ABC HoofPrint Trim

The easiest and most proficient trimming method available.
Presented by Cheryl Henderson


AAEP:  American Association of Equine Practitioners

AB:  Antibody

ABAXIAL:  Away from the central axis of a structure. This is a term of anatomical nomenclature which means that the point described is not situated in the axis of the body or of a particular part or organ.  It indicates a distancing of structures away from the main axis of the body.

ABAXIAL NERVE BLOCKS:  Nerve Blocks that are administered upon a peripheral nerve that is located proximal to the required area of the desensitization and lateral or medial to the axis of the median plane of the limb.

ABDOMEN:  Area between the diaphragm muscle and pelvis; belly

ABDOMINAL FLOOR:  The bottom wall of the abdomen.

ABDUCTION:  Moving a part away from the midline of the body

ABORTION:  The premature expulsion of the fetus

ABRASION:  Wearing of the hoof with movement. Wound caused by the wearing away of the top layer of skin and hair by friction. Graze the surface with superficial damage.

ABRIDE:  The removal of and or in relation to the capsule its wear

ABSCESS:  Purulent inflammation of the corium, where the pressure produced by the accumulation of pus between the corium and the hoof causes the horse great pain and leads to pronounced lameness.  Abscesses are infection of pus and debris within the hoof, due to invasion by bacteria via imperfections in the hoof horn, via puncture wound, or necrotic material within the capsule.  Pain and/or lameness are the result of pressure from the festering infection; profound relief usually is seen when drainage of pus and debris is accomplished.  Treatment generally focuses on establishing drainage, either by opening a tract through the sole, or by drawing the infection out via a draining tract forming at the coronary band.  Without drainage, antibiotics generally aren't effective.  A localized infection of the sensitive tissues within the hoof.  Abscesses often cause lameness which usually subsides when they are drained.  If not drained intentionally, abscesses often rupture at the coronary band or the bulbs of the heels.

ABSCESSING:  Damaged tissue moving in hoof capsule

ACE: A tranquilizer that lowers blood pressure "acepromazine"

ACL:  Anterior cruciated ligament

ACETABULUM:  The large cup-shaped cavity on the lateral surface of the os coaxe in which the head of the femur articulates.  Socket in the lower side of the os coxae; forms the coxofemoral (hip) joint with the head of the femur.

ACQUIRED:  Develops after birth as a result of injury, malnutrition or disease

ACTH:  Adrenocorticotropic hormone

ACTION:  The movement of the horses legs at all paces

ACHILLES TENDONS:  This is the superficial digital flexor and gastrocnemius tendons that run down the back of the gaskin and attach to the point of the hock.

ACTIN:  A protein that occurs in filaments which, acting along with myosin particles, are responsible for the contraction and relaxation of muscle tissue.


ACTIVATED WHITE BLOOD CELLS:  Immune system cells activated to kill bacteria and remove dead cells from a damaged area.

ACUPUNCTURE: A method of controlling pain by inserting needles into precise nerve points allowing the body to be triggered to help itself from blockages and correcting magnetic current

ACUTE:  Brief but severe development coming on suddenly and severely, but persisting briefly. Recent; injury that occurred only hours or a few days ago; may have a short and relatively severe course.  Recent; injury that occurred only hours or a few days ago; may have a short and relatively severe course.

ACUTE FOUNDER:  Founder in the process of detaching coffin bone from wall

ACUPRESSURE:  A massage technique using pressure to various points on the body causing stimulation to the tissue.

ACUPUNCTURE:  Chinese art of relieving pain and promoting healing by stimulating specific points on the body with needles or laser.

ACUPUNCTURE POINT:  The point that is stimulated usually by needles, to cause an effect on the body systems.

ADAXIAL:  Structures located on the side of or in the direction of the main axis of the body.

ADDUCTION:  Structure is drawn toward the median plane of the body.  Moving a part toward the midline of the body.

ADHESION:  Sticking together.  The abnormal joining of living tissues. Band of fibrous tissue that fuses two structures.  Bands of fibrous tissue that fuses two structures

ADRENAL GLAND:  Pair of glands located near the kidneys that produce, among other hormones, epinephrine (adrenaline)

ADRENALINE:  A hormone produced by the adrenal glands during stress.  This hormone secreted by the adrenal medulla that acts primarily as a stimulant.

AEROBIC:  Needing oxygen present for function.

AIDS:  Communicate with the horse via, hands, legs, body and voice to encourage movement.  Artificial aids would be spurs, whips, and other gadgets.

ALFALFA:  A legume often used for hay which is very nutrient-rich.  Not a healthy food source for the horse, that requires a lower protein, and carbohydrate diet.

ALIGNMENT:  Position of most comfort in the joints.  The natural grooves are intact with each other.

ALKALI DISEASE: Chronic selenium poisoning due to ingestion of mildly toxic amounts of this essential mineral over a period of weeks to months.  Signs may include gradual weight loss, "bobtail disease" (loss of mane and tail hair), and tender feet with cracked and broken hooves.  Liver damage occurs: there's a 50 percent chance of recovery with treatment, depending on whether the liver is able to regenerate adequately.

ALLERGY:  Increased sensitivity to specific substances or agents.  Your horse's body develops an allergy after prior exposure, which sensitizes his immune system.  Subsequent exposure brings a disproportionate "overreaction," either locally or body-wide.  There's disagreement over why an allergy develops: some say it's a genetic predisposition, others say it's cumulative based on chronic exposure.

ALLERGIC REACTION:  Over reaction of the immune system to a substance.  Skin can begin to have swelling, breathing can be affected, sweats, staggering are some of the more common.  This can even cause death to the animal.

ALOPECIA:  Lack of hair in areas where it is normally present.

AMINO ACID:  Any of a class of organic compounds containing nitrogen and forming the building blocks of proteins.

ANABOLIC:  Any substance or procedure that promotes growth and development within the body.

ANAEROBE:  Organism capable of growing in the complete, or almost complete, lack of oxygen.

ANAEROBIC:  Functions that occur where oxygen is not essential such as in white line disease, and fungus and bacteria.  Without, or lacking oxygen.

ANALGESIA:  Absence of sensitivity to pain: designating particularly the relief of pain without loss of consciousness.

ANALGESIC:  Substance used to help control pain.  A  drug that relieves pain without causing loss of consciousness. Pain relief; pain killer  Pain relief; pain-killer, a drug that relieves pain without causing loss of consciousness.

ANAPHYLAXIS:  Unusual allergic reaction to a foreign protein or drug.

ANATGONIST:  A muscle that acts in opposition to the action of another muscle.

ANATOMICAL:  Pertaining to anatomy, or to the structure of the organism.

ANATOMICAL AREA:  An area of the body that is bounded by specific borders: i.e. the shoulders

ANATOMY:  Science of the form and structure of a living organism.

ANEMIA:  Abnormally low red blood cell count, or in the quantity of hemoglobin, which occurs when the equilibrium between blood loss and blood production is disturbed. A condition of the body resulting from lack of red corpuscles in the blood.  Caused by lack of iron

ANESTHESIA:  Procedure or drug that removes feeling or awareness, especially pain; anesthesia may be local or general.  Consciousness or sensation is lost. Analgesic

ANEURYSM:  Blood-filled sac formed by an abnormal dilatation of the wall of an artery, a vein or the heart.

ANGLE:  Judging natural shape

ANGULAR DEFORMITIES:  Conformational growth problems where bones that are supposed to be in line instead form shallow angles when viewed from front or back.  Crooked legs

ANHYDROSIS:  A term that describes the condition in which the horse has limited ability to sweat

ANKLE:  The fetlock joint

ANKYLOSIS:  Abnormal immobility and solidation of a joint.  Immobilization and consolidation (fusing) of a joint due to disease, injury or surgical procedure.   From the Greek angkylos, crooked: Fusing of a joint Degenerative process resulting in bony fusion of a joint.

ANNULAR LIGAMENTS:  Ligaments which form sheet-like bands to hold tendons in place. This ligament wraps around a structure, e.g. the back of the fetlock and knee

ANOSTEITIS:  Defective development of bone

ANOXIA:  Lack of oxygen.

ANT.:  Anterior

ANTEBRACHIAL:  Pertaining to the forearm.

ANTERIOR:  On or towards the front of, forward part, toward the head  Directional term meaning toward the front, situated in front of, or in forward part of, an organ

ANTIBACTERIAL:  Substance capable of killing bacteria

ANTI-INFLAMMATORY THERAPY:  Treatment that prevents or relieves inflammation; includes cold therapy, NSAIDs, corticosteroids, DMSO etc.

ANTIBIOTIC: Infection fighting substance.  A drug that suppresses or kills micro-organisiams.

ANTIBODIES:  Specialized immune system proteins that help prevent or control infection.

ANTIGEN:  Foreign substance to which the body mounts an immune response, such as viruses, bacteria, bacterial toxins, etc.

ANTI-INFLAMMATORY THERAPY:  Treatment that prevents or relieves inflammation; includes cold therapy, NSAIDs, corticosteroids, DMSO, etc.

ANTI-OXIDANT:  substance that prevents or limits oxidant-related tissue damage.

ANTISEPTIC:  Agents that prevent the multiplication of and control the development of microorganism

ANUS:  External opening of the rectum.

AP:  Anterior-posterior

APATHY:  Lack of feeling or emotion; indifference.

APONEUROSIS:  A white flattened or ribbon-like tendonous expansion, serving mainly as an investment for muscle, or connecting a muscle with the parts that it moves.

APPENDICULAR SKELETON:  Includes the bones of the limbs.

APEX OF THE FROG:  The narrow tip of the frog

ARCH:  Convex or bowed structure as in the solar shape of the hoof

ARM:  Upper extremity from the shoulder to the radius and ulna.  It contains the humerus and all of its associated structures.

ARTERIAL:  Pertaining to an artery or to the arteries

ARTERIES:  Blood vessels which carry oxygenated blood from the heart to the tissues.

ARTERIOVENOUS ANASTOMOSES:  A.V.A.  Special blood vessels which act as bypass valves, diverting blood away from the tiny capillaries which nourish the laminae.  Opening the A.V.A.s reduces blood flow resistance, thereby increasing the flow rate.  This is thought to be a mechanism for preventing frostbite in the equine hooves

ARTERY:  The thick-walled vessels which carry oxygenated blood from the heart to the tissues. A blood vessel that is filled with cells, oxygen, and fuel.  They function to allow passage of blood away from the heart.

ARTHRITIS:  Inflammation within the structures found in the joint.

ARTHOCENTESIS:  Veterinary procedure in which a needle is inserted into a joint to sample the fluid or inject medication: joint tap. Inflammation within the structures of a joint.

ARTHRODESIS:  Surgical fusion of a joint

ARTHROSCOPY, ARTHROSCOPIC SURGERY:  Surgical procedure using an endoscope to examine a joint and remove bone and cartilage fragments.

ARTICULAR CARTILAGE:  Cartilaginous structures found in the joint.  The gristle covering the surface of the bones at the joints.

ARTICULAR CAVITY:  The cavity of a joint.

ARTICULAR FRACTURE:  Fracture that involves a joint surface.

ARTICULAR WING FRACTURE:  A fracture of the coffin bone that trails through the wing of the coffin bone into the distal interphalangel joint.

ARTICULATE:  Divided into or united by joints

ARTICULATION:  The range of movement of a skeletal joint.  The place of union or function between two or more bones of the skeleton.  The joint: connection between two bones.

ARTICULATORY CARTILAGE:  The gristle covering the surface of the bones at the joints

ASEPTIC:  Free of micro-organisms; sterile

ASSESSING:  Looking at form, balance, wear, condition

ASTRIGENT: Drying agent.

ASYMMETRY:  Not uniform in appearance.  Unevenness in size or shape between the left and right sides.

ATAXIA:  Failure of the muscular coordination: or an irregularity of muscular action Inability to coordinate voluntary muscular movements, characterized by in coordination; staggering or wobbly gait

ATLAS:  The first cervical vertebrae, which articulates above with the occipital bone and below with the axis.

ATROPY:  State of wasting away or degeneration of normal cells, tissues, muscles or organs. (from the Greek atrophia, not to nourish): Shrinking or degeneration of tissues.  Usually results from disuse or disease.

ATTITUDE:  Note changes in personality and habits

AVASCULAR:  A state in which an area is not supplied with blood vessels.

AVMA:  American Veterinary Medical Association

AVULSION:  This is the act of tearing away a part of a structure.

AVULSION FRACTURE:  Fracture that involves a joint surface.

AXIAL SKELETON:  That part of the skeletal structure which comprises the vertebral column, ribs, sternum and skull.

AXIS:  This is the second cervical vertebrae of the vertebral column, and is the longest of the vertebrae.  The central line of the body or any of its parts, on or close to the line about which the structure would rotate.

BACK:  The area where the saddle goes, begins at the end of the withers, extends to the last thoracic ertebrae. the loin

BACK AT THE KNEE:  Conformational defect in which the knee bends back slightly when seen from the side: see calf knee'd

BACKING UP THE TOE:  This is referring to the removal of dorsal wall at the lower 1/3 of the hoof capsule.  A bevel to the rim of the wall can be established.  When the hoof is out of the 1/3 2/3 balance the toe is brought back to establish better breakover.

BACTERIA:  Considered part of the animal world bacteria can eat through live tissue and is found inside the diseased hoof.   Microscopic, single-cell organisms of the class Schizomycetes

BACTERIAL DERMATITIS:  Skin inflammation caused by bacterial infection.

BACTERIAL TOXINS:  Toxins produced by bacteria.

BALANCE: When the hoof allows natural breakover and the coffin bone is ground parallel on loading.  When the weight placed on each leg of the horse is distributed equally over the foot.

BANDAGE CORD: The swelling that occurs over the area of the soft tissue, usually the superficial and deep digital flexor tendons, resulting from and improperly applied bandage that is too tight. 'bandage bow"

BANDY LEGS: See bow legs

BAR BRIDGE:  Where bar has pushed and created a solid area over the commissure at the end of the bar into the frog.  This is part hard and soft keratinized horn that is creating pain to the sensitive frog and sole area

BAR SHOE:  Shoe in which the ends of the branches are connected by a metal bar.

BAREFOOT: Hooves without metal or mechanical appliance attached

BARREL:  The body of a horse between the forearms and loins.  Enclosing the rib cage and the major internal organs

BARS:  Structure on the bottom of the foot on each side of the frog; formed by the hoof wall as it turns inward at the heels.  Hard keratinized horn that supports the hoof and is located from the heel buttress towards the mid frog in a ling bordering the collateral groove.

BAR POOL:  At the base of the bar where it terminates the bar horn can spread into a round pressure and cause bruising and  abscessing in the solar area, and will not allow the sole to develop.

BASAL SHADOW:  Ground surface beneath the bulbs.  Measured as a right triangle with the longest leg representing the height of the heel, its hypotenuse is the length of the heel and the short leg represents the length of the basal shadow.

BASEMENT MEMBRANE:  The thin layer of connective tissue between the horny and the sensitive laminae within the horse's hoof.

BASE NARROW:  Conformational fault where the distance between the forearms or gaskins is greater than the distance between the feet.  The left and right fore feet are placed closer together than the proximal portion of these limbs.

BASE WIDE:  Conformational fault where the distance between the forearms or gaskins is smaller than the distance between the feet.  The left and right fore feet are placed further apart than the proximal portion of this limbs

BASAL:  Base or ground surface of hoof

BASAL CRACK:  A crack which starts at the ground surface of the hoof and slits upward

BASELINE:  Site of the actual back of the frog when establishing the 1/3 2.3.  This line is used in mapping the hoof to understand the form

BEAN:  Putty-like mass of smegma that collects in the diverticulum

BEARING:  the horse's general carriage and balance.

BELLY TAP:  A diagnostic procedure most commonly used when attempting to determine the severity of and the best course of action for, a particular case of colic.  After clipping and disinfecting a patch of skin on your horse's lower belly, a large needle is inserted into the abdominal cavity.  A sample of abdominal cavity fluid is collected and analyzed for color, clarity, and protein content.

BENCH KNEES:  A conformation in which the cannon bone is offset to the lateral side and does not follow a straight line from the radius.

BENIGN:  Referring to a cancerous growth.  Not invasive or destructive, and not tending to spread to other areas of the body.

BEVELED:  Angled or slanted

BEVEL NAIL:  The same nail used today since designed around 2000 years ago to hold the horseshoe on.

BEVELED EDGE:  Commonly referred to as the mustang role.  A natural or rasped edge around the rim projecting from the sole angled about 45 degrees.

BICIPITAL BURSA:  An inflammation of the bursa underneath the tendon of the biceps brahii on the lateral side of the shoulder joint.

B.I.D.:  (Latin) Bis in die, twice a day

BIFURCATION:  This is the site where a single structure divides into two branches. To separate, split, or divide.

BIOTIN:  B-complex vitamin, essential for the activity of many enzyme systems and found in large quantities in liver, egg yolk, milk, and yeast.  Popularly believed to be beneficial to hoof growth and quality, and often included in horse feed supplements

BIG KNEES:  Abnormal growth caused by epiphysitis resulting from concussion.

BI-LATERAL:  Having two sides, or pertaining to both sides.  Occurring at the same place on both sides of the body.  The equine eyes are bilaterally placed

BI-LATERAL CONTRACTION:  Contraction is on both sides of hoof

BI-LATERAL YIELDING:  Moving from pressure from both right and left sides


BIOMECHANICAL PUMP:  Movement causes blood to flow.

BIOPSY:  Minor surgical procedure in which a small sample of tissue is removed and examined microscopically.

BLACK WALNUT SHAVINGS TOXICOSIS:  Black walnut and other types of walnut shavings as beddings are very dangerous both from ingestion and through skin contact to the horse. Vasculitis and laminitis are virtually guaranteed and usually severe.

BLAZE:  Long white marking down the front of a horse's face.

BLEMISH:  Minor fault, either occurring congenitally or caused by an injury that is considered undesirable, but, does not interfere with the horse's soundness.  A cosmetic flaw.

BLIND SPAVIN:  Spavin where the bone has degenerated but there is no visible exostosis.  A horse suffering from this condition will be lame without showing external signs of spavin; occult spavin. When applied to the skin:  counter-irritant.

BLISTER:  A reaction  caused by friction and also a chemical burn associated to a compound

BLOOD BLISTER:  See hematoma

BLOOD HORSE:  A Thoroughbred horse.

BLOOD PRESSURE:  Amount of pressure in the circulatory system: low blood pressure reduces blood flow to the tissues.

BLOOD SPAVIN: An enlargement of the saphenous vein on the medial side of the hock

BLOOD STOCK:  Thoroughbred horses which are bred to race.

BLOOD WEED:  A Thoroughbred horse which is lightly built, of poor quality, lacking bone and substance.

BLOWN KNEE:  This term can be interchangeable with hygroma which is a swelling of the kneed due to joint injury.  It refers to a thickening and swelling of tissues outside the knee (carpal joint) due to repetitive trauma to the area, without involvement of the knee joint itself.  Depending on the severity of the injury, swelling in a "blown Knee' can result from increased production of joint fluid by irritated synovial cells, and/or blood from injured and bleeding joint parts.  Whether swelling is accompanied by pain, stiffness, and/or lameness depends on the severity of the injury to internal joint parts.  Even after the injury has healed, severe knee swelling can remain and produce a cosmetically unappealing "big knee" that fills back up after being surgically drained.  For best success in restoring the knee's appearance after treating the underlying cause, pressure bandages are applied for a minimum of 1 week, and then gradually loosened.

BLUE FEET:  A dense blue-black coloring of the horn

BOG SPAVIN:  A chronic synovial effusion of the tarsocrural (hock) joint capsule of uncertain pathogenesis and unassociated with lameness, tenderness, heat, or radiographic changes.  Non-painful, soft, fluid-filled swelling of the hock

BONE:  Hard, rigid structures making up most of the skeleton.

BONE CHIP:  Small piece of bone broken off the main part of the bone.

BONE DENSITY:  Amount of mineral deposited in the bone.

BONE MARROW:  Jelly-like substance in the center of the long bones; produces red blood cells and some white blood cells

BONE SPAVIN: Lameness originating in the hock that is characterized by either exostosis or bone destruction on the inner surface of the hock. An osteoarthritis that involves the distal intertarsal, tarsometetarsal, and occasionally the proximal intertarsal joints of the hock.

BONE SPUR:  Abnormal new bone growth at the edge of a joint.

BOSOMY:  Describes an over-wide and heavy chest.

BOTS:  Larvae of botflies, which are parasitic in the stomach.

BOXY FOOT (aka "club" donkey" or  "mule foot"):  A narrow upright foot with a small frog and a closed heel

BOW-HOCKS:  Outward turned hock joints

BOW-LEGGED:  Conformational fault where the knees or hocks deviate away from each other.  An outward curve of one or both legs at or below the knee.  Carpus varus

BOWED TENDON:  Fiber damage and inflammation in one of the flexor tendons of the cannon; the swelling gives it a bowed-out appearance. This is a tendosynovitis involving the tendons of the superficial and/or deep digital flexor tendons

BP: Blood pressure

BPM:  Beats per minute

BREAKDOWN INJURY:  Severe damage to the fetlock's support structures the fetlock drops and the )horse cannot bear weight on the leg..

BREAKOVER:  When the heel lifts and the toe leaves the ground.  When a hoof has toe flare the breakover is completed with the lifting of the shoulder to avoid pulling on the laminae.  This in turn creates problems in the leg, back and shoulder.  Trimming the hoof with a 1/3 2/3 balance will provide a natural breakover.  Act of rolling the hoof forward:  lifting the foot from the ground heel first, as the horse moves ahead.  The breakover point is the part of the wall where the horse breaks over;  This is when the limb is beginning to move forward and

BROKEN BACK AXIS:  A broken back pastern axis is when one of the phalanges (P1, P2) is at a steeper angle than the one below it.

BROKEN FORWARD AXIS:  A broken forward pastern axis is where one of the phalanges is at a lower angle than the one below it.

BROKEN-IN:  Angular limb deformity where a joint is closer to the other limb than it should be.

BROKEN-OUT:  Angular limb deformity where a joint is farther from the other limb than it should be

BRIDLE LAMENESS:  Gait abnormality seen only during ridden exercise;  disappears when the hors is exercised without the rider

BRISTLE BED:  Area of the sole that lifts forward of the bar next to the frog.

BROAD SPECTRUM ANTIBIOTICS:  Antibiotics that are active against many different types of bacteria

BROOD MARE:  A mare kept for breeding.

BRUISING:  Leakage of blood from damaged vessels beneath intact skin or hoof.  A rupturing of blood vessels within sensitive structures resulting from trauma.  The hoof bruise will show up in the sole, frog and hoof walls indicating damages from striking something hard and also from laminitis, imbalance and possibly diet problems.

BUCK:  A leap into the air with arched back and landing on stiff legs

BUCKED KNEES:  Conformational fault where the knee arcs forward; sprung knees, over at the knee

BUCKED SHINS:  Tiny cracks in the cannon bone's front surface, usually occurring in the front legs of a young horse in too-strenuous training.  These tiny fractures may not be visible on standard x-rays and can require special, high detailed x-rays if the diagnosis is to be confirmed.  Most cases resolve with 4 to 6 weeks of rest, support bandaging, and adjustment of the training routine.

BUFFER ZONE:  Area that provides relief or prevents harm

BULBS:  The area of the heel in the back of the hoof covered in soft tissues of periople skin and hide.  The digital cushion framed by the lateral cartilage comprise the bulbs.

BULB LINE:  A line extending perpendicular to the ground from the most rear point of the heel bulb.

BUTTRESS:  Viewing the bottom of the hoof it is the rearmost point of the hoof creating a purchase for the heel.

BURNS:  Skin damage caused by heat, chemicals, or radiation:  severity is graded from first-degree (mild, superficial damage) to third-degree (severe, full-thickness skin loss)

BURSA:  A sac or saclike cavity filled with a viscous fluid preventing friction in joint areas. Minimizes friction and pressure between the two structures.  Plural: bursae

BURSA PODOTROCHLEARIS:  Is interposed between the tendon and the fibro cartilage-covered flexor surface of the navicular bone, cushioning the movement of the tendon against the bone.

BURSITIS:  Inflammation of the bursa, a small fluid-filled sac that cushions large tendons as they course over major joints.  The most common sites of bursitis in your horses are at the point of his elbow and at the point of the hock.  Bursitis at the point of the hock results in the unsightly blemish known as capped hock.

BUTTRESS: Also referred to as the bars or buttresses, are the continuations of the wall visible from the bottom of the hoof, they run forward from the heels toward the point of the frog ending mid way.  The buttresses help strengthen and stabilize the hoof wall at the heels and provide the outer boundary of the collateral groove

BUTTRESS FOOT:   Advanced form of low ringbone or pyramidal disease in which the horse's hoof becomes shaped like a buttress (a bulging structure).When viewed laterally in the area of the coronary band, the hoof exhibits a protuberance or bump.

CADENCE:  The quality of a horse's pace; showing rhythm and energy.

CALICIFICATION; CALCIFIED:  Replacement of cartilage or soft tissue with mineral deposits, mostly calcium.

CALCIUM:  Essential dietary mineral; needed for strong bones and normal muscle function.

CALCIUM-PHOSPHORUS RATION:  Number of calcium molecules for every molecule of phosphorus: Ca:P

CALF KNEES:   Conformational fault where the knee bends back slightly when viewed from the side; back at the knee.  A calf-knee'd horse's knees are behind the vertical.  Backward deviation of the carpus or carpal joints

CALLUS:  Compressed and warn to a protective covering.  Localized hyperplasia of the epidermis due to friction or pressure.  An unorganized woven meshwork of bone that forms at the site of a fracture and is eventually replaced by hard adult bone.Tissue thickening; a bony callus forms as a fracture heals

CAMPED OUT BEHIND:  Conformational fault where the hind legs are angled too far "camped behind" horse stands out behind the body.  Like a saw horse with the hooves behind the vertical. The entire hind limb is placed too far caudally (back) when viewed laterally.

CAMPED OUT IN FRONT:  Conformational fault where the forelegs are too far out in front of the body.

CANCELLOUS BONE:  That bone that is structured within a reticular sponge or lattice-like infrastructure.  Loose bony tissue.Lattic-like bone beneath the dense, outer cortex.  Softer than cortical bone, it is sometimes called "spongy" bone.

CANER LEVERED:  In reference to the hoof imbalance the heel buttress is forward the natural position forcing the weight of the horse to be placed out from the leg alignment

CANKER:  Abnormal, vegetative growth of the frog.  May also affect the sole.  Caused by infection and the exposure of the hooves to harsh ammonia compounds.  Effective treatment and prevention must include moving the horse to a clean, dry environment. An infection of the frog that can spread to the adjacent sole and hoof wall.  The affected frog grows thick folds and ridges, and a foul smelling, cottage-cheese like exudates oozes from the crevices.  Affected feet usually are lame.  Canker is most often caused by long-term hoof neglect and wet, filthy footing.  Because infection is often quite deep, successful treatment might require surgical debridement and systemic antibiotics and dry clean footing.  Sterile maggots have been found successful in treatment.  Ulceration.  Disease of the horn-producing tissues of the foot, beginning at the frog and extending to the sole and wall, characterized by a serous discharge and loss of function of the horn-producing cells.

CANNON BONE:  Longest of the lower leg bones extends from the fetlock to the knee. The third metacarpal in the front leg, or the third metatarsal in the hind.  Is located just below the knee.  It functions as a lever and plays a direct part in determining the speed of a horse.

CANTED KNEE:  A deviation similar in appearance to bench knee, but differing in that each row of carpal bones is offset from the bones above it, whereas bench knees have a relatively normal carpus with the metacarpals being offset at the carpometacarpal joint.

CANTER:  A gait between a trot and a run.

CAPILLARY (from the latin capillus, hair):  The tiny, often microscopic, vessels which nourish the tissues and transfer blood from the arteries to the veins.   This is a very small vessel with walls that are only one cell thick enabling the exchange of all the components within the body's structure, such as oxygen, nutrients and waste materials. Microscopic blood vessels that supply the cells: blood flows from the arteries, through the capillaries, then into the veins.

CAPILLARY REFILL TIME:  Time it takes for color to return to the gum after it has been briefly pressed with the thumb: should be less than 2 seconds.

CAPPED ELBOW:  Fluid-filled swelling over the point of the elbow due to trauma; shoe boil

CAPPED HOCK:  A bump under the skin at the point of the hock.  This blemish may be of any size, and is often caused by direct trauma to the hock. Enlargement and swelling of a fluid-filled pouch (see "Bursitis") at the point of your horse's hock, forming a cosmetically unappealing, golf-ball-sized, floppy cap that tends to persist even after the underlying problem has been resolved.  Capped hock is rarely associated with lameness.  It is most often caused by too-tight hock bandages or by repetitive trauma to the hocks, such as from kicking stall walls, or kicking in a trailer

CAPSULAR ROTATION:  The hoof wall rotates away from the P3, while the P3 remains in alignments with the pastern.  This condition can be due not only to founder, but also to overweight, too low a hoof angle, or use of toe grabs.

CAPSULE:  In reference to the hoof the capsule is the horn that contains the inner parts of the foot.

CAPSULITIS:  A painful joint condition due to inflammation and thickening of the joint capsule (a fibrous tissue layer enveloping the joint).  Any movement that wrinkles or tugs the inflamed joint capsule is painful: a horse with capsulitis voluntarily limits movement to avoid pain.  As scar tissue infiltrates the healing capsule, what began as voluntary limitation of movement becomes compulsory.  The scar tissue, which is not elastic, restricts the joints range in motion.  Treatment is aimed at relieving inflammation and addressing the underlying cause (which can be joint infection, injury, or wear and tear).  Controlled exercise and physical therapy during the healing process are often used to prevent future range of motion limitations due to scarring of the joint capsule.

CARBOHYDRATE:  High-energy dietary component that consists of simple and complex sugars; grains are high-carbohydrate feeds

CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM:  Heart and blood vessels

CARPUS:  Knee joint, wrist in humans

CARPUS VALGUS:  A conformation defect in which the fore limbs deviate medially above the knee, and laterally below the knee.  This creates the appearance that the limbs are bent inward, under the horse a.k.a. Knock-knees.

CARPUS VARUS:  A conformation defect in which the fore limbs deviate laterally above the knee, and medially below the knee.  This creates the appearance that the limbs are bent outward a.k.a. Bow-legged

CARTHETER:  Hollow instrument for removing fluid from a body cavity or bloodstream, and administering fluid or medications.

CARTILAGE:  A dense connective tissue that is found on the articular ends of the bones with a joint.  A large portion of the hoof is made of lateral cartilage.

CARTILAGE, INJURY WITHIN JOINT:  Injury from trauma or wear and tear can involve the cartilage, which covers the horse's bone ends with a smooth, concussion-absorbing coating.  Inflammation within the joint causes thinning of its lubrication, increasing friction against cartilage, and stimulating production of caustic chemicals that literally eat away at it, causing pitting and cracking.  Because cartilage has no blood supply of its own, it has a limited ability to heal and regenerate.  Pain-killing medications that encourage your horse to use his joint while it continues to degenerate can accelerate cartilage destruction.  Direct treatment of cartilage injury or disease usually includes; addressing the underlying cause, resting the joint to prevent further concussion; restoring depleted joint fluid by injecting hyaluronan (A.K.A. sodium hyaluronate, hyaluronic acid) into the joint and administering chondroprotective (cartilage-protecting) medications intramuscularly or into the joint.

CARTILAGE:   Special type of firm, non-bony connective tissue; sometimes a precursor to bone. Flexible, somewhat elastic, skeletal structures

CARTILAGINOUS:  Consisting of or of the nature of cartilage sectional views of an internal body structure

CAST:  Stiff casing used to immobilize a part of the body in cases of fractures, dislocations or infected wounds. To lay down and get stuck.

CAUDAL: Directional term meaning toward the horse's hind end. Relating to or located near the tail or hind end of the body.

CAUDAL HEEL SYNDROME:  Movement from unnaturally short heels and long toes causing a horse to limp

CAVALETTI:  Jump rails, raised a few inches off the ground; a training tool.

CECUM:  First part of the large intestine, which is in the form of a blind pouch.  (from the Latin caecus, blind):  A branch of the large intestine which is open only at one end, forming a sac-like cavity. A.k.A. Caecum, blind gut

CELL MEMBRANE:  Outer covering of a cell

CELLULITIS:  Bacterial infection of the superficial tissues, causing a soft, warm, mildly painful swelling.

CELLULOSE:  A carbohydrate (sugar) forming the skeleton of most plant structures and plant cells and cannot be digested by horses; also referred to as fiber

CERVICAL VERTEBRAE:  This is the first region of the vertebral column that consists of the first seven vertebrae in the neck.

CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM:  Control center of the nervous system, consisting of the brain and spinal cord; CNS

CENTRAL SULCUS:  Located centrally in the back half of the frog.  A healthy cleft opening is about the size of a tangerine segment.  In a contracted or unhealthy hoof the sulcus will appear closed, possibly hiding bacterial, fungus, filth and sharp objects.

CERVICAL MUSCLES:  Muscles on the side of the neck.

CERVICAL VERTEBRAE:  Seven vertebrae in the neck.

CERVICAL VERTEBRAL MALFORMATION:  malformation of the cervical vertebrae, causing neurologic abnormalities; CVM, "wobbler" syndrome.

CHECK LIGAMENT:  A ligament which connects a tendon to a bone and limits the tendon's action; accessory ligament.  Check ligaments are often considered to be parts of tendons.

CHESTNUT:  Small mass of horn on the inside of the forearm just above the knee. A callosity on the inside of each leg

CHIP FRACTURE:  Small piece of bone and cartilage, broken off within a joint: bone chip

CHIROPRACTIC MANIPULATION:  Manipulation of the spinal column to restore normal alignment of the small intervertebral joints.

CHONDROID:  Having to do with cartilage.  Resembling cartilage

CHONDROCYTE:  A cartilage cell

CHRONIC:   Persistent.  The long=term phase of many diseases and conditions.  A condition or a state where there is a continued or long term affliction.

CIRCLE:  A complete series or course to revolve around

CIRCULATION: Movement of blood and fluids with the body.  A going around such as with a flow

CIRCULATORY COLLAPSE:  Large drop in blood pressure and blood flow to the tissues; shock

CIRCUMFLEX ARTERY: Located around the lower rim edge of the coffin bone

CLEARANCE TIME:  Time it takes for a drug to be eliminated from the body.

CLEFT:  A horizontal crack in the hoof wall.  Clefts are usually caused by damage to the coronary band, or the rupture of an abscess at the coronary band. A.k.A. Crosscrack

CLEFTS OF THE FROG:  Grooves in the rear center and at each side of the frog

CLEFT PALATE:  Congenital abnormality in which the two sides of the hard palate (roof of the mouth) fail to fuse during development

CLENCH CUTTER: Chisel-like farriery tool for straightening or cutting off the clenches before removing the horse's shoe.

CLENCHES:  Turned over ends of horseshoe nails, after the nails have been hammered through the hoof wall.

CLINICAL FINDINGS:  Results of lab work and physical exam

CLIPS:  Narrow flanges on the upper, outer edge of the shoe; they keep the shoe in place, and some restrict hoof wall expansion.

CLIPPING:  Term for when the hind hooves strike too far forward striking the front hooves

CLOSED FRACTURE:  Fracture that does not involve a skin wound or a piece of bone penetrating the skin

CLOSED PHYSIS:  Physis that is no longer producing bone

CLOGS:  Wooden sole shaped pads made from plywood and glued on the hoof wall.

CLOSTRIDIAL MYOSITIS:  Severe muscle damage and illness caused by the toxins of clostridial bacteria within a muscle.

CLUB FOOT:  An extremely upright hoof with a very broken-forward pastern-hoof axis.  Maybe caused by flexor deformity.  In extreme cases, the digit may be folded back, with the animal bearing weight on its dorsal surface.  In congenital club feet, the slope of the heels is usually more upright than that of the toe.  The capsule is different in appearance with a more vertical shape or in extreme cases the tip of the wall is bull nose in appearance.  The cup in the sole has a higher vaulted area.  The heels may wrap inward giving a more stove pipe look to the hoof.  Also the capsule angle is steeper with an axis of sixty degrees or more.

COCCYGEAL VERTEBRAE:  Vertebrae that make up the tail dock.

COFFIN BONE:  Referred to as P3, distal phalanx, pedal bone, located in the front area of the hoof capsule.  The sole grows from this crescent shaped bone.  The coffin bone is the only bone in the body that is covered in corium.  The papilla on the solar area provides the roots for the sole.  The lamella covering the front and sides provide adhesion to the laminae of the hoof wall.  The coffin bone starts its shape in the newborn looking something like an arrowhead.  The fores strike the ground with the heel and forced the shape of the coffin bone with a rounded toe shape.  The hinds land in a more glide to the ground and develop a spade shape to the toe.  The coffin bone in the fores averages 47 degrees, where the hinds average 57 degrees.  It contains nerves and blood vessels which form the foot's sensitive structures and cushion the area between the bone and the hoof.

COFFIN BONE FRACTURED:  A fracture that usually is associated with a misstep or fall; commonly seen on the inside (and more consistently stressed) leg of race horses.  Symptoms usually include sudden-onset lameness, heat that can be felt on the hoof wall, and increased digital pulse.  Treatment depends on the fracture's location and on how unstable it is.  Some cases heal well with 12 months rest and the application of glue on clogs.  Others require surgery and stabilization of the fracture with bone screws

COFFIN BONE LINE:  In mapping this line approximately ¾ ¾ 3 / 4 inch in front of the frog apex  represents where the top edge of the coffin bone is in the foot.

COFFIN BONE ROTATION: When the coffin bone detaches from the hoof capsule and moves within the capsule.

COFFIN JOINT: The joint between the coffin bone (pedal bone, P3) , the short pastern bone (P2) and the navicular bone

COGGINS TEST:  Laboratory test for equine infectious anemia (EIA)

COLD LAMENESS:  Lameness wherein the horse is incapable of normal movement on first start of exercise

COLD SPLINT:  A hard knob on the inside surface of your horse's cannon bone.  Can be due to concussive forces irritating the connective tissue around the splint bones; external trauma (a kick, or interference from the opposite leg); or as a normal part of the maturing process in young adult horses.  When not accompanied by swelling, heat, or pain, this knob is referred to as a cold splint and is considered a cosmetic blemish.  Treatment usually is not necessary.  However for cosmetic purposes, the cold splint can be surgically removed.

COLIC:  Abdominal pain, usually due to intestinal problems and/or as buildup.  Also can be caused by abdominal disorders such as, internal bleeding; liver disease; kidney disease; reproductive problems; and ulcers.  In addition other diseases can cause signs that mimic colic even though they don't involve the abdomen, such as: laminitis, tying-up syndrome and other muscle disorders; weakness; heart problems; nervous system disorders; and pleuritis.  Treatment usually focuses on relieving pain, preventing shock, and diagnosing and resolving the underlying problem.  Surgery is required in a minority of cases.  Colic is claimed to be the number one killer of horses.  Colic in the large intestine may not cause the intense pain as it does in the smaller intestine but both are life-threatening and pain should not be a gauge to call the doctor.

COLLAGEN:  Microscopic fibers that give tissue, such as skin, tendons, ligaments and joint cartilage their strength and resilience.   The main protein of skin, bone, tendon, cartilage, and connective tissue

COLLATERAL:  Secondary or accessory; a small side branch, as of a blood vessel or nerve

COLLATERAL FROG SULCI:  Some refer to the deep channels to either side of the frog as the collateral frog sulci AKA collateral groove the deep area between the bar and the frog beginning at the end of the bar about midway of the frog and ending at the exit where the widest part of the frog ends

COLLATERAL LIGAMENT:  Short, strong ligaments at the sides of a joint that help support it:

COLLATERAL GROOVE:  Also called collateral sulci. This groove created between the frog and bar allow the frog to expand in response to pressure.  Thereby dissipating rather then transmitting the pressure from the ground.  Internally, the digital cushion rest between the ridges these grooves create

COLLATERAL GROOVE RIDGE:  Inside the back half of the hoof are ridges that press into the shape with leverage from overgrown bars.  This ridge can be unnaturally pushed into the digital cushion diminishing much of the shock absorption it provides.  When the bars are excess the ridge will lift and the lateral cartilage will be lifted without a way out of the capsule.  This creates heel pain and discomfort that affects hoof mechanism

COLT:  An entire male horse under 4 years old.

COMA:  Unconsciousness due to a brainstem abnormality.

COMMINUTED FRACTURE:  Fracture with more than one fracture line and more than two pieces of bone.

COMMISSURE: AKA commissary,  A line or place where two things are joined such as the frog meets and joins the bar structure and the frog meets and joins with the sole.

COMMON DIGITAL EXTENSOR TENDON:  Long tendon that runs down the front of the leg and attaches to the extensor process of the coffin bones, extensor process area:  long digital extensor tendon, or extensor tendon.

COMPACT BONE:  A bone that is dense in structure

COMPARTMENTAL SYNDROME:  Pressure damage to major nerve and blood vessels between muscle compartments that are swelling because of injury.  Signs can progress from soreness to numbness to paralysis as the bleeding and swelling continue within the injured muscles, and pressure on nerves increases.  Treatment usually focuses on slowing bleeding and swelling and, if necessary, relieving pressure surgically.

COMPENSATION:  Compensation is adjustments a horse makes to try to keep an even gait despite a sore or lame leg.

COMPLETE FRACTURE:  Fracture that breaks the bone completely, into tow or more pieces

COMPOUND FRACTURE:  A fracture that has broken the skin; open fracture.

COMPRESSION RIDGES:  Cause by unnatural pressure within the hoof capsule to the tubule growth

COMPUTERIZED TOMOGRAPHY:  Imaging technique giving a cross-sectional view of an area, or a three-dimensional view of a bone surface; CT

CONCAVE:  Hollowed or rounded inward like the inside of a bowl.

CONCAVITY:  The healthy sole has concavity to the shape and is called the arch of the sole.  This in the shape of the sole can be referred to as the dome, cup, and vaulted.  The shape mirrors the bottom of the coffin bone.  If there is a coffin bone that has destruction and is flatter in shape then the sole will be also.

CONCENTRATION:  Number of particles per unit of volume; e.g. grams per liter.

CONCUSSION:  A violent jar or shock, or the condition which results from such an injury.

CONCUSSION RIDGES: Imbalance in the hoof and forces from collision with the ground

CONCUSSIVE FORCES:  Those physical forces that result from the impact of bone against bone, cartilage against cartilage, or basically from the hoof hitting the ground with the weight of the animal being directed upon it.

CONDYLAR FRACTURE:  Vertical fracture at the lower end of the cannon bone, which separates the condyle from the rest of the bone

CONDYLE:  Rounded portion of bone at a joint surface.

CONE THE CONE: Remove flare and bulges from the lower hoof wall

CONFORMATION:  The shape or contour of the body or any particular body structure.

CONGENITAL:  A characteristic present from birth.

CONNECTIVE TISSUE:  The tissue that bind other tissues into a functional unit

CONSERVATIVE MANAGEMENT:  Treatment that does not involve surgery.

CONTRA LIMB:  Limb opposite the one that suffered the original lameness.  Sometimes becomes lame from compensatory stress.

CONTRACTED HEELS:  Narrowing of one or both heels on the same foot.  When hoof capsule deformity presses in on the sides squeezing the soft tissues of the back of the hoof making the heels narrower.  Condition in which the posterior half of the hoof undergoes a significant reduction in width.  This may result from other hoof problems, improper shoeing, or both.

CONTRACTED TENDON:  A condition used when the heel does not reach the ground on foals, but, it is the muscle not the tendon that could be short.

CONTRACTION:  When considering the hoof is unnatural pressure to the inner part of the hoof

CONTRACTION ON THE VERTICAL:  When the side of the hoof is perpendicular from ground to hairline

CONTRACTION BEYOND THE VERTICAL:  The base of the hoof is narrower than the coronet width

CONTRAST RADIOGRAPHY:  Radiographic technique in which contrast material is injected into a joint, tendon sheath, wound, etc. to outline or define the space.

CONTUSION:  Bruising due to a blunt trauma, resulting in broken blood vessels and bleeding under the skin.  Severe muscle contusion can lead to compartmental syndrome.  Despite the fact that a contusion's external appearance is less disturbing than an injury with external bleeding, blunt trauma can damage much more tissue than sharp trauma because it can affect a wider area, resulting in massive tissue death and decay.  Treatment usually includes: first aid to limit the spread of tissue damage from swelling and hemorrhage: establishment of surgical drainage if necessary; and physical therapy to minimize adhesions that would otherwise deform tissues and limit their range of motion.

CONVEX:  Curving to the outside of the curve, rounded like the outside of a sphere.

COMMISSURE: The grooves on either side of the frog

CONTUSION:  A traumatic flesh injury which does not break the skin.

COON FOOTED:  Conformation fault in which the hoof and pastern angles are not identical.   A hoof with a pastern that is bent lower with a different angle then that of the dorsal wall of the capsule. The fetlock will drop an excessive amount causing strain on the flexor tendons, suspensory ligament, and the digital extensor tendon.

CORE TEMPERATURE:  Temperature in the center of the body

CORIUM: Specialized vascular tissue lining the inside of the hoof; produces horn (coronary corium; laminar corium; sole corium).  Vascular tissue that furnishes nutrition to the hoof.  Papillae that grow sole and capsule tubules lay within this blood rich area that supplies nutrition to the horn.

CORN:  A bruise of the hoof sole between the wall and the bar, usually caused by  ill fitted shoes or leaving shoes on too long. An injury to the sole near the heel buttress.

CORNIFY:  Hardened, turn to horn, keratin.

CORONARY BAND:  Rim of specialized skin around the top of the hoof wall; includes the coronary corium and blood vessels.  "Coronary" means encircling like a crown, as applied to blood vessels, ligaments, or nerves.  Encircling the top of the hoof capsule is a soft tissue region just below the hairline that surround hoof at the top of the capsule horn.  This area also referred to as the coronet and is the housing for the papillae roots that grow the hoof capsule wall.

CORONARY CORIUM: Cells beneath the coronet that produce the horn tubules making up the hoof wall, and also insensitive laminae.  The thickest part of the corium and is found within the coronary groove.  This corium provides nutrition to the bulk of the hoof wall.

CORONARY CRACK:  A sandcrack which starts at the top of the hoof and splits down

CORONARY DERMIS:  A wider raised band adjoining the perioplic dermis distally.  It nourishes the production of the bulk of the hoof wall that grows down from it in the same way as a fingernail.

CORONARY GROOVE:  The upper most area of the hoof is the coronary band and just within this area that houses the corium and papillae is a cupped area referred to as a coronary groove.

CORONARY PAPILLAE:  the roots that produce the horn of the capsule


CORONET:  Area of the leg where the hair stops and the hoof wall begins.  Interchanged with the term coronary. The coronet is the upper exterior boarder of the hoof wall.  The hoof capsule is formed inside the coronet through the production of hard keratinized tubules from the papillae roots that are protected by this covering.

CORRECTIVE TRIMMING:  Balance trim on a hoof that has one or all of these problems, long heel, toe, and imbalance medial/laterally.  Removing unhealthy tissue and creating a natural breakover

CORTEX:  Dense, outer layer of a bone.

CORTICOSTEROIDS:  Used to treat infections and inflammation.  Potent anti-inflammatory drugs.  They can also suppress the immune response; "cortisone"  Warning: Systemic treatment with corticosteroids increases the risk of laminitis

COUNTER-IRRITANT:  Compound that creates inflammation when applied to the skin.

COXOFEMORAL LUXATION:  A displacement or dislocation of the hip joint

COW HOCK:   Conformational defect in which the hocks angle in and the feet angle out when seen from the rear of the horse. Knock knee, hocks are closer together and the toes are pointed out.  This is a conformational characteristic where the hind legs are closer then normal towards the midline.  This is caused by a deviation of the tarsal joints

CPK:  Creatine phosphokinase; enzyme found in muscle cells.

CRACKED HEELS:  A condition wherein the tissue covering the bulbs of the heels cracks open, leaving the heels susceptible to infection.  Primarily caused by chronically wet heels due to moist footing.  Also known as "mud fever, scratches."

CRACKS:  A split in the hoof wall.

CRANIAL:  1. the front surface of the limb.  Towards the head.  2.  having to do with the cranium of the skull.

CRANIAL NERVES:  Nerves that leave the base of the brain and supply the structures in the head.

CRANIO-CAUDAL:  Directional term meaning from front to back.

CREASE LINE: When mapping a hoof this is the sulcus radius.  Two straight lines leaving from the middle of the central sulcus and ending at the edges of the fulcrum line.  Also the bar generally ends at the crease line (sulcus radius)

CREPITATION:  The noise made by rubbing together the ends of a fractured bone

CREPITUS:  Cracking, crunching, or grinding sensation that is heard and/or felt when a complete fracture or gas-filled wound is palpated or manipulated.

CREST:  The upper portion of the neck where the mane grows

CRUCIATE LIGAMENTS:  Pair of short, thick ligaments in the stifle that attach the femur to the tibia, and cross over each other as they span the joint.

CROUP:  The top line of the horse's hindquarters, beginning at the hip, extending approximate to the sacral vertebrae and stopping at the dock of the tail (where the cocygeal vertebrae begin)

CUBOIDAL BONES:  Block shaped bones in the knee and hock

CUPPED:  In reference to the concavity of the sole.

CURB:  An inflammation and thickening of the long plantar ligament of the tarsus, causing a swelling at the back of the hock joint and resulting in lameness

CUSHING:  A disease that appears with problems shedding hair, accumulating fat deposits, frequent laminae soreness.   Blood work will establish if there is a true cushing problem.  A tumor will develop on the pituitary gland.  This condition can be helped with the use of pergolide

CUSHINGOID:  Older horses or horses with dietary problems will develop symptoms of cushings with fat deposits, laminitis.  Diet management is essential to avoid problems.

CRANIAL DIRECTION:  1. The front surface of the limb.  Towards the head.  2.  Having to do with the cranium of the skull.

CREST:  An extra heavy neck on a horse.

CROSS-FIRING: A gait flaw which results in the collision of diagonal feet.  This usually occurs at lateral gaits.

CRYPTORCHID:  Male horse with on or both testicles retained in the abdomen.  Also called ridgling or original.

CURB:  Swelling of the plantar surface of the hind leg just below the point of the hock. This is a ligament sprain, and may be caused by stress, poor conformation, or direct trauma

CUSHING'S DISEASE:  Cushing's Disease (a thyroid tumor) is a cause of laminitis and founder – particularly in older horses.  If the cause of the laminitis or founder is cushing's Disease, this must be diagnosed and treated before any treatment for the laminitis can be effective.

CUT OUT UNDER KNEE:  A horse has a cannon bone that while vertical is slightly towards the back of the knee, and not directly below the upper leg.

D.G.:  Decomposed granite for arena and paddock footing

DAM:  A horse's mother

DEAD SPACE:  Space within the tissues or beneath the skin, created by a wound

DEBRIDEMENT:  The removal of dead or contaminated tissue and all foreign matter and devitalized tissue.  Trimming away contaminated or devitalized tissue.

DEEP:  Away from the surface

DEEP DIGITAL FLEXOR TENDON (DDFT): Large tendon running up the back of the leg.  DDFT, originates at the deep flexor muscle of the leg, and inserts (attaches to) at the semilunar crest of the coffin bone after passing over the fulcrum points formed by the proximal and distal (navicular) sesamoid bones.  It flexes (folds) the leg when the deep flexor muscle contracts

DEGENERATION:  Breakdown of the normal structure of a tissue.  In most cases the change is irreversible.

DEGENERATIVE JOINT DISEASE, DJD:  A progressive breakdown of joint components, beginning with injury or inflammation with the joint.  This causes breakdown and thinning of the joint fluid, which normally is a viscous lubricant, and culminates in cartilage destruction.  Treatment can include: resolving the underlying cause, breaking the degenerative cycle by restoring volume and thickness of joint fluid, providing materials the joint needs to rebuild damaged components; and tailoring your horse's activity level so circulation is maximized, scar tissue is minimized, and no further joint trauma occurs during the healing process.

DEGENERATIVE SUSPENSORY LIGAMENT DESMITIS, DSLD:  A degenerative disease of the hind limbs.  Seen most often (but not exclusively) in Peruvian Paso horses between the ages of 3 and 8, after they've entered into full training or performance.  DSLD often is mistaken for simple ligament stress/injury.  It's bilateral so detecting and diagnosing the lameness is sometimes tricky.  In initial stages, pain and swelling usually occur at the back of the hind cannon bones, about 2/3 of the way down from the hock.  This is where the main body of the suspensory ligament splits into inner and outer branches.  As the disease progresses, which it seems to do in spite of treatment, swelling can spread down to the fetlock joint and beyond.

As it tries to heal, damaged parts of the ligament are replaced by granulation tissue and cartilage, which make a poor substitute for normal, elastic, strong ligament tissue.  The fetlocks progressively sink toward the ground, giving the limb an L-shape in later stages.  It can be extremely painful: affected horses have been known to lie down and moan.  Selected cases have been salvaged by surgically fusing the fetlock joint, which relieves pain, but the horse is no more than pasture sound.

DEHYDRATION:  Decrease in the body's normal water content due to inadequate water intake and/or increased water loss, such as via sweat or diarrhea.

DEMINERALIZED:  When circulation is deprived and unnatural leverage against the coffin bone it will begin to demineralize.

DENSITY:  How closely packed the molecules are in a structure.

DERMAL LAMINAE:  Also called lamellae is the corium over the coffin bone

DERMATITIS:  Inflammation of a ligament

DERMIS:  The sensitive connective tissue layer of the skin located below the epidermis, containing nerve endings, sweat and sebaceous glands, and blood and lymph vessels.  The sensitive laminae of the hoof are dermal. A.k.a. Corium

DE-ROTATION:  The act of realigning the P3's basal surface with the ground by the use of radiographs and by trimming of the correct amount of heel.

DESENSITIZE:  Block sensation or feeling; numb.  To sake out a horse to accept pressure.  To acquaint a tool to the horse   conditioning to accept to a lesser degree what it would normally be the first reaction

DERMAL PAPILLAE:  papillae found in the dermal layer.

DESMITIS:  An inflammation of any ligament

DESTMOTOMY:  The cutting or division of ligaments.  The surgical cutting of a ligament

DEVELOPMENTAL:  Develops as the foal grows

DEVELOPMENTAL ORTHOPEDIC DISORDER (S)  Musculoskeletal abnormalities that develop as the foal grows; DODs

DEVIATION:  Change in direction from the normal position or angle

DEVITALIZED:  Dead or dying

DIAGONAL BAR SHOE:  Bar shoe in which one branch is shortened and a straight bar connects the ends of the branches; ¾ bar shoe.

DIAGONAL GAIT:  Each diagonal pair of limbs (off fore/near hind, near fore/off hind) move more or less together.  A natural trot is a good example of a diagonal gait.

DIAPHYSIS:  The shaft of a long bone.

DIARRHEA, ACUTE:  Abnormally wet stool (semi-sold to watery) passed at least twice as often as normal, for a rapid, short course of less than a week.  Treatment usually is aimed at the underlying cause, if known, and at supporting the horse by replacing lost fluids and electrolytes.

DIARRHEA, CHRONIC:  Abnormally wet stool (semi-solid to watery) passed up to 1 ½ times more often than normal, for an extended duration of days to months.  Sometimes occurs with longer, intermittent periods of cow-pie or semi-solid stool.  Treatment usually is aimed at identifying and correcting the underlying cause.

DIARRHEA, INFECTIOUS CAUSES OF:  Infections with Ehrlichia (Potomac horse fever), Salmonella, or Clostridium species are the most common infectious causes of acute or chronic diarrhea in adult horses.  Long-term and/or severe infestation with strongyles (intestinal parasite) also can cause this condition.

DIARRHEA, MEDICATIONS AS CAUSE OF:  Antibiotics that can cause diarrhea include etracycline, erythromycin, sulfamethoxazole/trimathroprim, lincomycin, neomycin, and tylosin.  Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications that can cause diarrhea include Bute (phenylbutazone), flunixin meglumine (Banamine), ketoprofen, and naproxen.  Treatment generally involves removal of the medication, and support.

DIAGNOSIS:  Identifying a disease or injury through test, examinations, or observations

DIAPHRAGM PUMP:  Thin sheet of muscel that separates the chest and abdominal cavities; when it contracts air is drawn into the lungs.  The blood pumping aspect of the hoof is sometimes referred as the diaphragm pump by some hoof care practitioners.

DIGIT:  The equine limb distal to the fetlock.

DIGITAL ARTERIES:  The two arteries run down the back and one on either side.  They are between the suspensory ligament and the deep digital flexor tendon, and emerge around the back and sides of the fetlock joint.  Now going down the back of the pastern, giving off branches to the coronary corium all the way round the foot, and a small area of laminae at the back of the foot around the heels.  The digital arteries then pass down the coffin bone, and enter two holes in the undersurface of the coffin bone very close to the attachment of the deep digital flexor tendon.  Once inside the bone they join up forming the terminal arch.  The terminal arch gives off about nine branches which go through the coffin bone and exit around the bottom rim to form the circumflex artery of the coffin bone.  This circumflex artery is outside the coffin bone and sits in a narrow space between the bottom rim of the coffin bone and the inside of the horny sole.  The digital artery also runs underneath the horn on either side of the frog.

DIGITAL CUSHION: AKA, plantar cushion, connective tissue of the heel bulbs, wedge shaped mass that overlies the frog and is located between the lateral cartilages. Dense, spongy tissue in the back half of the foot, between the frog and the deeper structures.  It absorbs shock and helps move blood through the foot.  Made up of fibro cartilage

DIGITAL PULSE:  Rhythmic pulsing of the digital artery behind your horse's pasterns, with each heart beat.  The digital pulse is subtle but can be felt in a normal horse. With certain disorders, it can become stronger and easier to feel.

DILATION:  That physical state of being dilated or stretched beyond normal.  To dilate or widen.

DIMETHYL GLYCINE:  Energy based feed supplement: DMG

DIMETHYL SULFOXIDE:  Anti-inflammatory drug that is well absorbed through the skin; DMSO

DIRT LINE:  Junction of the frog and the callused bottom of the soles surface creating a crease that dirt falls in creating a narrow line down to the live sole.

DISHED:  Referred to as dishy hooves, is when the upper wall comes down at one angle and then the wall will swing forward to a flared toe.  You can run your finger from the top and begin to feel the swooping of this condition created from toe leverage

DISINFECTANT:  Chemical that inactivates or kills micro-organisms.

DISINFECTIONS:  Cleaning infected material from a surface then applying a disinfectant

DISLOCATION:  See luxation

DISPLACED:  Moved out of the normal position; separated

DISTAL:  Furthest point of reference opposite of proximal

DISTAL PHANANX:  Refers to the coffin bone A.K.A., pedal bone, A.K.A. P3

DISTAL SESAMOIDEAN LIGAMENTS:  Group of short ligaments that anchor the base of the sesamoid bones to the back of the pastern

DISTANCE:  Space in between, the condition of being apart

DISTENSION:  The physical state of being swollen or enlarged due to the pressure originating internally

DISTRACTING FORCES:  Tension on a bone from the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that attach to it.

DISUSE ATROPHY:  Wasting or shrinking of a muscle that is not used regularly.

DOME THE DOME:  Trimming for sole concavity

DMSO:  See dimethyl glycine; anti-inflammatory drug that is well absorbed through the skin

DNA:  Deoxyribonucleic acid; strains of complex molecules in the nucleus of every cell.  They contain the genetic codes that direct all cell activities.

DOCK:  The point where the tail connects to the rear of the horse

DORSAL:  This is an anatomical nomenclature term which means that the structure or point in the reference pertains to the back or towards the back of the animal.  Directional term meaning the upper surface; toward the top.

DORSAL ARCH:  A line that is made to represent the outer capsule wall from 10 to 2.

DORSAL SPINOUS PROCESSES:  Ridges of bone along the tops of the vertebrae.

DORSO-PALMAR:  Radiographic view of the lower leg; the x-ray beam passes through the limb from front to back.

DROPPED ELBOW:  Elbow joint that is lower than normal due to paralysis through the limb from front to back.

DROPPED SOLE:  The sole of a hoof which has become convex rather than concave.  As the sole protrudes below the solar plane of the hoof wall, it bears excessive weight and is subject to bruising.  Foundered horses often have dropped soles.

DOUGHNUT:  A roll placed around the horse's pastern to prevent capped elbow

DUBBING:  Wearing down the hoof wall at the toe by either the horse dragging the toe or the farrier rasping the wall.

DUCKETT'S DOT:  Named for Dave Duckett, point approximately 3/8 inch behind the apex of the frog.   It is directly below where the DDFT and the extensor tendon attach to the coffin bone.  Duckett's Dot is the center of the radius of the coffin bone and referred to the center of balance.  Used for determining the normal position of the wall at the toe.  It provides an accurate indication of how long a "long toe" on the long-toed, low heeled horse really is.

E COLI:  Bacteria commonly found in the bowel, and one of the bacteria that cause endotoxemia

EHV-1 MYELOENCEPHALITIS:  Inflammation and damage of the spinal crd and brain, caused by equine herpesvirus type one infection

EAGLE EYE:  The ability to look at the hoof and see balance

EASEMENT:  Removing the compressed heel buttress turning into the commissure

EDEMA:  Accumulation of fluid within the tissues, resulting in soft swelling that stays dented (pitted) when briefly pressed.

EFFUSION:  Abnormal increase in fluid within a joint, tendon sheath, bursa, etc.; it expands the structure, causing a soft, fluid swelling

EGG BAR SHOE:  Bar shoe in which a curved piece of metal connects the shoe branches, making the shoe oval or egg shaped

ELASTICITY:  Ability to stretch and return to the original shape without damage

ELBOW: The joint of the front leg at the point where the belly of the horse meets the leg. Homologous to the elbow in humans.

ELECTRICAL MUSCLE STIMULATION:  Form of electrical tissue stimulation used to make a muscle contract.

ELECTRICAL TISSUE STIMULATION:  Use of a low voltage electrical current to stimulate cell activity, and hence healing.

ELECTROCARDIOGRAPHY:  Diagnostic procedure that records the electrical activity of the heart; ECG or (EKG)

ELECTROLYTE:  Any element with a positive or negative charge, e.g. sodium, potassium, and chloride

ELECTROMYOGRAPHY:  Recording of the electrical activity in a muscle; EMG


ENCEPHALITIS:  Inflammation of the brain, usually caused by infection

ENDEMIC:  Term used for a disease that is always present in an area.

ENDORPHINS:  These are pain relieving substances that are naturally produced by the body's own nervous system.

ENDOSCOPE:  Instrument used to examine the interior of a body cavity.

ENDOTOXEMIA:  Build up of endotoxin in the bloodstream, causing dehydration, shock, and possibly death

ENDOTOXIN:  Toxin consisting of the cell walls of dead Gram-negative bacteria

ENURALTHIS:  Stones formed in the gut of horses not able to flush out calcium.

ENVIRONMENT:  All of the surrounding things conditions, and influences affecting the growth or development of living things.

ENZYMES:  Complex molecules that aid cell reactions and digestion; can damage cell membranes when released from injured cells

EOSINOPHILLIC GRANULOMA (EG): A common skin disease that causes firm smooth nodules that don't itch or causes hair loss.  The cause is unknown, but some researchers believe EG can be triggered by a hypersensitivity to insect bites.  If there are only a few lesions, treatment usually is surgical removal or injection of each lesion with cortisone like medication.  If there are too many lesions to treat this way, systemic treatment with medication may be give.  Warning:  Systemic treatment with corticosteroids increases the risk of laminitis

EPIDERMAL LAMINAE:  The vertical convoluted lining on the inner hoof wall that joins to the lamella covering of the coffin bone

EPIDERMIS:  This is the outer most layers, usually not supplied with blood vessels.

EPIPHYSIS:  That portion of the long bone which occurs on the end.  It can be entirely cartilaginous or separated for the shaft by a cartilagious disc

EPIPHYSEAL PLATES:  Cartilages near the ends of the bones which allow them to grow lengthwise.  As the horse matures, the plates ossify or close.  The more distal plates close first. A.k.A.: Growth Plates: Epiphyseal cartilages.

EPITHELIUM:  Thin membrane tissues covering most of the body's structures and organs, internal and external.  Also describes the first layers that heal over a wound.

EPM (EQUINE PROTOZOAL MYELOENCEPHALITIS):  Infection of the brain and spinal cord by a protozoan called Sarcocystis falcatula.  It's believed that the organism is carried in the fecal matter of opossums Horses can become infected by picking up eggs when eating where opossum droppings are present.  Signs can vary widely, from the obscure to the profound, and can include weakness, staggering, head tilt, dysphgia, and/or seizures.  Diagnosis is based on symptoms and analysis of cerebrospinal fluid taken by spinal tap.  Treatment can include anti-inflammatory medications and a specific antibiotic combination given for several months, until laboratory tests for the infectious agent are negative.


EPIDERMIS:  Outer layer of the skin

EPIPHYSIS:  End of the bone, between the physis and the joint surface

EPM EQUINE  PROTOZOAL MYELOENCEPHALITIS:  Inflammation and damage of the spinal cord and brain caused by the protozoa,

EQUINE HERPESVIRUS TYPE ONE:  Virus that can cause abortion in pregnant mares, mild respiratory disease ( a cold) , and neurologic disease; EHV-1

EQUINE INFECTIOUS ANEMIA:  Contagious viral infection that causes anemia.  The blood test for EIA is a Coggins test

EQUINE METABOLIC SYNDROME:  When diet and/or hormones are creating an unstable environment in the body that can result in laminitis.  A.k.A. EMS

EQUINE MOTOR NEURON DISEASE:  Degenerative disease affecting the nerves that supply the muscles, causing weight loss, muscle tremors, pain and weakness: EMND

EQUINE VIRAL ARTERITIS:  Contagious viral disease that causes fever, depression, nasal discharge, and limb edema; EVA

ERGOT: Tissue protruding from the back of the fetlock.  Believe to be the evolutionary loss of a digit in the prehistoric hoof

ESTRUS:  Periods of sexual receptivity in the female, "heat"

EQUINE DEGENERATIVE MYELOENCEPHALOPATHY, EDM:  A progressive degenerative disease of the nervous system, often mistaken for a lameness problem.  The cause is unknown but in some cases a congenital vitamin E deficiency is suspected.  When walking, the affected horse may lift his hind feet too high, and then slap them down with excessive force.  He may step on himself with backing and sit like a dog.  The inner surfaces of the hind fetlocks often have sores from the horse accidentally kicking himself while walking.  There is no known treatment.  Breeding horses with a high incidence of EDM in their pedigree are believed to have a better chance of producing normal offspring if supplemented with vitamin E.

EUTHANASIA:  Putting to death of an animal suffering from an incurable disease or injury

EXERTIONAL RHABDOMYOLYSIS: Exercise related muscle dysfunction and damage; ER "tying up"

EXFOLIATE:  To shed or flake off dead tissue.  The sole of the hoof, for example, normally exfoliates as it grows down.

EXPANSION:  The very slight outward movement of the quarters of the hoof which may occur during weightbearing, and/or the increase in solar width which occurs as the hoof grows down.

EXTENSION:  The movement that brings a limb into a straight line

EXTENSOR:  Any muscle that extends a joint

EXTENSOR PROCESS:  The upper crown of the coffin bone where the extensor tendon attaches as well as the front part of the lateral cartilages.  The point of insertion of the main digital extensor tendon into the top of P3

EXTENSOR TENDON: Thin tendon that runs down the front of the leg that flips the foot forward in motion.

EXTERNAL:  Situated or occurring on the outside.

EXTENSOR CARPI RADIALIS:  Muscle and tendon at the front of the forearm that help to extend the knee.

EXTENSOR PROCESS DISEASE:  see: Pyramidal disease

EXTENT:  To open or increase the angle of the bones of a joint EXOSTOSIS:  abnormal bony growth.  A.K.A:  False ring bone New bone production on the surface of a bone.  Plural; exostosis

FALSE BURSA:  Swelling containing serum and surrounded by fibrous tissue; usually the result of chronic trauma

FALSE SOLE:   Also known as retained sole. When a capsule is allowed to grow long and the sole is sealed inside between the walls it can thicken along with the walls length, looking like the bottom of the foot but, really the healthy sole is much higher up and behind the sole seen.  The sole of a hoof which does not exfoliate normally.  .

FARRIER:  While there are no legal restrictions on the use of this title in the U.S.A., it properly describes only a professional equine hoof care expert and shoer of horses Farriery is French for metal application.

FASCIA:  A sheet or band of fibrous tissue that lies deep to the skin or forms and investment for muscles and various organs of the body.

FASCILE:  A small bundle of fibers within a nerve or the central nervous system

FASCICULAR:  Pertaining to or forming a fascicle; fasciculate

FASCICULATION:  This is a small localized contraction of the muscles that is visible through the skin.  This contraction represents a spontaneous discharge of a number of fibers innervated by a single motor nerve neuron.

FATTY ACIDS:  Components of fat molecules, used by the muscles as a fuel.

FECES:  This is manure and a horse will generally defecate 8 to 9 times a day of well-formed balls of manure which is approximately 40 lbs per day.

FEMORAL HEAD:  Rounded top of the femur, which fits into the acetabulum to form the hip joint

FEMOROPATELLAR JOINT:  One or more of the two articulations that comprise the stifle.  This articular joint is between the femur and the patella.  American mustangs are feral, rather than truly wild.

FERAL:  Animals of domestic ancestry who have reverted to the wild state

FERAL HOOF:  Living in a natural environment without restriction or ownership

FERRIER:  A worker who trims and attaches metal to hooves

FERRIERY:  French for the application of metal

FETLOCK JOINT:  Contains the cannon bone, long pastern bone and the two sesamoid bones This large joint is located near the hoof and sometimes ifs referred to as the ankle.

FEVER RINGS:  Horizontal rings in the hoof walls of all four eet, caused by severe stress or illness, especially when it includes a fever.  Lines and grooves that circle around the capsule making ridges.  See hoof rings

FIBRIN:  Blood clotting protein that can form adhesions between two structures or within a joint or tendon sheath

FIBROBLASTS:  Cells that produce collagen, the fiber responsible for tissue repair

FIBROCARTILAGE:  Formation of fibrous tissue

FIBROSIS:  Thickening or fusing with fibrous tissue.

FIBROTIC MYOPATHY:  Replacement of muscle tissue with fibrous tissue, which restricts normal muscle function.

FIBROUS TISSUE:  Scar tissue; mostly consists of dense bundles of collagen fibers.

FIBROUS UNION:  Fusion of a fracture with fibrous tissue instead of bone.

FIBROUS AND OSSIFYING MYOPATHY (fibrotic myopathy):  A muscle disorder in which the affected hind leg is advanced normally and then slapped down to the ground a the end of the stride  Often mistaken for stringhalt because the gait abnormality looks similar, this disorder usually is the result of repeated and/or severe stress damage to the muscles at the back and outer surface of a horse's thigh due to sudden sliding stops and direction changes in Western performance and rodeo horses, or aggressively kicking back and missing the target.  Upon healing, torn muscle fibers are replaced with scar tissue, which shrinks as it matures.  In severe cases, scar tissue can become encrusted with calcium deposits.  Successful treatment might require surgery, followed by exercise and physical therapy to stretch muscles and prevent adhesions during healing.  In fresh and/or less severe cases, physical therapy can be effective without surgery.

FILLY:  Immature female horse (under 3 or 4 years of age).

FIRING:  Applying a hot iron to the skin to create a second or third degree burn

FISSURES: Cracks in the surface

FISTULA:  Any abnormal passage between two organs or from an internal organ to the  surface of the body

FITNESS:  Ability to exercise without tiring too soon.

FLANK:  Where the hind legs and the barrel of the horse meet, specifically the area right behind the rib cage and in front of the stifle joint.

FLARES:  An outward distortion which may occur on any portion of the hoof wall.  If left untreated, they can alter functional toe angle, medio lateral balance and hoof symmetry.  Flare's excessive wall lifts away from unnatural length and leverage

FLAT HEADED NIPPERS:  Used to trim excess wall.  The top of the head is flat and the cutting edge is straight.

FLAT FOOTED:  Feet with soles that are flat or "dropped," instead of curing away from the ground surface.  Little to no arch in the sole.  This can be caused by a coffin bone that has damage from high heel, poor hoof care and founder.  The biggest help to know if you have a flat foot or one filled with unexfoliated sole material is to look at the  depth of the collateral groove, and also removing a small area of sole at the sole frog junction until the dirt line disappears.

FLEX:  To fold or decrease the angle of the bones of a joint.

FLEXION:  Closing the angle of the joint by bringing the bones on either side toward each other.the movement of a horse's leg backward due to the use of flexor tendon

FLEXOR CONTRACTURE:  Failure of a flexor unit to lengthen at the same rate as the bones, resulting in persistent flexion of the affected joint (s); "contracted tendons."

FLEXOR DEFORMITY:  Excessive tension on either the DDFT or SDFT Can result from heredity, malnutrition, injury, or a combination of these.  Can be treated with managed exercise, diet, farriery, and surgery A.K.A. contracted tendon

FLEXOR LAXITY:  Slackness or looseness f the flexor unit, which allows the fetlock to drop and the toe to tip up.

FLEXOR MUSCLE:  Muscle that causes joint flexion.

FLEXOR TENDON:  Tendon that is attached to a flexor muscle and causes joint flexion when the muscle contracts.

FLEXOR UNIT:  Combination of a flexor muscle and its tendon.

FLEXURAL LIMB DEFORMITY:  Abnormality of the limb angle when viewed from the side; may be flexor contracture or flexor laxity.

FLIPPER FOOT:  An extremely overgrown, toe-flared hoof.  Can result from founder or neglect.  In severe cases, the horse may stand on the back of his pastern, allowing the  solar aspect of the hoof to be seen from in front of the animal.  A.k.a.: elves shoe

FLEXION:  The act of bending or condition of being bent

FLEXOR TENDONS:  Generally refers to the tendons that run along the back of your horses cannon bones and fetlock joints.  Their function is to support the weight transmitted down through his leg, and to propel him forward.


FLOAT THE HEEL:  When rasping the heels (or one heel when warranted) in such a manner to the heel (s) do not come in contact with the ground.  When viewed from the side, the heels (s) seem to be "floating" in mid air. when  lower the heel where it is not weightbearing such as trying to bring a sheered heel to relax.

FLOATING THE TEETH:  Filing of sharp points on the teeth that cut into the cheeks or causing unnatural closure when eating.

FLUOROSCOPE:  Diagnostic instrumentation whereas radiographic images are taken in a continuous sequence.  This allows 360 degree radiographic examination of a specific area

FLUSH:  To drench a wound in such a way to remove foreign matter,  see: irrigate

FOAL:  A very young horse of either sex.

FOOT:  The hoof and all the structures contained within it. (NOTE: the terms hoof and foot are often used interchangeably.)

FOOT ABSCESS:  Infection and pus accumulation beneath the hoof wall or sole.

FOOT AXIS:  The inclination of the hoof as it is in reference to the ground surface

FOOT FLIGHT:  Path the foot travels during a step.

FOOTPRINT:  The area of the sole that would make a print in the ground,  paddies that pack and release a mold of the sole and frog.  The healthy footprint has a frog that is 2/3 the length of the foot the 1/3 will be

the sole area in front of the apex

FOOTPRINT ARCH:  The line made using the footprint ring to represent the upper area of the footprint.

FOOTPRINT RING:  Pipe clamp or any adjustable ring that can be used to establish or check the balance of the footprint.  This ring is set at the baseline, opened to just past the white line equally on each side of the bottom of the foot touching the unpigmented wall

FOREARM:  The upper half of the leg from the knee to the shoulder.  The area of the front leg between the knee and elbow.  Consists of the fused radius and ulna, and all the tissue around these bones.  Anatomically the antebrachium

FORELOCK:  The continuation of the mane, which hangs from between the ears down onto the forehead of the horse

FORMALIN:  Formaldehyde solution; used for drying and toughening the hooves.

FORGING:  Over-extension of the hind hooves forward

FOUNDER:  (Old French afondrer, to founder or sink.  From the Latin fundu, bottom.):  The mechanical result of laminitis.  The tip of P3 sinks downward towards the sole near the toe.  Founder can also happen to the sides of the coffin bone referred to as a sinker.

FOUNDER RINGS:  Founder rings are horizontal ridges in the hoof wall.  As the capsule grows the wall will pinch up in the front and then the ring lines spread out wider towards the heels.

FOUNDER STANCE:  The standing position often assumed by horses during acute laminitis.  The hind feet will be placed far forward of their usual position, and will bear an inordinate amount of weight.  The fore hooves will be placed out in front of the animal, and may bear weight. Only at the heels

FOUR POINT TRIM:  A hoof trimming technique in which the heels are trimmed back to the widest point of the frog, then the toe is beveled from underneath ahead of the line between the pillars.  The quarters are then rasped until they would no longer bare weight on a firm surface.  This leaves only four full-loading points on the hoof wall: one at each side of the toe, and one at each heel.  This method is based on observations of the hooves of feral horses, and its advocates claim that it results in the development of stronger hoof structure

FRACTURE:  Break OR parting of the two structures especially of bone.

FRACTURE LAME:  Severe lameness, like that seen with a complete fracture.

FREE RADICALS:  Unstable oxygen molecules released by damaged cells; can damage other cells and continue or worsen inflammation.

FROG: triangular rubbery/leather looking padding (see frog padding).  The frog grows from the belly of the pie shaped digital cushion.  The corium referred to as the sensitive frog are papillae that grow soft tubules.  These tubules clump together and the clumps press together.  A healthy frog  is robust and resilient to the touch.  There should be a cleft in the back half in the center of the frog.    The frog provides an expansion joint, shock absorption, protection to the digital cushion that cushions the concussion to the DDFT.  When measuring the 1/3 2/3 for trimming balance the frog can be misleading because the frog padding can stretch forward giving a false apex.

FROG:  The horny tubules that grow from the sensitive frog lining of the digital cushion.  See live frog

FROG APEX:  Pointed tip of the frog

FROG PADDING: Once the frogs healthy growing tubules go through their cycle of growth it pushes off the older none growing tubules that compress in layers.  The frog tubules now become clumped and the clumps clump together to form the triangular shape of padding referred to as the frog on the bottom of the foot.

FROG/SOLE JUNCTION: Where the sole and frog come together creating a dirt line down the edge of the triangular front half of the frog

FROG SUPPORT:  Pad that can be taped to the bottom of the foot in the frog area to provide support.

FROG STAY:  Located to the rear center of the frog elevated up pressing into the back of the digital cushion.

FULCRUM LINE:  At the widest part across the hoof is the fulcrum line.  The hoof begins to bend front to back at this line.  The fulcrum line is approximately ¾ 3/4 inch behind the frog apex.

FULCRUM RADIUS:  Two lines that begin together at the midline and fulcrum line projecting to the pillar points

FUNGAL INFECTION OF HOOF HORN:  Fungal invasion causing a crumbly, weak hoof wall.  Occurs most often in moist, humid climates.  Cold weather doesn't kill the infective fungus.  The fungus enters the hoof at its weak points-cracks, nail holes unhealthy frogs and feeds on the insensitive portion of the hoof wall, hollowing and weakening it.  Treatment usually is: removal of all affected hoof horn: exposing infected tissues so they'll dry:  applying a strong disinfectant: and providing clean, dry housing.  Using a needless syringe a natural fungal fighter can be pushed inside the hoof through the frog.

FUNGUS:  Any of a kingdom of fungi, parasitic spore-producing and plants that lack chlorophyll.  Large and diverse group of organisms.  Those that cause infection in horses are microscopic. Plural: fungi

FUNICULAR LIGAMENT:  Strong cord-like fibrous materials that bind and hold the bone in place

FURLONG:  Unit of distance; one furlong is 220 yards, or 200 meters.

GAIT:  The way or manner in sequence of the horse's movement

GAIT ABNORMALITY, GAIT DEFECT:  Abnormal locomotory movement

GAIT EVALUATION:  Observing the horse as it moves to determine whether the gait is normal, and if not, where the problem lies.

GASKIN:  The large muscle on the hind leg, just above the hock, below the stifle.  Homologous to the calf of the human

GASTRIC ULCERS:  Ulceration or erosions in the stomach lining

GASTROCNEMIUS TENDON:  Tendon that runs down the back of the gaskin and attaches to the joint of the hock.  It is one of the Achilles tendons; "gastroc" tendon

GASTRO INTESTINAL PROBLEMS:  Abnormalities involving the stomach and/or intestines; often caused or worsened by the diet

GELDING:  A castrated male horse of any age.

GIRTH OR HEARTGIRTH:   The area right behind the elbow of the horse, where the girth of the saddle would go, this area should be where the barrel is at its greatest diameter in a properly conditioned horse that is not pregnant or obese

GET:  A collective term for all of a given horse's offspring.

GENERAL ANESTHESIA:  Using drugs to temporarily make the horse unconscious, and unable to feel or respond.

GENERALIZED:  Covering a large area, or in some cases the entire body.

GENERALIZED ALLERGIC REACTION:  Severe, possibly fatal hypersensitivity reaction, usually caused by a drug, insect bite, etc.

GENERALIZED INFECTION:  Infection that affects the entire body; systemic infection. Signs include fever, depression, and loss of appetite.

GENETIC:  Inherited; a trait that is passed down from parent to offspring.

GEOMETRIC COMPONENTS: Patterns used in mapping the hoof

GERIATRIC:  Relating to older such as the geriatric horse

GINGLYMUS JOINT:  A type of synovial joint that allows movement in but one plane, forward and backward as the hinge of a door.

GIRTH:  Distance around body behind elbows and over withers:  may be used as a reasonably accurate estimate of weight.

GLUCOSE: Simple sugar; it is used by cells as fuel

GLUTEAL MUSCLES:  Large muscles at the top of the  rump 'glute's')

GLYCOSAMINOGLYCANS:  Complex molecules that aid cartilage repairs.

GRADED EXERCISE;  Increasing the amount and intensity of exercise in a stepwise manner, over a period of days or weeks

GRADE OF LAMENESS:  Relative severity of the lameness; usually graded on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the most severe.

GRAM NEGATIVE BACTERIA:  Bacteria that do not absorb Gram stain in the laboratory.  These bacteria, which include E. coli and Salmonella species, cause endotoxemia

GRANULATION TISSUE:  Pink, irregular tissue that fills in an open wound.  It is composed of collagen fibers, fibroblasts, and new blood vessels.

GRAVEL ABSCESS:  Hoof wall abscess

GRAVEL:  Different sizes of small rock

GRAIN OVERLOAD:  In the event of ingestion of a large amount of grain.  The first consequence usually is colic, which might occur immediately, due to overfilling of his stomach, or might be delayed until the grain reaches his large intestine.  The second consequence generally is endotoxemia and diarrhea, which occur within 72 hrs due to bacteria that flourish in the high-carbohydrate environment.  The third consequence often is laminitis.  Treatment is most effective when given before signs appear:  The stomach generally is pumped of its contents, and then treated with mineral oil or other cathartics.  Preventative treatment often is given to help protect against endotoxemia and laminitis.

GRANULATION TISSUE:  Tissue formed during healing of a wound, to fill defects and form a nourishing base upon which new skin can grow.  Made of tangled masses of tiny blood vessels and immature scar tissue, granulation tissue is pink, slightly lumpy, has virtually not nerve supply (and thus no feeling), and bleeds easily.  Overgrowth by granulation tissue is known as proud flesh.

GRAVEL ABSCESS:  When a lesion appears for no reason at the coronary band it has been thought to be from gravel moving up the wall.  Many feel that this is not the case.

GREASY HEEL, GREASE HEEL:  A severe, deep skin infection on the backs of the pastern.  The bubbly-looking skin growth creates deep crevices for the infective organism to escape topical treatments.  This condition usually involves two or more feet, most often (but not exclusively) the hind feet.  Whether the infection is a cause or a result of tissue inflammation and damage is controversial, but once started the condition is self-perpetuating.  Successful treatment generally requires aggressive debridement, with twice daily cleansing and disinfection of remaining tissues.  The horse must be housed in an area that's dry and clean.  Systemic antibiotics may be warranted if the specific infective bacteria are identified via culture.

GROOVING:  Cutting or burning a horizontal groove across the fibers of the hoof horn to alter the way in which stresses are transferred up the wall.  This may be done when treating founder, flares, basal cracks and other hoof maladies

GROUND PARALLE:  When the hoof is loaded the coffin bone will settled to a parallel level.

GROUND IMPACT FORCES:  Force of impact when the foot lands, which increase with the horse's speed.

GROWTH PLATES:  see Epiphyseal plates

GROWTH RINGS:  see Hoof rings

GUM COLOR:  Color of the horse's gums; used to evaluate health.  In a healthy horse, the gums are light pink.

HABITAT:  The place where an animal or plant naturally lives or grow.  An exhibit showing animals or plants in their natural surroundings.

HALF ROUND NIPPERS:   Head of the nippers is arched and the edges have a scoop to the cut and is used mostly to remove excessive bar and unexfoliated sole.

HALF ROUND SHOE:  Shoe made out of half round metal, instead of a flat strap of metal

HALTER:  Worn by the horse to tie a lead rope too

HAIRLINE:  Where the leg hair meets the hoof capsule

HAND:  A unit of measure equal to 4 inches, used to measure the height of a horse at the highest point of the withers.  The number of whole hands is properly followed by a hyphen, then the remaining height is inches.  Thus a horse who measures 5 feet and two inches at the withers would be designated "15-2 hands".

HARD KERATINZED TUBULES:   The horn of the capsule as well as the bar are made up of this material

HEAD-BOB:  The head bobs up when a sore forelimb hits the ground and bears weight.  The head bobs down when a sore hind limb hits the ground and bears weight.

HEAD TILT:  Abnormal angle of the head caused by a neurologic abnormality in the brain or a cranial nerve

HEART BAR SHOE:  Shoe with a V shaped piece of metal connecting the ends of the branches; the V bar sits over the frog

HEEL:  The area to the back (palmar) half of the hoof

HEEL BULBS: The lateral cartilage and digital cushion standing up above the hoof capsule in the back

HEEL BUTTRESS:  The platform of hard keratinized tubules were the wall and bar join.  See purchase.

HEEL CAULKS:  Patches of metal welded onto, or worked into the heels of the shoe to increase traction

HEEL CONTRACTION:  Deformed hoof capsule that pushes inward at the heel bending the lateral cartilage and compressing other tissues in the hoof.

HEEL PURCHASE:  Where the capsule wall and bar join in the back of the hoof.  This is the area the hoof strikes first.  See purchase.

HEEL TRIANGLE:  Referred to by some as the bar heel triangle, seat of corn and back of the sole where it meets the heel.  Bordered by the wall, heel purchase and bar the soft keratinized skin of the heel triangle covers the palmar aspect of the coffin bone

HEMATOMA:  This is an accumulation of blood within the tissues which clots to form a solid swelling.  A bruise or contusion, resulting from blunt trauma.  The hematoma is a pocket of blood caused when blood vessels have broken under intact skin; it feels squishy, like a balloon full of thin pancake batter, and it's only minimally tender to touch.

HIGH MOTION JOINT:  Joint that normally has a wide range of motion, e.g. fetlock, knee, and hock

HINDQUARTERS:  The large, muscular area of the hind legs, above the stifle and behind the barrel of the horse

HINNY:  Offspring of a stallion and a jenny.

HIP JOINT:  "Ball and socket" joint between the femur and the pelvis

HISTOLOGY:  Study of the microscopic structure of tissues.

HIP-HIKE OR HIP-DROP:  The hip on one side raises higher and/or sinks lower than the other side

HITCHING:  A method to tie a horse to secured cord.

HOBBLE:  Device used to limit movement by shackling the pasterns  harness used in pacers to connect the forelimb and hindlim on the same side; hopples

HOCK:  The tarsus of the horse (hindlimb equivalent to the human ankle and heel), the large joint on the hind leg

HOMEOPATHY:  Treatment of any disease or state by the use of natural substances in minute doses

HOOF:  (Anglo-Saxon hof):  The equine foot, includes the coronary band and all parts distal.  Sometimes refers to only the horny parts of the foot.  (Note:  the prefix horny may or may not be used when speaking of the external hoof structures.

HOOF ANGLE:  The angle of the dorsal wall generally is the same as the pastern angle.  The general angle for the fores is approximately  47 degrees and the hinds approximately 56 degrees.  Hoof angle should never be lower then 53 degrees.  This will put increased strain on the heel of the hoof, cause rununder heels and navicular disease while increasing the strain on the flexor tendons, leading to bowed tendons.  This may also cause the paster to drop too far and put excessive strain on the suspensory ligament.   Hoof angles higher then 60 degrees may indicate a club foot.

HOOF/PASTERN AXIS:  Imaginary line passing through the center of the pastern

HOOF BALANCE:   Mechanism and movement are not impaired with imbalance

HOOF CAPSULE:  The insensitive, outer elements of the hoof which function as a "wrapper," encapsulating and protecting the sensitive elements of the hoof.  Although the term would generally apply to the hoof wall, it could also be inclusive of all the exfoliating elements;  The sole, the frog, and the periople.  The wall of the capsule sometimes is called the finger nail as it is made up of hard keratinized horn tubules that is protecting the internal structure of the hoof

HOOF CANCER:  see: Canker

HOOF GUAGE:  A tool used for determining the angle of the horse's hoof.

HOOF HEAD:  The enlargement where the hoof joins the digit at the coronary region and above.

HOOF HORN:  The tough, insensitive parts of the hoof, such as the wall, are made of horn.  The wall is composed of fibers which grown downward from the coronary band called tubular horn.  These are cemented together by intertubular horn.  The approximate moisture content of the hoof horn is 25% for the wall, 33 % for the sole, and 50% for the frog.  The frog is referred to as horn

HOOF KNIFE:  Used to pare away bar, frog and unexfoliated sole.


HOOF NIPPERS:  A tool used to remove the excess length of hoof wall

HOOF PASTERN ANGLE:  Relationship between the angles at the front of the hoof wall and the pastern; they should be the same

HOOF RINGS:  Roughly horizontal distortions on the hoof wall which may be caused by changes in diet, environment, season, or by illness.  Uneven hoof rings may indicate that the horse has been foundered. A.k.a.  Growth rings; fever rings

HOOF SEALANT:  Any of a number of artificial varnishes which reduce the transfer of moisture between the hoof and the environment.

HOOF TESTER:  Is a device used to locate lameness or trouble areas in the horse's hoof.  It is squeezed and applies pressure to jigger a reaction.

HOOFBOUND:  see contracted

HOOF WALL:  Hard keratinized tubules forming a horn

HOOF WALL ANGLE:  Angle of the front of the hoof wall in relation to the ground, often measured with a protractor

HOOF WALL CRACK:  Narrow vertical or horizontal defect in the hoof wall; it may be superficial or full thickness

HOOF WALL RESECTION:  Removal of an abnormal area of  hoof wall.  A practice to combat white line disease by removing wall to allow oxygen to the tissue underneath.

HOOF WIDTH:  Measured across the bottom of the hoof at the widest part

HOOF BOOTS:  Protection for transition, healing, and comfort.  There are many styles of boots that work for all riding disciplines.

HOOF MECHANISM:  The process of blood circulation within the hoof and how it responds to function. HUMERUS:  The bone that extends from the shoulder to the elbows.

HUNTERS BUMS:  Condition caused by the bony prominences on the dorsal midline of the caudal lumbar area or on top of the hindquarters

HORIZONTAL CRACKS:  When you see a crack on the capsule that is horizontal to the angle of the hairline and it looks like a hatchet could have split the wall.  This is almost always from fungus that has gone up inside the  wall and got near the surface and when the hoof flexes it will split the surface and appear as a crack.  The depth of this crack can be the thickness of the capsule wall.

HORN:  Hard substance of which the hoof wall and sole are made; it mostly consists of hair like tubules of keratin.  A  tough fibrous material consisting chiefly of keratin that forms the hoof

HORNY COVERING:  Hoof capsule

HORNY FROG:  Is a rubbery-like triangular shaped cushion that grows from the sensitive frog and is made up of l tubules

HORSE PLAY:  Rough, boisterous fun

HOT SPOT:  Area of increased tissue uptake of the radioactive particles during nuclear scintigraphy; indicates inflammation or increased cell activity.

HOT WALKER:  Machine that allows several horses to be walked at the same time.  Overhead arms slowly move the horses in a circle.

HYALURONIC ACID:  Substance that gives joint fluid its lubricating properties.  Commercial HA (or "acid") preparations are used to treat joint disease and tendon sheath inflammation

HYGROMA:  Fluid filled swelling over a bony surface, caused by trauma

HYDROTHERAPY:  Therapy and exercise involving the use of water.

HYPEREXTENDED:  State in which there is an extreme or excessive extension of a limb

HYPER FLEXION:  The state of forcible over-flexion of a limb

HYPERKALEMIC PERIODIC PARALYSIS:  Inherited muscle disorder of Quarter Horses   It causes episodes of muscle tremors and weakness; HPP (or HPPY

HYPERMETRIA:  Exaggerated flexor muscle activity and increased joint flexion, causing a poorly coordinated, high stepping gait.

HYPERTROPHY:  Normal increase in size of a tissue

HYPOCALCEMIA:  Low blood calcium concentration.

HYPOMETRIA:  Exaggerated extensor muscle activity and reduced joint flexion, causing a stiff legged, "toy solder" gait

ILIUM:  Top part of the pelvis

IMMUNE COMPLEX:  Combination of an antigen and an antibody; e.g. virus and antibody.

IMMUNE SYSTEM:  Body system that defends against invading micro-organism

IMPAR LIGAMENT:  A fibrous sheet attaching the distal border of the bone to the flexor surface of the distal phalanx, palmar to the insertion of the deep digital flexor tendon.

INELASTIC:  Not able to be stretched or manipulated in any way.

INFERIOR:  Situated below or directed downward; in official anatomical nomenclature, used in reference to the lower surface of an organ or other structures.

ICTERUS:  Yellow discoloration of skin and mucus membranes (gums, eyelid rims, and inner surface of vulva) due to accumulation of pigments normally metabolized by the animal's liver.  Causes can include: liver disease; hemolytic anemia; snakebite; ingestion of certain potential toxins, such as red maple leaves, onions, or phenothiazine drugs; and fasting.  Treatment usually is focused on addressing the underlying problem.

IMPACTION:  Lack of water intake and animals eating pelletized feed or standing in a stall without much movement can cause impaction resulting in colic.  Checking out their manure is a good indication of moisture.

IMMOBILIZATION:  Restriction of movement

INFECTION:   Bacteria or fungi begin reproducing in an organized fashion, causing a disproportionate increase in one species over the other.  Effective treatment usually focuses on improving the horse's own defenses (e.g., providing drainage, removing dead tissue), and directly attacking the infection with an antibiotic to which the bacteria are sensitive.

INFINITY ENVIRONMENT:  Continuous movement in fluid arrangements on equine property without

INFLAMMATION:  Reaction of the tissues when injured that results in a redness to the dermis, the production of heat, swelling of the tissues, and pain.  Localized heat, redness, swelling,  from injury, infection and irritation or bacterial invasion.   Inflammation is a defense mechanism to the site as blood supply increases and white blood cells pass easily into the inflamed area.

INHERENT:  Inborn, natural, basic

INNER WALL:  Hoof wall that attaches to the laminae

INSERTION:  This is a point of attachment of a muscle to a bone.

INTERFERENCE:  Striking of a limb by the contra lateral foot.  Usually results in trauma to the limb.

INTERNAL:  Situation or occurring whining a structure.

INTERNAL FIXATION:  Surgical technique whereas through the use of pins, plates, and screws there is a compression of the fracture fragments through rigid fixation.

INTERARTICULAR:  Anything with a joint.

INTERARRTICULAR FRACTURE:  Fracture that occurs within a joint.

INTERSYNOVIAL BLOCK:  Administration of a local anesthetic within the synovial cavity.

INTRAVENOUS:  Administration of any substance within a vein.

IRRIGATION:  A process of cleaning and removing infection and necrotic material by injecting soft water pressure to a wound and opening. To wash out.

ISCHEMIA: Lack of oxygenated blood flow to the tissues.  When there is obstruction of blood vessels or part of the tissue has functional constriction this will cause blood deficiency.

ISCHIUM:  One of the pelvic bones, triangular in outline and much smaller than the ileum.  It joins the ileum anteriorly and along its dorsal border except for the sciatic foramen.

ISOTHERMAL GRADIENT:  A specific infrared temperature measurement in relationship to thermal reading

IT IS:  Suffix meaning inflammation or disease.

JACK: male donkey or ass.  Mammoth jack is a large breed of asses.

JACK SPAVIN:  "Spavin" infers a hock injury due to wear and tear, which came on gradually after repeated hard work.  The different types of spavin are based on what's seen from the outside, but the internal problem is not always revealed by external signs.  Jack spavin, also referred to as bone spavin, is a large, hard swelling on the inner (medical) surface, where the hock joint joins the cannon bone.  It usually affects both hind limbs, causing severe lameness.  Because pain is associated with flexing and advancing the affected limb, the horse might carry that limb lower than usually and drag the toe, causing tell-tale wear there.

JAMMED HEEL:  One heel appears to be jammed up into the foot, with its bulb and coronary band correspondingly distorted.  This is also referred to by many as a sheared heel.

JENNY OR JENNET:  Female donkey or ass

JOINT:  An articulation; it is the union or junction between two or more bones of the skeleton

JOINT CAPSULE:  Thick tissue encasing joints.  The joint capsule is richly endowed with blood vessels and sensory nerves, so any inflammation of this tissue (capsulitis) can be associated with significant pain.

JOINT INJURY:  If the joint is penetrated, contamination can lead to infection and severe arthritis that persists even after the infection has been resolved.  Most clinicians recommend aggressive treatment with joint irrigation, anti-inflammatory medication and systemic antibiotics.

JOINT LAVAGE:  Technique where fluid is infused and drained from the joint for therapeutic reasons

JUGULAR GROOVE:  The line of indentation on the lower portion of the neck, can be seen from either side, just above the windpipe.  Beneath this area run the jugular vein, the carotid artery and part of the sympathetic trunk

KERATIN:  (Greek keratos, hor) The tough protein that is the principle component in horn, hair, skin, and hooves.

KERANTINIZED:  Process by which tissue becomes horny

KERATOMA:  A rare and slow growing tumor of the keratin-producing epidermal cells on the interior of the hoof wall.  A tumor of the horny laminae.  Often seen as an inward distortion of the white line. A.k.a.: Keraphyllocele

KICKING:  When the hind leg kicks out or back

KNEE:  The carpus of the horse (equivalent to the human wrist), the large joint in the front legs, above the cannon bone

KNEE HITTING:  Interference in which the fore hoof strikes the inside of the knee of the opposite limb.  Called speedy cutting in the same text circa 1900. a.k.a.: Knee knocking

KNOCK KNEES:  Conformation that refers to a deformity in which the metacarpus deviates laterally and the distal radius deviates medially

KNUCKLING:  When the front legs fold forward with movement.  You can see the fetlock tilt forward and the leg stance is weak.  Some move with a toe walking. See:  Carpus valgus


LACTIC ACID:  Substance produced as a byproduct of muscle metabolism.  The greater the work that the muscles perform, the greater amount of lactic acid circulating through the body.

LAG SCREW:  Basic orthopedic technique used to routinely provide fixation with bony structures.

LAID OVER BARS:  When bar grows past the surface of the live sole plane it will grow out and up or can migrate against the soles surface.  The bar grows out with an angle and makes for a natural collapse on the area known as the seat of the corn and also the web.  The horn of the bar can also press down into the growing sole thinning the area.  It can also grow into the commissure area and press into the frog.

LAME:  Describes a horse who is suffering sufficient pain and/or mechanical defect to interfere with normal movement and weight bearing in one or more limbs.  Limping

LAMENESS:  Movement that shows discomfort a deviation from the normal gait or posture due to pain or mechanical dysfunction

LAMELLAE:  Thin plates that convolute a covering over the coffin bone

LAMELLAE WEDGE:  When founder happens the cells change from the pull in the laminae and creates a tissue that prevents the hoof wall to reattach fully to the coffin bone.  This wedge is the cause of the dorsal wall to wrinkle and stack up in the upper 1/3 of the capsule.  The lamellae wedge spreads down to the quarters and creates the oblong shape while causing further heel contraction.

LAMINA:   (plural laminae) The tissues which attach the P3 to the hoof wall.

LAMINAE:  Also called lamellum is the complex vertical corrugations or leaves between the wall and the coffin bone.  The inner laminae are attached to the coffin bone and are called sensitive laminae.  The outer laminae are attached to the wall and are called horny laminae.  With magnification from the solar viewpoint, the horny and sensitive laminae can be seen to be folded together or interdigitated.  The unique structure of the laminae give the P3/hoof wall union several square fee of attachment surface while allowing the wall to grow down in relation to the bone.

LAMINAR CONNECTION:  Area between the coffin bone and the capsule wall

LAMINAR CORIUM:   The soft tissue that supports the coffin bone to the hoof wall.  The laminar corium receives its blood supply from branches arising from the terminal arch and circumflex artery.

LAMINAR WEDGE:  Tissue that generates from the perverse cell structure of the area of the laminae connection during founder.  The bulbous toe of a founder at trimming will rasp down through the wall to this wedge which will look hard, translucent and fibrous.  Bacteria like to live inside and eat at the laminar wedge.  Both must be removed to have a normal attachment between the wall and the coffin bone

LAMINITIS:  Inflammation of the laminae causing increased pressure in the capsule with restricted blood flow.  If damages are to be prevented, icing the hoof and lower leg for 24 hrs in the first 48 hrs.  There are several causes that case laminitis, grain overload, placenta tearing, endotoxemia, walnut shavings toxicosis, Potomac horse fever, obesity. A systemic illness in the horse which involves the malfunction of the AVAs in the hooves.  The blood flow through the hoof may be increased, but it is diverted away from the fine capillaries which supply the laminae.  This results in the death of some laminar tissue, and causes the horse pain.  Laminitis can lead to founder.

LANCE:  To open up tissue to drain.

LASER:  High energy beam of intensive light

LATERAL:  Anatomical term denoting a position further away from the median plane or the mid line of the body

LATERAL CARTILAGE:  Is fibro cartilage and located on each side of the hoof, attached to the coffin bone, extending backward inside the quarters.  The cartilage is half in and half out of the capsule and you can see the top ridge above the coronary band.  Holding your finger on the pastern about ¾ 3/4 inch above the capsule you can feel the top of the cartilage running from the front of the pastern moving your finger back towards the digital cushion.  You should be able to shift the cartilage with pressure like the cartilage that immediately leaves the bone of the nasal cavity.

LATERAL EXTENSOR TENDON:  The LET assists the common extensor tendon in extending the front leg and the long extensor tendon in extending the hind end.  The LET is anatomically different in the front and hind limbs of the horse.  In the front limb, the LET runs separately but parallel to the CDET and inserts on the upper end of the outside surface of the long pastern bone just below the fetlock joint.  In the hind limb, the LET may vary, but, generally joins the LEDT just below the hock.  Occasionally it will form an attachment on the long pastern bone.  Horses with the condition known as "stringhalt" will sometimes have that portion of the LET which passes over the hock surgically removed.

LATERAL GAIT:  Both off limbs move more or less in unison, as do both near limbs.  A pace is a good example of a lateral gait.

LEG MANGE:  A skin condition of the lower legs near the fetlocks, due to infestation with a microscopic mite called Chorioptes.  Signs can include: intense itching (exhibited by foot stomping, ankle chewing, or slipping the feet between fence boards and rasping back and forth): hair loss; swelling; redness; and crusting of the skin at the3 backs of the pasterns and fetlocks.  Treatment may include: clipping away hair over affected skin; bathing with an antiseborrheic shampoo to dissolve and lift scabs; and killing the mites with at least two applications of insecticide at 2 week intervals.

LESION:  Change in texture or structure of tissue due to an injury or disease process. An abnormal change in structure of an organ or part due to injury or disease.

LEVERAGE:  Forces that push lift bend

L.H.L.T.  Low Heel Low Toe:  A condition in equine hooves in which the heels are excessively low due to trimming, wear, or underrun growth: and the toe is excessively long, often in the form of a flare.  L.H.L.T. is know to contribute to navicular disease and gait defects such as forging and overreaching a.k.a. L.T.L.H.

LIGAMENTOUS:  Pertaining to or of the nature of a ligament

LIGAMENT:  The tough band of tissue that holds the bones of a joint in alignment.

LIGAMENT INJURY:  Sprain or rupture of a ligament generally happens when the joint is stressed while the muscles and tendons around it are passive, weak or fatigued.  The result of the injury is an unstable joint that's prone to re-injury and likely to develop arthritis.  Treatment depends on the injury's severity and ranges from rest and anti-inflammatory medications, to surgical repair.

LIMB:  The entire equine appendage, from the scapula or hip down.

LIMP:  When a stride is interrupted with a bobbing of the head or lift in the shoulder pain or injury is suspected.

LINE GAITED:  Describes a horse that trots with each hind hoof following directly in the line with its lateral fore hoof.

LIVE SOLE PLANE:  The natural surface of the sole that is at the end of its growth cycle before packing callus and unexfoliated skin on the natural waxy appearance the live sole has.  Trimming that pars or sands down into the live sole plane is referred to as invasive trimming.

LIVE FROG:  The growing healthy soft keratinized tubules that stay tight and standing next to each other forming a strong base for the digital cushion and the descending pastern.  The live frog is about 3/8 inch thick.  The padding made of the tubules that have left this connected tissue create a layered padding that is seen when cleaning the  bottom of the foot.

LOIN:  The area right behind the saddle, going from the last rib of the horse to the croup.  Anatomically approximate to the lumbar spine.

LONG DIGITAL EXTENSOR TENDON:  a.k.a.: Main Extensor Tendon, is found in the hind limb, and is essentially the same from the hock down, as the common digital extensor tendon is below the knee.

LONG PASTERN BONE:  Also known as P1, 1st in a series of bones in the pastern

LONG TOE:  Excessive wall length at the toe the average toe length is approximately 3 1/8 inches shorter for small animals.

LONG TOW-LOW HEEL:  A common configuration of trimmed and/or shod horses based on the belief that it delays breakover and causes the horse to lift his leg with more impulsion, therefore improving movement.  Many chronic lameness's and leg blemishes may result from, or be exacerbated by this tendency, including navicular disease, wind puffs, stocking up the lower legs; flexor tendonitis, osselets, and degenerative joint disease.

LOW LEVEL LIGHT THERAPY:  Form of therapeutic treatment utilizing photo energy on a regular basis to enhance the healing process

LUCENCIES:  Areas on a radiograph that appear more transparent since the tissues being penetrated are less dense.


LUXATION:   Dislocation of a joint or other body part, away from its normal position. Involving loss of integrity to one or more of the joint ligaments (sever sprain) as well as damage to other joint structures such as the fibrous joint capsule and surrounding tendons.

LYME DISEASE:  Infection with the spiral-shaped bacteria Borrelia bugdorferi, spread by the bite of an infected tick.  Signs vary widely and can include: recurrent lameness that shifts from one leg to another and for which no other cause can be found; arthritis; stiffness; and reluctance to move.  Treatment usually is administration of antibiotics from the penicillin or tetracycline family.

LYMPHNGITIS:  Inflammation of the lymphatic vessels due to deep skin infection, most often occurring on your horse's lower limbs.  Signs may include; fever, swelling; pain; blisters; pustules; and ulcerations of the skin in the affected area.  Treatment can include: clipping hair; debriding; cleansing and disinfecting of raw tissues; bandaging; hand walking; and systemic antibiotics.

MANE:  Long and relatively coarse hair growing from the dorsal ridge of the neck, lying on either the left or right side of the neck).

MANGE:  Loss of hair in spots caused by minute parasitic mite causing inflammation and is contagious skin diseases

MALNOURISHED:  State of being under fed or undernourished.  Significantly inappropriate diet.  This is not limited to underfeeding, but also includes overfeeding and excessive or insufficient amounts of individual nutrients in the diet.

MANIPULATION:  Manual examination or treatment of any part of the body.

MAPPING:  Method to view where to trim

MARE:  Sexually mature female horse usually 4 years old or older a.k.a.: dam ("out of")

MARROW:  The soft material that fills the cavities of the bones

MASSAGE:  Systematic therapeutic friction, stroking and kneading the muscles of the body to stimulate their action and relieve strain.

MEDIAL:  This is an anatomical term pertaining to structures or points that lay close to the mid line or meridian plane of the body.

MEDIOLATERAL:  Gauging height on both sides of the hoof.

MEDIOLATERAL BALANCE:  Describes the distribution of loading over the medial and lateral halves of the hoof.

MEDIAN PLANE:  Anatomical plane divides the animal symmetrically into right and left halves with any plane parallel to the median plane being referred to as a sagital plane.

METATARSALS:  Bones of the hind limb that extend from the hock to the fetlock.

MICRO FRACTURES:  Microscopic fractures that are very difficult to diagnose utilizing normal radiographic to the pass through at any given time

MENISCUS:  Cartilage in the joint

METABOLIC:  Physical and chemical process in the body.  Relating to or based on metabolism

MIDDLE PHALANX:  Short pastern bone AKA P2

MOBILITY:  Ability to move

MORPHOLOGY:  The study of biological structures without consideration for their function

MOVEMENT:  Not standing

MULE:  Offspring or progeny of a jack and a mare.

MULE FOOT:  A narrow hoof with straight quarters and a large frog.

MUSCLE ATROPHY:  Involuntary trembling or facilitation of a muscle.

MUSCLE TREMOR:  Involuntary trembling or facilitation of a muscle.

MUSCULOKELETAL:   Anatomical term given to structures made up of bones, joints, ligaments, muscles and tendons.

MUSTANG ROLL:  Easing the break over with a bevel  from the sole level that reflects a bevel about 45 degrees upward.  The reason it is referred to as the mustang roll is from the studies of mustangs they have a large and full bevel around the rim of the wall .  it is really not a roll but more angular in a bevel.

MUZZLE:  The chin, mouth, and nostrils of the horse's face.

MYOPATHY:  Any disease of a muscle.

NAIL BED:  Corium for producing horn

NARROW BEHIND:  The hind feet are closer together than the hips

NATURAL BOARDING:  Not confined to box stall and paddock, continuous forage,

NATURAL CARE:  Lifestyle promoting movement, barefoot, continuous forage, homeopathic solutions

NATURAL GAIT:  Gaits are the walk, trot and gallop, whereas artificial gaits are those that are taught to the horse.  Several breeds have a natural gait different then the general movement of horses.  A few of these are Peruvian Paso, Walkers, and Cobs

NATURAL HOOF CARE:  Not using the use of hammered on shoes.  Allowing the hoof to be natural in trimming and use.

NATURAL HOOF CARE PRACTITIONER:  One who applies natural trimming and lifestyle for the equine.  Taking into account diet, movement and lifestyle.

NATURAL TRIM:  Following the natural shape of the internal hoof without removing healthy sole.  Also aiming for a ground parallel coffin bone.

NATURAL WEAR:  Barefoot hoof walking on nature's emery board

NATURES EMERY BOARD:  Referring to the surface of the ground that wears and files the capsule wall and bar

NAVICULAR BONE:  A small canoe shaped bone that forms the lower rear half of the coffin joint. The navicular bone acts like a pulley to keep the DDFT table in its attachment to the coffin bone.  It also provides some cushioning to the coffin joint

NAVICULAR BURSA:  A small sac between a tendon and navicular bone; a bodily pouch

NAVICULAR DISEASE:  A chronic degenerative condition that results from derangement of the blood flow to the navicular bone and/or excessive pressure and friction on the navicular bone, the pillow-like sac that cushions it (the navicular bursa) and/or the deep digital flexor tendon that bends around it in the back of your horse's foot.

Signs can include gradual onset of lameness in one or both fore limbs, causing a stilted or choppy gait.  The condition can be initiated or made worse by a long toe/low heel configuration.  There's not cure, but treatment can reduce the signs and restore the horse's usefulness in many cases, and may include; corrective trimming; weight reduction if the horse is obsess.

NAVICULAR SYNDROME:  Pain in the back half of the hoof generally from heel contraction.

NAVICULAR VALVE:  When the hoof is moved either toe or heel first the blood is moved into the hoof through two large arteries located between the navicular valve and the coffin bone.

NEAR:  The side of the horse that faces west when the animal is walking north.  The horse's left side.  Horses are most often led, saddled, and mounted from the near side.  Opposite of off.

NECROPSY:  A post-mortem examination.

NECROSIS:  Death of tissue either on the cellular, tissue or organ level

NEGATIVE SOLE PLANE:  Draw a line from the front of the coronary and extend it cranially to see if the line makes contact above the knee in the hinds.  Also a horse with a negative sole plane usually will stand under themselves.

NERVES:  Specialized structures that provide pathways in which to carry message to and from the brain.

NERVOUS SYSTEM:  System of the body which coordinates the whole activity of the body

NERVE BLOCK:  Injection of local anesthetic in the vicinity of a specific nerve to deaden he region for which that nerve provides sensation and motor function.  Nerve blocks are used to: diagnose lameness (numb the area suspected to be the source of the lameness, and the lameness goes away- diagnosis confirmed);

NERVE DAMAGE:  Damage from injury or illness can cause the muscles of the leg to malfunction, allowing the leg to buckle or bend the wrong way.  Treatment usually is aimed at identifying and correcting the underlying cause, and at protecting the limb from further damage by artificially stabilizing affected joint with splints, support bandages, or casts.

NERVING:  see Neurectomy

NEURECTOMY:  Removal of a section of nerve to eliminate or reduce sensation in part of an animal's body.  This procedure is often performed to alleviate pain within the horse's hoof.  After such a neurectomy, the horse may not be considered entirely sound because the mechanical cause of the problem still exists. Surgical or chemical excision of part of a nerve

NEURITIS:  Inflammation of a nerve

NEUROMAS:  Tumor or new growth largely made up of nerve cells and nerve fibers, tumor growing from a nerve

NEUROGENIC MUSCLE ATROPHY:  Usually localized phenomenon as well.  It is characteristic of a few well known recognized syndromes in the horse; the best known is denervation atrophy due to paralysis of the suprascapular nerve

NICTITATING MEMBRANE:  The "third eyelid," a pink membrane normally folded out of sight in the inner corner of your horse's eye, covering the eyeball when the upper eyelid closes.  If the nictitating membrane is visible while the eye is open, something's wrong-either the eye is irritated, or nerve supply to the membrane isn't working right.

NIPPERS:  Hand tools with a cutting head to remove horn on the hoof.

NODDING:  Nodding or bobbing the head is often an indication of lameness.  The horse will use his head to help un-weight a lame leg.

NOMENCLATURE:  Terminology specifically classified system of names

NONSTEROIDIAL:  Any pharmaceutical compound that does not contain corticosteroids

NON-WEIGHT BEARING:  A non-weight bearing leg is one that is so sore that the horse will carry it without letting it touch the ground while moving.

NUCHAL LIGAMENT:  Ligament that divides the dorsal vertical muscles into the right and left groups that supports much of the burden of the head and allows the head to be raised and lowered.

NUCLEAR SCINTIGRAPHY:  A diagnostic technique for determining whether a particular area of your horse's body (most often musculoskeletal) is functioning normally.  A radioactive substance is injected, given orally, or infused into the body, then tracked by a sort of medical Geiger counter called a gamma camera, which shows whether his body is dealing normally with the substance.  This high-tech procedure is a valuable adjunct to traditional imaging techniques, such as x-ray and ultra-sound, when diagnosis is difficult

OAKUM:  Medicated hemp used for packing

OBESE:  When fat exceeds healthy and in proportion to the size of the body

OCCLUSION:  Blocking of an opening or passage within an animal's body.

OFF:  The horse's right side.  The side of the horse that faces east when the animal is walking north.  Opposite of near

OFFSET KNEE:  see: Bench Knee

ONYCHOMYCOSIS:  Means a fungal disease of the nail or claw.  Denotes the decay of the inner hoof wall and the white line as a result of infection by highly adaptable microorganisms. A.k.A.  white line disease: Onycholysis

OSIS:  Diseased condition.  Condition or action

OSSELETS:  An exostosis within the fetlock joint.  This is commonly referred to as traumatic arthritis of the metacarpalphalangel joint.  Thickening of the joint capsule at the front of the fetlock joint due to repeated trauma.  Signs may include lameness: puffiness of the fetlock joint: and the appearance of a soft tissue mass that can be felt at the front of the joint.  Treatment may include surgical removal of the mass if associated with lameness.

OSSIFICATION:  Formation of bone or of a bony substance; the conversion of fibrous tissue or of cartilage into the bone or a bony substance.

OSSIFY:  Process in which there is a change of the tissue or development into bone.  Change into bone.

OSTEO- OR OSTE:  Greek prefix meaning bone

OSTEOLYSIS:  Degenerating of bone.

OSTEOARTHRITIS:  Arthritis of cartilage deterioration. Chronic multiple degenerative joint disease

OSTEOCHONDROSIS:  Condition within the growing cartilage where there is a failure in ossification resulting in a necrosis within the cartilage structure itself.

OSTEOID:  Resembling bone, or the organic matrix of bone, young bone which has not undergone calcification

OSTEOMYELITIS:  Inflammation of bone caused by a pyrogenic organism.  It may remain localized or it may spread through the bone to involve the marrow, cortex, cancellous tissues and periosteum.

OPEN KNEES:  When viewed laterally, the carpal joint appear irregular as a result from the lack of closure of the distal radial epiphysis

OUT OF:  Refers to the horse's maternal parentage.

OUTER WALL:  Pigmented tubules of the horn runs about ½ into the capsule wall up to the unpigmented wall.

OVER AT THE ANKLES:  When the hind leg hoof capsule is high inside with continual flare.  This will begin to roll under the opposite side of capsule heel.

OVER THE KNEES:  Conformation in which there is a forward deviation of the foot during flight.


OVERREACHES:  A fault in gait which causes the toe of a hind hoof to strike the back of the lateral fore leg or the heel of its hoof or horseshoe.  Similar, but, not identical, to forging.

P3:  This is the third phalanx and is the most distal bone in the equine limb.  It is situated completely within the hoof, and is the only bone in the body that is covered in corium attached to the hoof wall and the solar area is covered in papillae that grow sole tubules.  a.k.a. coffin bone; distal phalange; pedal bone; Ospedis

PACKING:  To fill the concavity of the sole and the commissures of the frog with a material that will prevent thrush and keep dirt from being trapped under the hoof.  Packing material may also contain various antibiotics and medications for other therapeutic uses.

PADDLE:  Unnatural circular looking movement of the hoof when moving

PADDLING:  Movement of the foot during flight where the foot moves away from then back to the beginning at the end of the stride

PADDOCK PARADISE:  Book by Jaime Jackson on how to be creative and provide a better environment for domestic equine stabling.

PAIN:  pain can be rated with observation of movement and response to pressure

PALLIATIVE:  Affording temporary relief, but not a cure

PALMAR: Pertaining to the palm and refers to the back of the forelimb.

PALMAR PROCESS:  The rear area of the coffin bone wings.

PALPABLE:  Perceptible by touch

PALPATE:  To examine by touch.  To push softly against tissue with a short bounce

PALPATION:  Act of feeling with the hand; the application of the fingers with light pressure to the surface of the body for the purpose of determining the consistence of the parts beneath the surface of physical diagnosis.

PAPILLAE:  Hair like roots that produce tubules that make a variety of horn.

PARALYSIS:  Loss or impairment of motor function in part due to a designs of the neural or muscular mechanism also by analogy, impairment of sensory function.

PARING:  The process of slicing thin amounts of tissue away.

PASSING GAITED:  Describes a horse that trots with his hind feet tracking wider than his fore feet.  Not a gait as such.

PASSIVE:  In use with the hoof the forward  frog area and bar do not tough the ground surface before the capsule wall and heel buttress.  Only loose footing or gravel will push up to the passive surfaces

PASSIVE TO THE GROUND:  This refers to the bar and trimming it lower to the sole below the wall/sole junction so that it is not weightbearing.

PASSIVE MOVEMENTS:  Gentle movement made by a handler to anatomical structures rather than have that animals move these structures on their own accord.

PASSIVE WEAR:  Slow non specific wear

PASSIVE SUPPORT:  Not load bearing

PASTERN AXIS:  The angle of bone line up

PASTERN JOINT:  Same joint as the human middle finger

PASTURE:  A grassy field or hillside and any area that serves as a source of food for something.

PASTURE TRIM:  One said to be a flattening of the walls to the soles surface without positioning the heel purchase to the widest part of the frog or taking into the shape of the natural shape and arch of the sole.

PASTERN:  Portion of lower leg from the fetlock to the hoof capsule comprising two bones, the P1, long and P2, short pastern bones

PASTERN AXIS:  Inclination of the pastern with reference to the ground surface observed from both the dorsal and lateral views.

PASTERN JOINT:  Formed by two convex areas on the distal extremity of the proximal phalanx and two shallow concave areas expanded by a palmar fibro cartilages plate on the proximal extremity of the middle phalanx

PATELLA:  Long and narrow bone located in the interior portion of the stifle joint.  The free surface is convex in both directions and the articular surface is convex from side to sides and slightly concave proximally too distally.

PATELLA, UPWARD FIXATION OF, UPWARD PATELLAR FIXATION:  Locking of the hind limb in an extended, stretched-out position due to the medial patellar ligament (which holds the kneecap in place) getting hung up on a notch at the end of the thigh bone (femur).  In affected horses, the locking occurs suddenly and without warning.  It's not usually associated with lameness, but can be dangerous if it occurs while the horse is performing.  Factors believed to contribute to this problem can include; loss of body fat; lack of muscle strength; neuralgic disease; conformation; or injury.

Horses that are thin may have a smaller fat pad over the femur's notch, thereby allowing the ligament to fall deeper into the notch and get caught.  Horses with inadequate strength or stamina might have weak quadriceps muscles, which normally pull the kneecap up out of the notch before allowing it to slide down to permit knee bending.  If neurological disease and traumatic injury have been ruled out, initial treatment may include anti-inflammatory medication on the assumption that the ligament and/or tissues adjacent to it are inflamed and swollen, and so are more likely to get hung up on nearby protrusions.  Muscle-building exercise such as hill work is often recommended to improve the strength of the quadriceps muscles, and dietary adjustment is used if necessary to improve body condition.  If this measure fails, stifle injections can be considered, or the ligament may be severed surgically.

PATHO- OR PATH  (greek pathos):  Prefix denoting disease or suffering.

PATHOGENISIS:  Origin of suffering.  The generation and development of a disease

PATHOLOGICAL:  Any process or aspect of disease the effects of which occurs on cells, tissues, body structures or organs.

PATHOLOGY:  Scientific study of the development and nature of disease.

PAWING:   Rhythmic strikes to the ground with the front hooves while standing.

PEA GRAVEL:  Small stones about the size of a large pea generally 3/8 inch or smaller

PEDAL OSTEITIS:  Severe and/or repeated bruising of the sole resulting in the inflammation of the P3

PEDAL POSTERITIES:  A demineralization of the phalanx resulting from inflammation.  It usually manifest itself radiographyically as a roughening of the solar borders of the distal phalanx

PELVIC LIMB:  A hind limb

PEN:  A small closed yard

PENETRATING CRACK:  Any kind of hoof crack which exposes sensitive tissue and/or causes lameness. A.k.a.: Deep crack

PERFORANS:  The deep digital flexor tendon

PERFORATUS:  The superficial digital flexor tendon

PERI:  (greek):  Prefix meaning around or enclosing

PERIARTICULAR:  Those structures that are situated adjacent to a joint.

PERICHONDRIUM:  The membranes which cover cartilages.

PERIOPLE:  The thin, tough, protective covering of the coronary band.  The periople normally extends less then one inch down the hoof wall.

PERIOPLE RING:  Holds moisture in and dryness out; it surrounds the coronary band.

PERIOPLE TUFTS:  Periople skin at the heel that lift and curl or will wear down from the heel striking the ground in locomotion.  This is a clue to the baseline of the hoof.

PERIOPLIC:  Layer of soft light colored horn covering the outer aspect of the hoof.

PERIOSTEUM:  A specialized membrane of connective tissue covering all bones of the body except at the articular surfaces and the coffin bone which is the only bone covered in corium

PH:  A chemical scale from 0-14 used for measuring solutions with 7 as a base rating for a neutral solution, increasing with higher alkalinity, and decreasing with higher acidity.  A measure of acidity and alkalinity

PHALANGE:  Having to do with the bones of the digit

PHALANGEAL BONES:  The last three bones of the leg known as 1. long pastern bone, P1, proximal phalanx 2. short pastern bone, P2  3.  Pedal bone, distal phalanx, coffin bone P3

PHALANGEAL IMBALANCE:  A condition due to excessive heel growth the P3 and hoof are parallel, but not in line with the pastern.  This condition can occur with a club foot.

PHALANX:  Any of the major bones in a digit.  The plural "phalanxes" is used only for the military (non-anatomic) meaning of this word.  The plural phalanges are used in anatomy.

PHOTOACTIVATED VASCULITIS, WHITE LEG DISEASE:  Extensive, painful edema (swelling) on white limbs only, often accompanied by skin reddening, erosions, and the formation of scabs and crust.  Affected horses are most often but not exclusively, sorrel or chestnut in color.  The underlying cause is hypersensitivity to sunlight, called photosensitivity, which can be the result of liver disease or ingestion of such toxic weeds as goat weed (St. Johnswort, Klamath weed) or alsike clover.  Treatment usually is aimed at resolving the underlying cause and at reducing signs by providing sun protection and administering anti-inflammatory medications.

PHYSICAL THERAPY:  Restoration of function and promotion of tissue healing by assisting normal physiologic processes.

PHYSIOLOGY:  The study of how the body functions:

PIGEON TOED:  Conformational fault in which the toe of the hoof is pointed medially, usually resulting in a paddling motion during movement.

PIGMENTED WALL:  The colored outer half of the wall thickness.  Ranges in color from stripped, white, and shades of brown, black, slate and speckled.  The pigmented wall provide water proofing and strength to the capsule.  In healthy hooves it is thicker in percentage compared to the unpigmented portion of the capsule wall.  Donkeys have all pigmented walls, mules, mustangs and healthy domestic horses have a large percentage of pigmented wall that can even  merge throughout the unpigmented area.

PILLAR POINT:  Located in the toe quarters and where the hoof moves and touches the ground and where the bend in the shape happens at the toe region.  These are two imaginary lines running the entire height of the dorsal hoof wall, which are anterior points of weight-bearing.  A guideline to help determine the amount of roll needed for a rolled toe.  Used in duckett's method of hoof balance.

PINWORMS:  Intestinal parasites of the Oxyuris family that reside in your horse's lower intestine and deposit their eggs in the tissues of the anus, causing intense anal itching.  The most common external sign of pinworm infestation is a rubbed-out tail, due to attempts by the horse to scratch the anus.  Treatment is administration of an appropriate dewormer medication.

PLAITING:  When movement of one forefoot is placed directly in front of the other hoof.

PLANTAR:   Pertaining to the sole of the foot and to the back of the hind limb

PLANTAR CUSHION:  Because the word "plantar" implies the hind foot, and the cushions are common to all four hooves, they are sometimes referred to as digital cushions

PLEXUS:  Network or tangle, used in anatomical nomenclature as a general term to designate a network of lymphatic vessels, nerves or veins.

PODOTROCHELEOSIS:  Inflammation of the navicular bone within the hoof.

POINTING UP THE TRIANGLE:  Removing the turned in heel buttress that overextends the bar line.

POLL:  commonly refers to the poll joint at the beginning of the horse's neck immediately behind the ears, a slight depression at the joint where the atlas (C1) meets the occipital crest.  Anatomically, the occipital crest itself is "poll"

POLYNEURITIS:  A disease of the nervous system.  The affected horse moves stiffly, as if all joints and all four feet hurt.  Although he has no fever and his appetite is unaffected, he tends to lose weight and muscle mass, especially over his shoulder blades and upper thighs.  He trembles as he becomes progressively weaker, lifting his head only when alerted, then lowering it to his knees when at rest.  There's no known treatment.

POPPED ANKLE:  see:  windpuff

POPPED KNEE:  Any of several forms of inflammation of the carpus.  May be a bursitis, a herniated joint capsule, or a distended tendon sheath a.k.a. big knee; capped Knee; Hygroma

POPPED SESAMOID:  Inflammation of a proximal sesmoid bone or a sesamoidian ligament.  May result from uneven stress on the fetlock, or from direct injury such as may be caused by interference. A.k.a.: sesamoiditis

POROUS:  Penetrated by pores and open spaces

POSTERIOR:  Situated in the back of or in the back part of or affecting the back part of an organ in official anatomical nomenclature, used in reference to the back or dorsal side of the body

POTOMAC HORSE FEVER PHF:  Protozoa infection of the intestinal tract usually causing diarrhea; fever; depression; and colic.  Treatment generally is supportive and administration of appropriate antibiotics, along with preventive measures to avoid the development of laminitis, a common sequel to PHF

POULTICE:  A soft, moist pultanceous mass applied hot to the surface of a part for the purpose of supplying heat and moisture.  Also a soft mushy dressing, made of a mixture of dry, absorbent substances with liquid or oil, applied to wounds or swellings to soften, relax, or stimulate the tissues, or reduce swelling.

POST LEGGED:  Conformational characteristic where there is an excessively straight pelvic limb.

POST-MORTEM:  After death, an autopsy

PRISON:  Any person or animal that is shut up against his will or who is not free to move.

PROGNOSIS:  Prospect of recovery from a disease or an injury

PROLAPSED SOLE:  see dropped sole

PROLIFERATION:  Grow through multiplication.  To reproduce or produce new growth or parts rapidly and repeatedly.  To increase or spread at a rapid rate.

PROPRIOCEPTION:  The central nervous system receives automatic understanding from sensations sent by feeling pressure.  Example is if you step on a sharp rock the proprioception in your foot will tell you to lift it off before damage occurs.  The central nervous system will relay this information to the body to react.  There is an increased proprioception in the frog area of the hoof.

PROUD FLESH:  When a wound heals and there is an overgrowth by granulation tissue that is pink and bubbly-looking.  During certain flesh wounds, particularly those involving wounds to the lower legs where there's no muscle beneath the skin.  It can protrude from the injury site like a tumor, preventing new skin from covering the wound.  Treatment depends on location and severity, and usually will include one or more of the following: topical applications of various medications designed to melt away the excessive tissue, pressure bandages; and/or surgical removal of proud flesh.

PROPROCEPTION:  Nerves that will send sensory messages to the brain and muscle

PROXIMAL:  Nearest closest to any point of reference opposed to distal, UPPER

PROXIMAL PHALANX:  Long pastern bone

PULSE:  Rhythmic throbbing of an artery which can be palpated digitally. Average 44 beats per minute (23 to 70 range, influenced by age and fitness)

PUMP:  Pushes fluids

PUNCTURE WOUND:  A penetrating wound in the coronary area the sole or fleshly frog portion of the hoof, which can carry contamination to vital internal structures, such as bones, joints, cartilages, ligaments, and tendons.  Treatment usually includes: removal of the penetrating object and establishment of good drainage: debridement of contaminated and/or damaged tissues; disinfection; protection of remaining tissues against further contamination; and review/renewal of tetanus immunization

PURCHASE:  Regards to the hoof this is the heel location that is weightbearing.  The wall turns in a near switchback into the hoof. The continuation of this hard horn is call the bar. The purchase is the joined area of the wall and bar creating a triangular platform that is also the heel of the capsule.  The heel purchase is also known as the heel buttress.

PURULENT: Containing, consisting of, or being pus

PUS:  Substances that are produced through the inflammatory action which contains cells, bacteria and fluids.

PUS POCKET:  see abscess

PYRAMIDAL DISEASE:  Severe inflammation of the P3 at the extensor process where the main digital extensor tendon is attached.  Dorsal swelling above the coronary band and deformed hoof wall growth may occur. A.k.a.:  Buttress foot; Extensor process disease

QUARTER CRACK:  A crack in the region referred to as the lateral or medial sides of the capsule is called the quarters.  The cracks in this area generally from too long of wall in the quarters and the leverage is trying to break away the excess.  Most cracks if they go up the wall from disease or other damages will be diagonally up the tubule growth. This is a crack that is splitting the strength of the wall and not what is known as a superficial crack on the surface only

QUARTERS:  Referring to the area on the sides of the hoof capsule there are three sections that have been designated, the heel qtr is in the back 1/3 of third, the qtr is the middle third and the toe qtr is the front third.

QUICKED:  When a hoof is trimmed too short or when a horseshoe nail is driven into the quick or sensitive lamina of the hoof.  In many cases the horse flinches or pulls back when the quick occurs.  Within a few days, some cases develop tenderness and mild to moderate lameness due to developing infection in the area.  Treatment involves removal of the offending nail, if applicable; cleansing the hole; and application of a poultice to draw out remaining contamination.

QUITTOR:  Necrosis of the lateral cartilages due to infection.  Characterized by severe lameness and pus discharge.

RADIOGRAPH:  An "X-Ray".  An image produced by photographing artificially generated radiation which passes through visually opaque matter.  Only dense objects, such as bone, are normally visible on radiographs, although soft tissue images can be produced through special techniques.

RECUMBENT, RECUMBENCY:  lying down, reclining

REGENERATION:  To produce or bring to life.  The natural renewal of a substance such as a lost tissue part.

REMODELING:  Process in which bone or other tissue structures undergo to reconstruct themselves

RESECTION:  An operation involving the removal of part of an organ or structure

RESPIRATION RATE (RESTING):  Average 12 breaths per minute (8 to 16 range)

RETAINED SOLE:  The sole of a hoof which does not exfoliate normally.  This can be a beneficial trait, as the retained sole provides extra protection for the hoofs internal structures a.k.a.: false sole

RETROGRADE VENOUS THERAPY:  A veterinary procedure which involves placing a tourniquet above the fetlock, then injecting a substance into a vein, forcing it to flow backwards through the circulatory bed into the arteries.  Infusing plasma from a healthy horse in this way has been suggested as a possible treatment for acute laminitis


RINGBONE:  A condition causing gradual lameness in one or more of the legs due to external trauma (such as hoof-contact injuries), or strain on tissues adjacent to the pastern and coffin bone.  The result is the formation of new, ragged-edged bone around the front and sides of the upper (high ringbone) or lower (low ringbone) pastern bones.  Signs can include lameness and firm thickening of the pastern region.  If the problem is caught before excessive bone growth occurs, treatment generally is 3 to 4 months of rest with support of the affected leg(s) to minimize movement of the area.  If new bone growth already has occurred, rest and anti-inflammatory medications can help control signs, but there's no cure.

RIVER ROCK: Rock that was rolled in a moving water source rounding the edges

ROACH BACK:  Conformational fault where the back is hunched, or bowed up slightly with a concave arch along the top line

ROAD FOUNDER:  General breakdown of the hoof as a result of external stresses and/or age.  Road founder often resembles founder proper, with failure of the laminae and loss of horn vitality, but, usually has no acute onset via laminitis.

ROCKER THE TOE:  Taking the rasp and beveling the rim to the sole with an undercut that will cause the toe to be slightly or completely non weightbearing.  Generally, the beveled area is from quarter to quarter and will cause the breakover to start further back in the balance of the hoof.  Takes stress off of the dorsal wall at breakover

ROPE WALKING:  A gait defect which results in the horse's tracks being left in a single line, as if the animal had been walking on a tightrope.  Horses that ropewalk are likely to interfere a.k.a. cat walking

ROTATION:  Process of turning on an axis.  The laminar connection between the wall and coffin bone becomes weak and loses the ability to maintain this type of mooring.  The coffin bone begins to lose connection and pivots away from the wall.  In reference to founder this is the distance of movement from the detached coffin bone from the hoof capsule

RUN-UNDER HEELS:  The heel tubules are broken in a way that they grow more horizontal.  The heel purchase (buttress) is unnaturally pushed forward

RUN WILD:  Undomesticated, to live or grow without restraint

RUPTURE:  Process of turning on an axis

SAGITAL: A sagital plane divides the left side from the right.  Hoof anatomy models are often cut into sagital section.

SALINE:  Containing a salt

SAND CRACKS:  A hoof crack parallel to the horn tubules.  may be superficial or penetrating, and can occur anywhere in the hoof wall

SCALPING:  With a horse that has long hind legs and a short back the front foot can strike the hind foot.  This will not only damage the coronet band but the pastern joints.

SCAPULA:  Flat triangular bone comprising the shoulder

SCAR TISSUE:  Tissue that remains after healing has occurred within the wound or injury

SCLEROSIS:  (from the Greek skleros, hard):  Hardening of soft tissues, especially nerves, due to disease.

SCOOP THE QUARTERS:  To remove capsule horn from the rim in the arch of the sole.  Sometimes trimmers will create a scoop invading the sole area also, feeling this creates better hoof mechanism to allow the sinking in the weightbearing stage.

SCRATCHES:  Eczematous inflammation usually located in the heel of a horse's foot.  Generally hot, swollen, raw, painful inflammation of the skin on the backs of the pasterns, usually involving two or more feet. Most often occurs in the hind feet.  Lesions are often infected, but whether infection is the cause or effect of the condition is controversial.  Regardless, once the problem gets started, it becomes self-perpetuating.  Successful treatment requires diligence and strict hygiene, and generally includes gentle daily or twice daily cleansing of the area; removal of scabs; application of an antiseptic dressing; and housing in an area that's dry and clean.  Treatment failure when the inflammation and/or infection are too deep to be reached topically, requiring systemic medication and/or surgery to remove affected tissue.

SDFT- Superficial Digital Flexor Tendon:  A tendon which runs down the back of the leg, splits below the fetlock, and attaches to the P1 and P2 in the hind legs, the SDFT acts primarily as a ligament of the stay apparatus.

SEAT OF THE CORN:  The area between the bar and the capsule wall in the back triangle of the sole.  When pressure is causing bruising and tissue damage, occasionally a corn (infection and painful pocket) will develop because of this

SEEDY TOE:  Separation of the dermal and epidermal lamina.  It usually occurs as a sequel to chronic laminitis.  White line disease is also referred to seedy toe Spreading of the white line, usually most prevalent and obvious in the forward, toe area of the hoof.  The condition may be caused by a number of factors, although it usually is a sequel to chronic laminitis:

SEMI-LUNAR CANAL: Shaped like a half moon or crescent entering and exiting  from the backside of the coffin bone .

SEMILUNAR CREST:  The inner curve of the coffin bone where the deep digital flexor tendon attaches. The large rough curved line that divides the volar surface of the third phalanx (coffin bone) into two unequal parts

SENSITIVE FROG:  Is filled with nerves and blood vessels that nourish the inner and outer structure of the lower limb...

SENSITIVE LAMINAE:  Is a covering for the coffin bone and is located between the coffin bone just above the horny sole

SEPSIS:  The presence of disease-causing organisms or their toxins in the blood or tissues.

SENSORY ORGANS:  Hooves, like our hands and feet are sensory organs

SEPARATION:  When the wall laminae has died and the area between the sole and the wall lose tight attachment.  Common causes, laminitis, bacteria or fungus and leverage from long capsule wall.

SEPTICEMIA:  Blood poisoning due to bacteria and their toxins in the blood stream.  Symptoms usually include: loss of appetite; fever; and depression.  Treatment generally includes support and administration of antibiotics to which the causative bacteria are sensitive.

SEQUESTRUM:  Portion of bone which has become detached in necrosis

SEROMA:  A seroma is a hematoma which has matured: instead of a blood-filled center, the seroma is filled with amber-colored serum and a shrinking nugget of clotted red blood cells

SEPTICEMIA:  Blood poisoning due to bacteria and their toxins in the bloodstream.  Symptoms usually include: loss of appetite; fever; and depression.  Treatment generally includes support and administration of antibiotics to which to the causative bacteria are sensitive.

SEQUESTRUM:  A loose, dead fragment of broken bone, often causing local infection

SERUM:  Clear portion of any animal liquid separated from its more solid elements.

SESAMOID BONES:  Paired set of bones which are located behind the distal end of the large metacarpal bone.  These bones are held in place to the first phalanx by several large ligaments

SHEARED HEEL:  When the capsule has become contracted occasionally the lateral cartilage and heel will move forward and up higher on one side.  The heel bulbs are separated and apparently at uneven levels when viewed from behind.  The lateral cartilages are also uneven.  The heel is longer and occasional contracted beyond the vertical.

SHIVERS:  A trembling disorder of the hind limbs and, in severe cases, other body parts.  Signs are seen most often when the horse is at rest, backing, or when asked to pick up a hind foot.  The horse flexes an affected hind limb to an extreme, and the leg trembles violently.  Trembling also can occur in his tail, fore-limbs, eyes, and ears.  Musculoskeletal pain in the affected limb can make shivering worse.  In some cases, shivers have occurred after cases, particularly in draft horses, it appears when a horse is worked strenuously enough to become rapidly fatigued.  The condition tends to worsen over time, and there's no specific treatment.  Some cases respond well to anti-inflammatory medication

SHORT PASTERN BONE: 2nd bone in the pastern referred to as P2, the short pastern bone fits into the coffin joint

SHOULDER:  Junction of the arm and trunk  Made up of the scapula and associated muscles.  Runs from the wither to the point of shoulder (the joint at the front of the chest, i.e. the glenoid).  The angle of the shoulder has a great affect on the horse's movement and jumping ability, and is an important aspect of equine conformation.

SIDEBONE:  Attaching to the palmer process of the coffin bone is a boney material developed by the damage of the lateral cartilage.  This ossification process happens when the capsule has bent or stressed the cartilage in such a manner that it begins to calcify.

SICKLE HOCKS:  Conformational fault characteristic of the tarsal joint that laterally depict excessive angulations

SINKER:  In some founders the coffin bone will become detached also on the sides of the laminar attachment and lower downward the capsule.  Generally a deep indentation will become present around the top of the coronet large enough to place a marble on it or your little finger down in it.

SOLE:  The soft keratinized covering that grows from the coffin bone papillae.  The tubules of the sole grow approximately 1/8 inch month for about 3 months and begin to exfoliate.

SOLE TUBULES:  Made of soft keratinized tubules that grow approximately 1/8 month.  During the 4th month of growth the tips begin to die off.

SOLE DOME:  The vaulted and arched cupping in the bottom of the hoof.  The dome depth is indicative of the solar shape of the coffin bone.

SOLE WEB:  Area established by Martha Olivo to describe the sole between the bar and outer wall

SOFT KERATINIZED TUBULES:  The sole of the hoof is made up of soft keratinized tubules grown from the papillae covered bottom of the coffin bone

SPLINTS:  Bones found on each of the legs, on either side of the cannon bone (8 total)  Partially vestigial, these bones support the corresponding carpal bones in the forelimb, and the corresponding tarsal bones in the hindlimb.  Anatomically referred to as Metacarpal/metatarsal II (on the medial aspect (inside) and IV (on the lateral aspect (outside)

SPRAIN:  Stretching and/or tearing of tendon or ligament fibers due to excessive strain.  The injury is worsened by swelling and bleeding within the torn tendon or ligament, and by additional strain.  Treatment may include ice and pressure bandaging; prevention of further stress by limiting movement of the affected limb with a splint, cast, or heel wedge; administration of anti-inflammatory medications; and physical therapy to prevent adhesions that would limit future range of motion.

SOAKER BOOTS:  Can be worn with water cold or hot

SOAKING: Many hooves need moisture and can be stood in water around the trough or pales or better yet in soaking boots.

SOLE:  Bottom of the foot made up of soft keratinized tubules

STANDING IN THE POCKET:  A safe area to be on the side of the horse is just in front of the shoulder at the neck. The head may not deliberately swing sideways with intent to strike you but could in a response to a frightening sound.

STANDING OVER:  As in a colt standing up on toes

STAY MECHANISM:  A combination of tendons and ligaments that support the leg bones to stand while the horse can sleep standing

SULCUS RADIANT:  A line drawn from the middle of the sulcus to the end of the fulcrum line.  This line crosses the end of the bar.  You will generally be able to see a crack at the bar touching this line.


SPASM:  Unwilling contractions of muscles tissue which usually result in pain.

SPAVIN TEST:  Test that occurs during a lameness exam which includes an observation of the gait after forced flexion of the hock for a period of time.

SPRAIN:  Disorder that results form an abnormal stretching of a limb causing a partial or full ligament rupture.

STABILIZE:  To hold steady and make stable

STANDING UNDER:  Deviation in which the entire forelimb from the elbow down is placed in back of the perpendicular and too far under the body when the animal is viewed from the side.

STALL:  A place in a stable for an animal.  To stop or bring to a standstill, usually against one's wish

STANCE:  The posture and placement of the legs and body in a form

STIFLE:  Corresponds to the knee of a human, consists of the articulation between femur and tibia, as well as the articulation between patella and femur

STIFLE LAMENESS:  May be due to concussion resulting from straight hind leg conformation, sprains due to lack of conditioning, cruciated ligament or meniscus (cartilage)

STOCKING UP:  Harmless fluid buildup in the lower legs, usually caused by inactivity.

STRATUM EXTERNUM:  A thin layer of horn extending distal from the periople a variable distance that decreases with age.

STRATUM GERMINATIVUM:  Epithelial layer of the hoof proliferates and maintains the constant growth of the hoof.

STRATUM INTERNUM:  (stratum lamellatum) The layer of the hoof wall containing the interdigitation of corial and epidermal laminae

STRATUM MEDIUM:  Bulk of the hoof wall consisting of horn tubules and intertubular horn.

STRATUM TECTORIUM:  See stratum externum

STRESS:  Effect of forcibly exerted weight or pressure.

STRIDE:  Measured distance between hoof prints originating from the same limb

STRIKING:  When the leg and hoof reach quickly to hit something

STRINGHALT:  A muscle and/or nerve disorder, affecting one or both hind limbs.  The affected animals often lifts his affected hind limb(s) too high, sometimes so high that he dicks himself in the belly, holds the leg elevated for a moment, then slaps it sharply down.  It can develop at an age; the cause is unknown Stringhalt usually is treated with muscle relaxants and/or surgical removal of a section of the culprit muscle and its tendon, the lateral digital extensor.  Without treatment, the condition rarely improves.

SUB ACUTE:  Stage that occurs between acute and chronic

SUBCUTANEOUS:  Under the skin

SUBLUXATION: Incomplete or partial dislocation

SULCI:  Plural of sulcus, referenced with a groove

SULCUS:  A groove, trench, furrow or cleft, used in anatomical nomenclature as a general term to designate such a depression. Generally the size of a tangerine wedge located in the middle of the back half of the frog.  .  When a sulcus is not showing opened the hoof is general on that is contracted.  Debris can be harbored and not seen in the sulcus area.  A knife created wedge opening can alleviate the problem.

SUPERFICIAL:  Pertaining to or situated near the surface

SURGICAL ARTHODESIS:  Surgical technique where a given joint is made immobile.

SUSPENSORY LIGAMENT:  Ligament that serves to hold up a part of the body or an organ.

SWEENY:  Neurogenic atrophy of any muscle group

SYNOVIAL CAVITY:  Cavity created by the joint which contains the synovial fluid.

SYNOVIAL FLUID:  The viscous fluid produced by the synovial membrane that is contained within the joint.

SYNOVIAL CELLS, SYNOVIAL MEMBRANE:  Thin, flexible tissue lining most joints.  The synovial membrane is comprised of synovial cells, which manufacture a viscous fluid (synovial fluid) that fills and lubricates the joint.

SYNOVIUM:  Membrane that lines the joint capsule, tendon sheath or bursa and  produces synovial fluid; synovial membrane

SYNOVITIS:  Inflammation of the soft, pliable membrane lining a joint.  Often the first in a series of events that can lead to degenerative joint disease.

SYSTEMIC:   Supplying parts of the body that receive blood through the aorta rather then through the pulmonary artery.  Diet can trigger negative reactions in the body and may result in laminitis and other organ failure.  When we refer to laminitis as being systemic we look to diet, birthing problems, insulin resistant which can trigger systemically the body to react.

SYSTEMIC ANTIBIOTICS:  Medications that are administered parenterally either intravenously, intramuscularly, or subcutaneously that combat infection

SYMMETRY:  There are two types of symmetry 1. symmetrical, means you can divide in half and each side is very similar   2.  asymmetrical, not symmetrical

SWITCHBACK:  Returning in the direction you just came, like a road winding sharply down a back and forth.  In reference to the hoof this is the changing of wall to bar.  The area of changing directions with a switchback on the hoof is referred to as the heel buttress, purchase, bar heel triangle

TAIL:  Consists of both the living bart of the tail (which consists of the coccygeal vertebrae, muscles, and ligaments), as well as the long hairs which grow from the living part.

TENDON:  Fibrous cord by which a muscle is attached to the bone.

TENDONITIS:  Inflammation of a tendon, usually due to injury.  Signs generally include: swelling and heat over the inflamed tendon; pain on finger pressure; lameness; and a protective stance to limit tendon stress.  Treatment usually includes: aggressive first aid to limit swelling and hemorrhage between tendon fibers; enforced rest; immobilization of the tendon (e.g. with a cast); administration of anti-inflammatory medications; and physical therapy to limit formation of adhesions.

TENDON DAMAGE:  Injury From stress or due to external trauma can partially or completely sever a tendon, leaving it incapable of supporting your horse's leg.  Such injuries are most common in lower limbs, where load-bearing forces are great and where there's little padding to protect tendons against injury from external trauma.  Injuries that sever the extensor tendon on the front surface of a leg will allow the leg to buckle forward, onto the front of its fetlock.  Injuries that sever on or both flexor tendons on the rear surface of a leg will allow the fetlock to sink toward the ground.  Treatment generally is rest and support of the leg.

TENDONONOMY:  Surgical procedure to weaken the pull of a tendon by cutting it

TENDOSYSNOVITI:  Inflammation of both the tendon and its synovial sheath.

TENOSYSNOVITIS:  Inflammation of a synovial sheath around a tendon

TENOTOMY:  Surgical cutting of a tendon.

TERRAIN:  The physical features of the ground and area

TERMINAL ARCH:  Where the digital arteries join together within the coffin bone.  They enter 2 holes on the undersurface of the coffin bone very close to the attachment of the DDFT.  The terminal arch gives off about nine branches which go through the coffin bone and exit around the bottom rim creating what is called the circumflex artery.  There is no direct arterial supply to the solar corium from the terminal arch; it all arises from inward flow from the circumflex artery.

THERMOGRAPHY:  A diagnostic technology that detects variations in tissue temperatures.  It may be useful in localizing the source of an obscure lameness.

THIRD EYELID:  See nictitating membrane.


THROATLATCH:  The point at which the windpipe meets the head at the underside of the jaw.

THRUSH:  Common disease of the hoot caused by bacteria (sphyerophorus necrophorus or fusobacterium necrophorum) which can live only in an anaerobic or no air environment.  A bacterial infection of the frog and/or adjacent crevices of the foot's sole, causing a blackish discharge and foul odor.  Treatment generally includes trimming and debridement of affected tissues; disinfection with copper sulfate, tincture of iodine, strong (7 percent) iodine, or merthiolate; provision of dry, clean environment; good hygiene; and daily foot care

THORACIC LIMB:  The forelimb of the equine

THROUGHPIN:   Common term used to describe the condition of Tenosynovitis with the deep flexor tendon sheath.

TOE:  Anatomic term which focuses on the dorsal part of the hoof wall

TOE ANGLE:  A line can be drawn visually at the front (dorsal) angle of the capsule. The front hoof has a lower angle then the hind hooves because of the steepness in the respective coffin bones.

TOE CALLOUS:  The soles skin will become tough and show on the sole with an area that is from the wall inward to the area beginning the

TOE CRACK:  Generally referred to a crack in the area on the front face of the hoof capsule between the pillars.  This is not to include the surface cracks from drying out, but an actually deep crack that is being split with leverage to the area, and or disease that is inside and weakening the horn.  The crack can go as deep as the live tissue underneath. Cracks can be any length and run vertical to the ground vs horizontal.  See horizontal cracks

TOE DRAG:  The toe of the affected hind limb drags on the ground during the forward swing

TOE FIRST LANDING:  When the hoof is going up heal this is natural.  When walking level and the toe strikes before the heel this is a clue of pain in the heel region.  This is also damaging to the mechanics of the hoof.

TOED IN:  A position of the feet in which the toes point toward one another when viewed from the front

TOED OUT:  The toes point away from one another when viewed from the front

TOE ANGLE:  A line can be drawn visually at the front (dorsal) angle of the capsule. The front hoof has a lower angle then the hind hooves because of the steepness in the respective coffin bones.

TOE/HEEL ALIGNMENT:  Maintaining the correct angle for coffin bone placement in the capsule the heels must be lowered to allow the proper toe angle.  This can be seen if the hairline on the sides is aprox. 30 degrees with a straightened hairline.

TOE CRACK:  When a crack is seen in the front of the hoof this is called a toe crack.  The most common toe cracks are in the center of the capsule created from unnatural leverage from toe flare.

TOE QUARTERS:  Using 12:00 as center of the toe the toe quarters are in the area of 10:00 to 11:00 and 1:00 to 2:00

TOXIN:  Poisonous, harmful substance

TRACK:  A path, trail, a line of travel or motion A course for running, jumping, or racing

          To make tracks:  to make rapid progress

          Off the track:    off the right or proper course

          On the track:    on the right or proper course

TRANSITIONAL PERIOD:  When removing shoes there can be damages not known that may take weeks to months to resolve.  Most horses can transition to barefoot without more then  slight sensitivity until the sole thickens.

TRANSVERSE PLANE:  These transect any anatomical part, perpendicularly to its own long axis

TRUE TIP OF THE FROG:  Because the frog tubules can be pulled and stretched towards the toe tip and also offset from pointing to the center of the hoof.  The true tip can be discovered a two easy ways.  One is finding the widest part of the sole referred to as the fulcrum and measure about ¾ 3/4 inch past them towards the toe.  Another method is to site down from the front center of the coronary band to the ground vertically.  This mark on the wall/sole area should meet across the sole at the same line as the measure just mentioned.


TRUNCATED CONE:  The shape of the hoof comes from the cone and the shape is developed up at an angle midway.

TUBULAR:  Shaped like a tube or pertaining to tubules.

TUBULES:   Grown from hair like papillae in the corium beneath the skin through secreted keratinized horn these tubules continue to grow continuously. With regard to the capsule they are a hard keratinized tubule and with the sole a soft keratinized tubule.  The frogs tubules are softer, yet and made mostly of protein. check this out with Bowker

T TUBULES:  Transverse tubules that allow electrical impulses traveling along Sacolemma to move deeper into the cell structures

TRANSITION:  Changes to a situation such as going from shod to barefoot some of the conditions that may be created.

TWITCH:  A device to help control a horse that is dangerous or resistant.  Generally achieved by twisting the nose either with a special tool or by hand.

TYING UP:  A muscle disorder known as rhabdomyolysis, causing stiffness, hardening, and breakdown of the major muscle masses.  There is a variety of causes. The syndrome of muscular cramping and pain and varying degrees of muscle breakdown associated with exercise.

UAA gel:  Universal Antidote in a paste form and administered for preventing problems from toxins, flatulence

UNDERSLUNG:  When the heels have repositioned themselves forward of the natural purchase.  This is a conformational deformity that can be corrected with balancing the hoof in timely trimmings and pulling back the heel buttress, without lowering the heel height by paring the bar.

ULTRASOUND:  This is a diagnostic and therapeutic instrument that emits radiant energy at different frequencies.

ULTRASONAGRAPHY:  A diagnostic imaging technique used to image soft, deep tissues by sending ultrasonic waves to and/or through them, and forming a live image with the sound waves that bounce back.  Ultrasound examinations are used commonly in reproduction; diagnosing and/or monitoring healing of tendon, muscle, and ligament injuries; and in detecting structural abnormalities in the liver, spleen, kidney, heart, umbilicus, and eye

UNDERSLUNG: The heels are forward and the hoof is somewhat canner levered out from under the weight of the leg

UNGULATE:  Having hooves typically herbivorous quadruped mammal

UNILATERAL:  Affecting only one side

UN-PIGMENTED WALL:  The white horn that lies next to the laminae.  This is the area of the wall horn that nails are driven into.  The horn is softer then the outer pigmented area and will wick in moisture from the ground when overexposed.

UPWARD FIXATION OF THE PATELLA:  See Patella, upward fixation of

VASCULARIZATION:  The process of becoming vascular, or the development of vessels in a part of the tissue

VASOCONSTRICTION:  The diminution of the caliber of vessels, especially constriction of arterioles leading to decreased blood flow to a part

VASCULITIS:  Inflammation of small blood vessels and capillaries which, because of damage to their walls leak serum into the tissues and cause swelling, most often in the lower legs.  Vasculitis is a symptom of an underlying, body-wide problem, most often a viral respiratory infection.  Swelling can progress to the point that your horse's skin splits and oozes serum and blood.  In addition to addressing the underlying cause, treatment generally is aimed at cooling and soothing the swollen legs with a gentle cold-water irrigation, and supporting the skin with padded compression bandaging to prevent splitting.  If skin has already split, the affected area usually is treated as a laceration

VEINS:  Vessels which carry deoxygenated blood back to the heart

VENOGRAPHY:  Radiography of veins after injection of an opaque substance. Venography is used to evaluate the condition of the veins and the valves within the veins

VENTRAL:  Anatomical term which refers to the structures that lay toward the belly of an animal

VIRAL:  Pertaining to or caused by a virus

VIRUS:  One group of minute infectious agents with, certain exception not resolved in the light microscope and characterized by a lack of independent metabolism and the ability to replicate only within living host cells

VITAL SIGNS:  Heart rate and pulse, general assessment of the gums, eyes and movement to assess health and condition

VOLUNTARY:  These actions are accomplished through the command of the animals own nervous system.

VOLAR SURFACE:  Toward the sole of the hindhoof, Companion to palmar.

WALL TUBULES:  Made of hard keratinized formation growing from the coronary area of the hoof from papillae within.  The average growth is approximately 3/8 inch each month.

WATER LINE:  The unpigmented wall has been known to be called the water line

WEB HEEL TRIANGLE: The area between the bar and wall at the back of the sole, A.K.A. as the seat of the corn

WEIGHTBEARING:  The location that supports most of the weight at a particular time and area

WHITE LINE:  This is the area next to the sole that is yellowish in color and of a different tissue then the wall and the sole which is between.  The laminae as it leaves the live area of the capsule grows down along with the wall next to the sole.

WHITE LINE DISEASE:  This is a fungal disease that is anaerobic and very complicated to get rid of in hooves.  Seen more frequently in humid climates, trauma to the laminae and diseases that enter the hoof after injury.  This is an anaerobic disease and will continue without the aid of removing the diseased tissue or many treatments by chorline dioxide gas and other products useful to kill the fungus.

WINGING: the hoof can be winging in or winging out with an unnatural swing with movement

WINDPUFFS:  Synovial effusion, with or without involvement of the adjacent tendon sheath, in the fetlock joint.  This causes puffiness of the joint that might extend partway up the cannon bone.  Windpuffs may or may not be associated with lameness.  Causes can include excessive stress on joint soft tissues and tendons due to the poor conformation, poorly imbalanced hoof, working too long in deep sand are two of the more common causes.  Treatment generally focuses on identifying and correcting the underlying cause; rest; ice; and pressure wraps to limit inflammation and swelling.

WINGING:  Movement of a foot through flight toward, and then away from a medial plane at the beginning and end of a stride

WITHERS:  The highest point of the thoracic vertebrae, the point just above the tops  of the shoulder blades.  Seen best with horse standing square and head slightly lowered.  The height of the horse is measured at the withers in "hands"