Glossary of Horse Terms L-S


Lateral Aids: Refers to a rider’s aids on the same side of the horse. For example, the right leg and right rein.
Latigo: The long leather on the near side or the short leather on the off side of the Western saddle that is used to fasten the cinch to saddle.
Lead: Refers to the front leg of the horse that is moving farther forward at the canter or lope. The correct lead for a horse that is traveling on a circle to the right is the right lead.
Lead Rope: A rope used to lead and tie a horse, usually attached to a halter.
Longe (Lunge): A method of training a horse useful for gaining respect and used for exercise and warmup where the horse travels in a circle on a long line attached to a halter or cavesson around the trainer.
Lope: A western style canter that is slower than the English canter.



Manure: A horse’s excrement. Also called “road apples.”
Mare: A female horse that is over 4 years old.
Maiden Mare: A mare that has never been bred.
Martingale: A training aid, typically used with a snaffle bit , to help the horse understand how to carry his head correctly. A running martingale attaches to the center of the girth or cinch and the reins pass through the ring on each branch of the martingale. The rings create pressure that the rider can control with his hands on the reins. A standing martingale is also referred to as a tiedown. This is a strap attached to the girth or cinch and the noseband that prevents the horse from lifting its head too high.
Mecate: A Western term for reins made of horsehair.
Mount: The act of getting onto the horse.
Mucking Out: Cleaning stalls.
Mud Fever: Also called scratches. Sores and cracks appear on the pastern area, often occurs in horses standing in wet or muddy areas. Horses with white hair on the legs seem to be particularly susceptible to Med Fever.
Mule: The sterile offspring of a jack and a mare.




Navicular Bone: A small bone in the hoof behind the coffin bone.
Navicular Disease: The disintegration of the Navicular bone.
Near Side: The left hand side of a horse. This is the side the horse is mounted from.


Off Side: The right hand side of a horse.
Overreach: This occurs when the horse strikes his front leg or hoof with his hind hoof. This can be managed by the use of overreach boots or reduction of the toe in the hind feet when shoeing.


Paddling:    See Dishing above.
Paint: A breed of horse that usually has pinto coloration, though some solids do occur.
Palomino:    A horse with a coat color of yellow to gold and a mane and tail of white to cream.
Pleasure Horse: A well mannered, obedient horse with comfortable gaits and no bad habits.
Poll: Located between the ears of a horse.
Pommel: The front portion of the saddle.
Pony: A small horse that is under 14.2 hands.
Posting: Where the rider rises to the trot. In the ring the rider posts (or rises) with the outside front leg of the horse.
Proud Flesh: Unhealthy, granular tissue that forms at the site of a wound.
Pulse: The heartbeat of a horse is normally thirty-six to forty-two beats per minute. The horse’s pulse is taken under the jaw or inside the foreleg generally.



Quarter Horse: A versatile breed of horse; used for racing, ranch work, rodeo and showing in all disciplines. The quarter horse is typically about 15 hands, with a short back, muscular hindquarters and a small head.


Rate: To regulate a horse’s speed.
Registry: A pedigree record kept by an association of recognized breeds of horses. Examples of registries include, American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), American Paint Horse Association (APHA), and Arabian Horse Association (AHA).
Rein-Back: The horse moves backward using its diagonal legs simultaneously.
Reining: A Western event where the horse performs a specific pattern for judges.
Romal: Braided leather ends of reins.
Roping: A Western event where calves are roped.
Round Pen: A large circular pen used in training horses.


Sacking Out: A training method where items that could be scary or unfamiliar to a horse are used to help desensitize the animal. Burlap sacks and saddle blankets were originally flapped against the horse until it stood quietly and understood the item was not harmful.
Saddle: A piece of tack placed on a horse’s back and used for riding.
Saddlebred: A breed of horse.
Sand Crack: A perpendicular crack in the wall of the hoof caused by injury to the coronary band of the hoof. Pressure is removed by using quarter clips on shoes to help prevent spreading.
Schooling: Refers to training the horse.
Scours: A type of diarrhea, usually occurs in newborn foals.
Season: A mare that is ready to be bred is said to be in season. Mares are normally in season every 21 days and remain in season from three to seven days.
Seat: The low part of the saddle between the pommel and the cantle. Also refers to the riders position in the saddle.
Shoulder-In: A schooling exercise that helps the horse stretch, balance and become supple.
Sickle-Hocked: A conformation fault in which the hocks are bent too much and thus causes weakness.
Sire: The father of a horse.
Sleeping Sickness: See Encephalitis.
Snip: A single small white mark in the nose area.
Sound: Refers to a horse in good condition with no lameness and no major conformation faults to cause lameness or interfere with its movement.
Spooky: A horse that shies and is nervous around unfamiliar things and movements.
Stallion: A male horse that is over 4 years of age and has not been gelded.
Star: A white marking on a horse’s  forehead.
Strangles:    A highly contagious disease, especially common in young horses. Symptoms include high fever, loss of appetite, discharge from the nose and depression. The glands under the horse’s neck will swell and by the 3rd or 4th day usually break open and discharge pus.
Stripe: A narrow white marking running from the horse’s eyes to his nose.
Studbook: Refers to the records that each breed uses to register offspring.
Stud Fees: Fees that the owner of a stallion collects for breeding.
Style: Refers to the presence and way of going for the horse.
Surcingle:    A webbing or leather strap that goes around the horse’s girth and is used for training. Often this is used to hold a pad in place as well.

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