Cowboyway Home Page

Cowboyway Home Page

DISCLOSURE: This page might contain affiliate links. / Photo Of The Day


What Are Horse Chestnuts And Ergots?

Horse chestnuts and ergots are normal, healthy growths found on most horse's legs.

In the scientific community chestnuts and ergots are generally accepted to be the vestigial "toes" of Eohippus, an early ancestor of the modern horse that lived roughly 50 million years ago.

Did you know? "Vestigial" means something that has lost most or all of its original function through evolution.

Horse Chestnuts And Ergots

Chestnuts appear on the front legs of a horse above the knee, or on the back legs of a horse below the hock. They can be large or very small. Some people call horse chestnuts "night eyes."

Ergots are found on the back of a horse's fetlock on all four legs, but they are usually covered with hair and can't be seen unless the hair is parted.


Chestnuts

Photo 1

A horse chestnut. This chestnut is about the size of a woman's thumb. Chestnuts can range from the size of a small fingernail to a couple of inches long or longer.

Horse chestnut

 

Photo 2

This is a close-up of the same chestnut that is in photo 1. Chestnut patterns are unique to each horse.

Close-up photo of a horse chestnut

 

Photo 3

A different chestnut. This chestnut is not flat and fairly smooth like the one in the previous photos.

A rough horse chestnut, photo from the side

 

Photo 4

A horse chestnut seen from the front. Chestnuts can be trimmed down to minimize their rough appearance. See the bottom of this page for more information.

A rough horse chestnut, photo from the front

Ergots

In the photo below the yellow circles indicate where ergots are on a horse's legs.

Ergots can be found on both the front and back legs. They are small growths on the back of the fetlock, and are usually covered by hair like on the horse in the photo. When you feel an ergot, they feel a lot like an eraser on the end of a wooden pencil.

Ergots on a horse are on the back of the fetlock

Chestnuts And Ergot Grooming

Both chestnuts and ergots can be trimmed without pain. While there's no real reason to trim them, some people choose to trim them as a part of a regular grooming routine.

Do NOT try to remove either chestnuts or ergots entirely, and if you trim them don't go any deeper than skin level or above.

Chestnuts can often be peeled off layer by layer with your hands or fingernails. If they are too hard, you can trim them, carefully, with a knife or other sharp tool.

Ergots can often be pinched off with fingernails above the skin. Resist the temptation to twist the ergot as you pinch it, as this might be uncomfortable for the horse and you could get kicked or stomped. Ergots can also be clipped (hoof nippers are handy for this) or trimmed with a knife.


Fun Stuff To Know

Eo means "dawn" and hippus means "horse," so Eohippus is "dawn horse."

 

What Is / Are...

What Are 5 Of The Biggest Wild West Robberies?

What Are 5 Reasons Horse Trailer Lighting Matters?

What Are 8 Dumb Things To Say To A Horse Lover?

What Are 9 Proven Ways To Keep Flies Off Horses?

What Are Chestnuts and Ergots?

What Are Cowboy Chinks?

What Are Ermine Spots?

What Are Horns?

What Are Horse Blood Marks?

What Are Horse Vaccines and How Do They Work?

What Are Horse Whiskers?

What Are Leads?

What Are The Parts Of A Western Saddle?

What Are Saddle Rigging Positions?

What Are Some Fencing Options?

What Are Some Foods Both Horses And Dogs Can Eat?

What Are Some Horse Fencing Basics?

What Are Some Interesting Horse Facts?

What Are Some Interesting Charts and Graphs With Horse Information?

What Are Some Options For Temporary Horse Fencing?

What Are Slobber Straps?

What Are Synthetic Saddles Made Of?

What Are The Rodeo Catch Pens?

What Are The 10 Best 3-Horse Trailers With Living Quarters In The USA And Canada?

What Are The X's In A Cowboy Hat?

What Are The Three Legal Head Catches?

What Are Wolf Teeth?

What Is The Angle System For Branding?

What Is The Barrel Racing Pattern?

What Is A Bosal?

What Is A Brand?

What Is A Bull Riding Vest Made Of?

What Is A Crow Hop?

What Is Deworming Your Horse?

What Is A Domain Name?
Why would I need one for my farm or ranch even if I don't have or want a website?

What Is A Fifth Wheel Trailer Hitch?

What Is Flag and National Anthem Etiquette At A Rodeo?

What Is A Slant Load Horse Trailer?

What Is Floating A Horse's Teeth?

What Is Freeze Branding?

What Do Horse Freeze Brands Look Like?

What Is A Galvayne's Groove?

What Is A Gooseneck Trailer Hitch?

What Is A Hack Rein?

What Is A Headstall?

What Is The History Of The Modern, Hornless, Bronc Riding Saddle?

What Is The History Of The Modern Rodeo Bucking Chute?

What Is The History Of The One-Hand Bareback Rigging?

What Is The Nasolacrimal Duct In Horses?

What Is A Pony Express Mochila?

What Is Hermann Oak Leather?

What Is Larvicidal De-Worming?

What Is The Flehmen Response?

What Is The Flying Gallop?

What Is The Mark Out Rule?

What Is A Nord Fork?

What Is The Rodeo Return Gate?

What Is Rotational Grazing?

What Is A Safety Tip For Posting The Colors?

What Is A Slick Fork Saddle?

What Is A Spur Ledge?

What Is A Swell Fork Saddle?

You Might Also Like

How To

Horse Tips

Who Was

 




Molly's Custom Silver

CowboyWay.com uses and recommends Molly's Custom Silver!






FREE Newsletter!
Receive tips, how-to's, and other good stuff. Subscribe now!


CowboyWay.com

Some images and/or other content on this website are copyright © their respective owners.
All other material copyright © 1999 - 2023 by CowboyWay.com - All Rights Reserved

Menu    About / Contact    Newsletter

Disclosures    Privacy Policy