Glossary of Equine Terms – C

Cannon Bone: The bone of the lower foreleg between the knee and the fetlock. Also called the “shin bone”. In the hindleg, the corresponding bone is called the shank.

Canter: Three beated gait of the horse in which one hind leg strides first (the leading leg), followed by the opposite diagonal pair and finally the opposite foreleg. Called the lope in Western riding.

Cantle: Back ridge of an English saddle.

Capped Hocks: Swelling or puffiness on the point of the hock. Can be cause by a blow or injury, or may be caused by a horse lying down repeatedly in a stable with insufficient bedding.

Capriole: One of the Airs Above the Ground in which the horse leaps with all four legs and strikes out with the hind legs in mid-leap.

Carriage Horse: An relatively light and elegant horse used for carriage driving.

Cart Horse: A coldblood draft horse.

Cast: A horse which rolls and gets stuck, either up against the wall of his stall, or near a fence, etc. Is said to be cast. Human intervention can be necessary to release the horse.

Cavelletti: Adjustable low wooden jumps used in the schooling of horse and rider.

Cavesson: (i) Simple noseband fitted to a bridle. (ii) Leather or nylon headgear, with attachments for side reins and lunge line, worn by the horse when it is being lunged.

Chestnut: (i) The small rubbery protrusion on the inside of all four legs. (ii) Reddish-brown coat color (also see Sorrel).

Chin Groove: The groove above the lower lip in which the curb chain of a curb bit lies.

Chip/Chip-In: When a horse puts in a short, additional stride in front of a fence.

Chrome: US term used by auctioneers and in sales ads to describe the white markings of a horse.

Cinch: Means by which a Western saddle is secured to the horse, which attaches to the saddle on one side, running under the barrel just behind the legs to the other side. Called a girth in English Riding.

Clean-legged: Without feathering on the lower legs.

Cleveland Bay: Breed of horse. Originating in England as a carriage horse. Increasingly popular for crossing with Thoroughbreds to produce versatile sport horses used in a number of equine sports.

Clydesdale: Breed of heavy horse originating in Scotland and used for heavy draft work.

Coach Horse: A powerfully built horse, capable of drawing a heavy coach.

Cob: A type of horse, rather than a breed, a cob is a horse of stocky appearance, well-adapted to carrying heavyweight riders in all circumstances.

Coffin Bone: Small bone within the hoof. In severe cases of laminitis, this bone can detach and rotate, causing extreme lameness. See also Founder.

Coggins Test: A blood test for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA). Horses which test positive may be required by the state of occupancy to be destroyed or permenantly quarantined. See also EIA.

Coldblood: The name used to describe the heavy European breeds of horse descended from the prehistoric Forest Horse.

Collection: Where the rider, by means of carefully balanced driving and restraining aids, causes the horse’s frame to become compacted and the horse light and supple in the hand. The baseline is shortened, the croup is lowered, the shoulder is raised and the head is held on the vertical.

Colic: General term describing abdominal pain in the horse. Ranges in severity from mild to life-threatening. A veterinarian should always be consulted in case of suspected colic.

Colostrom: First milk produced by a mare following foaling. Contains globulins to provide the newborn foal with temporary immunity against disease.

Colt: Uncastrated male horse up to four years of age. Male foals are called “colt foals”.

Combined Training: Equestrian competition held over one or three days and including the disciplines of dressage, cross country and show jumping. Also known as Eventing

Coming: Term used in the US to describe a horses age. For example, a horse approaching the age of four is said to be “coming four”. In the UK the term rising is used.

Conformation: The overall way in which a horse is put together and also the relationship of specific parts of the horse in regards to its proportions.

Connemara: One of the nine breeds of ponies native to the British Isles. Originating in Ireland.

COPD: Abbreviation for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or heaves. Brought on by allergies and characterized by abnormal breathing pattern and reduced tolerance to exercise. See also broken winded.

Courbette: One of the Airs Above the Ground. After performing the levade, the horse bounds or hops forward on bent hind legs.

Counter Canter: School movement in which the horse canter in a circle with the outside leg leading, instead of the more usual inside leg.

Cow-hocks: Hocks turned in, like those of a cow. Opposite of bow-hocks.

Cracked Heels: Inflammation of the heels, resulting in cracked skin and discharge of pus.

Crib-Biting/Cribbing: A stable vice in which the horse hooks his teeth onto something solid, such as the door of his stable, and sucks air through his open mouth. Said to be addictive behavior, cribbing straps and collars have varying degrees of effectiveness at discouraging the behaviour. Horses which suck air, without latching their teeth on to something are said to be wind sucking.

Crop: Artificial aid by which the rider may emphasize and back up the natural aids of seat and legs. Used to encourage reluctant or lazy horses to move forward. Sometimes used to punish. See also whip and bat.

Crossbreeding: The mating of horses of different breeds or types.

Cross-Ties: A method of tethering a horse using two ropes or ties, one on each side, connected to a solid post or wall.

Croup: The top of the hind quarters, from the point of the hip to the tail.

Crow hopping: When a horse hops or leaps repeatedly in the air, with all four feet off the ground at the same time, he is said to be crow hopping.

Cues: Another name for aids. Signals by which the rider communicates his wishes to the horse.

Curb: Thickening of the tendon or ligament below the point of the hock, resulting from a strain.

Curb Bit: Bit fitted with cheeks and a curb chain which lies in the chin groove. Operates on the leverage principle acting on the lower jaw. In a double bridle, the curb bit is used in conjunction with a bridoon, or snaffle bit.

Curb Chain: Chain used with a curb bit.

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