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Horse Questions You Never Thought to Ask

Donna Campbell Smith is an author, freelance writer, and photographer. She has an AAS degree in equine tech and is a certified instructor.

Having volunteered twenty-plus years in the 4-H horse program I have coached a few quiz bowl teams. Most questions in those contests come from horse science textbooks, dealing with equine anatomy, physiology and health. Horse management, colors, breeds and horsemanship are also covered. A few trivia questions can be found in a junior contest. These Q & A are some of the easy ones in a Junior contest (ages 9-13) Senior contestants (ages 14-18) have to answer much harder questions.

Even if you do not have a 4-H or Pony Club at your barn it might be fun to organize a quiz bowl or trivia game for your riding students to play on a rainy day. You can turn almost any board game into a horse trivia game by requiring a player to answer a question before moving the token on the board. Just print the Q & A on index cards and have them draw a card. Roll the dice, answer the question and move the token. If they get the question wrong they forfeit their turn.


Q & A

Q. What are distal spots?

A. Dark spots found on a white coronet band.

Q. What are two coat colors a horse can have with a white mane and tail?

A. Chestnut and palomino

Q. What are four face markings that have more white than a blaze?

A. Bald face, medicine hat, bonnet face, and apron face.

Q. What is the difference between a roan and a gray horse?

A. A roan has a mixture of white and dark hairs at birth and stays the same throughout its lifetime. A gray is born a solid color. Gray hairs develop and progress with age, turning the horse lighter as it gets older.

Q. What is a tapadera?

A. A stirrup cover.

Q. A pigeon toed horse will do what when it travels?

A. Paddle

Q. Name the racetrack where the Kentucky Derby is run.

A. Churchill Downs

Q. What do you call the deep grooves on either side of the frog?

A. Commissures

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Q. What bone is dislocated when a horse is stifled?

A. The patella

Q. Name the two draft horse breeds that originated in England.

A. Shire and Suffolk.

Q. Name the order in which a judge will call for the gaits of five-gaited horses.

A. Walk, trot, slow gait, rack, and canter.

Q. Describe the details of the processional horse that symbolizes that a leader or warrior has died.

A. The horse is properly saddled and led by a uniformed officer. Cavalry boots with spurs are reversed in the stirrup irons and a saber hangs from the right side of the saddle.

Q. What is the medical name for swamp fever?

A. Equine Infectious Anemia

Q. What is the primary cause of a horse barn fire?

A. Careless smoking or use of smoking materials

Q. Why is molasses added to a grain ration?

A. To settle dust and make it taste good.

Q. When would you hear the cry, "Tally Ho?"

A. At a fox hunt when the fox has been sighted.

Q. In which direction should a hoof pick be used?

A. From heel to toe.

Q. Name the breed whose name was taken from the Palouse River?

A. Appaloosa

Q. What is a sprinter?

A. A racehorse that performs best at distances of a mile or less.

Q. The Moab is the product of what two breeds?

A. Morgan and Arabian

Q. What is the maximum height of a pony?

A. 14.2 hands or 58".

Q. How many beats does a canter have?

A. Three

Q. What are the three horse feed classifications?

A. Roughage, concentrates, and mixed feeds.

Q. What are the five coat color variations?

A. Dun, gray, palomino, paint or pinto, and roan.

Q. What is the primary cause of saddle sores?

A. Friction between the saddle or harness and the horse.

Q. How many bones are in the neck of the horse?

A. Seven, as in all mammals.

© 2008 Donna Campbell Smith


Rebecca Conti on July 06, 2019:

Thank you for sharing your knowledge

Donna Campbell Smith (author) from Central North Carolina on June 17, 2013:

Kelsee, there are ride and shoot contests

Those horses seem fine with the noise. You'll have to ask a vet about the headaches. I have no idea.

kelsee on June 17, 2013:

When should i stop shooting a gun around me 28 year old mare? And could it give her a heartache?

Emily breedlove on August 06, 2012:

I what to call to see if i can do summer camp in md with a horse I have my own their

mack bobby on November 21, 2011:

Hey if my horse is over wieght do i have 2 put it on a drylot or what?


tracie on October 26, 2011:

hey sally plz cn u tell me if a horse is in a paddock with 2others and is constantly harrassed by them will his spiritual wellbeing be ok he is a gd boy but often gets "bullied" and yet pines 4them when he cant see them,i have no other grazin 4him yet so have 2stay put but i need reassurance that he is ok,his bestie paddock m8 died a week ago so he has no1 else but the "bullies" i would greatly appreciate your advice

Donna Campbell Smith (author) from Central North Carolina on September 29, 2010:

Sally, I have never heard that before. I would say it would not be true as long as the horse is healthy and properly cooled and rested between rides. Many lesson horses are used more than once a day for example, and many times depending on the lesson and weather will sweat each time they are worked.

sally108 on September 29, 2010:

is it true nthat you cannot sweat up a horse twice in 1 day???

April on September 11, 2010:

This is great. Great Idea!!

I have a trivia in the Arab breed which gait is most proficient?

Thanks a lot for the idea.


Donna Campbell Smith (author) from Central North Carolina on July 22, 2010:

Horses carry most of their weight on the forehand, so I would think the inside foreleg feels the most impact.

Sophie Long on May 14, 2010:

Where is the weight distributed when a horse is lunged?

Knowing this would help me so much when assesing lameness! So when lunging a horse which side does it put more weight on - the inside or the out? Most people would say inside but I have always noticed when ice skating that my outside leg seems to hurt more - due to more flexion of joints or carrying more weight - maybe both? In greyhound racing the incidence of outside leg injuries is much greater than inside leg as well.

George Rendier on February 21, 2010:

What is the Dawson Equine Leg Brace.

Donna Campbell Smith (author) from Central North Carolina on October 17, 2009:

HI, kristin, I coached a 4-H quiz bowl team for many years and most of these came from our study questions. But I also know most of them having worked with horses 30+ years.

kristin on October 17, 2009:

I like these questions! Did you find them on a website or just know them yourself?

Jesse on August 05, 2009:

Great questions i can use these in my lesson

Donna Campbell Smith (author) from Central North Carolina on May 21, 2009:

LOL, glad you had fun with the Q&As.

dana825 from Chicago on May 20, 2009:

I feel smart! I knew most of these. I guess it helps to be working with horses but it still makes me feel smart! It's good info.

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