Monday 9 May 2011

Equines Chestnuts and Ergots

Most of us that own horses or have regular contact with equines will know what a chestnut is, but for those of you that don’t know what they are it is thought to be a scent gland by many people. The chestnut or night eye can be see on the legs of almost all domestic horses, see photo above of Murphy’s hind chestnut / night eye.

All horses supposedly have different looking chestnuts, as you can see here Madeline’s chestnut looks very different to Murphy’s one. Chestnuts can be peeled off and trimmed for a neater look, but I do not do this as if the chestnut grows to big it will most likely break off by itself.

Now on to ergots.These little things are very odd indeed, an ergot is much like a chestnut but ergots are seen on the underside of the fetlock, and mostly on equines with lots of feathering but even horses with no feathers can have them, I just found out today that Niko has ergots, they are tiny but they are there. The ergot shown in the photo above is not Niko’s it is Pip’s.

Ergots are thought to be a toe left behind by the horse’s ancestors, anyway that is all about ergots and chestnuts for now, I have finished telling you all stuff that you probably already knew.

Thanks for the comments on my last post.

Abby, I think Murphy would either be scared of the zebra or make it his job to run it out of the herd. Poor Spotty still he is in good hands now.

Sherri, if it helps him grow then I hope he eats lots and lots, it would be nice if he got big enough for me to ride.

C and C Antiques and Animals, yep free things are the best things right.


RDA Pony Tales said...

It is SO many years since I did my training for BHSAI that I have forgotten most of this, so thank you for refreshing my memory. I think you can never stop learning about horses, as I have discovered since I started helping at RDA.
I agree with you and tend to leave the chestnut alone, best to let nature take it's course.
Have a good week, Abby

allhorsestuff said...

Neat macro shots!
My mare was trained to lift her hoof to your hand, with a slight touch on the chestnut. Now, all I do is stand at her
fore leg, facing her hind and.simply point at her leg-up comes the hoof.
I too don't remove them..since she is so sensitive, it would be to painful for me to do it! I say this now, as I took one off once and I could tell, it hurt her.

Mine had no detectable ergot.
Neat post!