Alfalfa A type of hay often fed to horses and other livestock. Apple Butt Used to describe a horse whose rear end, when viewed from the back is rounded with a low spot in the middle.
Appaloosa A light horse color-breed that was bred by Indians near the Pa louse Valley. Austria Cramping of a horse's large muscles, also called “tying up”.
Bagging Up When a mare begins to fill with milk for her newborn foal. Bars The toothless area in a horse's mouth where the bit sits.
BatAnothername for a small crop used by English riders as an artificial aid. Bay A color of a horse who has dark brown body hair and a black mane and tail.
Blanket Can refer to the pad that goes underneath the saddle. Also, can refer to the color pattern that lies across the rump of an Appaloosa.
Blaze A white mark running down the front of a horse's face. The size of the white area determines whether it is a blaze, a stripe (slightly smaller) or a bald face (larger).
Blinkers A piece of equipment that is put on the sides of the horse's eyes to prevent him from seeing behind him. The hairs are primarily white, but with some gray mixed in, giving the horse a bluish tint.
Boots Rubber footwear around the fetlock of the horse extending over the hoof designed to protect the hoof and heel areas from injury when riding. Bot Small yellow eggs that are laid by Gadflies primarily on horses' legs.
Bottom Side This refers to a horses' mothers (maternal) breeding line on a pedigree. It is called the “bottom side” because when a pedigree is drawn out, the father's lineage is listed on the top part of the page while the mother's is beneath.
Breeder A person who breeds purebred horses for a living, or maybe as a hobby. Buck When a horse jumps upward and arches his back.
Calf-Knees A conformational fault where the horse's front legs look somewhat concave from the side angle. Cavelletti Wooden logs (fence posts, often) placed on the ground a certain, measured distance, over which you ride your horse.
It is a training method to teach a horse balance, with even rhythmic strides. Colic This refers to a horse having an intestinal pain.
The pain could come from a range of causes, from intestinal twists to gas. When looking at a horse from behind, the hocks are closer together than the fetlocks which appear to turn outward.
Crest The top part of the horses' neck from which the mane grows. Crop A small whip held in one hand while riding to encourage the horse forward.
Clydesdale A heavy horse breed developed in Scotland for draft work. Dished Face A concave facial profile most often found in Arabian horses.
Dock The bone part of a horses' tail at the top, coming from his rump. Dressage An event where the competitors perform individually to show mastery of certain maneuvers.
Dun A coal color which is a yellowish-gold, like a Buckskin, but usually with a dorsal stripe down the back. Easy keeper A horse that easily keeps in good weight without requiring extra supplements or additional feedings.
Endurance An event in which riders and horses compete over a long distance to test their physical condition, respiratory recovery rate and stamina. Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) Also called Swamp Fever, an often fatal disease caused by a virus that infects horses.
Fetlock The joint and outside area where the pastern and cannon bone meet, just above the hoof. Flank That area around the horse's midsection where his hind legs meet his body.
Flash Nose band A form of an English caves son used to keep a horse from opening his mouth when bridled. Foal A baby horse or pony still at its mother's side of either sex.
Forelock The lock of mane that grows between his ears and falls down the front of his face. Founder The infection of the soft laminae of the interior part of the hoof.
There are many causes including stress, hard ground, drinking too much water while overheated, eating rich pasture grass. Frog The triangular shaped, spongy pad on the horse's hoof which serves as a shock absorber.
Tennessee Walking horses, Saddlebags and Pass Finds are examples of gained breeds. Gallop The fastest that a horse can run, a four-beat gait in which there is a period of suspension when all four hoofs are off the ground.
Quarter Horses are known for well-developed Haskins due to their sprinting work. Some horse shows have “Get of Sire” classes wherein full or half siblings of a certain stallion compete against other get.
Ground Training This involved leading, tying, turning, grooming, bathing, clipping, loading in a trailer, standing still, and doing so while respecting your space. Groundwork Lead rope, lunge-line and long line training taught before you actually saddle and get on a horse for the first time.
Gut sounds The noises that can be heard from a horse's stomach. Gymkhana Rodeo events made up of timed games such as pole bending and barrel racing.
It can also refer to learned horse behavior, good and bad. Hack Most often used to describe certain light riding horses.
Half Pass A dressage movement where the horse moves on two tracks, both forward and sideways at the same time. Halter A piece of tack buckled on the horses' head, so he can be lead, tied and basically controlled while on the ground.
Handler One who leads a horse, often used in the context of showing in hand, or at halter. Harness The tack and equipment put on a horse enabling him to pull a cart or carriage.
Hay Nets A large net, usually made of nylon, to put a flake of hay in for horses to eat while not in their normal environment, like a horse show. They are potentially dangerous if tied too low, because a horse could paw and get tangled in the netting.
Hindquarters The part of the horse that includes the hips, croup, buttocks, dock of the tail, and upper rear legs. Overnight trail riders use them a lot to keep their horses nearby.
Hock The joint in the rear leg located below the stifle but above the fetlock. It includes not only the hard exterior wall, but the interior bones that are so vital to a horse's health.
Horse Shoe Made of metal and nailed to the bottom of the hoof for protection from cracks or injuries. Hunter A type of horse well suited for hunting through the woods and jumping natural obstacles in the process.
Impulsion The word used to describe the forward movement of a horse. Irons The metal part of the stirrup on an English saddle in which you rest your foot while riding.
Jog Western discipline term for a slow trot, which is a two beat gait with diagonal legs hitting the ground simultaneously. Keepers The loops on an English saddle to keep the billets in place.
Lame A horse who is in sufficient pain to prevent him from walking without a limp or moving stiffly. If the rear RIGHT leg began the canter, the left rear and right front would hit the ground together, leaving he LEFT front as the third and final beat.
Line Up The request made by the ringmaster of a horseshoe for the riders to lineup in the center of the ring for the judge to make his/her final placings. Ligaments The fibrous tissues that connect bones to a joint.
Lip Strap The leather strap on an English curb bit designed to prevent a horse from using his lip to play with the curb. Liver Chestnut A coat color which is a dark brown shade accompanied by the same (or sometimes lighter) mane and tail.
Lunge Exercising (and training) a horse using a long lunge line attached to the halter, while the handler stands in the center and moves the horse around in a circle at the end of the line. Maiden This can mean a mare who has never been bred to have a foal.
Mane The long hair growing from the horse's neck. The rings give the rider leverage to prevent the horse from throwing his head.
Muzzle The nostrils, mouth, lips and chin area of a horse's face. When you want to turn, say right, you place the rein against the left side of the horse's neck.
Formally, Novice classes in horse shows are for those who have won less than a certain number of ribbons. Oats A popular feed for horses which are fed whole, rolled or crimped.
Open Class Refers to a horse show class in which everyone is eligible to compete, at any age, any gender, any level of competence. Pace A lateral gain in which the two right legs (front and rear) move forward and backward together and then the two left legs (front and rear) move together.
This is a natural gait for some breeds of horse, and they are referred to as Pacers. Paddock A small area of fenced land, often used for turn out time for horses that are kept in stalls.
PalominoAnother color breed of horse who is a light yellow, tan or golden hair color with a light flaxen or even white mane and tail. Parrot Mouth A very undesirable, inherited trait when a horse's lower jaw is shorter than the upper one.
Pass Fine A breed of horse that originated in Spain and known for its smooth gait. Passage A dressage movement in which the horse performs an exaggerated, collected, rhythmic trot.
Pastern The part of the horse's leg located below the fetlock joint and directly above the hoof line. Pedigree The ancestry of a horse illustrated on a form which includes their ancestors' names, registration numbers, dates born, color and sometimes show or race records.
Pelham A type of English bit that is a combination of a snaffle and a curb but is only one mouthpiece. Pigeon Toed A conformational default in which the front hooves point inward toward each other.
Pinto A color breed of horse known for white patches of hair. Pole Bending A competition in which the horse and rider run down the center of the arena, turn around, and weave in between six equally spaced poles (down and back) and then race to the out gate.
Port The raised middle area of a curb bit that relieves the horse's tongue. Some ports, however, can be severe if the raised area is so high that it can reach the top of the inside of his mouth.
Put down To euthanize a horse who is very sick or injured in such a way that no recovery is expected. They get their name from the quarter-mile race because they are sprinters, fastest in short distances than other breeds.
It is a skin condition resulting from the combination of wet hair and lack of proper grooming. Reins That part of the bridle that runs from the bit to your hands.
Rogue A horse with a bad temper and difficult to train. Running Martingale A piece of tack used to aid in control of your horse.
It prevents the horse from getting his head too high, avoiding the bit and becoming out of control. This prevents the stirrup irons from swinging and hitting you or the horse when tacking up.
These English saddles are flat and the horses are most often ridden in double bridles. Saddlebags, Morgans, Arabians, National Show Horses are competed in this category.
If a rider has a good “seat”, he sits properly, effectively and securely on the horse. It can also refer to the style of riding, Hunt seat, Saddle seat, or Stock seat.
The longer the shank, the more leverage a rider has because the curb chain is engaged more. Although there are many variations, the snaffle bit creates direct contact with the horse' mouth and the rider's hands.
They join in the center so that they fold somewhat in the horse's mouth when pressure is exerted. The serrated edge of a shedding blade can be used after the rubber curry comb to remove loose hair.
Sheet A light blanket often used on show horses to maintain their coats. It most often refers to his physical health ad more specifically his legs and hooves.
Standing Bandage A quilted fabric placed around a horse's lower leg and held in place with a bandage, often used to reduce swelling or protect a horse when being hauled in a trailer. Stock Seat This is the generic term used to describe Western riding.
Stud book This is a listing of breeding horses that is maintained by a registering organization. Surcingle A piece of tack used to simulate the use of a bit and bridle by a rider.
The bridle, saddle, bit, girths, cinches, saddle pads, lead ropes, halters, whips, stirrup irons and stirrup leathers, horse boots, and most other horse things are tack. Tom Thumb A mild Pelham bit with shorter shanks, used on Western horses.
Tie down A Western term for a martingale, used to control the position of a horses head while riding. Tree The basic structure of a saddle, where you sit, which is then covered with leather.
Trot A two-beat gait in which the diagonal legs strike the ground simultaneously. Turnout When a horse is let out of its stall into a pasture or arena or corral.
You can do this by hand, or you can use a “twitch”, which is a large chain attached to a wooden handle. They vary in length and can be long like lounge whips or short like bats.