Glossary of Horse Terms E-J


Encephalitis: An infectious disease cause by a virus that affects the central nervous system. Also known as sleeping sickness. In the US there are 2 main types; Eastern and Western. Bloodsucking bugs spread this disease and birds can be hosts. The US has vaccines available against these diseases.
English: A style of riding.
Equine: Having to do with horses or referring to a horse.
Equestrian: A person who rides or works with horses.
Equitation: The art of riding horses and horsemanship. In horse shows, the rider is being judged rather than the horse. Their command of the horse and their elegance in the saddle are evaluated.
Equus Caballus: The scientific name for the horse.
Ergot: Small callus at the back of the fetlock joint.
Eventing: Three different disciplines of riding, dressage, cross-country, and show jumping, in one competition.
Ewe Necked: The crest of the horse’s neck is underdeveloped causing a concave appearance.
Extension: The horse reaching forward with it’s head, neck and legs causing a lengthening of the entire horses body.


Farrier: A Horseshoer. A farrier specializes in shoeing and trimming horses hooves.
Favor: A limping or shortening of stride due to pain.
Feather: Common to draft horse breeds, the tuft of hair on the back of the horse’s fetlock.
Federation Equestre Internationale (F.E.I.):  The international governing body of horse shows.
Fender: The part of the saddle that is above the stirrup on a western saddle.
Fetlock: The joint between the knee and hoof.
Fiador: A knot that fastens the bottom of the bosal to the headstall, commonly made of cord.
Filly: A female horse under 4 years old.
Fistula of the Withers: A swelling with pain and discharge at the withers of the horse, caused by an inflammation of the bursal sac.
Flexion: When the horse’s head is correctly bent at the poll with a relaxation of the jaw all in response to the bit.
Floating (Teeth): The filing of the horse’s teeth to remove sharp points and edges and provide a better surface for chewing. This must be done on a regular basis, especially in older horses.
Foal: A horse, male or female, under the age of one year. A female is referred to as a filly and a male a colt.
Forging: When traveling at a trot, the horse’s rear foot hits the front. This is an undesirable trait that  can be fixed by corrective shoeing.
Fresh: A horse that has energy, usually due to lack of exercise or sudden temperature change.
Fetlock: The joint between the knee and hoof.
Frog: The soft V-shaped part of the horse’s foot. This acts as a shock absorber.



Gaits: The main gaits for a horse are walk, trot (or jog), canter (or lope), and gallop.
Gaited Horse: A horse that is trained or naturally does gaits other than the four main gaits.
Gallop: The fastest of the 4 main gaits of a horse. This is a 4 beat gait.
Gall: A sore caused by rubbing of a girth, cinch or saddle. Often white hair replaces the hair of an untreated gall.
Gaskin: The muscle that is above the hock in the horse’s hind leg.
Gelding: A castrated male horse. Can also refer to the act of castrating a horse.
Gestation:    The period of time, approximately eleven months) during which a mare carries her foal.
Get: All of the progeny of a sire or stud.
Grade Horse: A horse of mixed origin. Not a purebred horse and usually this horse cannot be registered, unless it is a color registration such as Buckskin or Palomino.
Green: A horse that has just begun its training, often a young horse.
Groom: The act of brushing and cleaning a horse. Also someone who takes care of horses is known as a Groom.
Gymkhana: Games on horseback; such as barrel race, keyhole race, egg and spoon race.



Hackamore: A leverage device that simultaneously applies pressure to the bridge of a horse’s nose and it’s chin. Used instead of a bit.
Half-Pass:    A two track exercise where the horse moves forward and sideways at the same time. The horse’s head is flexed in the direction of movement. This can be performed at the walk, trot and the canter. 
Hand: A unit of measurement for horses. 4 inches ( or 10 cm) represents a hand. Horses are measured at the highest point of the withers.
Haunches: The hind end of the horse. Engaging the haunches refers to bringing the haunches up under the horse and using them actively to achieve collection.
Haunches-in: An exercise to make the horse more supple. This is where the horse carries its haunches toward the center of the circle he is traveling on.
Haunches-out: An exercise to make the horse more supple. This is where the horse carries its haunches toward the outside of the circle he is traveling on.
Hay Bag:    A bag made to hold hay and hang on a trailer or in a stall.
Hay Net:    A loosely woven bag made to hold hay. Usually made of rope.
Heaves:    When a horse has noticeable flank movement in exhalation, usually a double exhalation. Also called broken wind.
Hock: The joint in the center potion of the hind legs.
Hocks Engaged:  The hind legs are well underneath the horse with a good bend and the hind feet are stepping at least up into the hoofprint of the front feet.
Hoof: The foot of a horse.
Hoof Pick:    A metal tool used to remove debris from a horse’s hooves.
Horn: Part of a Western saddle.
Horse: Usually refers to a mature male horse (gelding or stallion). Can refer to the species, Equus Caballus, as well.



Impulsion:    The drive or thrust that moves a horse forward in a controlled fashion. Collection can only be achieved with impulsion.
Inside Leg: The rider’s leg that is toward the inside of the arena or circle that the horse is traveling on.
Irons: Refers to the stirrups that are attached to an English saddle. The Western term is stirrups.


Jog: A slow trot. Used in Western riding.

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