Horse Glossary

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Abrasion. Scrape.

Abort, Abortion:  When a dead embryo or is absorbed or expelled prior to the time when it could survive outside the uterus.

Abscess: A hole formed by dying tissue that is often filled with puss. A localized collection of pus surrounded by inflamed tissue.

Acre. Unit of measurement of land area; 4,840 square yards or 43,560 square feet.

Action: The horse's way of travel, how he moves his legs and degree of animation. The degree of flexion of the joints of the legs during movement; also reflected in head, neck, and tail carriage. High, snappy action is desired in some classes while easy, ground-covering action is the goal in other classes.

Afterbirth: Placenta, surrounds the foal in the uterus and transfers nutrients between
mare and foal. Also removes waste.

Age (of the horse). Computed from January 1 of the year in which the horse is foaled.

Aged. A horse which is ten years old or more

A.I. Artificial insemination, the mechanical introduction of semen into the genital tract of the female.

Aid. An aid is an action by a part of the rider's or handler's body to a part of the horse's body to cause the horse to react in a particular way. An aid is almost never used alone but always used in conjunction with other aids. A rider's natural aids are his or her mind, seat, weight, upper body, legs, hands, and voice. The combined use of all of the rider's aids simultaneously produce a smooth, balanced response from a horse. A handler's natural aids are the mind, hands, and overall body language. Examples of Artificial Aids (which are extensions, reinforcements, or substitutions for the natural aids) are whips, spurs, and nosebands.

Aids. Signals from the rider to the horse with with his hands, seat, weight, legs and voice, to tell the horse what to do. . Natural aids are the mind, voice, hands, legs, and weight. Examples of artificial aids (which are extensions, reinforcements, or substitutions of the natural aids) are whips, spurs, nosebands, draw reins and martingales.

Alfalfa (medicago sativa). A leguminous plant used primarily for hay, usually high in protein and calcium.

Amateur-Owner. Class open to horses whose owner or member of owner's immediate family is the rider.

Amateur. Rider over eighteen who does not get paid for riding. An individual who rides or exhibits a horse in competition, who does not derive profit from such activities and does not do so as a profession.

Amino acid: The main component of protein that the horse breaks proteins down to for absorption.

Anestrus. When a mare is not having or showing heat or estrus.

Antigen: Substance, often in protein form, that the body's immune system will react to
by producing antibodies.

Antiseptic: A chemical that inhibits the growth of microorganisms without killing

Antitoxin: A substance that acts against specific toxins. it produced by the body and
carried in the bloodstream.

Appointments: The type of tack for the horse and attire for the rider or handler that is
considered standard for that type of horse or breed.

Artificial vagina. A mechanical device with a rubber liner used to collect semen from the stallion.

Ascarids. Roundworms.

Ascaris (plural ascarids). Large white intestinal parasite; in the horse the common ascaris is Paracaris equorum.

Aspirate. Pull back slightly on syringe plunger to draw fluid back into chamber (checks whether needle has entered blood vessel.)

Astride.  When a rider sits on a horse with one leg on either side of the horse

Attire. The rider's clothes.

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Back. A two-beat diagonal gait in reverse.

Back at the knee.  a fault in the forelegs in which the lower limb below the knee, when viewed from the side, tends to be concave. Also known as calf-knee and buck-knee. Undesirable because the limb would be of little use in absorbing concussion.

Bacterin: A vaccine that provides protection against bacterial infection.

Bag. (n.) Udder, mammary gland; (v.) Enlarging the udder prior to foaling.

Balance. In regard to movement, a state of equilibrium; in regard to conformation, desirable proportions. Distribution of weight between horse and rider.

Bald. White or light color on a horse's head from poll to nose, including around the eyes.

Balk. To refuse or cease to move forward.

Bank. Solid earthen ramp or wall that is used as a drop jump.

Bareback. Riding without a saddle

Barefoot: Unshod.

Barley. A small grain similar to rye or wheat.

Barn sour. Herd-bound; a bad habit that may result in a horse bolting back to the barn or to his herdmates.

Barren. Condition of a mare that did not become pregnant during the breeding season.

Bars. Part of the saddle’s tree that runs along each side and parallel to the horse's spine; interdental space between incisors and molars where the bit lies.

Bascule. The desirable arc a horse's body makes as it goes over a jump.

Base. The rider's seat and weight.

Base narrow.  The legs are very close together when viewed from in front or behind

Base wide. The horse has a wide space between the legs when viewed from in front or behind

Bastard strangles. Strangles that result in abscesses in internal glands.

Bay. A body color ranging from tan to reddish-brown, with black mane and tail, and usually black on the lower legs.

Beat. A single step in a gait, involving one leg or two. For example, the walk is a 4-beat gait, with each beat stepped off by a single leg, one at a time, 1-2-3-4. The trot is a 2-beat gait, stepped off by two legs landing at the same time, 1-2.

Bedding: The material used on the floor of a stall to absorb moisture and provide

Behind the bit. When a horse draws his head in toward his chest to avoid contact with the bit

Bell boots. Bell-shaped rubber covering that fits over the horse's foot and hoof to protect from injury.

Bib. A device fastened under a horse's lower jaw to prevent it from chewing or licking itself, while still allowing it to eat and drink.

Big Licked.  Sang term used to refer to a horse that has more than the average stride and or animation when performing its gaits.

Bight. Traditionally a loop in a rope. With closed veins, such as with an English bridle, bight refers to the ends of the reins. Even though Western reins are often split, their ends are also referred to as the bight.

Bit-Guard. Rubber or leather ring that lies between the horse's cheek and the snaffle bit ring to prevent skin pinching.

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

Biting. A bad habit common to young horses, stallions, and spoiled horses. It can result from hand-fed treats, petting, or improper training.

Black. A body color that is true black over the entire body, but may have white leg and face markings.

Blanch. Temporarily squeeze the blood out of capillaries.

Blanket. A fabric cover for a horse's body, usually made of wool or heavy material (see also rug & sheet); a marking of lighter color over the rump of a dark horse. Also a term describing color pattern on an Appaloosa.

Blaze.White or light coloring on a horse's face, between the eyes from poll to nose.

Blemish. A visible defect that does not affect serviceability. An unattractive scar or lump that does not affect the performance of the animal.

Bloodlines. The family lineage. The ancestry of an animal.

Bloodworm. Usually refers to strongyles.

Blow up. When a horse suddenly loses its temper.

Blue roan. A body color that has a uniform mixture of black and white hairs all over the body.

Board: To pay for facilities and care for a horse.

Bolting. Eating very rapidly , gulping feed without proper chewing; running away with rider.

Bone spavin. Bony deposit on the inside and lower part of the hock which may cause the horse to drag the hind toes, or become lame

Booster. A repeat immunization to restore or increase the amount of immunity.

Boots: Protective covering for the horse's hoofs and legs.

Borium. A hard metal spot welded to the bottom of a horseshoe to help keep a horse from slipping.

Bosal. Rawhide noseband used in Western training and showing that works on the principles of balance, weight, and pressure.  A hackamore type bridle that the nose piece is knotted under the chin.

Bot block. A rough, porous synthetic black "stone" whose uniformly abrasive surface will remove bot eggs from the horse's hair. The block can be "sharpened" by drawing it across a hard edge.

Bot fly. A fly that looks like a bee and lays eggs in a horse's hair. Flying parasite which deposits tiny white eggs on the horses legs and belly. If ingested, the larvae migrate through the tongue and/or esophagus and attach themselves to the stomach wall.

Bots. Gasterophilus; Parasitic flies.

Bowed hocks. a weakness in which the hocks bow outwards when viewed from behind.

Bow knees. The front legs appear wide just above the knees when viewed from the front

Bowed tendon. Inflamation or damage to a tendon usually caused by overstretching due to improper conditioning, overwork, or an accident.

Box. Boxstall, a four-sided stall to confine a horse.

Boxy feet. small, donkey-like feet

Breast collar. A horse collar that fits over the horse's chest instead of around its neck. A leather strap which passes around the front of the horse above his forelegs., and is attached to the cinch rings of a western saddle. Another strap passes over the horses neck just ahead of the withers. decorative yet functional in preventing the saddle from slipping back.

Breechen. The part of the harness that fits over the horse's rump and holds the load back or permits the horse to back it up; also called "britchen" .

Breed association. The organization that registers the birth and pedigree of a particular breed of livestock.

Breed character. The quality of conforming to the description of a particular breed.

Breeding: Act of copulation between a stallion and a mare.

Breeding class. Conformation class.

Breeding shed. The building in which breeding takes place.

Bridle path. The 4" to 6" area between the forelock and the mane that is usually clipped.

Bridle. To maintain contact with the reins so the horse moves "in a frame" and "on the bit."

Brilliance. Flash or dazzle, as related to performance.

Brindle dun. A dun body color with darker streaks.

Broke. Trained and reliable.

Brios: Spirit, used in reference to Spanish style horses. (Paso Fino)

Broodmare. A mare used for breeding.

Browband: The topmost horizontal leather strap of the bridle which fits under the

Brown. A body color with mixed brown and black hair, with black mane, tail, and legs.

Buckskin. A body color that is tan, yellow, or gold with black mane, tail, and lower legs.

Buckstitching: The decorative wide, white stitching used on western saddles and

Buggy trot Slang used when referring to the gait of a horse that is long trotting or square trotting.

Bulb of heel. The rounded portion of the horse's foot just behind the hoof.

Bulk: Indigestible fiber found in feed.

Bull pen. A training corral, also called a "round" pen.

Bump. To pull and release the reins for a brief contact with the horse's mouth.

Burner. A rawhide section on a rope, covering the eye of the hondo to protect the rope from wear.

"Bute". Phynalbutazone, a drug which reduces pain.

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Cadence. The rhythmic clarity of a gait.

Calcium-phosphorus ratio: The amount of calcium compared to the amount of
phosphorus in the diet. A ratio of somewhere between 1:1 or 2:1 is conductive to
proper bone development.

Calk. (n.) A pointed projection on a horseshoe to prevent slipping; (v.) To injure with the calk on a shoe.

Calked shoes: Shoes having projections downward from the toe or heel to provide
better traction.

Cannon. The area between the knee on the front leg, or hock on the rear leg, and the fetlock.

Canter. The English term for a three-beat gait with right and left leads. The canter has the same foot fall pattern as the lope.

Cantle. The back of the seat of the saddle. The part of the saddle which projects upwards toward the rear

Capping. If the rear foot of a horse sets down squarely on the track of the same side front foot as it is set down, the horse is said to be capping.

Carotene: A substance that is converted to vitamin A in the animals body that is found
in green and yellow feeds.

Caslick. The surgical technique in which the vulvar lips of the mare are cut and sutured so that they grow together making the vulvar opening smaller.

Cast: A horse that has fallen or laid too close to a fence or wall and can't get up
without assistance.

Castration: Removal of the testicles of the male animal.

Catheter-tip dose syringe. A large hypodermic syringe with a blunt nozzle tip.

Cavalletti. Ground rail suspended between two wooden Xs designed to provide three different heights for working horses. A very small jump.

Cavesson. Leather noseband (customarily used with the English snaffle bridle) which encourages the horse to keep its mouth closed; a longeing cavesson is a leather or nylon headstall with a weighted noseband that has metal rings for various attachments of the longe line. Part of the bridle that goes over the nose and under the horse's jaw.

Cecum (caecum). The blind gut; in the horse it is huge compared to other animals, holding five to ten gallons of ingesta. Large,  sock-shaped pouch between the small and large intestines of a horse. Important in the digestion of cellulose.

Cervix. The narrow neck or mouth of the uterus.

Change of leg or lead. Change of the leading legs at the canter or lope.

Check rein. A strap that fastens to the bit to keep the horse's head up.

Chestnut. A color in which the body, mane, and tail are various shades of brown.

Cheyenne roll: A style of cantle where the edge bends downward to form a rim or lip.

Chrome. Flashy white markings.

Chronic: A continually recurring condition or habit.

Cinch: Same as girth, used to hold saddle on. 

Cinch strap: The strap of leather on the near side that is looped through the cinch to
hold the saddle in place.

Chute. In cattle events, a fenced lane that contains a single cow behind a gate.

Cinch. Band that fastens a Western saddle in place.

"Click". Breeding term for situation where certain blood lines, if crossed, produce exceptional offspring.

Clinches. The folded-over ends of horseshoe nails on the outside of a shod horse's hooves.

Clitoris. Sensitive mound of erectile tissue in the lower portion of a mare's vulva.

Clover. A legume used for hay and pasture.

Coarse: A horse lacking refinement, breeding, and quality. A course feed has a high
fiber content.

Cob. A small horse.

Coffin joint. The joint within the hoof of the horse between its short pastern bone (second phalanx) and the coffin bone (third phalanx) also including the navicular bone.

Coggins certificate. A veterinarian's document that certifies the horse free of the disease, equine infectious anemia.

Coggins test. A laboratory blood test used to detect previous exposure to equine infectious anemia or swamp fever, developed by Dr. Leroy Coggins.

Cold-blooded. Refers to horses having ancestors that trace to heavy war horses and draft breeds. Characteristics might include more substance of bone, thick skin, heavy hair coat, shaggy fetlocks, and blood that makes it suitable for slow, hard work.

Colic. (n.) Spasmodic pain in the horse, usually caused by spasm of the intestine; (v.) The reaction of a horse to abdominal pain, kicking, rolling, sweating.

Collect. To coordinate the horse's moving forward with impulsion while shortening the frame for slow motion.

Collection. Gathered together; a state of organized movement; a degree of equilibrium in which the horse's energized response to the aids is characterized by elevated head and neck, rounded back, "dropped croup," engaged hindquarters, and flexed abdominals. The horse remains on the bit, is light and mobile, and is ready to respond to the requests of the trainer. Shortened and raised strides in any gait (walk, trot, gait, canter). The speed is slower because the stride is shortened, the joints of the fore and hind legs are more active, the head and neck are raised, with the head approaching the vertical position.

Color. Description or class in which body coat color and pattern, not conformation is a deciding factor (e.g., Palomino, Dun Factor, etc.).

Colostrum. The first milk, containing high protein, sugar, and, most important, globulins .  Has a laxative quality and contains globulin's proteins that provide a temporary immunity against infectious diseases.

Colt. A male horse under four years of age.

Combination. Series of two or more fences within 39 feet 4 inches of each other that must be taken as a pair, an in-and-out.

Common. An ordinary. plain-appearing horse.

Complete ration. A usually pelleted ration, containing all the necessary nutrients except water.

Concentrates: Feed low in fiber and with Total Digestible Nutrients of close to 75%.

Conchas: The decorative round leather, metal, or silver discs through which pass the
saddle strings.

Condition: State of health.

Conditioning. The art and science of preparing a horse mentally and physically for a particular use such as pleasure riding, competitive trail riding, or showing.

Cone. A red vinyl traffic cone, used as a marker.

Conformation.The build of an animal. Structure, form, and symmetrical arrangement
of the parts of a horse.The physical structure of a horse, which is compared to a standard of perfection or an ideal.

Congenital: An abnormal condition that an animal possesses at birth.

Conjunctiva. The white membrane that lines the eyelid.

Conjunctivitis. Inflammation of the conjunctiva of the eyes.

Consignor. The person who consigns a horse for sale or puts it up for auction.

Contact. The horse's stretching forward into the bit and accepting the ein as a means of communication with the rider.

Contracted heels: Heels are pulled close together due to the frog shriveling. caused by
lack of use or disease.

Corona: A fancy western saddle pad featuring a border of alternating colored thick

Coronary band. The top of the hoof between hair-covered skin and hoof where growth takes place.

Coronet. Coronary band. All growth occurs here. Soft tissue is turned into
the hardened horn of the hoof wall.

Corpus hemorrhagicum. Blood clot that fills pit on ovary immediately after ovulation.

Corpus luteum. Yellow gland tissue that replaces corpus hemorrhagicum.

Countercanter. Deliberately asking the horse to canter on the lead opposite the direction of movement. For example, in a circle to the right, requesting a countercanter would result in a canter left lead.

Cover. To breed a mare.

Cow-hocked. A horse with legs angled at the hock similar to a cow's.

Cow trot. Term used to refer to method of moving the back end of a horse when trotting. A cow trotting horse is stiff in the rear joints, and uses the hips for most of the forward movement. A cow trotting horse will swing its tail side to side and its feet out in an arc as it moves them forward. A cow trotting horse will not break over in the hocks, but will swing them side to side in a stiff motion. A cow trotting horse may also be either long trotting or square trotting.

Cradle. A device put on a horse's neck so it can't reach to bite or lick its sides or legs.

Creep: Area mares can't enter, but foals can, where foals can feed free choice.

Cribbing. A vice whereby a horse anchors its teeth onto an object, arches its neck, pulls backward, and swallows air. It can cause the horse to lose weight, suffer tooth damage, and other physical disturbances. 

Cricket:  A copper attachment to a bit's port which will spin in the horse's mouth as he
moves his tongue. By having such a thing to play with the horses mouth will stay
moist and it helps pacify the horse.

Crossbred: Offspring of a sire and dam of different breeds.

Cross firing. A horse is cross firing when the inside rear foot hits first, and the inside front foot hits last when the horse is in the canter or lope.

Crossing: Breeding horses of different pedigrees.

Cross-tie. A means of tying a horse in which a chain or rope from each side of an aisle is attached to the side rings of the horse's halter.

Crude Protein: Calculated amount of protein in the feed based on the amount of
nitrogen in the feed.

Crupper: A leather loop which passes under the horse's tail and is attached to the
saddle to prevent it from slipping forward. Also used in a biting rig or harness.

Culture. Cultivation of living cells in prepared media – the technique used to determine if a mare's genital tract is infected.

Curb: A type of leverage bit with shanks and generally a hump in the middle called the

Curb strap: The leather strap on the bit passing under the horse's chin.

Curb chain: The chain attached to the bit passing under the horse's chin.

Cue. A single signal, often made up of several aids, from the rider or handler that tells a horse what to do. Often used in performing tricks.

Cured Hay: Hay that has been dried to allow safe storage, without molding.

Curry comb. A metal, plastic, or rubber device with many small teeth for cleaning hard-packed filth off a horse or cow.

Cryptorchidism. The retention of one or both testicles in the abdominal cavity.


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Dally. To wind the rope end around the saddle horn.

Dam. Mother of a horse.

Dandy. A medium-hard brush for grooming to remove loose hair and dirt.

Dappled. Rings or spots of different-colored hair on the coat of a horse.

Dermatitis. Inflammation of the dermal layer (outer layer) of the skin.

Diagonal. A pair of legs at the trot, such as the right front and the left hind. When posting, the rider sits as the inside hind hits the ground or "rise and fall with the (front) leg on the wall." Riding across the diagonal is a maneuver from one corner of an arena to another through the center.

Digestible protein: The amount of protein in a feed that can be used by the animal.

Disposition: The temperament of an animal.

Distemper. An old name for strangles in the horse, sometimes used to denote any infectious respiratory disease.

Disunited. Cantering or loping on different leads front and hind.

Diverticulum. Blind pouch (a pocket or closed branch).

D.M.S.O. Dimethyl sulfoxide, a solvent whichis an organic chemical that readily passes through the skin. Anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and analgesic.

Dock. The flesh and bone portion of the tail.

Dog Walk.  slang term that is used to describe a walk that is so slow that there is movement front to rear when sitting on the horse. This gait is used to get the horse to work on the fundamentals of the rhythms and build reach on both ends or break up a pace.

Double bridle. Bridle consisting of two separate headstalls and bits. The snaffle bit (bradoon) is very small.

Double tree. Device that connects two single wiffletrees.

Double. To bend the horse sharply.

Draft horse. A horse of one of the breeds of "heavy horses" developed for farm or freight work, such as Percheron, Belgian, and Clydesdale. Draft horses weigh 1,500–2,200 pounds and can be as tall as 17 hands. 

Drag. To hang back. Also, at the end of a column of riders, to "ride drag" or be a "drag rider."

Dressage. French for "training" or "schooling." The systematic art of training a horse to perform prescribed movements in a balanced, supple, obedient, and willing manner.

Driving. Description of a horse or pony used to pull a wagon or cart.

Drop the shoulder. To shift weight on the forehand and lean too much to the inside during a turn.

Dropped noseband. Piece of tack worn lower than a caves-son and used in conjunction with a snaffle bridle. Worn over and below the bit, it enhances sensitivity to the snaffle by positioning it on the bars and encouraging salivation.

Dun. A yellow or gold body and leg color, often with a black or brown mane and tail, and usually with a dorsal stripe and stripes on the legs and withers.

Dutch collar. Similar to breast collar.

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E.E.E. Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis, viral disease of horses affecting the brain.

E.I.A. Equine Infectious Anemia, known as swamp fever. Equine infectious anemia is a disease which is caused by a virus. It can be spread by 3 principle means. Through blood sucking flys or insects. In-utero or Colostral infection, or careless use of needles or other equipment in contact with open wounds.

E.V.A. Equine viral arteritis.

Easyboot. A brand name for a vinyl boot that encloses the horse's hoof.

Ejaculation. Emission of semen from the stallion's urethra.

Elbow. Joint between the humerus and the radius and ulna, located on the foreleg between the shoulder joint (scaputahumeral) and the knee (carpal joint).

Electrolyte. A water solution of salts used to replace or reinforce the normal salts of the blood.

Electrolytes. Minerals necessary for many body functions.

Elimination. Disqualification from placings because of an infraction of a specifically stated rule, such as a fall, going off pattern, etc.; a process of selecting semifinalists from a very large number of riders.

Embryo. The early stage of development of the fetus.

Endoscope. An instrument using fiberoptics to view the inside of body cavities.

Engage. To shift weight to the hindquarters, to work off the hindquarters and stride forward with the hind legs.

Engagement. Use of the horse's back and hindquarters to create energy and impulsion to forward movement. An engaged horse has a rounded top line, dropped croup, flexed abdominals, and elevated head and neck.

English. Referring to riding with English tack and attire.

Ensilage (silage). Fodder such as corn or grass preserved by storing without air in a silo.

Equestrian. Of or pertaining to horseman or horsemanship; a rider.

Equestrienne. Female rider or performer.

Equine encephalomyelitis. A viral disease causing inflammation of the brain and spinal cord.

Equine influenza. A viral disease affecting the respiratory tract of the horse.

Equine viral arteritis. A viral disease of the horse, usually mild but often causing abortion in the mare.

Equine. The family of Equidae, horses, asses, and zebras.

Equitation. The art of riding.

Ergot: A horny growth behind the fetlock joint.

Estrogen: Female hormone. Estrogen is found in large quantities in green grass and
tends to increase the fertility of mares.

Estrus. "Heat," reproductive period when mare will accept stallion. Cycle lasts
19 to 26 days., the average being 21 days.

Evasion. Avoidance of an aid; for example, a horse that overflexes or gets "behind the bit" to keep from accepting contact with the bit.

Eventing. Combined training including dressage, cross country, and stadium jumping.

Extention: Faster, longer strides in any gait while maintaining the original rhythm.. The outline of the horse should appear to lengthen. with the head and neck stretching forward. The stride should have more impulsion.

Extension. Lowering and lengthening of a particular frame and stride 

Extensor tendons. Tendons located at the front of a limb.

Extensor. Muscle responsible for opening the angle of a joint.

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Face. The horse's head. Also, to turn toward a cow.

Fall. For a horse, shoulder and hindquarter on the same side touch the ground; for a rider, separation between the rider and horse necessitating remounting.

Farrier. A skilled horse shoer.

Far side: The horse's right side.

Fault. Scoring unit to keep track of knockdowns, refusals, or other offenses.

Favor: To limp slightly.

Feed bag. A sack usually of canvas and leather held on the horse's nose by a strap behind its ears allowing it to eat grain without a manger or other container.

F.E.I. Federation Equestre Internationale or International Equestrian Federation, the organization governing international competitions.

Fender. Part of the Western saddle that protects a rider's leg from the rigging.
The wide leather strap, on the western saddle,  between the saddle seat and
the stirrup on which the riders leg rests.

Fermented feed. Fodder preserved by storing in piles or air-tight structures causing it to ferment and heat; also any feed that has become damp accidentally, causing it to ferment.

Fetlock joint. Between the cannon (metacarpus or metatarsus) and the pastern (first phalanx) including the sesamoid bones; sometimes referred to as ankle.

Fetlock. The tuft of hair on the back side of the fetlock joint.

Fiador. Knotted rope throatlatch, used in conjunction with a basal, browband headstall, and horsehair reins. The knots of the fiador are the hackamore, the fiador, and the sheet bend.

Fiberoptic. Bundles of glass fibers that transmit light and permit one to see around corners.

Figure eight noseband. Noseband popular with eventers; straps cross in an 'X' on the bridge of the horse's nose for better leverage and control.

Filly: Female horse 4 years and under that has never produced a foal.

Flag. Rhythmic motion of stallion's tail when he ejaculates.

Flank (1). In roping, to hold a calf by its flank and leg and place it on its side.

Flank (2). The area of a horse's barrel between the rib cage and the hindquarters.

Flash noseband. Cross between a cavesson and a figure-eight noseband.

Flat. Class without jumping.

Flat foot walk. A true flat foot walk is a four-beat gait in which each foot is picked up and set down in an even cadence. The rear end movement should be smooth and close to the ground without any snap or pop. Each stride should reach forward and slide in as it is set down, over striding the track of the front foot. The head shake is in time with the rear feet and should be smooth. The tail should set still and flow.

Flaxen. A golden mane or tail on a darker-bodied horse.

Flehmen. A reaction to odd smells or tastes; horse curls upper lip upward.

Flex. To bend the horse to the inside. Also, to give in the poll and yield to rein contact.

Flexion. Characteristic of a supple and collected horse, there are two types of flexion: 1. vertical or longitudinal, which is often mistakenly associated with "headset," when in reality it is an engagement of the entire body: abdomen, hindquarters, back, neck, and head 2. lateral, which is side-to-side arcing or bending characteristic of circular work.

Flexor tendons. Tendons located at the rear of a limb.

Flexor. Muscle responsible for closing the angle of a joint.

Float. (v.) To file a horse's teeth to remove sharp points; (n.) a filelike instrument used to float teeth.

Floating. The process of filing off sharp edges of a horse's teeth.

Fly back. A bad habit in which a horse will suddenly pull back, often resulting in a broken halter or tie.

Flying change. A change of lead at the lope, without slowing to the trot.

Flying lead change. Change from one lead to another without changing gait.

Foal: (n.) A young, nursing horse of either sex. (v.) the act of foaling, when a mare delivers her young.

Foal colic: Abdominal pain in a mare, following foaling. due to the rapid contracting of
the uterus.

Foal heat: Estrus that occurs in most mares 9 days after foaling.

Foaling: The process of a mare giving birth.

Follicle. Fluid-filled blisterlike sack on ovary which contains the ovum (egg).

Forage: Any type of roughage or to graze.

Forehand. That portion of the horse from the heart girth forward.

Forelock. The hair growing between a horse's ears that falls on the forehead; a horse's "bangs."

Fork. Part of the swells of a saddle that makes up the gullet.

Founder. Another word for laminitis, a serious disease affecting a horse's hooves and often caused by a horse's eating too much grain or green pasture.

Four-beat lope . An incorrect lope, where the horse strikes the ground in a broken rhythm.

Free walk. Walk on a loose rein to allow the horse to stretch its neck and lower its head.

Frog: Wedge-shaped pad in the sole of the hoof which acts as a shock absorber for the
hoof. It contacts the ground first at each step and aides in pumping blood.

Fox Trot. The fox trot is a broken diagonal gait with a distinctive rhythm that is created by a horse moving its front foot a split second before its opposite rear foot. The fox trot is a smooth gait because the horse is in contact with the ground at all times. A horse that is foxtrotting correctly will never have more than two feet off the ground at any given time. On both the front and back ends the horse will sit one foot down as it picks the other foot up and for a moment both feet will be touching the ground. 

Futurity. A show class or event for young horses that requires entering long (often years) before the actual event.

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Gait. A specific pattern of foot movements such as the walk, trot, and canter.

Gaited horse. An animated horse such as the American Saddlebred, Morgan, or Tennessee Walking Horse with flashy gaits.

Galls: Sores and/or swelling.

Galvayne's groove. V-shaped groove that appears at the gum line of the corner incisor at age of 10.

Gas colic. Colic caused by excessive amounts of gas in the stomach and/or intestines.

Gaskin. The heavy muscular area between the hock and the stifle.

Geld: To castrate a male horse.

Gelding. A male horse that has been castrated (had its testicles removed).

Gestation. The period of time between conception and giving birth.
 Pregnancy, in a horse from 330 to 345 days.

Girth. Belly band – strap around horse's body (heart girth) just behind front legs, which holds saddle or harness in place.

Glans penis. The end of the penis.

Go-round. A preliminary or elimination round (or heat) in a class with a large number of entries. Some events have two or three go-rounds, and scores are averaged.

Grade. An unregistered horse.

Grand Prix. Top caliber classes in dressage and show jumping, often offering large cash prizes.

Granuloma. An excessive amount of non-healing tissue in a wound.

Gravel. An abscess of the hoof wall extending from the white line to the coronet.

Gray. A color in which the skin is black, and the hair is a mixture of black and white.

"Green" or green-broke. An inexperienced horse or rider, relatively speaking. In hunter classes, the horse can be any age and is rated according to awards won in past performances.

Grey roan. A horse with a coat of mixed grey and white hairs.

Grey. A horse with a truly grey coat.

Ground tie. To stand in one place, with reins dropped on the ground.

Ground training. When the trainer works the horse from the ground, rather than being mounted. Includes in-hand work, barn manners, longeing, and ground driving.

Grulla. A dun body color that ranges from bluish gray to a brownish gray.

Grullo. A type of dun with a smoky or mouse-colored body, and usually having a black mane, tail, lower legs, and dorsal stripe.

Gullet. Area under the fork, swells, or pommel of the saddle.

Gymkhana. A program of competitive games on horseback, usually timed events.

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Hack Class. A flat class.

Hackamore. A device to guide a horse without a bit, in effect a bitless bridle.
A bridle featuring a nosepiece, instead of a bit to control the horse.Americanization of jaquima, which is Spanish for the composite of a bosal, fiador, headstall, and mecate.

Half hitch. A knot, also called a "hooey."

Half-Pass. Variation of travers, executed on the diagonal instead of along the wall. The horse should be nearly parallel to the long sides of the arena, with the forehand slightly in advance of the haunches.

Halter class. Conformation class.

Halter pulling. A bad habit in which a horse pulls violently backward on the halter rope when tied.

Halter. Harness that fits over the horse's head by which it may be tied or handled.

Hame strap. A short strap which connects the right and left hames together on top and bottom.

Hame. Metal or wooden curved piece to fit the collar on a draft harness.

Hand breeding. Breeding a mare to a stallion under controlled conditions.

Hand-twitch. Using your hand to hold the horse's nose (as a twitch).

Hand. Four inches of height on a horse. Horses are measured from the highest point of the withers to the ground in units called hands. 14.2 means (14 hands x 4 inches) + 2 inches, which is 56 inches + 2 inches = 58 inches.

Handy. Prompt and athletic in response to the rider.

Hard keeper. An animal that requires more than the usual amount of food to stay in good condition.

Hard trot. Slang term referring to all of the mutations of the fox trot or another gait that result in a rough ride for the rider i.e., long trot, cow trot, and square trot.

Haunches. Hindquarters.

Haylage. Silage made from hay or grass, often referred to as "grass silage".

Head shy. Description of a horse who shies away from having his head touched.

Header. In team roping, this rider ropes the steer's horns.

Headstalls. Another name for bridles.

Heart girth. The measurement taken around the horse's barrel just behind the front legs.

Heat. The time in the mare's breeding cycle when she is "hot" or receptive to the stallion.

Heating. Temperature rises as hay or fodder ferments, dries, or cures.

Heaves. Damage to the lungs, resulting in labored breathing.

Heeler. In team roping, this rider ropes the steer's heels.

Herd-bound. When a horse is too dependent on being with other horses and doesn't want to be separated from them.

High lope. A gallop.

Hobbles. Rope, cloth, or leather loops that fasten the forelegs together.

Hock. Tarsal joint between the tibia and cannon, corresponding to human heel.

Hogback. Three-rail jump with the center element the highest.

Hogtie. To tie three legs with a narrow rope.

Hollow back: A back which is unduly dipped.

Hondo. The eye on the end of a rope that forms the loop. Also called "honda."

Honest. A quality in a horse which makes him dependable and predictable.

Hooey. A half-hitch knot.

Hoof dressing. A preparation designed to be applied to the hoof either for conditioning or for appearance.

Hoof packing. Material, usually claylike, to be applied to the bottom of the horse's hoof.

Hoof pick. A metal one-tined "rake" to clean debris from a horse's hoof.

Hoof.The hard horny covering of the horse's foot.

Horn: The highest part of the pommel, of the western saddle, around which the rider
can dally a rope.

Horse. An equine usually over 14.2 hands in height.

Horsemanship. Exhibition of a rider's skill, usually referring to the Western style of riding.

Hot horse. A horse sweaty, warm, and puffing from a recent workout; also a slang term for a horse who may be hard to handle or temperamental.

Hot-blooded. Refers to horses having ancestors that trace to Thoroughbreds or Arabians. Characteristics might include fineness of bone, thin skin, fine hair coat, absence of long fetlock hairs, and blood that makes it well-suited for speed and distance work.

Humane twitch. A clamp-type twitch.

Hunter. A type of horse, not a breed, which is suitable for field hunting or show hunting.

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Impaction. Blockage of the digestive tract with food material (usually in the large intestine).

Impulsion. The energy and thrust forward characterized by a forward reaching rather than a backward pushing motion.

In the hole. Third in line to enter the pen; after "on deck."

In-and-Out. Combination fence.

In-hand class. A class in which the horse is led by the exhibitor.

Inside. In a pen or riding ring, the side of the horse toward the center.

Interdental space. The space on the horse's jawbone between the incisors and pre-molars where there are no teeth, making room for the bit.

Intestinal flora. The normal bacteria found in the intestine.

Intramuscular (IM). In the muscle.

Intravenous. In the vein.

Intussusception. Telescoping of the intestine.

Inversion. A dangerous condition where a horse's respiration rate is higher than its pulse rate.

Irons. Stirrups on an English saddle.

Isoerythrolysis. A condition in which antibodies in the mare's colostrum destroy the foal's red blood cells.

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Jerk. To pull or yank a rope or rein.

Jog cart. Two-wheeled cart used to exercise Standardbred horses, heavier than a race sulky.

Jog. A slow Western trot.

Jump-Off. In the event of a tie, a course may be altered and the two tied horses asked to jump again.

Jumper. Horse judged on jumping performance based only on faults and time. Touch faults are sometimes also used. Preliminary jumpers are those horses having won up to $1,000; Intermediate up to $3,000; Open over $3,000.

Junior. Rider under eighteen years of age as of January 1. Horse four years of age and under.

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Keepers: Fixed loops, used to keep the ends of the straps of a bridle  (or saddle) in place.

Kiss. A smacking noise made with the lips, to cue the horse to move forward also known as "clucking."

Knee boot. Leather or plastic device used to protect knees from bruising each other as horse jogs or races.

Knee. The carpal joint, between the radius and the cannon of the foreleg.

Kur. Musical freestyle in dressage.

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Laceration. Cut.

Lactation: Milk production.

Lameness: Unevenness in the horses stride when moving.

Laminitis. Founder, inflammation of the sensitive laminae, or plates of vascular tissue, of the wall of the horse's hoof.

Larvae. Insects or parasites that have hatched from eggs but are not yet mature. For example, maggots.

Lateral Movements. Work in which the horse moves with the forehand and haunches on different tracks. Shoulder-in, haunches-in (travers), haunches-out (renvers), and half-passes are the lateral movements.

Lateral (1). A sideways movement. Also, lateral aids, such as outside rein and outside leg.

Lateral (2). In anatomy, away from the midline as opposed to toward the midline.

Latigo. Cinch strap on a Western saddle.

Lead rope. A rope usually having a snap on one end, used to lead or tie a horse.

Lead shank. A webbing or leather strap with short length of chain and a snap, used to lead a horse.

Lead. A specific footfall pattern at the canter or lope in which the inside legs of the circle reach farther forward than the outside legs. When working to the right on the right lead, the horse's right foreleg and right hind leg reach farther forward than the left legs. If a horse is loping in a circle to the right on the left lead, he is said to be on the wrong lead or is counter-cantering.

Leg Yielding. Exercises designed to teach the horse to move away from leg pressure

Legging up. Conditioning a horse's muscle tone by gradually increasing his work.

Legume. A class of plants that manufacture their own nitrogen while growing; alfalfa and clover are the most common.

Leptospirosis. An infectious disease caused by various leptospira bacteria affecting most warm-blooded species.

Let down. Stopping training, usually done gradually; when milk begins to flow from the mare.

Ligaments: Strong. fibrous bands connecting bone to bone.

Limited. Type of class with entry restrictions for the horse and/ or the rider, related to prior winnings at specified shows. May be based on number of blue ribbons (usually six) or monetary earnings.

Line. The strap leading from the bit to the driver's hands in a driving harness

Liniment. A liquid applied externally to increase circulation to a part of the body.

Liver chestnut (n. and adj.). A very dark red chestnut color, with mane, tail, and legs the same color as the body or flaxen.

Long trot. An extended jog or trot. Or in the giated equine, a slang used to refer to the gait of a horse that is being pushed or over ridden in the fox trot. A horse that is long trotting will have some fly time on the front end, but may not have fly time on the back end. A long trotting horse will have at least three feet off the ground part of the time, and will not give as smooth a ride as a horse that is foxtrotting correctly. 
Longe. To work a horse in a circle usually on a 30-foot line around you at various gaits.

Loose rein. A slack rein.

Lope. A three-beat gait: (1) an initiating hind leg; (2) a diagonal pair including the leading hind leg and the diagonal foreleg; and (3) the leading foreleg. Also, to canter slowly.

Lymph node. Gland in the body that filters the lymph.

Lymph. A usually clear fluid similar to blood serum; it may be free in the tissues of the body, in lymph vessels, or part of the blood.

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Maiden. Division open to a rider (or horse) who has not won a blue ribbon at specified shows. 

Maiden mare: Mare that has never been bred.

Manners. The degree of training of a horse in his interactions with humans and other horses. The energetic yet cooperative attitude of a horse.

Manty. A piece of canvas that encases the load tied on a pack animal.

Mare. A female horse over age four.

Mark. To earn a score.

Marker. In reining and horsemanship, a location for the pattern.

Markings. White on the face or legs of a horse.

Martingale. (1) Piece of training equipment designed to fix a horse's head position. Common types include running, standing, and German. (2) Strap from cavesson to girth to keep horse from throwing its head up, or from hames to girth to help back load.

Martingale: Standing- A strap which attaches to the girth and runs between the front
legs and up to the noseband. It puts pressure on the horse's nose when he gets his
head up too high. A small strap runs around the horse's neck to keep the martingale
strap in place. To test the adjustment, you should be able to push the martingale strap
up until it touches the horse's throat.

Martingale: Running- A strap that attaches to the girth, runs up between the front legs
and splits into two straps with a ring at the end. The reins are run through the
martingale rings. The martingale pulls down on the reins and the bit when the horse
raises his head.

Maturities. Those types of events for aged horses (five and older).

Mecate. Braided horsehair reins; knotted to a bosal.

Meconium: Fecal matter that is passes a few hours after birth by a foal.

Medal Class. AHSA equitation competition. National champions are chosen annually at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in hunter seat, saddle seat, and stock seat and a dressage class for juniors.

Medium Gait. Between collected and extended.

Moon blindness. Periodic opthalmia, or uveitis (inflammation of internal eye that comes and goes).

Muzzle. The end of a horse's face, including the nose, nostrils, and lips.

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Navicular. Tiny bone, part of coffin joint; disease of this bone causing lameness.

Near side. The horse's left side.

Neck rein. Movement of the rein against the horse's neck cues him to turn. Also called a "brace rein" or "bearing rein."

Neck yoke. Wooden device that holds end of pole up and is attached to hames with chain or strap on a draft harness.

Neoprene. A synthetic rubber or closed cell foam.

Nick: A cross of two different bloodlines that consistently produces superior offspring.

Nonpro. An amateur or nonprofessional by specific definition from each association such as NRHA, NCHA, and AHSA.

Nose clamp. Humane twitch.

Novice. In general, an inexperienced horseman; a division for horse (or rider) who has not yet won three first-place ribbons at specified shows.

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Off billet: The strap (or straps) on the off side that buckle one end of the girth in place. 

Off side. The horse's right side.

On deck. Next to go in the pen.

Open joint. Joint opened by a penetrating wound.

Open (1). Competition available for professionals, nonpros, amateurs, and youth. Anyone can enter.

Open (2). Not pregnant; a term for the outmoded procedure of reaching into a mare's vagina prior to breeding to open her cervix.

Over-stride. If the rear foot of a horse passes the track of the same side front foot as it is set down, the distance between the front of the front track and the rear of the rear track is the amount of over - stride. 

Outside. In a pen, the side of the horse toward the fence.

Ovary. One of the pair of ovum (egg)-producing glands of the female, which also produce sex hormones.

Overo. A Paint or Pinto coat pattern of spots that are irregular, scattered, or splashy. The horse usually has a large white facial marking as well.

Ovulation. When the follicle ruptures and the ovum, or egg, is released into the oviduct.

Ovum. Egg.

Oxer. Parallel bar-type fence with two rails. A square oxer has even rails. A step or ascending oxer has a lower front rail.

Oxytocin. The portion of the posterior pituitary hormone which causes milk letdown and contraction of the uterus during foaling.

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P.O.P. Purified oxytocin principal.

Pace. The pace is a two-beat lateral gait in which a horse moves both right feet and then moves both left feet. In a pace the front and rear foot are picked up and then set down simultaneously making only one beat. A pacing horse will move its head side to side to counter the motion of its feet. 

The pace-walk is a lateral four-beat gait in which the horse will pick up both the front and rear foot simultaneously, then moves the rear foot faster than the front foot and sets the rear foot down before the front foot. This allows the pace-walker to have an up and down head shake, and have a four-beat cadence. The pace-walk is much closer to a flat foot walk than a pace, having both a head shake and a four beat cadence.

Pacing. Continuous stall or pen walking. Often an unhappy horse's reaction to confinement.

Pacy. Slang term that is used to refer to a horse that is moving in a fashion that is between the gait desired at the time and a pace. Most common when referring to a horse that is walking with a rhythm that is more lateral than a correct flat foot walk. 

Paddock. A small pasture.

Paint (1). A breed of horse with large blocks of white and black or white and brown.

Paint (2). Coat pattern on any breed of horse that is similar to that on a Paint Horse.

Palomino (1). A breed of horse that has a golden body color and a light to white mane and tail.

Palomino (2). A horse with coloring similar to that of a Palomino Horse.

Panic snap. A safety snap often used in horse trailers and cross-ties. The design allows the snap to be released even if there is great pressure on it.

Parade horse. A horse trained to carry ornamented tack in parades.

Parascarid. The ascarid of the horse.

Parasite. Internal: a living multicelled organism inside another animal, usually intestinal worms; external: an organism that lives on the outside, most usually the louse.

Park horse. A horse with a brilliant performance, style, presence, finish, balance and cadence and usually animated gaits.

Parrot mouth. An unsoundness of the teeth characterized by an extreme overbite.

Passage. Very collected, elevated, and cadenced trot characterized by a pronounced engagement of the hindquarters, more exaggerated flexion of the knees and hocks, and a graceful elasticity of movement.

Pastern. Area and joint between fetlock and hoof.

Pasture breeding. When a stallion is pastured with mares and breeding takes place as in the wild.

Pattern. A prescribed order of maneuvers in a particular class such as reining or trail.

Pawing. A bad habit usually caused by nervousness and/or improper ground training; can also be a sign of colic.

Pecking order. Social rank of each horse in a group; one horse is the boss and the others find their place.

Pedigree. A listing of a horse's ancestors.

Pelham bit. A combination of snaffle bit and curb bit requiring two reins, used in English riding.

Pen. The show ring or an outdoor living space that is at least 24 feet long and 24 feet wide. Also to corral cattle, as in team penning.

Performance horse. A horse especially accomplished in showing, jumping, and dressage.

Performance. Exhibition of gaits or other required routines.

Periodic opthalmia. See moon blindness.

Periople: External covering of the hoof wall.

Piaffe(R). Highly collected and cadenced trot in place.

Picket line. Rope tie rail.

Piggin string. A short, narrow rope used to hogtie a calf or steer.

Pinworms. Oxyuris equi; parasites.

Pirouette. Circle executed on two tracks with the radius equal to the length of the horse, with the forehand moving around the haunches and maintaining the exact rhythm and sequence of footfalls of the gait being used.

Pitch. To loosen the reins abruptly and completely, or to toss a rope.

Pivot. Crisp, prompt turn on the hindquarters.

Placenta. (afterbirth), the membrane attached to the inside of the uterus which takes nutrients from the mare's blood to the fetus through the umbilical cord.

Pleasure. Rail class designed to showcase smooth movers.

Pocket. A comfortable, secure place in the saddle. In timed events, the area where you collect the horse and start your turn around a barrel or pole.

Points. The coloring of the legs, mane, and tail.

Pole barn. A barn built on poles set in the earth.

Poll. The junction of the vertebrae with the skull located between a horse's ears; an area of great sensitivity and flexion.

Pommel. The wide uplifted front of the saddle (forming the fork in the western saddle).

Pony Club. A national organization that teaches youngsters to care for and ride horses.

Pony. Technically, a horse under 14.2 hands, but for practical purposes, individuals of one of the classic pony breeds such as Shetland, Welsh, Connemara, Pony of the Americas (P.O.A.), etc.

Post. To rise from the saddle in rhythm with the horse's trot.

Posterior pituitary extract. Hormone produced by the pituitary gland causing milk letdown and contraction of the uterus at foaling.

Potomac fever. Disease caused by a rickettsia (Ehrlichia equi), with acute projectile diarrhea, laminitis, and usually death: its means of spread from animal to animal has not been determined.

Pre-potent. A stallion that passes on more than the usual number of traits.

Premolars. The teeth that are located in front of the molars.

Presence. Personality, charisma. A proud carriage and alert attitude that causes the individual to stand out in the crowd.

Professional. The definition varies among associations but most term professional the following activities of a person over eighteen: being paid for riding, driving, or showing at halter; for training or boarding; for instructing; for conducting seminars or clinics; in some situations for being employed as a groom or farrier; for use of name or photo in connection with advertisement; for accepting prize money in classes.

Progesterone. The hormone produced by the corpus luteum, which helps to maintain pregnancy and control the estrus cycle.

Prop. In timed events, a pole or barrel.

Proud flesh. Protrusion of tissue from wound that will not heal.

Puarter. Usually refers to the portion of the wall of the hoof such as inside rear quarter, inside front quarter, outside rear quarter, etc.

Pulse. Heart rate. Normal adult resting heart rate varies among horses but is usually 40 beats per minute.

Pupae. The stage of development between the bot egg and the bot fly.

Purebred. A horse with both sire and dam of the same breed.

Put down. To euthanize.

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Quality. Overall degree of merit: flat bone and clean joints, refined features and fine skin and hair coat.

Quarter crack. A split starting at the lower edge of the hoof and running up to the coronet.

Quidding. Spitting out pieces of partially chewed hay.

Quirt. A riding whip with a short handle and a rawhide lash.

Quittor. Infection of the lateral cartilage of the hoof.

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Rabies. Usually fatal virus disease of warm-blooded animals causing paralysis, convulsions, and inability to swallow; usually spread by bites from infected animals.

Race sulky. Light two-wheeled vehicle used in Standardbred racing.

Rack. Racking in the world today includes both the slow rack, and the fast rack. The gaits used are the rack and the stepping pace. In both the rear of the horse provides the most of the forward motion and support while the front end does little pulling. Both have an even four beat cadence without any head shake. In the slow rack the feet are picked up one foot at a time with the front end moving up and down with little forward extension.  The fast rack or stepping pace is performed by picking up the feet like a pace, but holding the front foot up for an extra half step. The front feet are picked up and held in the up position for a split second then lowered as the other front foot is picked up meeting at a point near knee high. This means the front end is not supported at all some of the time. However, the horse gives a very smooth ride because the rear foot is up under the horse far enough to support its center of gravity at that moment. A horse doing a fast rack will seem low in the rear because of the extra reach under the horse.

Radiograph. X ray.

Rail. The fenceline, as in a "rail" class. Also, Western term for a flat class.

Rating. Means of classifying the size of a show, sometimes done beforehand according to prizes offered, and sometimes after according to number of entries.

Reabsorb. Possible absorption of an early embryo back into the mare's system.

Rearing. A bad habit in a horse, of raising up on his hind legs when he is being led or ridden. An extremely dangerous habit that should be dealt with by a professional only.

Reata. A braided leather rope; coiled and fastened to a Western saddle.

Red roan. A mixture of red and white hairs all over a horse's body, with red, black, or flaxen mane and tail. Also called strawberry roan.

Refinement. Quality appearance, indicating good breeding.

Registered. A horse of purebred parents that have numbered certificates with a particular breed organization.

Rein-back. To back up; a two-beat diagonal gait in reverse.

Rein. The long strap that passes from the bit to the riders hands, by which the rider maintains control of the horse.

Renvers. Haunches-out. The opposite movement to travers, with the tail instead of the head to the wall.

Respiration. Normal adult respiration rate varies among horses but is usually twelve to fifteen breaths per minute. One breath consists of an inhalation and an exhalation.

Retained placenta. Afterbirth that has not been expelled in first three hours after foaling.

Rhino. Short for rhinopneumonitis.

Rhinopneumonitis. Herpes, a viral disease of horse causing respiratory problems ("snots") in young and abortion in pregnant mares.

Rigging. On a saddle, straps that connect the cinch and the saddle tree.

Ring bone. Arthritis of coffin joint and/or pastern joint causing excessive bone growth.

Ring sour. A poor attitude in a horse who does not enjoy working in an arena and looks for ways to leave the arena or quit working.

Roached. A mane or tail that has been clipped to the skin.

Roan. A horse color resulting from a mixture of white and black or white and red hairs all over the body.

Roaring. A breathing disorder.

Rolling. Horse lying down and rolling over, may be normal or result of pain; possible sign of colic.

Romal. A leather quirt, attached to braided leather or rawhide reins, or "closed" reins.

Rompun. Brand of xylazine, an analgesic sedative mixture used as a painkiller, pre-anesthetic, etc.

Rope. A running noose. To catch a cow with the noose.

Rowel. A small wheel with points, attached to the shank of a spur.

Rug. Horse blanket, most times describing winter blankets.

Ruminant. Animal with four-chambered stomach (cow, sheep, goat, deer).

Run. A long, narrow fenced-in area usually attached to a stall.

Runners: Leather loops which slide up and down and are used to keep the straps of a bridle in place.

Running walk. Like the flat foot walk, the running is a four-beat gait in which each foot is picked up and set down in an even cadence. The rear end movement should be smooth and close to the ground without any snap or pop. Each stride should reach forward and slide in as it is set down, over striding the track of the front foot. The head shake is in time with the rear feet and should be smooth. The tail should set still and flow. The flat foot walk and the running walk have the same general movements and look alike in many ways. In a true flat foot walk at least one front foot is touching at all times, and as a flat foot walk is pushed faster, the front end of the horse will leave the ground for a split second each step. At that point it has become a running walk.

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Sand colic. A digestive disorder that occurs when a horse eats sand or dirt with his feed.

Schooling show. Warm-up or practice show early in the season.

Sclera. The area of the eye that encircles the cornea, the colored or pigmented portion.

Score. In roping, to break quickly to overtake the cow.

Scotch. In reining, to anticipate a stop by slowing the gallop.

Seat: The part of the saddle where the rider sits, or the way a rider sits in a saddle.

Senior. A horse at least five years old. A rider at least 50 years old.

Septicemia. Acute generalized infection from virus or bacteria ("blood poisoning").

Serpentine. Series of half circles and straight lines crossing from one side of the centerline to the other, requiring a change of direction each time the horse passes over it.

Serum. The watery portion of the blood that sometimes oozes through the skin.

Set-Up. Putting a horse in the proper stance for the judge to evaluate him in a halter or conformation class.

Set, Settle. To group a bunch of cattle into a quiet, compact herd. In cutting or team penning, a group of competitors that use the same group of cattle.

Shafts. A pair of poles that fit on either side of a horse in a single harness.

Shank. Lead rope or "stud" chain. Also the arm extending from the mouthpiece of a curb bit to where the reins attach. Pressure on these reins exerts leverage.

Sharp teeth. Molars that have sharp points that injure tongue or cheek.

Sheath. The skin folds that encase a horse's penis.

Shedding blade. Metal blade with short teeth to scrape out loose hair.

Sheet cotton. Cotton pressed into thin sheets, used under leg wraps.

Sheet. Cover (blanket) for horse made of light canvas or cotton. Useful for putting on after bathing.

Shoer. Horse shoer, farrier.

Shoulder-In. Horse is slightly bent around the inside leg of the rider, and his inside legs pass and cross in front of the outside legs.

Showmanship. An in-hand class that is judged on the exhibitor's ability to show his horse.

Shying. A horse spooking or becoming startled by a movement or object. It may or may not include a sudden jump sideways, or bolting.

Side pass. Full pass: moving the horse sideways, with no forward movement, crossing one leg over another. Often used in trail classes.

Side step. The maneuver in which a horse moves sideways a step at a time.

Sidebone. Inflammation followed by an ossification of the lateral cartilages of the foot.

Silage. Fodder of higher moisture content than hay stored in airtight structure.

Simple Lead Change. Change from one lead to another with a walk, trot, or halt in between.

Single tree. Single whiffletree.

Sire. Father of a horse.

Skirt: The square or round leather flaps under the saddle seat of the western saddle.

Slack. Loose rope or reins, or to loosen. In rodeo, the morning or afternoon performance.

Sleeping sickness. Encephalomyelitis.

Smegma. Accumulation of fatty secretions, dead skin cells, and dirt found in the male's sheath.

Snaffle, Snaffle bit. Bit with a solid or jointed mouthpiece that has no shanks and works on principles of direct pressure only.

Snatch. To jerk the reins sharply.

Snip. Small white streak above or on nose.

"Snots". Rhinopneumenitis in foals when thick mucous runs from nose.

Sock. White above fetlock.

Sole. The bottom layer of the hoof.

Sored. Having physical evidence of inhumane training practices.

Sorrel. A reddish or copper-red body with mane and tail the same color as the body.

Sound. Having no defect, visible or unseen, that affects serviceability; the state of being able to perform without hindrance.

Spasmodic colic. Acute intermittent colic as digestive tract spasms (usually involves small intestine).

Spavin. An unsoundness of the hock which can involve soft tissues (bog spavin) or bone (bone spavin or jack spavin).

Spayed mare. A neutered female horse.

Splint boots. Protective covering worn around the cannons of the front legs to prevent injury.

Splint. Term commonly applied to inflammation of the attachment of the splint bone to the cannon; older cases of splints are identified as bony enlargements at various points along the splint bone.

Spooky. An easily startled horse.

Sport horse. A purebred or crossbred horse suitable for dressage, jumping, eventing, or endurance.

Spread. Type of fence that requires jumping the width from front to rear.

Stake out. Tie an animal on a long rope or chain to a stake driven in the ground.

Stakes class. Money-earning class.

Stallion syndicate. A financial investment group owning shares in a stallion.

Stallion. A male horse four years of age and over (not gelded).

Standardbred. An American breed of horse developed for harness racing.

Standing. When a stallion is at a breeding farm to breed mares brought to him.

Standing bandage. A bandage held up by wraps down to the hoof.

Step. A beat.

Steward. A show official who assists the judge in or out of the show pen.

Stirrup: The leather covered (in the western saddle) or metal (in the English saddle)
part of the saddle used to support the riders feet.

Stock horse. A Western-style horse of the Quarter Horse type.

Stocking. White leg marking above the cannon.

Stomach tube. Tube passed usually through the nose into the stomach.

Straight bit. A simple bar bit with no breaks, joints, or projections.

Straight stall. Stall with two walls and manger where horse is tied.

Strain. The action of a mare when trying to expel the foal, holdingher breath and contracting her abdominal muscles.

Strangles. Bacterial respiratory disease caused by Streptococcus equii causing swollen abscessed glands.

Strawberry roan. A mixture of red and white hairs all over a horse's body, with red, black, or flaxen mane and tail. Also called red roan.

Stride. The distance traveled in a particular gait, measured from the spot where one hoof hits the ground to where it next lands. Ten to twelve feet is the normal length of stride at a canter, for example.

Strike. When horse reaches up, out, and down with front foot.

Striking. A bad habit of reaching out with a front foot so as to hit the handler, equipment, or another horse. A problem calling for professional help.

String out. To move without engaging the hindquarters, so hind end looks "strung out" from the forehand.

Stripe. White streak down face.

Strongyle. "blood worm".

Stud fee. The charge for breeding to a stallion.

Stud, Stud farm. Farm where mares are bred.

Stud. A stallion used for breeding.

Subcutaneous. Under the skin.

Substance. Strength and density of bone, muscle, and tendons or an indication of large body size.

"Suck wind". The action of a mare taking air into her genital tract.

Suckling. A foal that is still with its mother; it has not been weaned; usually it is under four months of age.

Suitability. Appropriateness for a particular purpose and/or a type or size of rider.

Sulky. Two-wheeled cart.

Sull. To move slowly, to resist moving forward.

Sullen. Sulky, resentful, or withdrawn.

Surcingle. The strap that encircles the heart girth. A belt or girth of leather or nylon webbing that is passed around the horse at the girth line and firmly fastened down.

Sutured. Caslick operation having been performed.

Swamp fever. Equine infectious anemia.

Sweat scraper. Metal blade to scrape sweat and water off horse's coat.

Sweat. A mild liniment put on under a waterproof wrapping to "draw" swelling and infection.

Sweet feed. Feed containing molasses.

Swells. Exterior projection of the fork of a Western saddle.

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Tack. Equipment used on a horse (brushes, blankets, saddle, halter, bridle, etc..).

Tail rope. Rope attached to horse's tail by a half hitch, then tied forward to neck or harness.

Tail rubbing. A habit that may originate from anal or skin itch or a dirty sheath or udder. Even when the cause is removed, the habit often persists.

Tail wrap. Material to wrap tail during breeding or examination and foaling.

Tapadero. A leather hood fixed to the front of the stirrup. A covering over the stirrups in a western saddle to prevent the riders foot from slipping through and to give a decorative effect.

TDN: Total Digestible Nutrients. Indicates the usable amounts of various nutrients
found in feed.

Tease. The action of a mare in heat; the action of a stallion when he sees mares; to bring a teaser stallion near mares to determine if they are in heat.

Teaser. A stallion used to determine if mares are in heat.

Teasing. In heat.

Temperament. The general consistency with which a horse behaves.

Temperature. Normal adult temperature varies among horses, but will usually range in degrees from 99.5°F to 100.5°F.

Tendons: Tough, fibrous cords, slightly elastic, that attach muscle to bone and give
support to joints.

Test jump. To allow a teaser to mount a mare before the actual breeding stallion is risked.

Tetanus. Bacterial disease caused by Ciostridium tetani.

Texas gate. Gate of barbed wire.

Third eyelid. Nictitating membrane, pink membrane in inner corner of eye that can extend across eyeball.

Thorough Pin. Swelling in the web of the hock that may be an unsoundness or a blemish.

Thoroughbred. The breed of horse registered with the Jockey Club. Not meant to be used as a synonym for purebred. All individuals can trace ancestry back to one of five Arabian stallions.

Throat-latch: The part of the bridle passing under the horse's head holding the bridle
on over the horse's poll.

Thrombus. Clot in, or blocking, a blood vessel.

Thrush. A foul-smelling disease of the hoof which causes decomposition of the frog and other hoof structures. It is often associated with unsanitary conditions, but a more likely predisposing cause is lack of exercise and neglected foot care.

Tiedown. A strap that connects to the noseband and the cinch or breastcollar; a control device to limit the height of the horse's head. Western version of the standing martingale. A strap from the girth to the noseband or bosal to keep the horse from tossing his head.

Timothy. Grass hay, Phleum pratense.

Tobiano. A Paint and Pinto coat pattern of spots that are regular and distinct.

Topline. The proportion and curvature of the outline of a horse's neck, back, and croup; a line from poll to tail-head.

Top side: The sire's side of the pedigree.

Torsion. Intestine twisted off; torsion of uterus in mare in which uterus is twisted shut at neck.

Tovero. A Paint coat pattern that has markings of both the overo and the tobiano.

Toxemia: Condition caused by presence of bacterial toxins in the blood.

Trace. Heavy strap that attaches the harness to the vehicle or load being pulled.

Track. A path. Also to follow.

Tractable. A quality in a horse's disposition that makes him cooperative and trainable.

Trailer. Vehicle towed to move horses; long extension on heel of horseshoe.

Trainer: Person who specializes in training horses.

Transition. Upward or downward change between gaits, speed, direction, or maneuvers.

Trappy. Course with sharp turns.

Travel. The path of the flight of each limb during movement.

Travers. Haunches-in. The horse is slightly bent around the inside leg of the rider. Its outside legs pass and cross in front of the inside legs. The horse is looking in the direction in which it is moving. Performed along the wall or on the centerline, at an angle of about thirty degrees to the direction in which the horse is moving.

Tree: The basic framework of the saddle over which the leather is laid and attached.

Triple Bar. Ascending staircase jump consisting of three bars that add spread and increase in height.

Trot. A two-beat diagonal gait.

Turgor. Normal state of distention and resiliency of the skin.

Turn on the Forehand. Maneuver in which the horse's hindquarters rotate around his forehand.

Turn on the Haunches (hindquarters). Maneuver in which the horse's forehand rotates around his hind end.

Turnout. Overall appearance of a horse (and rider).

Twitch. A means of restraint. A nose twitch is often a wooden handle with a loop of chain, applied to the horse's upper lip.

Two hand. To ride with one rein in each hand.

Two point. To rise from the saddle, so you contact the horse with only your thighs, not your seat.

Two-track. A lateral movement, where the horse's forefeet and hind feet move on separate tracks. Also called the half-pass.

Tying up. A form of metabolic muscle stiffness caused from irregularity in feed and work schedules.

Type. A particular style of horse with certain characteristics that contribute to its value and efficiency for a particular use.

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Udder. The mammary glands or teats of a female horse.The organ that secretes milk. 

Umbilical cord: Naval cord. Attaches foal to mother, at the navel, through which
nutrients and waste pass between the mare's placenta and the foal.

Underline. The length and shape of the line from the elbow to the sheath or udder.

Unsoundness. A defect that may or may not be seen but that does affect serviceability.

Uterus. The organ in which the embryo and fetus develop, also referred to as womb or wethers.

Uveitis. Inflammation of internal eye.

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Vaccination: Injection, into the body, of killed or attenuated microorganisms to develop resistance of an infectious disease.

Vagina. Sleevelike connection between vulva and cervix.

Vaginal speculum. Instrument to enable dilation of vagina so it and cervix may be examined visually.

Van. Horse truck with large box holding several horses.

V.E.E. Venezuelan equine encephalomyelitis.

Vertical. Straight or upright fence.

Vice. Abnormal behavior in the stable environment that results from confinement or improper management and can affect a horse's usefulness, dependability, and health. Examples are cribbing and weaving.

Volte. Circle with a 6-meter diameter (20 feet).

Volvulus. Twist of intestinal tract.

Vulva. External female genitalia.

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Walk. A four-beat flat-footed gait.

War bridle. Restraining rope placed under nose, over gums, and up over poll.

Wash racks: Area set aside for bathing of animals.

Wax. Colostrum coming from or coagulated on mare's teats just prior to foaling.

Waxing. Showing evidence of wax.

Wean: Remove the foal from a mare so it can no longer nurse.

Weanling. A foal that has been separated from its mother; usually 4–12 months of age.

Weaving. Rhythmic swaying of weight from one front foot to the other when confined. Can be socially contagious.

W.E.E. Western equine encephalomyelitis.

Western Banding. A grooming technique using tiny rubber bands to make thirty or forty little pony tails out of the mane.

Western. Referring to riding with Western tack and attire.

Wethers. Uterus.

Whiffletree (whippletree). A device, usually wooden with metal rings or hooks, to which traces are attached; may also be double to hold two single whiffletrees.

Whip training. Training horse to respond to touch of whip.

White line. White border between sole and wall of horse's.

Wind sucker. Cribber, a horse that holds an object with its teeth and sucks in air.

Wink. Opening and closing of the mare's vulva exposing the clitoris.

Withers. The part of the horse's spine where the neck joins the back.

Wolf teeth. Small vestigial first pre-molar.

Wood chewing. A common vice that damages facilities and can cause abnormal wear of teeth and possible complications from wood splinters.

Working Gait. In dressage, a gait that is regular and unconstrained, energetic but calm, with even, elastic steps.

Worms. Internal parasites.

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Yearling. A male or female horse or pony that is one year old.

Yellow body. Corpus tuteum.

Youth. An exhibitor eighteen years of age and under. Additional age divisions are often created to separate children further.

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