal

Dished Face: a profile which, when viewed from the side, appears slightly concave between the eyes and nostrils. This is regarded as highly desirable in Arabians. An over-exaggerated dish can hamper breathing at fast gaits due to constricted air passages

Dishing: a type of faulty front action where the front legs from the knee down move in and out in an outward circular motion

Dismount: to get off the horse or pony

Disposition: the temperament of an animal

Distaff Race: a race for fillies, mares, or both

Distanced: well beaten, finishing a long distance behind the winner

Distemper: also known as Strangles, a disease caused by bacteria

Disunited: cantering or loping on different leads front and hind

Diverticulum: blind pouch (a pocket or closed branch)

D.M.S.O.: Dimethyl sulfoxide, a solvent which is an organic chemical that readily passes through the skin. Anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and analgesic

Dock: the bone of the horse's tail that the hair grows on

Docking: the surgical removal of the tail, which is now illegal in most countries

Dogs: wooden barrier (or rubber traffic cones) placed a certain distance out from the inner rail, to protect the inner part of the track (usually the turf course) from traffic during workouts to save it for racing

Dog Walk: slang term that is used to describe a walk that is so slow that there is movement front to rear when sitting on the horse. This gait is used to get the horse to work on the fundamentals of the rhythms and build reach on both ends or break up a pace

Donkey: resembles a horse, but smaller, and has conformational differences

Dorsal Stripe: found usually in dun-colored animals, with 'primitive' connections, this is a continuous strip of black, brown, or dun hair, running from the neck to the tail; most commonly seen on a dun coat coloring, a dark stripe running from the withers along the spine to the tip of the tail. Occasionally seen in conjunction with wither stripes, which are another dark line extending out from the withers on either side, down towards the shoulders

Double: to bend the horse sharply

Double Bridle: a standard English bridle with two bits, the extra bit giving the rider more control over the horse

Double Tree: device that connects two single wiffletrees

Draft: refers to a horse drawing any type of vehicle, but is mostly associated with heavy breeds

Drag: to hang back. Also, at the end of a column of riders, to "ride drag" or be a "drag rider."

Dragoon: from 1660-1700, Dragoons were men drilled as infantry who rode cobs and fought dismounted with shoulder firearms. From 1700 Dragoons were increasingly used as armed Cavalry

Draw Rein: a rein that attaches to the girth on one end, passes through the rings of the bit and back to the rider's hands. This method is used to increase control and give a better head position, but the draw rein is difficult to use correctly and is very easy to misuse and end up hurting the horse

Dressage: a competitive sport which seeks to judge the horse's natural movement and level of training

Driving: description of a horse or pony used to pull a wagon or cart

Driving: strong urging by rider

Drop The Shoulder: to shift weight on the forehand and lean too much to the inside during a turn

Dropped Noseband: a piece on the bridle that buckles below the horse's chin so he cannot take hold of the bit with his teeth and therefore ignore his rider's commands

Dryland Distemper: also known as Pigeon Fever, this disease causes abscesses on the horse's chest and barrel

Dun: a sandy yellow coat color, often with a dorsal stripe

Dutch Collar: similar to breast collar

Dwelt: when a horse breaks very slowly from the gate

Dystocia: a difficult birth

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