Trivia Challenge: Rhyming Riddles

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.)
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Cartoon horse ‘The Riddler’ ponders a riddle

1. It’s an unshapely horse neck, can be ‘sheepish,’ too. It’s a:

A) gnu.

B) ewe.

C) slew.

2. If you slap with it hard, you may land in the dirt. It’s a:

A) quirt.

B) squirt.

C) flirt.

3. It jiggles your eye, or chases an itch, or calms your horse. It’s a:

A) glitch.

B) stitch.

C) twitch.

4. Often arched in a stallion, more relaxed in the rest. It’s a:

A) jest.

B) crest.

C) nest.

HOW’D YOU DO? (Answers below.)

1. B is correct. A ewe neck is overdeveloped on its underside and underdeveloped along the crest, with a dip in front of the withers. Called an upside-down neck because of its appearance, it’s a conformational fault that can be exacerbated by poor riding that puts the horse’s head in the air.

2. A is correct. From the Mexican Spanish cuarta, or whip, a quirt is a short whip with a braided leather lash.

3. C is correct. A twitch is a device with a wood handle and a loop at one end to twist around a horse’s upper lip to subdue him. It may also be made of metal with a clamping effect. Though experts aren’t sure how it works, the short-term application of pressure in this way lowers a horse’s heart rate and decreases his reaction to painful stimuli, which is why twitches are often used for veterinary treatments. (Ear twitching has been discredited as a humane option and should be avoided completely.)

4. B is correct. A stallion’s thicker neck and more pronounced crest are secondary sex characteristics not found in geldings and mares.

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