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Did you know these horse terms?

When working in equine medicine, you start to hear some terms more often than others. Whether they are terms used by your colleagues or by clients, there will be some horse related terms that you will become quite familiar with. It’s important to understand the terminology well, especially with these common horse terms that our clients might not fully understand.

Did you know these horse terms?

Common horse terms


  • Canter- Three beated gait of the horse.
  • Poll- The highest point on the top of the horses head.
  • Conformation- The overall way in which a horse is put together.
  • Founder- The detachment of the coffin bone. Causes severe lameness.
  • Colic– General term describing abdominal pain. Can range in severity.
  • Scours- Term to describe diarrhea in foals.
  • Colostrum- First milk produced by a mare following foaling.
  • Thrush- Fungal or bacterial infection of the frog; characterized by a foul smell.

Special mention to the more serious medial terms on this info graphic:

  • Founder– Founder is a painful condition affecting the feet of a horse. Technically known as laminitis, founder will occur when the laminae becomes inflamed. The damage can be so severe that the pedal bone is no longer supported within the hoof, causing it to rotate. This can cause severe lameness, sometimes resulting in euthanasia due to the severity.
  • ColicColic is a term used to describe abdominal pain. Colic can range from some abdominal discomfort that is easily relieved, to such severe pain that euthanasia is warranted. Colic often presents as pawing at the ground, rolling on the ground, looking at the flank, sweating, and anorexia.

If you enjoyed this article, take a look at our info graphic, You know you are a large animal vet when…. We speak of the hilarious scenarios and daily life of a large animal vet!

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