Test your equine knowledge with a quiz

Terrell Williams/For the Capital Press This pair of Belgian draft horses, owned by Ed and Janet Neel of Buhl, Idaho, drink after giving wagon rides. The Neels keep their team busy with field work, wagon trains and parades. They are active members of the Southern Idaho Draft Horse and Mule Association.

1. When a cowboy out on the range wishes for a chinook, what is he hoping for?

2. What is the primary defense mechanism of the horse?

3. In the lower leg of the horse, what is the name of the joint between the cannon bone and the pastern?

4. What original member of the Sons of the Pioneers was born as Leonard Franklin Slye 100 years ago, in November 1911 ?

5. Which grow faster, the hind feet or the forefeet?

6. How many poles are used in a pole bending race?

7. What is a surcingle?

8. What is a quirt?

9. Name two or more of the most common internal parasites known to infect horses.

10. What is the specific job of a wrangler?

11. Who surpassed Ty Murray last year as winner of the most All Around Cowboy World Championship titles? (Bonus point: How many titles does each man have?)

12. What is the Taylor Grazing Act?

13. What is grease heel (also known as "scratches")?

14. Horses are measured in hands from the withers to the ground. How many inches is a hand?

15. Which Indian tribe is associated historically with the Appaloosa horse?

16. What is the difference between a charro and a vaquero?

17. What is a blind trap?

18. What is the common verbal command for a driven horse or mule to turn left?

19. What horse won this year's Kentucky Derby?

20. On a lariat, what is the name of the small ring of rope at the end (usually re-enforced with metal or rawhide) through which the loop slides?

Bonus question: When does a horse talk?

1. A chinook is a warm wind usually blowing from the south or west causing a January or February thaw.

2. Horses are generally nonaggressive and flight is their primary defense.

3. The fetlock is the lower leg joint between the canon bone and the pastern, bearing a tuft of hair.

4. Leonard Slye changed his name to Roy Rogers, also known as "King of the Cowboys."

5. The hind feet may grow faster than the forefeet, and unshod feet may grow faster than shod feet. The feet of mares and geldings seem to grow faster than those of stallions.

6. A pole bending race has six poles.

7. A surcingle is a girth or strap passing around the body of an animal.

8. A quirt is a whip with a leather thong on the end.

9. More than 150 types of internal parasites are known to infect horses. The most important ones are strongyles and ascarids (classified as roundworms or nematodes), tapeworms (cestodes) and bots (the larvae of the bot fly). Others include pin worms, lung worms and stomach worms.

10. A wrangler is the person who gathers or tends the horses at a round up.

11. Champion roper Trevor Brazile has won the PRCA All Around Cowboy title eight times. Ty Murray won it seven times.

12. The Taylor Grazing Act is a law passed by Congress in 1934 that required ranchers to own enough deeded property (base property) to run their cattle, horses or sheep on during certain months of the year in order to qualify to own a permit to graze cattle on government land.

13. Grease heel, or scratches, is a low-grade infection or scab in the skin around the fetlock. It is caused by filthy stable conditions. Response to cleanliness and treatment is usually prompt and complete.

14. A hand is four inches. (The world's tallest horse, Big Jake, a Belgian gelding, is 20 hands, 2.5 inches. The world's smallest horse, Thumbelina, a 57-pound miniature mare, is 4 hands, 1.5 inches.)

15. The Nez Perce Indians of Washington (the Palouse country), Oregon and Idaho were known for raising the spotted horses.

16. A Charro is a fancy horseman of Mexico, a flashy daredevil wearing the finest clothes and riding in the finest gear. The vaquero is a more common cow puncher.

17. A blind trap was a trap corral used in the old days to catch mustangs or wild horses. It had long wings on either side and was camouflaged with tree branches and grass.

18. Left turn call is, "Haw." (Right turn call is, "Gee.")

19. Animal Kingdom, a more than 20-to-1 longshot, won the Kentucky Derby in May.

20. The small end loop of a lariat is called a honda.

Bonus answer: A horse talks -- "whinny" wants to.


16 to 20 or more: Top Hand

11 to 15: Seasoned buckaroo

6 to 10: Weekend wrangler

5 or less: Tenderfoot

-- Terrell Williams

Sources: Long Winding Trails by Dave Secrist; Equine Science, Second Edition, by Rick Parker; Encyclopedia of the Horse from Crescent Books, Internet, The Cowboy Encyclopedia by Bruce Grant, Cowboys & Indians magazine, December 2011 issue.

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