Jargon Buster



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General Terms

Arena boards: the white boards use to mark out a dressage arena

Arena markers: are the letters placed around the outside of an arena - * see dressage

Bedding: used in the horses stable to predominantly soak up urine but also to provide comfort. Many different types are available the most common of which are, straw and shavings

Bridleway: (also bridle path) is a thoroughfare originally made for horses and is a legally protected right of way over privately owned land

Canter: is a controlled, three-beat gait. The average speed of a canter is between 16–27 km/h (10–17 mph)

Clipping: occurs to help keep a horse cool when its working, it involves removing or 'clipping' all or part of the fur from the horse to make the hair short

Collecting ring: a separate area (manège) used to warm the horses up before competing in the main arena

Farrier: is a person trained and qualified (specialised) in equine hoof care, including the trimming and balancing of horses' hooves and the placing of shoes on their hooves

FEI: Federation Equestre Internationale - the International Federation for Equestrian Sport. FEI recognised disciplines are: dressage, driving, endurance, eventing, para-equestrian dressage, reining, showjumping and vaulting

Forage: used to feed horses - grass or hay and concentrates such as grain or commercially prepared pelleted feeds

Gait: the length of the stride the horse takes *see canter, gallop

Gallop: is very much like the canter, except that it is faster, more ground-covering, and the three-beat canter changes to a four-beat gait. It is the fastest gait of the horse, averaging about 25 to 30 miles per hour (40 to 48 km/h)

Groom: an employee who looks after horses

Hacking: exercising/riding the horse outside of an manège, either on public roads or bridleways

Hand: a measurement of the height of a horse. Originally taken from the size of a grown man's hand but now standardised to 4 inches

Hoof/hooves: the foot of the horse; the hoof wall is the tough outside covering of the hoof that comes into contact with the ground and is, in many respects, a much larger and stronger version of the human fingernail

Horseshoe: usually made of steel and nailed to the hoof, to prevent wear and provide grip. Usually used on all four hooves, but sometimes only on the front, or not used at all

Horse box: used to transport horses, self powered vehicle

Horse trailer: used to transport horses attaches to the tow bar of a vehicle

Impulsion: the pushing power (thrust) of the horse

Lameness: is a term used to refer to any number of conditions where the animal fails to travel in a regular and sound manner on all four feet

Lead: refers to the order in which the legs are placed - can also refer to the physical leading of a horse either by one person from the ground or by another horse and rider as an aid to encourage the horse forwards

Livery stable or Livery yard: an establishment providing livery for horse-owners – care, stabling or pasture, depending on type

Lunging: to work or train a horse at the end of a long rope

Mane: relatively coarse hair growing from the neck

Mènage: an enclosed arena or school usually rectangular, used for training

Mount: helps you to get on to the horse

Mounting Block: steps leading up to a platform which gives extra height and therefore easier access to the horse and saddle

Plait: it is traditional for horses competing in Dressage to have their manes plaited. Plaits are occasionally accented in white tape, which also helps them stay in throughout the day

Schooling: a term used when referring to training a horse within a manège

Scope: athletic ability

Stables: place where horses are kept

Stride: refers to the length of the horses canter gait (the standard measure for a canter stride is twelve feet) it is also used to measure the distance between fences in competition

Tack: the term for all the equipment that horses wear, such as saddles, bridles, harnesses, boots etc

Trot: is a two-beat gait that has a wide variation in possible speeds, but averages about 8 miles per hour (13 km/h)

Trot-up: occurs before a competition starts (for FEI competitions) - it ensures the horse is 'fit to compete'

Turn out: secure field or enclosure for horses to roam freely in

Walk: is a four-beat gait that averages about 4 miles per hour (6.4 km/h)

Hoof Sports