HORSYPEDIA from A - Z
A spotted horse breed originating in the land of the Nez Perce Indians (northwestern United States). As compared to a Paint or Pinto, Appaloosas have small spots or flecks of white.
The oldest pure breed of horse, originating in the Arabian desert. Noted for sensitivity and finely chiseled heads.
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An object, usually a metal bar, placed into the mouth of a horse, held on by a bridle and used with reins to direct and guide the animal. Occasionally made of other materials, including rubber. May be solid or jointed and may have rollers or other attachments added, usually in the center
Knee-length, fitted riding pants worn with tall English boots
A behavior where the horse lowers its head and rapidly kicks its hind feet into the air. At liberty, seen as an expression of excess energy or high spirit, under saddle is generally considered a disobedience, except in sports such as the rodeosports of Saddle bronc and bareback riding, where the horse is deliberately encouraged to attempt to dislodge its rider.
1. The pedigree of an animal
2. Reproduction in horses and particularly the human-directed process of selective breeding animals, particularly purebred horses of a given breed. Planned matings can be used to produce specifically desired characteristics in domesticated horses. Furthermore, modern breeding management and technologies can increase the rate of conception, a healthy pregnancy, and successful foaling.
3. A type of horse show competition where horses are led, not ridden.
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Pain in a horse’s abdomen, ranging from mild to life-threateningly severe. Colic is the number one killer of horses.
Leather or suede leggings worn over jeans or riding pants and buckled around the waist. Standard Western show attire; also worn informally by English riders. Half chaps zip or buckle over the lower leg.
The gait between walk and gallop; it consists of three beats followed by a moment of suspension, and has “leads” (in which legs on one side of the horse, front and back, reach farther forward than the legs on the other side).
CROSS COUNTRY JUMPING
Riding over a course of fences and obstacles constructed over natural terrain.
A stocky, rather small horse, or a large pony. Often a general description, but also applied to certain breeds such as the Welsh Cob.
A bridle size designed for horses with small or short heads. Usually keeps a long browband and throatlatch to accommodate the wide forehead and jowls of cobs and other horses with somewhat wedge-shaped heads
Any of a group of equine types including draught horses and many ponies, characterized by a steady temperament, strength and stamina, but no great turn of speed. Refers to temperament, not literally to body temperature.
The area directly above the horse's hoof: a ring of soft tissue just above the horny hoof that blends into the skin of the leg. Includes the bottom of the middle phalanx bone
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A French term meaning training. In the discipline of dressage, the English horse-and-rider pair execute gymnastic movements that highlight the horse’s balance, suppleness, cadence, and obedience. Dressage principles, which trace to the earliest days of riding, are used in virtually every form of riding.
The muscular portion of a horse's tail, where the hair is rooted. Sometimes refers only to the upper portion of this area, where the tail attaches to the hindquarters.
1. At a trot, the set of legs that move forward at the same are the "diagonal" pair.
2. When a rider posts while riding at the trot, they can rise either matching when the left or the right foreleg and opposite hind leg hits the ground. If they sit when the left foreleg strikes, they are on the left diagonal, if they sit when the right foreleg strikes, it is the right diagonal. When riding clockwise, the rider is to post the left diagonal, when riding counter-clockwise the rider is to post the right diagonal. In other words, when riding a circle, the rider sits when the outside front and inside hind legs are on the ground.
3. In Dressage tests, a line crossing the center of the competition ring running from one end corner to the opposite end corner.
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The art of riding. Equitation classes are judged on the rider’s correctness of form, proper use of aids, and control over the horse; classes are held for English equitation, Western equitation (usually called Western horsemanship), and equitation over fences (sometimes called medal classes).
A sport, also called combined training, in which English horse-and-rider pairs compete in dressage, cross-country jumping, and jumping in an arena
The genus including the horse, donkey, zebra and all other surviving members of the family Equidae
The style of riding ubiquitous in the British Isles and other parts of northern Europe, and widely practised in other parts of the world, especially for disciplines such asdressage, showjumping,cross country, ...Characterised by use of a relatively flat saddle; the bridle usually has a cavesson-style noseband, with reins carried in both hands and generally used with steady contact with the horse's mouth
The joint just above the hoof that seems like an ankle (although it doesn’t correspond to the human ankle).
A horse’s head, neck, shoulders, and front legs. A horse traveling “on the forehand” is not carrying enough weight on its hindquarters.
Fédération Équestre Internationale,I or FEI.
The governing body for most international-level equestrian competitions, including the FEI World Equestrian Games and the Olympics. It recognizes and governs ten disciplines: dressage, combined driving, endurance riding, eventing, horseball, para-equestrian, reining, showjumping, tent pegging and equestrian vaulting.The FEI does not govern horseracing or polo
1. A young horse of either sex under the age of one year. Derives from the Anglo-Saxon wordfola. May be qualified by sex:colt foal,filly foal.
2. Foaling: the act of a mare giving birth
The fastest natural horse gait. Like the canter, there is a moment during a gallop when all four hooves of the horse are off the ground, known as the moment of suspension. At racing speeds, the gallop differs from the canter in that it becomes an irregular four beat gait, rather than a three-beat gait: the second beat of the canter, where diagonal front and hind legs strike the ground simultaneously, is broken into two beats in very quick succession in the gallop. Used in the wild to escape predators, the gallop is the gait of the classic race horse.
The different ways in which a horse travels, including walk, trot, canter, and gallop. So-called “gaited horses” have specialty gaits, such as the running walk and the pace.
A castrated male horse.
The leather or fabric band that secures an English saddle to the horse. (The Western equivalent is a cinch.)
Schooling of the horse from the ground, rather than from the saddle. Includes in-hand work and longeing.
In equestrianism, the highest levels of either showjumping or dressage, generally governed by the rules of the FEI. The title is also given to some horse races.
An employee who looks after horses.
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The large, angular joint halfway up a horse’s hind leg
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Ankle-length, fitted English riding pants worn with ankle-high jodhpur boots. This ensemble is popular among young riders
The rider of a horse in Horse racing
Show jumping or stadium jumping, a competition that goes as high as the Olympic level, where the horse is judged on the number of obstacles it clears on the course in a given round and the speed at which it completes the course. When a course is not timed, or in the event of a tie, the height of obstacles is raised in each successive round, most notably in puissance competition, until there is a winner
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An English bit that combines snaffle rings with a mild curb-bit action
The joint of a horse's front leg between the cannon and the forearm. Anatomically equivalent to the human wrist
A serious disease affecting the hooves, often caused by eating too much grain or green grass; especially problematic for ponies. Also called founder
To work a horse on a long line (up to 30 foot or more) in a circle around you
LEAD CHANGE / CHANGE OF LEG
The act of a horse changing from one lead to the other. When performed at a canter or gallop, it is a "flying change". When the horse is dropped to a slower gait and then asked to canter again but on the opposite lead, it is a "simple change". Performing a flying change with every stride is an advanced dressagemovement known as a one-tempi change, tempi changes, or informally, "onesies".
Driving a horse while walking behind or to the side of it, controlling the animal by use of very long reins. Used for training, both for riding and driving. For a riding horse, the stirrups are often used as make shift terrets to keep the reins from trailing on the ground.
A piece of equipment designed to effect a horse’s head carriage or to prevent the tossing of the head; attaches to the girth and to the reins or bridle.
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White areas on a horse’s face and/or legs; commonly used to identify individual animals
A mature female horse, usually four years of age or older. Also denotes any female horse that has given birth, regardless of her age
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The left side of the horse (from which traditionally most handling, and mounting, is done).
Turning a horse by touching the reins to the side of the horse's neck. The horse turns away from the rein pressure. Particularly useful when riding one-handed.
NICKER / WHICKER
A soft noise made by horses, the horse makes a vibrating sound with its mouth closed using the vocal cords. Often used as a greeting to humans or other animals, the softest version used by a mare communicating to her foal. Louder versions may be heard when a stallion is communicating with a mare
The right side of the horse
ON THE BIT
A horse who is flexed at the poll, moving forward well, holding the bit without fuss, and is responsive to the rider
ON THE BRIDLE
Of a horse in a race, when it is being kept at a steady speed on a tight rein to avoid tiring it early in the race. When sprinting for the finish, the horse will usually be allowed to runoff the bridle, with the reins quite loose
A small pasture or enclosure; larger than a pen
The part of the horse’s leg between the hoof and the fetlock
A one-piece English bit equipped to handle four reins; a sort of “part snaffle, part curb” bit.
A horse or pony of varying type, with a two-toned body color (generally large blocks of white), registered with the Pinto Horse Association of America, Inc. A pinto (lower case) is any horse or pony with a two-toned coat.
POSTING / RISING TO THE TROT
Rising and sitting in the saddle at the trot, in rhythm with the horse’s strides. Posting takes the “bounce” out of the trot
The known and documented lineage of an animal
In common use, a member of the species Equus ferus caballus that typically matures shorter than 147 cm. Individual animals of breeds that typically mature over this height may still be called "horses" even if under the cutoff height. Biologically, may be used to define small horses that retain a ponyphenotype of relatively short height heavy coat, thick mane and tail, proportionally short legs, and heavy build regardless of actual mature height.
The FEI defines the official cutoff point at 148 centimetres without shoes and 149 centimetres with shoes.
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PRIX ST GEORGES
The first of the international competitive dressagelevels in FEI competition. It is followed by Intermediare I, Intermediare II and Grand Prix. Levels below Prix St. Georges, though common in local and national-level competition, are not recognized by the FEI. The terms used for these lower levels and number of levels available vary from nation to nation.
The leather lines that attach to the bit and are held in the rider’s hands to guide and control a horse.
A judged event in which the Western horse-and-rider pair perform a pattern of circles and straight lines, with sliding stops and spins in place
When a horse rises up on its hind legs.If performed while being handled by humans, is usually considered a severe, dangerous disobedience. Occasionally, horses are trained to rear on command for uses such as film or circus work. Rearing may occur while an animal is loose, being ridden, or while being handled by a human from the ground.
Smallest of the pony breeds, originating in the Shetland Islands
Responding to a sound, movement, or object by suddenly jumping to the side or running off. A horse that shies a lot is said to be “spooky.”
A bit with a jointed mouthpiece and rings at the ends; works first on the corners of the mouth. Less severe than a curb bit.
An unaltered male horse four years of age or older.
The straps connecting the stirrups to an English saddle; also known as “leathers.”
The part of the saddle that supports a rider’s feet; metal for English saddles (thus often called “stirrup irons”) and wood-and-leather for Western saddles.
A device placed on the back of a horse or other equine, where the rider sits, designed to support and stabilize a rider. Comes in two main varieties, a stock saddle (western or Australian designs), and flatter types, known as English saddle, which are used for jumping, dressage and racing
Often a wool or synthetic blanket, but informally may also refer to felt, fleece, or other padding that is placed between the horse and a saddle to protect the horse's back.Some types of English saddles are designed so that they do not mandate use of a blanket to protect the horse, but use of one helps keep the underside of the saddle clean and may prevent saddle sores on the horse.
Padding placed under the saddle, shaped fully or partially to complement the outline of the saddle.
The father of a horse
A loud harsh sound emitted when a horse holds its head high and forces the breath violently through the nostrils with the mouth shut. The snort lasts about one second and is most commonly heard in horses when they are startled
Ossification of the second and fourth metacarpal or metatarsal bones, which often form after trauma to the area. Often an unsoundness when newly injured, may ossify into blemishes with no effect on soundness, depending on location
The distance from the imprint of a forefoot until the same foot hits the ground again
(Breed registry) a list of horses of a particular breed whose parents are known. An open studbook allows parents of different breeds, as long as the horse conforms to the breed standard or meets other criteria, and is often used when establishing new breeds. A closed studbook requires both parents to be in the book, with lineage traceable to the foundation bloodstock. The thoroughbred breed is an example of a closed stud book. Many warmblood breeds such as the Oldenburgher have an open stud book with animals approved for registry via a studbook selectionprocess.
A lightweight, two-wheeled cart for one person pulled by a single horse (or sometimes a pair). In earlier times used as a fast, showy form of transport, but now usually limited to harness racingt when it is often made extremely lightly, with bicycle-style wheels
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An allergy also known as summer scab. The horse becomes unbearably itchy and tears itself until it bleeds.
The gear used on a horse, e.g. saddles, bridles
The outline of a horse from the top of his head to the top of his tail
An English breed tracing to three Arabian sires. The world’s premier race horse, but also used for a wide range of sports, especially jumping. The word refers specifically to a horse registered with The Jockey Club, and should not be used to denote “purebred.”
The two-beat gait between the walk and the canter.
The change from one gait to another
A tool used to restrain and calm a horse by twisting a cord or chain around its upper lip
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Gymnastic maneuvers performed on the back of a cantering horse
The slowest gait, consisting of four beats
A general term for European breeds of sport horses. Examples include Dutch Warmblood, Hanoverian, and Holsteiner
A pony originating in Wales; excellent for riding and commonly used as a children’s mount.
The bony point at the base of the neck, just in front of where the saddle rests. Horses are measured from the top of the withers to the ground.
A style of riding characterized by use of a western saddle and a bridle without a noseband. Riders generally have a fairly long stirrup, sit rather than post the trot (hence a slower trot, called a "jog" is generally desired in the western horse) and, on a finished western horse, reins are usually carried one-handed by the non-dominant (usually left) hand and, with minimal or no contact with the horse's mouth. The finished animal is usually ridden in a curb bit and turned by use of the neck reiningtechnique. Inexperienced or "green" animals are usually ridden two-handed in either a snaffle bit or a bosal-style hackamore
A horse that is between 12 and 24 months of age