Glossary A-Z

We have put together this glossary of horse + horse riding words
to help our riders before, during + after your visit.


Help us grow our glossary!

Think of words that we could add? Or have a word that you’re not sure about? We’d love to hear from you.

We’ll add your word here so it can help other Ryders!

  • A-C
  • D-F
  • G-I
  • J-L
  • M-O
  • P-R
  • S-U
  • V-Z

A

Aids
Signals from the rider or driver to the horse that tell the animal what the handler wants it to do.
Generally broken down into two varieties, natural and artificial.

Arabian or Arab
One of the oldest breeds of horse, noted for small size, dished face,
erect carriage, high intelligence and lively disposition, from the namesake peninsula.

B

Bridle
The headgear used to control a horse, consisting of buckled straps to which a bit and reins are attached.

Bit
A device placed in the mouth of the horse as a means of control which is attached to the bridle and the reins.

Blinkers
A pair of small leather screens attached to a horse’s bridle to prevent it seeing sideways or behind.

Breastplate
A set of straps which pass under the horse’s chest and prevent the saddle from slipping backward.

C

Canter
A three beat gait of a horse between a trot and a gallop.

Chestnut (coat)
A reddish-brown coat color with matching or lighter-colored mane and tail.

Chestnut (horse anatomy)
A callousity on the inside of each leg, thought to possibly be a vestigal remnant of the pad of a toe.

Colt
A male horse under 4 years old that has not been castrated.

D

Dressage
The art of riding and training a horse in a manner that develops obedience, flexibility and balance.

Draft Horse
Generic term encompassing many breeds of large, muscular, heavy horses developed primarily as farm or harness horses, used for plowing fields, pulling wagons, logging and similar heavy pulling work.

E

Equestrian
Someone who rides, owns, or shows horses, or participates in horse activities.

Equine
A horse or another member of the horse family.

F

Farrier
A craftsman who trims and shoes horse’s hooves.

Foal
A young horse.

Filly
A female horse under 4 years old.

G

Gallop
The fastest pace of a horse, with all the feet off the ground together in each stride.

Girth
A band attached to the saddle, used to secure it on a horse by being fastened around it’s belly.

Gelding
A castrated male horse.

Grooming
Cleaning horses for hygienic, practical or esthetic reasons.

H

Halter
A rope or strap with a noose or headstall placed around the head off the horse used for leading or tethering it.

Harness
A set of straps and fittings by which a horse is fastened to a cart, plow etc and controlled by it’s driver.

Hand
This is the common way to measure horses. One hand is 4 inches, so a horse that is 15 hands is 60 inches tall.

J

Jodhpur
Trousers worn for horse riding, very full from hip to knee and tight over the calf.

M

Martingale
A strap or set of straps, attached at one end to the noseband (standing martingale) or the reins (riding martingale) of a horse and at the other end to the girth.
It is used to prevent the horse from raising it’s head too high.

Mare
A female horse over 4 years old.

N

Neigh or whinny
The classic “sound” made by a horse. Generally a loud noise, described as a squeal followed by a nicker.
Often is heard when a horse is looking for another horse or a person, sometimes used to call out to unseen animals.

P

Paddock
A small field or enclosure were horses are kept or exercised.

R

Rein
A long, narrow strip attached at one end to a horse’s bit, typically used in pairs to guide or check a horse while riding.

S

Saddle
A seat fastened on the back of the horse for riding.
It is typically made from leather and raised at the front and rear.

Stirrup
A pair of devices attached to each side of a horse’s saddle, in the form of a loop with a flat base to support the rider’s foot.

Stallion
A male horse over 4 years old that has not been castrated.

T

Trot
The pace of a horse, faster than a walk, lifting each diagonal pair of legs alternately.

Tack
Tack is any of the various accessories worn by horses in the course of their use as domesticated animals.
Saddles, stirrups, bridles, halters, reins, bits, harnesses, martingales, and breastplates are all forms of horse tack.

V

Veterinarian
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, an individual who is trained to provide medical care to horses and other animals. Specialists who work with horses are known as equine veterinarians.

W

Whip
A strip of leather or legth of cord fastened to a handle used for urging on you horse.

Y

Yearling
A horse in the calendar year after it’s year of folding.

This is a unique website which will require a more modern browser to work!

Please upgrade today!