Glossary of Horse Terms

Glossary of Horse Terms T-Z



Tack: Refers to the equipment used to ride and train horses. The origin of this word is a shortening of the word “tackle.” Also refers to putting on the saddle and bridle.
Tack Room: The place where saddles, bridles and training equipment are kept.
Tetanus: A disease that enters the horse’s body through an open wound. Symptoms include stiffness and weakness chewing.
Thoroughbred:    A breed of horse descended from the Darley Arabian, Byerly Turk, and the Godolphin Arabian. These horses are bred mainly for racing, polo and as hunters with an average height of 16 hands, fine bones and long straight muscular legs.
Throatlatch: The underside of where the horses jaw and neck meet.
Thrush: A degenerative condition of the frog caused by the horse standing in wet areas or infrequent hoof care. Symptoms include a bad odor and black discharge.
Tree: The frame of a saddle. Materials can be wood, metal, fiberglass or rawhide.
Trot: A two beat gait in which the horse uses it’s legs in diagonal pairs.
Turn Out:    The act of putting a horse out in a paddock or pasture to graze or for exercise.
Two-Track: Lateral movements where the horse moves forward and to the side at the same time. The outside legs cross over in front of the inside legs in these movement.


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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.


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Glossary of Horse Terms A-D


Aged: A mature animal, usually over eight years of age.
Aids: Signals by which the rider communicates with and controls his horse.
Natural Aids: Weight, legs, voice and hands.
Artificial Aids: These support the natural aids. Aids include spurs as a reinforcement of the leg, crop as an extension of the arm, dropped nosebands, martingales and similar tack.
Appaloosa: An American breed or type of horse originated by the Nez Perce Indians of Idaho and Washington. Appaloosas are known for their distinctive spotted color patterns. Known as App or Appy, as well.
Arabian: A breed of horse originating in the Arabian Desert that is reputed to be the oldest pure breed of horses. The majority of today’s light horse breeds have developed from the Arabian breed. Their small in stature, a refined head, close coupled body, flat croup and high tail carriage makes them very distinct. Know for their endurance, these horses can carry great weights and are known to be easy keepers. Arabians are used for both English and Western riding and are exceptional competitors in endurance.

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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.

Read more: Glossary of Horse Terms E-J