Monday, January 28, 2008

My Dictionary O' Terms

As further proof that I do indeed read all of your comments, I decided to jot down a few terms and bits of lingo that I occasionally use so that we're all clear on their definitions. It was Gina, a faithful reader here, who brought to my attention that I used a term that confused her. A while back I wrote that I was thrilled that the x-rays taken of Lexi (my palomino mare) were unremarkable and basically clear. Despite a sore foot (which turned out to be a bruised heel), there wasn't any evidence of ringbone, sidebone or "galloping navicular."

Gina read "galloping navicular" and dutifully googled it. Of course, nothing came up that satisfied her curiosity. That's because I sort of/kind of made it up years ago. It's now become a familiar phrase among my barn buddies and riding pals. Galloping navicular-- at least in my perverse mind-- refers to a case of navicular that seems to develop almost overnight, without much warning. Sort of, "Now you don't see it on x-rays, and now you do."

We can all credit a lovely dapple-gray Thoroughbred hunter my sister owned years ago. During his pre-purchase exam he had glorious, clean x-rays of his front feet. Fast forward about six months later, the gelding comes up lame in both front feet, new films are shot and his navicular bones look like Swiss cheese. And thus the term, "galloping navicular" was born!

Another term I didn't create but one which I embrace fondly is, "hinky in the hind end." A horse befitting this description isn't dead lame in a hind leg; it's just, well, NQR.

I'll get to NQR in a second.

Usually a sensitive, intuitive rider can feel that the horse they're riding is not tracking or pushing equally with both hind legs. It's not obviously limping; but something's... hinky. Yet the animal behaves as if it's perfectly sound, limber and comfortable. In my experience a horse that's a little hinky in the hind end often has trouble brewing in a hock or stifle. Fortunately, there is hope for hinkiness, as you can read here:

Options for Horses that are "Hinky" in Their Hind End

Mild unsoundness in either the front half or hind end of the horse is referred to as NQR. Those letters stand for Not Quite Right. I have to give props to my friend Denice, who lives and rides on the east coast, for introducing me to that term. To qualify for the diagnosis of NQR, a horse must display a slight yet noticeable unsoundness that perplexes both you and your vet. This is not to be confused with DFL, which is the acronym for Dead Freakin' Lame, and symbolizes a horse that's sore enough that even my husband can see it.

DFL is unfortunately a term we're all probably familiar with in one way or another. And once we think about how much we dote on our horses-- emotionally and financially-- that fact just seems NQR.

See how your comments give me ideas to write about? You can add your thoughts by clicking on "comments" below or emailing me at:


Nancy said...

I just read the linked article on horses that are hinky in their hind end and the injections that they can do in joints. I had those injections in my knee, last step before a knee replacement, and the results have been phenomenal. I didnt realize they were doing them for horses.

Anonymous said...

Cindy - You are hilarious :-) I had to share another "term" with you. Growing up, my best friend and I both had mares. Mine just happened to be a chestnut, thoroughbred mare. So, dealing with marish tendencies became a daily occurrence. We ended up coming up with GOMD. Grumpy Old Mares Disease. :-)

Anonymous said...

Yay! Thank you! =]

That makes me rather sad though - we don't have any terms to describe anything... well, except for PGS - Pissed Gelding Syndrome.

Bucky is the living example of PGS. He's like a mare in gelding form.

Maybe it's the fact that his mother is a chestnut thoroughbred mare? That would explain SO much!

But thanks for the little dictionary! I'm sick, coughing up my lungs and I check this... and I start laughing. This is great!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for that!

Halsgal said...

gina: I can totally sympathize with you! My 10 year old TB suffers from constant PGS! So marish, if you even try to ask him to pick up canter using your outside leg, he'll squeal and kick out. Ah, horses, so silly, but so lovable. Cindy, I also wanted to say that I"ve been reading your blogs since you started and I'm so happy that we still have the opportunity to read your "Life With Horses". I loved it in HI, and even more on the net. Thanks a ton.

Cindy Hale said...

Thanks for all the responses here. I got some more via email. I'm glad you're enjoying the blog. It's fun to write it.

Now I guess I have to add some more terms to my dictionary!