HACKAMORE: A bitless bridle; control comes from the pressure of the noseband on the bridge of the horse’s
nose and its poll.
HAND: The unit of measurement for determining the height of horses and ponies. One hand equals four
inches and measured from the withers to the ground. “How many hands is that horse?”
HAZER: A rodeo term referring to the mounted cowboy who assists in "Steer Wrestling" by guiding a steer in a straight line beside the "Bulldogger" allowing him to slide from his horse, grab the steer by the horns and roll him on the ground. The Steer Wrestling world-record is 3.2 seconds set during the 2009 NFR.
HEEL: A horseshoe term relating to the back third of a branch.
HEEL CALKS: Horseshoe term meaning projections of various shapes and height at the heels.
HEEL CHAINS: Considered an old Californio way to represent that a vaquero was a "top hand." In this tradition, the chain was worn loosely, so they fall under the boot heel then jingles in cadence with a horse's stride along with his jinglebobs. Some horseman today wear them tightly so they won't get caught in brush and lie on the inside of the boot heel.
HELL-BENT for LEATHER: A horse that is running at top speed. “After the cattle stampeded, me and ‘Ol Paint rode hell bent for leather to catch the lead steer!”
HINNY: The offspring of a female donkey (Jennie) and a stallion.
HOBBLES: Restraints that fasten around a horse's front legs below the ankle, to keep him from running off while the cowboy is out of the saddle.
HOCK: (tarsus) Joint between the gaskin and the horse’s hind cannon bone – equivalent to the human ankle. A horse's hock is among the hardest working joints in their body, flexing and supporting their massive weight with everystride. Something a cowboy must do occasionally to pay his feed bill.
HONDO (or Honda): The eyelet or ring at the end of the rope that the rope is run through to make the loop. And, of course, a great 1953 John Wayne movie based on a Louis L’Amour novel of the same name.
HOOEY: A rodeo term used during "Tie-down Calf Roping." The final loop by the roper after wrapping three of the calf's legs together. Once the calf has been lassoed from horseback and on the ground, the cowboy jumps from his horse, ties the calf's legs together with a short rope called a "Piggin' String" by two loops and a hooey. The world-record for leaving the chute, roping the calf, jumping from the horse, tying the calf is about six seconds.
HOOLIHAN: A style of cowboy roping by throwing a lasso while standing on the ground and having it drop over the head of a particular horse. Unlike calf roping in a rodeo setting, the cowboy stands within the remuda and holds the loop in front of him then brings the rope across in front, up over his head and throws it, all in one motion in order to not spook the herd. The loop flattens out as it sails through the air then drops over the horse’s head.
HORN 1.) Used to dally your rope around and “NOT for holding on for dear life!” Saddle horns stout enough to withstand roping from horseback did not develop until about 1750 and along with the fork were carved from one piece of wood.
2.) Protuberance on an animal’s head, usually a pair – single exception….Unicorn.
HUCKLEBERRY: Of course, everyone knows this is the state fruit of Idaho, but for our use, Huckleberry is an antiquated term from Western slang. The tiny size of the berries led to their frequent use as a way of referring to something small, often in an affectionate way, i.e. "Huckleberry Finn." The phrase "a huckleberry over my persimmon" was used to mean "a bit beyond my abilities or dim-witted," i.e. "The Huckleberry Hound Show." "I'm your huckleberry" was a way of saying that one is just the right person for a given job, watch Val Kilmer deliver this line to perfection in "Tombstone."
INCITATUS: The favored horse by the Roman Emperor Caligula, (AD 37-41) who was infamous for his psychotic and bizarre extremes pampered his mount with a stable of marble, an ivory manger, purple blankets, and a collar of precious stones. The horse was attended to by servants, and fed oats mixed with gold flakes. Few horses have ruled an empire and even less have been considered as marriage partners by ancient emperors, but such was the fate of Incitatus. Caligula planned to make the horse a consul, and would "invite" dignitaries to dine with him in a house outfitted with servants there to entertain such events. Its name is a Latin adjective meaning "swift" or "at full gallop." Eventually Incitatus tired of his duties and privileges and, reverting perhaps to the implication of his original name Little Pig, turned on Caligula, savaging him severely. Caligula was swift with retaliation and beheaded his treasured Incitatus.
JACK or JACKASS: A mule-related term referring to a donkey stallion. (equus assinus) Mammoth Jack – Larger male, 14 hands or more, used for draft mule production. To call these animals a burro or donkey was considered as an insult.
JENNET or JENNIE: A mule-related term referring to a donkey mare. (equus assinus) Mammoth Jennet – Larger female, 14 hands or more, used for draft mule production. To call these animals a burro or donkey is considered as an insult.
JIGGY: Meaning when your horse refuses to walk at a normal pace as when you are headed for home and your horse jigs home. A gait somewhere between a walk and trot with lots of upward movement, horse is very “light on the hooves”.
JINGLEBOBS: Small metal weights that make a jingling sound by banging against a spur rowel. Cowboys wore these on the trail as the echoing metal sound would ward off lurking predators. These are not weights added to spurs to keep cowboys from tipping forward and they sure won’t let you sneak up on anybody no matter what they show in the movies. But, they’re fun to wear!
JOHN: A mule-related term referring to a male mule.
KEG SHOE: A Conventional factory-made horseshoe.
KIMBERWICKE: An English bit that combines snaffle rings with a mild curb-bit action. “Wait…how did this get in here? No cowboy would be caught dead in one of these.”
LAMINITIS: Condition, caused by systemic upset, in which the sensitive plates of soft tissue, laminae, within the hoof become inflamed and painful to the horse, often caused by injury, physical deformity or dietary - eating too much grain or green grass. Also called Founder.
LARIAT/LASSO: A loop of rope that is designed to be thrown around a target and tighten when pulled. When referring to the entire length of rope used, before or after a loop is formed, the rope itself is more properly called a lariat. Also used as a verb; to lasso is to successfully throw the loop of rope around something.
LATIGO: The strap that connects the cinch to a saddle’s rigging. The word actually describes a specific type of leather that has a recognizable burgundy color. Also known as a cinch tie strap, they were traditionally made of latigo leather and over time, the name stuck. They are usually 1 ½ to 2 inches wide and about 6 feet long. In addition to the traditional leather, they are now also being made of synthetics such as nylon.
LEGGINGS: Worn over jeans, covering for lower leg and made from smooth or rough-out leather. Usually either, buckled around the leg just below the knee, zipped, or held on the drawstrings with elastic loops at the bottom to slide under your boot. Comes in different styles such as flared like bell-bottom pants to fit loosely over the boot or fit closely on the leg. Mostly used when riding in thistles, thorns and high brush. Mistakenly sometimes referred to as half chaps.
LEONARD SLYE: Better known as Roy Rogers, "King of the Cowboys" and one of the founding members of the "Sons of the Pioneers." Born in Cincinnati, Ohio on November 5, 1911 Rogers died of congestive heart failure on July 6, 1998 at his ranch in Apple Valley, California, near Victorville and is buried at Sunset Hills cemetery in Apple Valley.
LICK: A Cowboy’s dessert made of biscuit and syrup. Or a case of "whop ass."
LIVERY: Where horses are housed. A stable. The OK Corral was a livery stable.
LONGE: (pronounced “Lunge,” rhymes with “sponge”) To work a horse on a long rope (or longe line, usually 30’ or so) in a circle around you. A valuable tool for teaching voice commands, correct leads and other controlled movements. A safe means of training a young horse to get used to a saddle, as well as a good way to exercise a penned horse prior to riding.
LUNGER: Slang for someone with tuberculosis, which is a bacterial infection that attacks the lungs. Doc Holliday was referred to as a "lunger."
MAD HATTER: Due to a hat maker's continual breathing in of vapors from the mercury used to cure the beaver pelts to make his product, causing a neurological disorder making many workers in the trade to go "mad." My wife is "mad as a hatter" that I didn't come home last night!
MAGUEY: (pronounced "McGay" or “McGee”) A type of rope made from the fibers of the maguey plant. Early cowboys usually preferred rawhide or hemp ropes, however many trick ropers today use maguey ropes because they are more flexible.
MARE: A female horse.
MARION MORRISON: The Legendary Actor and enduring American icon, John Wayne (May 26, 1907 – June 11, 1979). There are numerous stories why he was tagged with the name, "Duke," the real reason was in his early film career, he was saddled with a horse named Duke. The "Ride Him Cowboy" director, Fred Allen couldn't remember the young actor's name and called for the horse by name as he knew the actor would tag along.
MARTINGALE: Tack designed to affect a horse’s head carriage or to prevent the tossing of the head; attaches to the girth and to the reins or bridle.
MAVERICK: 1.) A stray or feral longhorn that was usually hard to catch and stay penned. So named after Samuel A. Maverick (1803-1870), a Texas land baron who at one time had amassed more land holdings than anyone in the world. Maverick refused to brand his cattle; therefore they usually ended up on the end of another rancher's lasso. 2.) A person who is independently minded; someone who doesn't go along with everyone else.
MECATE: A rein and lead rope combination. The rope is fastened to the right side of the bit or hackamore with the other end looped through a rider’s belt or a ring on their chaps. Was used in the frontier era in case a rider was thrown from his horse but left enough rope to grab and keep his horse from going to far away.
MOCHILA: From the Spanish word for Knapsack, used by Pony Express riders to transport telegrams and letters. Made of leather, the mochila was thrown over the saddle with opening to allow for the saddle horn and cantle to fit. Attached to the leather skirt were four cantinas, or boxes of hard leather, two on either side in the front and back and locked with small padlocks. Station keepers held the keys. Since riders were expected to change mounts inside of two-minutes, the machila was easily transferred from one horse to another at re-mount stations.
MOLLIE: A mule-related term referring to a female mule.
MOON BLINDNESS: Equine recurrent uveitis (ERU), a disease of the horse's eye primarily triggered by inflammation by bacterial infection, parasites, viruses or direct trauma. Also called: Periodic ophthalmia or iridocyclitis. A long-held belief that its appearance coincided with the lunar cycle lead to the condition to be called “moon blindness.”
There was also a theory that uveites occurrs most often in white horses, horses with a wide blaze and white around their eyes and Appaloosas.
MULE: The offspring of a female horse and a male donkey. Mules aren’t a species, they’re a hybrid between two species: the horse, Equus caballus and the donkey, Equus assinus. Although both male and female mules have reproductive systems, they are sterile and cannot reproduce. That said, on very rare occasions, a mare mule has produced a foal, but it’s a one-in-a-million occurrence. There’s no record of a male mule ever siring a foal. Even so, male mules are castrated to curb hormones.
MUSTANG: (Equus Caballus) Derived from the Spanish word “MESTEÑO” meaning to “a stray or wild blooded.” In the sixteenth century early Spanish explorers brought Andalusian horses to Mexico. As years passed many were left to run wild migrating north to the American open prairies and became a mix of numerous breeds as pioneers came West and some of their horses joined the herds. Prospering, these wild horses eventually became recognized as a distinct breed, the American Mustang. Mustangs usually have a dense bone structure due to the harsh conditions in which they live. They are smaller than typical domesticated horses with an average height of 15 hands. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Mustang population was estimated at 2 million head. Their current number has dropped to near 30,000 horses. Visit: www.wildhorseandburro.blm.gov.
NCWHM: National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum - based in Oklahoma City.
NEAR SIDE: The left side of the horse where most handling and mounting is done. The right side of the horse is called, “off side.”
NESTER: A derogatory term for a homesteader, small farmer, or squatter. "That blasted nester has fenced up the range!"
NFR: National Finals Rodeo organized by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, is the premier championship rodeo event in the United States and held annually in December in Las Vegas. Competitions include: Team Roping, Tie-Down Roping, Steer Wrestling, Bareback Riding, Saddle Bronc Riding, Barrel Racing and Bull Riding www.prorodeo.com
To be eligible, one must be among the top 15 money earners in a particular event at the end of the rodeo season in November. Would-be finalists can expect to log 90,000 miles as they travel from rodeo to rodeo while competing in 75 to 100 rodeos and get astride a horse or bull 150 or more times.
NIGHT HAWK: A cowboy whose day’s work begins in the late afternoon and rode herd during the night to keep them from straying or becoming spooked. Also known as Night Wrangler.
NIMROD: A derogatory term used to describe someone not too smart. Term came as a result of the James Younger gang, consisting of Frank & Jesse, Cole Younger, Jim White, John Jarrett and George Shepherd robbing the Southern Deposit Bank in Russellville, KY netting $12,000. The cashier's name was Nimrod Long who decided to run away from the the outlaws and was shot as he bolted. “Way to go nimrod!”
NO-SEE-UMS: Also know as "Sweet Itch," it is a skin condition associated with a hypersensitivity to insect bites from small culicoides or gnats. Usually scabbing found underneith a horse's belly, on the mane or near the croup or dock of the horse's tail.
NUDIE: A clothing style established by Nudie Cohn (1902- 84) worn by such stars as Hank Williams, Sr., Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, John Wayne, Elvis and Cher. His Western wear store in North Hollywood was opened in 1951 where stars, studio costume designers and “wanna be buckaroos” would buy their duds. Born Nutya Kotlyrenko in Kiev, Russia, this Jewish tailor set the standard for the embroidered motifs, rhinestone suits and sewing techniques of the flashy, fantastical outfits worn by western, rock & roll and country music stars. The store closed its doors in 1990.
OATER: Term given to Western movies. Also called “horse operas.” In the 1920’s, series Westerns ran four to six reels and lasted about 60 minutes starring such established stars as Broncho Billy Anderson, William S. Hart, Tom Mix and Harry Carey.
OFF SIDE: The right side of the horse. See also: Near side
PANIOLO: A Hawaiian cowboy. While the paniolo had much in common with the American cowboy or Mexican vaquero, they came from all races in the islands: Hawaiian, Portuguese, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Japanese, Chinese and Filipino. British explorer George Vancouver brought cattle to Hawaii in 1793, landing them at Kealakekua, a gift for King Kamehameha I.
PASTERN: Part of a horse’s foot between the fetlock and the hoof.
PATCHES: Crusty, flaky, hairless skin (like a callus) behind a horse's elbow caused by pressure from his heel when lying down and the "inside" leg rests just under his elbow. See also "shoe boil."
PAINT: While the colorful coat pattern is essential to the identity of the breed, American Paint Horses have strict bloodline requirements and a distinctive body type. To be eligible for registry, a Paint must come from stock registered with the American Paint Horse Association, the American Quarter Horse Association, or the Jockey Club (Thoroughbreds). The result is an intelligent stock-type horse that is extraordinarily versatile, powerful and athletic with unequaled beauty. Paints are stockier and more powerfully muscled than some other light horse breeds. Though generally short-coupled, strong-boned and well balanced, American Paints also exhibit exceptional refinement and beauty, especially about the head and neck.
The terms "Paint" and "Pinto" are often confused when referring to a horse with a light and dark coat pattern. In fact, they have different meanings. Pintos can be any breed. Paints are APHA-registered horses that can prove parentage from one of the three approved registries AQHA, TB and APHA, as well as meet a minimum color requirement.
PATELLA: Triangular bone located over the stifle joint to serve as a pulley. The equine equivalent of the human kneecap.
PETER McCUE: According to the American Quarter Horse Association, almost all Quarter Horses today carry this legendary stallion's bloodline and is considered one of the founding sires of the registry. Peter McCue was by Dan Tucker & out of Nora M. Known for his blazing speed, he was the fasted 2-year old in America, reportedly ran a quarter in 21 flat,- a time that wasn't matched for decades to come. Foaled February 23, 1895, at maturity this bay stallion stood 16 hands and weighed nearly 1,500 pounds. He died in 1923. Today, there are 5.3 million Quarter Horses. Of those, 5.1 million trace to Peter McCue. He was inducted into the AQHA Hall of Fame in 1991. See: Peter McCue Poem or American Horse Daily
PLUNDER: A cowhand's personal belongings, usually kept in whatever he had to carry it along, like a burlap sack. "Take you're plunder over to the bunkhouse and drop it there."
POLL: Top part of the horse’s head between the ears.
PONY: A horse of any age that measures fewer than 14.2 hands (58 inches).
POWWOW: Originally a Native American drug-enhanced religious ceremony. It comes from the Algonquin Indian word powwaw meaning "he dreams."
QUARTER: On a horseshoe, the portion of the branch between the toe and the heel.
QUARTER HORSE: One of the most versatile and popular breeds due to their temperament, speed and ease of handling. In the late 1600s, colonists in Virginia and the Carolinas loved horse racing which took place on the main streets of small towns. Chickasaw Indians captured small blocky Barb horses from Spanish explores years earlier and the English colonists crossed these horses with their Thoroughbred stock (see Sir Archy). Most village streets at the time were only about a quarter of a mile long, so the horses used for these races were known as Quarter-Milers because of their great speed at this distance. Establishment of the breed really took place in the American southwest during the glory days of the cowboy who found them a great working horse ideally suited to the rugged lifestyle of the range. They called them "Steeldusts," due to the influence of the famous stallion in the mid-1800s. Historians have maintained that it is the oldest breed of horses in the United States. Old Janus and Sir Archy are credited with being the founding stock of the bloodline. Also see above: Peter McCue.
QUIDDING: Term used to describe the dropping of partially chewed feed by a horse with dental problems. When you see a horse quidding regularly, it’s a sign that his teeth need immediate professional attention.
REATA: A braided rawhide rope, 40 to 60 feet in length usually used by vaqueros to throw big loops around the neck of livestock.
REMUDA: The name given to a group of horses that accompanied cattle drives so cowboys could switch exhausted horses two or three times daily. Usually consisting of fifty or more horses and watched over by a wrangler normally the youngest hand in the outfit. Derived from the Spanish word remudar, which means “to exchange.”
RIGGING: The arrangement of dee rings for connecting the straps that hold the saddle in place and categorized as either single or double. A saddle with only a front rigging is called “single rigged.” A saddle with both front and rear rigging is called “double rigged.” The rear position is for adding a flank (or back) cinch or bucking strap.
RIM SHOE: Horseshoe that has a channel on the ground surface, all the way around the outside or inside edge; may be raised for added traction.
RINGBONE: Arthritis of the pastern joint (high ringbone) or coffin joint (low ringbone).
ROAD AGENT: Bandit who would hold up stage coaches on the trail. Ambushes would usually take place where stages had to slow for steep grades or sharp turns by placing obstacles across the road forcing them to a stop. The SHOTGUN MESSENGER, or "riding shotgun" was a dangerous job as he was usually the first to be shot.
ROBERT LEROY PARKER: Born on 13 April 1866 in Beaver, Utah, and was raised by Mormon pioneer parents on a ranch near Circleville, Utah. While a teenager, Parker fell under the influence of an old rustler named Mike Cassidy. Parker soon left home to ride the outlaw trail. By 1896 his gang had dubbed themselves the "Wild Bunch." This gang consisted of several well-known Western outlaws including Harry Longabaugh, known as the Sundance Kid; Harvey Logan, alias Kid Curry; Ben Kilpatrick, the Tall Texan; Harry Tracy, Elzy Lay (who was Butch's best friend), and several others. Operating around the turn of the century, Butch Cassidy and his partners put together the longest sequence of successful bank and train robberies in the history of the American West. He was killed in a shootout with troops in Bolivia, Nov. 1908….or was he? Some say he returned to America, changed his name to William Phillips, later diagnosed with cancer and died on July 20, 1937.
ROUNDER: Cowboys who go from ranch to ranch working horses or cattle.
SANDY BOB: Named after the proprietor, “Sandy Bob” Crouch, a six-horse Concord or Modoc passenger stage line that lead daily from Tombstone to Bisbee, in the Arizona Territory between 1880 and 1895. A rival line at the time was the Grand Central.
SCRATCHES: Typically appear under the fetlock on the back of the pastern; often looks like two or three scratches with heavy black scabs and/or oozing skin. This skin condition has many names including “Grease Heel.” It is thought to be a bacterial infection associated with wet conditions and seems to be more susceptible to horses with white legs.
SEEDY TOE: See White Line Disease.
SHOE BOIL: The result from the pressure of a horse's hoof when lying down and his leg is tucked underneath his elbow. The synovial bursa is damaged causing swelling and fluid to build up. Usually requires surgery to drain.
SIRE: A horse’s male parent.
SLOBBER STRAPS: Most commonly used to connect a snaffle bit to reins or a mecate. Named for their purpose – to keep the reins free of slobber. The leather strips also keep hands light by giving weight to the reins and allowing the rider to cue more softly. When you pick up on the rein, the slobber strap cues the horse.
SNAFFLE: A bit with a jointed mouthpiece and rings at the ends; works first on the corners of the mount. Less severe than a curb bit.
SODBUSTER: Easterners who took to busting up the sod for farming instead of ranching. Gradually, the open range was being fenced off resulting in a violent chapter in western history as cattlemen and homesteaders embroiled in feuds over land use and rights.
SONS of the PIONEERS: Famed Western musical group established in 1934 and is still in existence today. Celebrated as the longest continuously preforming musical act in American history, the Smithsonian Institution has declared the group a national treasure. One of the original "Pioneer" founders was Leonard Sly, better known as Roy Rogers, has been a standard for every other cowboy signing group due to their rich harmony arrangements on such songs as "Cool Water" and "Tumbling Tumbleweeds."
SORING: A practice of using chemicals, chains or abrasion on a horse’s limbs to inflict pain to create an extravagant or exaggerated gait in horses for training or show purposes especially in Walking Horses. This practice is prohibited by the federal Horse Protection Act of 1970. Unfortunately, there are still many violations.
SOUND: A horse that is normal and healthy; free from injury. As in, “That there horse shor looks good n’ sound.”
SPOKE: A roping term meaning the distance between your hondo and your right hand when a loop is made.
SPUR: Worn on the back of boots to help gently persuade a horse to adhere to a cue. Consists of heel band, shank, rowel and sometimes jinglebobs.
STALLION: An uncastrated male horse or Stud. Also see “Gelding.”
STARGAZER: A horse that has had his bit jerked on everytime he'd drop his head, so to get away from that, he'd walk with his head up high kinda looking at the sky. ("Comes A Horseman")
START: The first steps in preparing foals for riding. Instead of 'breaking a horse;' 'gentling' or 'starting' a colt is a much preferred method of horsemanship.
STEER: A castrated bull.
STIFLE: Joint of a horse’s hind leg located at the lower part of the flank.
STRANGLES: An extremely contagious infection of the respiratory tract caused by a bacterium called Streptococcus equi. It can literally strangle the life from your horse by invading the nasal passages through the infection of lymph nodes in the head, where it causes abscesses to develop in the nodes between the lower jawbones and in nodes located in the back of the horse’s throat. A heart-wrenching description of the disease is illustrated in the famous John Steinbeck novel, “The Red Pony.”
SUNFISHING: A term used when a bucking horse curls and twists seeming to turn his belly up to the sun leaving his rider with a view from underneath. Taken from the idea that the underside of a fish is light colored to camouflage itself from predators swimming below it. Take a listen to the classic Marty Robbins song, "Strawberry Roan" '...he shore is a sunfishin' son of a gun.'
SURCINGLE: A surcingle is a strap that fastens around a horse's girth area and may be used for ground training, some types of in-hand exhibition, and over a saddle or horse pack to stabilize the load. It also is a primary component of a horse harness.
A great training tool that has many extra rings attached, running from the ribcage up to the withers area allowing the side reins to be attached at several different heights along the sides of the horse used to teach a horse to accept pressure.
SUSPENSORY APPARATUS: The thick branch of the suspensory ligament that supports the fetlock joint during the weight-bearing phase of a stride.
TACK: 1) General term that refers to the gear you put onto your horse for riding including i.e. bridle and saddle. 2) Also refers to the actual process of putting the gear on your horse i.e. "Hey Cowboy, let's tack up and ride!"
TAPADEROS: Stirrup covers worn to keep thick brush from getting entangled in the stirrup or to keep thorns from penetrating the boot. Also prevents feet from sliding forward through the stirrup ring. Styles include Eagle Bill, Bulldog Taps and Monkey Nose.
TEEPEE: See Wigwam
TENDERFOOT: A "city slicker," someone who isn't used to "cowboying," or whose feet aren't used to wearing boots. Also known as a "Greenhorn."
TEN-GALLON HAT: Derived from the Spanish term "Galón" for "braid." The bigger a hat's crown, the more braids or bands were wrapped around the base of the crown with ten braids being on the highest crowned hat. Some vaqueros wore these high-crowned sombreros, and those were referred to as "ten galón hats." Americanized to say "ten-gallon."
THERAPEUTIC PAPER: Better known today as toilet paper or abbreviated as TP when adding to a grocery list. Developed in 1857 by Joseph Gayetty of New York and sold in packages of 500 sheets for the "ass'tronomical" price at the time of $.50 per box. These "unmentionables" were highly desired by cowboys after having been using materials such as sticks and leaves on the trail. Other common means of cleaning one's self was corncobs unless newspapers were available. Sometimes the Cocinero supplied a sponge attached to the end of a stick. This sponge was soaked in a bucket of brine. "Gayetty's Medicated Paper" contained aloe and was marketed as a means to cure sores and prevent piles (hemorrhoids).
THRUSH: This common equine foot infection is characterized by the degeneration of the frog, sole, white line, and sensitive tissues of the hoof and is also noticeable by a thick, foul-smelling discharge usually caused by wet or unhygienic stable conditions.
TOE: Farrier term meaning the front portion of a horseshoe.
VAQUERO: a Mexican cowboy. As far back as the late 1700’s, Mexican cattlemen brought their skills of ranching traditions adapted from Spain to Texas ranchers. From the Spanish word "vacca" --meaning cow.
WADDIE: Term for a working cowhand. Or a really good cowboy poet, Waddie Mitchell.
WEANLING: A horse of any sex in its first year of life, once he or she has been weaned from the dam.
WEB: Width of a horseshoe’s stock.
WESTERNS: A distinctly American genre. Quite possibly, had it not been for Westerns, Hollywood may not have ever exsisted. It was Cecil B. DeMille's huge 1913 hit, "The Squaw Man," shot in a sleepy little town full of orange groves outside of Los Angeles near what is now the boulevards of Hollywood & Highland, that brought the film industry from eastern cities to the year round sunny climate of Southern California. Stars like "Broncho Billy" Anderson, William S. Hart and Tom Mix catapulted the genre to movie screens worldwide. Also known as "Oaters," or "Horse Operas," Click HERE for more.
WHINNY: The sound a horse makes when calling to another horse.
WHITE LINE DISEASE: An ongoing and progressive separation of the interior of the hoof wall, which occurs in the non-pigmented horn at the junction between the middle and inner hoof walls. Sometimes called Seedy Toe.
WIGWAM/TEEPEE: Wigwams and teepees are not the same thing. A teepee (or tipi) is the traditional tall, conical, and portable animal hide tent. A wigwam is dome-shaped, mostly made of wood and mud.
WITHERS: Bony ridge that begins at the crest of the neck and runs into the back, just above the shoulder. Area where a horse’s height is measured.
WOOLIES: See “Chaps.”
WRANGLER: Common term for a cowboy who is working with horses, usually associated with “wrangling,” or “jingling” the Remuda to the cowhands in time to saddle up and ride to cattle before the day heats up.
YAKIMA CANUTT: (1895-1986) The premier stuntman during the golden age of Hollywood. If you've seen a Western then you've witnessed his stunts or watched his influence. Originally a rodeo champion in the early 1920's, he came to Hollywood and changed the movie industry with his incredible stunts. Unfortunately, his use of the Running W for horse falls, caused many horse injuries and death.
YEARLING: A horse of any sex in its second year of life.