Training Theory: Cold Blood vs Hot Blood Horses

What is the difference between a Cold Blood Horse and a Hot Blood horse? In my experience, horses can be loosely divided into three categories according to their temperaments. Generally speaking, the Coldblood Horses are the draft breeds. This includes such well-known breeds as the Percheron, Belgian, Clydesdale (right), Icelandic and Shires. They were developed… Read More Training Theory: Cold Blood vs Hot Blood Horses

Horse Anatomy: Withers

The withers are located above and just behind the horse’s shoulders where you would find the shoulder blades. They are the long thoracic vertebrae (roughly the 3rd through 11th) that support his head and neck. They are an important attachment point for the muscles of the torso.  The shoulder rotates freely backward, using the muscles attached… Read More Horse Anatomy: Withers

Horse Anatomy: Tongue

The tongue is a fat muscle that lies easily inside the bottom mouth cavity. When relaxed, it is flat and flaccid pressing gently against the roof of the mouth (palate). The bit sits across the tongue. In a relaxed state, the horse is able to gently “carry” the bit by holding it against his palate… Read More Horse Anatomy: Tongue

Horse Anatomy: Pressure Points

Horses have points on their bodies that can produce predictable movement. Touching, rubbing, or lightly pinching some areas help to calm a nervous horse by eliciting endorphs. Some areas are more sensitive and can cause a horse to move away from pressure at that point on their body. Touching other areas communicates in horse language… Read More Horse Anatomy: Pressure Points

Horse Anatomy: Poll

Of particular importance in both training and riding, the poll is the part of the horse’s head immediately behind or between the ears. It is the occipital protrusion at the back of the skull. A slight depression marks the jointed area just behind the protrusion – a very sensitive area. Because bridles and halters pass… Read More Horse Anatomy: Poll

Horse Anatomy: Pastern

Approximately 60% of the weight of a horse is carried on his forward limbs. During locomotion, the forelimbs must be able to take a significant amount of pounding. The pastern functions as a shock absorber. As the weight of a horse comes down on his forehand, the pastern flexes, dropping the fetlock. The pastern slants… Read More Horse Anatomy: Pastern

Horse Anatomy: Horse Teeth

Bars are the empty space between a horse’s incisors and molars. The soft gum tissue in this area is sensitive. The bit is placed so that it rests in this part of the mouth. Pressure exerted by the bit pressing on the bars causes discomfort and is used to slow a horse’s pace, change his… Read More Horse Anatomy: Horse Teeth

Horse Hoof: Equine Thrush

Equine Thrush is a common bacterial infection of the frog or other areas of the hoof which can cause lameness. It has a very unpleasant odor and looks black when compared to the healthy gray color of a healthy frog. While mild cases do not usually cause lameness, left untreated it can progress, migrating ever… Read More Horse Hoof: Equine Thrush

Horse Anatomy & Health: the Barefoot Horse

A “barefoot” horse is a horse that has no shoes nailed to the bottom of its hoof. There is considerable merit being given to the theory that horses should not wear shoes. Given that the frog is meant to act as a shock absorber and the necessity for the hoof itself to expand and contract… Read More Horse Anatomy & Health: the Barefoot Horse

Horse Anatomy: Hoof

The hoof of a horse is the total weight-bearing structure carrying a 900-1500 pound horse. It’s care and soundness are paramount to the ability of a horse to function. The Walls: It is comprised of a hard outer shell (wall) with a soft-tissue “living” center. The upper limit of the hoof is called the coronet… Read More Horse Anatomy: Hoof