The equine world has its own weird and wonderful glossary of terms. Here are some of the most common words you’ll come across in the horse world:

Horse breeds & body parts
(See how many of these terms you can spot as you look at all our horses)
Appaloosa – a spotted horse breed originating in the land of the Nez Perce Indians
Arabian – the oldest pure breed of horse, originating in the Arabian Desert
Blaze – a wide swath of white on a horse’s face, running from above the eyes to the nostrils
Gelding – a castrated male horse
Mare – a female horse four years of age or older
Markings white areas on a horse’s face and/or legs
Mouth, Hard or Soft – describes responsiveness to the reins
Paint Horse – a horse that has a two-toned body colour
Pony – any horse that measures under 14.2 hands
Quarter Horse – a well-muscled, good-tempered breed
Shetland – smallest of the pony breeds
Stallion – an unaltered male horse four years of age or older
Thoroughbred – an English breed
Welsh Pony – a pony originating in Wales
Withers – the bony point at the base of the neck, just in front of where the saddle rests

Movements made by horses
Canter – the gait between walk and gallop
Gaits  the different ways in which a horse travels
Gallop – the fastest gait
Rearing – the raising up of a horse onto its hind legs; this is a bad habit that should not be allowed
Shying – reacting to an unexpected sound, movement or object by jumping sideways or running off
Trot – the gait between the walk and the canter
Walk – the slowest gait

Equipment and attire
Bit  metal mouthpiece
Chaps – leather leggings worn over jeans or riding pants
Halter – the headgear with which a horse is led
Jodhpurs – ankle-length, fitted riding pants
Martingale – a piece of equipment designed to prevent the tossing of the head
Reins – the leather lines used to guide and control a horse
Stirrups – the part of the saddle that holds the riders feet

Events and racing
Barrel racing – a sport in which the horse-and-rider pair gallop around barrels
Cross country jumping – riding and jumping over obstacles in a natural environment
Dressage – A riding discipline whereby the horse-and-rider pair complete gymnastic movements that highlight the horse’s balance, suppleness, cadence, and obedience
Endurance riding – contestants are judged for speed and fitness over 25-, 50- and 100-mile courses
Gymkhana – timed obstacle classes and games
Show jumping – a timed event in which the horse-and-rider pair must handle different types of jumps

Broken in – a horse that has been trained to be ridden
Farrier – a person who trims and shoes horses’ feet
Leg up – a boost into the saddle, given by someone standing next to the rider and grasping her lower left leg with both hands as the rider bends her leg at the knee
Mucking out cleaning out a stall or pen
Paddock – a small pasture
Tacking up – putting a saddle and bridle on a horse

We couldn’t resist adding in a few of the weird terms also…
Jigger – a horse that won’t walk calmly
Stargazer – a horse that travels way above the bit, with their nose in the air
Owl headed – a horse that looks around a lot
Glass eyed – a horse with blue or white eyes

And one last little horsey proverb… see if you can work this one out:
“Green on green makes black and blue.”
Good luck figuring that out! We’ll give you a clue…OUCH!