Above the bit: An action of the horse in which they raise
their head over the level that their hands can reach reducing the amount of control the rider has over the
Action: Movement of the horse's legs
Aids: Aids are signals and cues used to communicate with the
horse. There are natural cues such as voice, legs, hands and weight and artificial cues which include whips and
Airs Above the Ground: A set of movements performed by highly
trained horses that involve either the front legs or all four legs being off the ground. They include moves
such as the levade and the capriole.
Amble: A slow, laterally pacing gait
Back: A step taken backwards
Barrel Racing: A timed Western riding event where the horse
and rider move in a clover leaf pattern around a set of three barrels.
Bascule: The arc made by a horse as it jumps a
Blistering: The application of a caustic or blistering agent
to help treat a number of conditions. It is believed to help promote internal healing.
Bosal: A Western style of bitless bridle with a braided
Breaking or Breaking In: The early training of a young horse
during which they are taught all the skills they will need for their future.
Broken In/ Broke to Ride/ Greenbroke: A horse that has been
trained to accept tack and rider and is beginning their initial riding training.
Buck: A movement of the horse in which the horse leaps into
the air with the head lowered and the back arched.
Canter: A three-beated gait in which one hind leg strikes
first, followed by the opposite diagonal pair of legs, and finally the opposite fore leg. Also known as a
Capriole: A movement in which the horse leaps off the ground
with all four legs and kicks with the hind legs mid-leap; an Air Above the Ground.
Cavelletti: Low wooden jumps that are adjustable and used in
training a horse and rider.
Chip/ Chip In: A short, additional stride in front of a
Chukker: A period in a polo game that lasts seven and one
Class: A specific grouping of horses and riders that perform
according to specific rules at a show.
Collected: A controlled gait
Cooling Out: The process of cooling down a horse after they
have been worked, including walking, brushing, small drinks of water and sponging off.
Combined Training or Eventing: A competition held over one to
three days that includes the disciplines of dressage, cross country and show jumping.
Crow Hopping: A hop or leap into the air with all four feet
off the ground at the same time.
Cues: Another name for aids
Dishing: An action in which the foot of the foreleg is moved
outward in a circular movement with each stride.
Disunited: A canter in which the horse's legs fall out of
Diagonals: Diagonals are the movements of the horses legs at
a trot; left foreleg and right hindleg is a left diagonal. A right diagonal is the opposite.
Dressage: The training of a horse so they are completely
obedient and responsive while being supple and agile in performance, as well as a competitive sport in which
the horse's natural movement and level of training are judged against an ideal.
Driving: Where a horse or group of horses pull a vehicle such
as a cart or wagon.
Engagement: Where the hindlegs are brought well under the
Equitation: The art of horse riding
Extension: The opposite of collection; where the frame and
stride are lengthened.
Flat Race: A race without jumps
Forging: A faulty gait in which a hind foot strikes the
bottom of the foot in front on the same side.
Gait: The pace at which a horse is moving; walk, trot, canter
Gallop: Four-beated horse gait in which each foot touches the
Green: A horse in the early stages of learning.
Ground line: A pole placed in front of a fence to help a
horse and rider judge the take off point.
Habit: Traditional riding attire
Half Halt: A way for the rider to grab the horses attention
and signal a change in direction or gait.
Halter-broke: Used to describe a horse that has become
accustomed to the beginning basics of halter wearing.
Halt: A horse at standstill
Horsemanship: Equitation or riding
In front of the bit: A horse that pulls or hangs heavily on
the riders hand
In hand: A horse that is controlled from the ground rather
than being ridden.
Leg Up: When an assistant helps the rider mount the horse by
giving a boost as the rider springs off the ground.
Manege: A school or training area for horses.
Nearfore: The left front leg
Nearside: The horses' left hand side
Off fore: The right front leg
Offside: The horses' right hand side
On the bit: When a horse carries his head in a near vertical
position and is calmly accepting the rider and the reins.
Outline: The shape the horse is working on
Outside Track: The path that goes around the edge of a
Pacing: A type of gait in which the legs are moved in
Resistance: Reluctance or refusal from the horse to perform
Rhythm: The cadence of footfalls and should be maintained at
Tilting: A head tip to an angle on one side making one ear
higher than the other.
Transition: A change of gait.
Trot: A two time gait in which the legs are moved in diagonal
Upper Body: The horse's core, including the shoulders, back,
head and neck.
Warm Up: A series of exercises intended to loosen up the
horse and ensure it is freely moving.
Common Horse Riding Terms
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5 Fastest Horses in Kentucky Derby
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Tips for Horseback Riding
What to Look for in a Horse Riding
Steering Your Horse With No Reins
Tips for Picking a Winning Race Horse
Horseback Riding Equipment - What You
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Ride and Tie- A Fun Horse Riding
Quick Tips for Breaking a Horse
Learning to Bail or Hang On