Trivia Challenge: Drooling & Spitting?

Answer the questions, then check at bottom for the key. For more fun and interesting information about horses and horsemanship, read H&R’s ‘The Ride’ newsletter. (Not getting it? Sign up below.)

Illustration by Navah Rae Adams

1. Drooling and spitting wads of food are signs a horse may have:

A) mental problems.

B) dental problems.

C) parasite problems.

2. To help keep your horse warm on a frigid day, you should feed him extra what?

A) hay

B) grain

C) salt

3. Stringhalt is a condition of:

A) the top of the tail.

B) one or both front legs.

C) one or both hind legs.

4. The number-one killer of horses is:

A) laminitis.

B) West Nile virus.

C) colic.

HOW’D YOU DO? (Answers below.)

1. B is correct. Drooling and spitting wads of food (“quidding”) indicate a horse is having trouble chewing his food. Call your vet or equine dentist for an exam. If he’s an oldster with few chewing surfaces left, consider a specially formulated senior feed, moistening it if necessary.

2. A is correct. Hay and other forages are digested via bacterial fermentation, which generates heat and can raise a horse’s core body temperature. Provide your horse with plenty of extra hay during exceptionally cold weather.

3. C is correct. Stringhalt, which causes the sudden jerking up and “pausing” of a hind leg, is a neurologic disease sometimes caused by toxicity and sometimes of unknown origin. The condition is most apparent when the horse is backing up.

4. C is correct. Take steps to lower the risk of colic in the wintertime, especially, when less work may slow the action of your horse’s gastrointestinal tract, and frigid water discourages adequate drinking. Make sure he gets enough exercise and, if need be, warm his water to between 45 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit—the ideal temp to encourage him to drink.

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