Trivia Challenge: Dapples ‘N Green Grass

Challenge yourself! Have fun and learn interesting tidbits about horses and horsemanship with Horse&Rider’s Trivia Challenge, featured in The Ride newsletter.

Illustration by Navah Rae Adams

1. What are ‘dapples’?

A) an apple-flavored horse treat

B) soft ‘spots’ in a haircoat

C) horsey pimples

2. To ‘bang’ a horse’s tail means to

A) slam it accidentally in a trailer door.

B) shoot it with a full-force stream of water.

C) trim the bottom of it parallel to the ground.

3. True or false: Green grass is both a horse’s best friend AND potentially worst enemy.

T / F

4. What is groundwork?

A) barn-area cleaning

B) unmounted training

C) a horse’s free time

HOW’D YOU DO? (Answers below.)

1. B is correct. Dapples are spots on a horse’s haircoat where the coloring is slightly lighter than the surrounding hair. Dapples may be subtle or obvious. Most common in gray horses, dappling also appears with horses of other colors, especially in spring or fall, when new hair growth occurs. Good health enables dappling to occur in horses genetically predisposed to them.

2. C is correct. A banged tail has been cut straight across at the bottom, so that it’s parallel to the ground. This creates a tidy, professional look, plus helps a thin tail appear thicker at the bottom.

3. T is correct. Green grass is highly nutritious but potentially harmful if overeaten. Fresh green pasture is your horse’s best source of vitamin E, an essential nutrient that helps his muscles stay healthy. But too much rich grass, especially early in the growing season, can put your horse at risk for laminitis and gas colic.

4. B is correct. Groundwork is training you give your horse from the ground—in hand, in a round pen, or at the end of a long lead rope or longe line. The time you spend on methodical groundwork invariably translates into to a calmer, more focused mount under saddle. Looking for handy groundwork exercises you can squeeze in when you’re short on time? We’ve got you covered!

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