Terms For The Horse Lover

Welcome to the delightful world of horses!! It is a wonderful thing to own a horse, to know the joy and unconditional love.

When first becoming involved within the horse world, it is good if you can equip yourself with some basic horse terms to help smooth the way.

No matter your horsey interest, these terms are regularly tossed about the barn; learn them and you will be well on your way to interpreting the horse world language.

Stallion – Entire male horse that has been used to father (breed) younger animals.

Colt – Young entire male animal, usually under 3 years old

Gelding – Castrated male animal of any age, no longer able to be bred from.

Mare – Female horse, usually over 3 years old.

Filly – Young female animal, usually under 3 years old, which hasn’t yet been bred from.

Yearling – A young horse that is at least 12 months old but not over 24 months

Weanling – A young horse that has been weaned from its mother but hasn’t reached 12 months of age.

Foal – A baby animal, either female or male that is still nursing from its mother.

Hands High (HH) – Measurement used in telling how high a horse stands. Measured from the ground to the highest point of the wither. There is 4 inches to 1 hand.

Tack – Word used to describe all the equipment used for riding or handling a horse

Saddle – Large piece of tack (usually leather), which helps a rider sit in the correct position when sitting on a horses back. There are many different types including:- western, stock, dressage, jumping and all purpose.

Saddle Blanket – Piece of cloth, which can be padded, placed under the saddle on the horses back to help protect against pressure sores and absorb sweat.

Bridle – A piece of leather (or can be synthetic) which is fitted to a horses head and helps in control when the horse is being ridden.

Bit – A piece of metal which is placed inside a horses mouth and connected to the bridle.

Reins – Long piece attached to the horses bit, which allows the rider some control.

Girth – Is used to tighten around the horse’s middle to secure the saddle.

Stirrup – Normally metal (Stainless Steel), attached to the saddle, where a rider places their foot when riding.

Halter / Head Stall – Placed on a horses head for easy of handling and leading. Can be made out of rope, nylon or leather.

Farrier – Person employed to trim a horse’s hoof or to put shoes on. Similar to a human podiatrist.

Hoof Pick – Instrument used to clean out the bottom of a horses hoof.

Gait – The way in which the horse moves – walk, trot, canter, gallop

Lunging – An exercise where a horse is worked in a circle at any given gait and direction.

Colic – This is a condition which describes any discomfort a horse may have within there stomach.

Lame – Describes a horse that is unable to move correctly due to pain in one or more feet.

Float / Trailer – A specially designed trailer which helps in the transport of horses.

Now that you have learnt some basic horse terms, try working them into a conversation around the barn. You will no longer be an outsider but welcomed into the exciting horse world.