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Glossary of Horse Terms
  • Hock: Financial condition of all horse owners.
  • Stall: What your rig does at rush hour in an unfamiliar city on the way to a big trail ride.
  • A Bit: What you have left in your pocket after you've been to your favorite tack shop.
  • Fence: Decorative structure built to provide your horse with something to chew on.
  • Horse Auction: What you think of having after your horse bucks you off.
  • Pinto: Green coat pattern found on freshly washed light colored horses left unattended for 2 minutes.
  • Well Mannered: Hasn't stepped on, bitten, or kicked anyone for a week.
  • Rasp: Abrasive metal tool used to remove excess skin from ones knuckles.
  • Lunging: Popular training method in which a horse exercises their owner by spinning them in circles until dizzy.
  • Gallop: Customary gait a horse chooses when returning back to the barn.
  • Nicely Started: Lunges, but not enough health insurance to even think about riding him.
  • Colic: Gastro-intestinal result of eating at horse fair food stands.
  • Colt: What your mare gives you when you want a filly.
  • Easy to Load: Only takes 3 hours, 4 men, a 50lb bag of oats, and a tractor with loader.
  • Easy to Catch: In a 10x10 stall.
  • Easy Rider: Rides good in a trailer; not to be confused with "ride-able".
  • Endurance Ride: End result when your horse spooks and runs away with you.
  • Hives: What you get when receive the vet bill for your 6 horses, 3 dogs, 4 cats, and 1 donkey.
  • Hobbles: Walking gait of a horse owner after their foot has been stepped on by their horse.
  • Feed: Expensive substance used to manufacture manure.
  • Dog House: What you are in when you spend too much money on grooming supplies and pretty halters.
  • Light Cribber: We can't afford to build anymore fencing or box stalls for this buzz saw on four legs.
  • Three Gaited Horse: A horse that. 1) trips, 2) stumbles, 3) falls

Submitted by Dick, Williamsport, Md.

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New Horse Reality TV shows:

Joanne Millionaire: Rich young women are first introduced to the exciting world of horses. They become completely hooked on the finest purebreds, the best trainers, fabulous stabling and expert instruction. In the last episode...they discover they're penniless.

Survivor - the Endurance Ride: Ten elite show riders leave their oak tack trunks, their minimum wage grooms, their canopies and gooseneck living quarters behind to spend 2 days in Death Valley. They have to perform heinous acts such as cleaning their own tack, grooming and caring for their own horse, and getting along with other riders. As we sit back and watch riders succumb to torture, the strongest break away from camp to search for cell phone, golf cart and running water.

American Show Idol: Thousands of equestrians must audition in front of exacting judges who pick apart their ride using colorful evaluations such as "try tennis!" and "clucking to your horse makes you sound like a chicken." George Morris guest stars.

I'm a Dressage Queen, Get Me out of Here: A Prix St. Georges rider and her Hanoverian stallion are shipped to a working cattle ranch. In Episode 3, s he ruins her full seat Eurostar breeches while closing the cattle gate. Unable to ride until her new attire is shipped, the local wrangler round pens her horse and starts roping off his back.

Matched by America: Contestants who are tired of looking for Mr. or Ms. Equine Perfection allow the studio audience to vote on which horse is truly the best partner for them. Tossing breed and color preferences to the wind, contestants discover that: 1) a good horse can be any size, age, color; 2) when you find the right match, there can be happy endings! for more.

And a new sitcom: Studs in the City: Two young, hip, good-looking round pen trainers share a New York apartment as they learn about life, work, & love in the city. In the pilot episode, Patrick gets arrested after slapping his chaps at a girl who won't turn & face him (she turns out to be an undercover cop), and Roger ends up in the emergency room after trying to round-pen his new girlfriend's Siamese ca

Submitted by Layla, Creagerstown, Md.

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A Horses View of the World
  • Arena: Place where humans can take the fun out of forward motion
  • Bit: Means by which a rider's every motion is transmitted to the sensitive tissue of the mouth.
  • Bucking: counterirritant
  • Crossties: gymnastic apparatus
  • Dressage: Process by which some riders can eventually be taught to respect the bit.
  • Fence: Barrier that protects good grazing
  • Grain: Sole virtue of domestication
  • Hitching rail: Means by which to test one's strength
  • Horse trailer: Mobile cave bear den
  • Hot walker: The lesser of two evils
  • Jump: And opportunity for self-expression
  • Latch: Type of puzzle
  • Longeing: Procedure for keeping a prospective rider at bay
  • Owner: Human assigned responsibility for one's feeding
  • Rider: Owner overstepping its bounds
  • Farrier: Disposable surrogate owner; useful for acting out aggression without compromising food supply.
  • Trainer: Owner with mob connections
  • Veterinarian: Flightless albino vulture

Submitted by Layla, Frederick, Md.

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Political Correctness & The Horse Community

The horse world is dreadfully guilty of political incorrectness. Citizens, we can fix this!

  • From now on, the rider who came in 128th out of 127 competitors isn’t a major loser; he’s ribbon-deprived.
  • We’ll refer to awful jumpers as potential dressage horses and horrid dressage horses will be called event prospects (oh, wait, we’ve been doing that for years anyway).
  • Prominent horsepeople who go to jail for tax evasion are, um, ethically challenged.
  • Judges who make stupid decisions are myopically magnificent.
  • A twitch is a lip tourniquet.
  • Instructors, refrain from telling any student that she has a bad seat. Instead, tell this rider that she has astronomical potential for butt improvement.
  • A horse that always crashes through the jumps is merely in touch with his personal sense of gravity. Likewise, a bad mover isn’t an eggbeater with legs --- he’s kinetically challenged.
  • A horse who won’t go forward is a whoa-overachiever.
  • Waterlogged showgrounds are humidity super-enriched.

There! See what a positive place your barn can be?

Problem: the term ‘politically incorrect’ is politically incorrect. It’s too critical. The whole point is to single out someone’s most sensitive trouble area and then simultaneously glorify the fortitude it takes to overcome the matter while completely avoiding any clear reference to the actual problem. Hey, we’re truth-impaired, but we’re sensitive! A better term for politically incorrect would be ‘socially under-euphemismed.’

Like the political correctness craze, the trend toward uber-safety has affected the equestrian world. Riders are advised to sleep with their helmets on. Just because. Horses who routinely buck their riders off should also wear certified helmets just in case a falling equestrian impacts at a high rate of speed with an equine noggin. In fact, goggles might a good idea for horses that buck; riders are just full of sharp edges like fingernails and elbows and a poke in the eye can be quite painful.

In an attempt to promote better safety for horses and riders, here are some new warning labels to consider:

  • Do not place haynet over head while skydiving or eating corn on the cob.
  • Warning: insect repellent may infringe upon the constitutional rights of the insect community. Consult attorney before spraying.
  • Please remove riding shirt before placing in dryer.
  • When saddle-breaking three-year-old horses, apply leg sparingly. If swelling or redness of rider occurs, discontinue immediately and seek professional trainer.
  • Warning! Surface of arena is closer than it appears. Much, much closer.
  • Inflate ponies to 50 psi when cold.
  • Do not affix jumper cables to your big toes when engine is on. (This has nothing to do with horses; it’s just plain good advice.)

Submitted by Christy, Berks County

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Signs That Your Horse Trials Is Getting Rained Out:
  • Fiona’s British Thoroughbred says, ‘"I swam the English Channel and, by jove, I can jump this course, too!’"
  • Marsha checked and she’s getting credits for her Marine Biology Course just for being here this weekend.
  • Suddenly the bookies are giving great odds on the entries named Swim Jim, Fin, and Australian Crawl.
  • There’s an enormous trout in Phil’s horse’s stall and it’s saying, ‘"How does it feel when I invade YOUR space????’"
  • Your friend who rides pure dressage has stopped teasing you about 'all that crazy jumping’ and is now razzing you about not riding for at least half an hour after meals.
  • Apparently, ponies float like corks. Draft-crosses do not.
  • Jill had to scratch because her Arabian ran away from home. He left a note: ‘"Found mildew in my ears. Can’t take it any more. Going home to the desert. Please understand that it’s me, not you.’"
  • As your coach discusses the stadium course with you, he stops saying things like, ‘"the Oxer going away from the in-gate’" and starts using directions such as ‘"upstream’" and ‘"downstream.’"
  • The Best Conditioned Horse Award went to the horse who could hold his breath underwater the longest.
  • The wash rack with the backed up drain is now the driest spot on the grounds.

Submitted by Christy, Bucks County, Pa.

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Only horse people...

  • Believe in a 11th commandment: inside leg to outside rein.
  • Know that all topical medications come in either indelible blue or neon Yellow.
  • Think nothing of eating a sandwich after mucking out stalls.
  • Know why a thermometer has a yard of yarn attached to one end of it.
  • Are banned from Laundromats.
  • Fail to associate whips, chains and leather with sexual deviancy.
  • Can magically lower their voices 5 octaves to bellow at a pawing horse.
  • Will end relationships over their hobby.
  • Cluck to their cars to help them up hills.
  • Insure their horses for more than their cars.
  • Know more about their horse's nutrition than their own.
  • Have Neatsfoot oil stains on the carpet right next to the TV.
  • Have a vocabulary that can make a sailor blush.
  • Have less wardrobe than their horse.
  • Engage in a hobby that is more work than their day job.
  • Know that mucking stalls is better than Zoloft any day.

Submitted by Julie, Middleburg, Va.

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