This activity will help you learn about the markings of the horse and other identification methods.
White markings can occur anywhere on the body of the horse but they are more common on the head and legs.
Head markings come in a few different types. In the Resources section look up the Australian Stud Book to learn more about how head markings are described.
White leg markings used to be known as socks if they reached up to the fetlock or stockings if they covered the cannon and/or knees.
This is not accurate enough to clearly identify particular horses so you must be able to describe leg markings by how much of the leg they cover.
For example: if the white covers the leg up to the top of the cannon it is called a white cannon; if it only covers half of the cannon it is called a half cannon.
Hoof colour is either black, white or black and white.
Generally, if there is a white leg marking that touches the coronet at least part of the hoof will be white.
It is important to check the hoof colour of grey horses as this may help you find that the grey horse actually has a white leg marking when it is not so obvious (the skin colour under any white leg marking will be pink; while the skin colour where there is no white marking will be dark).
Freezebrands are used in Australia. These brands are produced by applying extreme cold to the skin, which kills the colour producing cells in the skin and hair.
After the brand has scabbed off the new hair that grows will be white, which makes the brand easy to read.
Whorls are permanent, irregular settings of coat hairs where the hair stream changes direction.
They can neither be brushed nor clipped out. Like fingerprints they vary in every animal.
Whorls help in identification because they are common on some parts of the horse and uncommon in others. Their presence and their absence can be very important.
Height is measured in hands - one hand is 10 centimetres and is supposed to represent the width of a man's hand. The height is taken from the top of the withers to the ground.
Thoroughbreds and standardbreds range in height on average from 14.2 hands to 16.2 hands. You can buy a horse measuring tape which shows the hand measurement as well as centimetres.
The end of the digestive system through which faeces (manure) is eliminated from the body.
Most male horses in racing are geldings. This means they are castrated to make them easier to handle and so they can concentrate on racing.
Castrated means the testicles are removed to make the horse infertile and stop them producing the more aggressive hormones required for breeding. Geldings can be any age.
The teats are visible from birth. They are high up between the hind legs.
The external part of female genitalia. It sits below the anus.