HORSE TERMINOLOGY (GENERAL TERMS)
The bit is a metal mouth piece connected to the reins.
Blinkers are leather side pieces attached to a horse's bridle to prevent
side way vision. It is used on fearful horses.
The term breed describes horses that have been bred selectively over a period of
time and have developed fixed characteristics.
The bridle is the headgear for the horse. It consists of a number of buckled straps and a
metal mouthpiece by which the horse is controlled through the reins.
In the show ring the canter is a slow, smooth and rhythmic movement.
Conformation is the overall make and shape of a horse.
Heavy draught horses are described as coldblood.
A colt is a male horse that has not been gelded and is less than four years old. Once the
colt reaches it's fourth birthday it is called a horse. It becomes a stallion when it
performs stud duties.
A dam is the female parent of a horse
A filly is a female horse less than four years old. When a filly becomes a four year old
it is called a mare. Once a mare gets to stud she becomes a broodmare.
Five-gaited horses are shown at walk, trot, canter, slow gait and rack.
The gallop is a three beat gait ridden at various speeds. A slow gallop is
comfortable for the rider. Most horses like a fast gallop.
A gelding is a male horse where the testicles have been surgically removed. In general
geldings are easier to train.
A Girth is a large, flat leather or canvass strap which keeps the
saddle in place.
The height of a horse is measured in hands, one hand equals 4 inches or 11.6 centimetres.
Most Thoroughbred horses stand at 15 to 17 hands. A horse is generally taller than 14.5
hands or 58 inches.
There are two distinctive types of harness used for driving purposes. For pulling
heavy loads horses wear collars to enable them to use the full strength of their
shoulders. Lighter horses are often wearing a breast harness.
A person which is extremely gifted in the management of horses is called a horseman. It is
a great compliment to be called a horseman and deserved and received by only very few
The term "out of" means that the foal was born out of a female horse.
The Pace is a two beat gait where the horse moves both legs on the same side
In the show ring the rack is a fast, flashy, four beat gait in which each foot strikes the
ground at equal intervals and which is free from any lateral movement or pacing.
The Reins are a pair of leather straps running from the
side of the bit to the hand of the rider. They are used to control the horse.
The saddle is a curved leather seat for the rider. It is placed on
the horse's back and secured by a girth under the belly.
A sire is the male parent of a horse.
In the show ring the slow gait is a high stepping, four beat gait executed in a slow,
The stirrups are metal loops connected to the saddle with a flat foot piece through which
a rider puts his foot for support.
A stud can refer to the breeding of a male horse or to a breeding farm
using a stud horse.
A stud book is a register that lists the various thoroughbred bloodlines. It provides
guidelines for pedigree breeding and sets requirements for entry into the stud book. Most
breeds have their own stud book.
Three-gaited horses are shown at walk, trot and canter
The trot is a two beat gait where the front and hind legs on opposite sites move
together. It is useful when working on the horse's balance and teaching it to work
with the rider. The trot can be difficult for horses that tend toward the pace.
The term type describes a horse bred for a particular purpose such as hunting.
A walk is four beat gait where the horse is relaxed and puts each foot down independently.
It is a good movement to release tension. In the show ring the walk has a springy movement
Horse of lighter riding type statue are referred to as warmblood. Today horses
bred for competition riding are also called warmblood.
A yearling is a one year old horse. To standardise horse's ages every horse in Australia
turns one year older on 1 August.