We have compiled this glossary of horse and horse riding terms to help new or novice riders get to grips with the terminology before embarking on one of our riding holidays.
Bridle - The headgear used to control a horse, consisting of buckled straps to which a bit and reins are attached.
Bit - A device placed in the mouth of the horse as a means of control which is attached to the bridle and the reins.
Blinkers - A pair of small leather screens attched to a horse's bridle to prevent it seeing sideways or behind.
Breastplate - A set of straps which pass under the horse's chest and prevent the saddle from slipping backward.
Canter - A three beat gait of a horse between a trot and a gallop.
Colt - A male horse under 4 years old that has not been castrated.
Dressage - The art of riding and training a horse in a manner that develops obedience, flexibility and balance.
Equestrian - Someone who rides, owns, or shows horses, or participates in horse activities.
Equine - A horse or another member of the horse family.
Farrier - A craftsman who trims and shoes horse's hooves.
Foal - A young horse.
Filly - A female horse under 4 years old.
Gallop - The fastest pace of a horse, with all the feet off the ground together in each stride.
Girth - A band attached to the saddle, used to secure it on a horse by being fastened around it's belly.
Gelding - A castrated male horse.
Halter - A rope or strap with a noose or headstall placed around the head off the horse used for leading or tethering it.
Harness - A set of strapsand fittings by which a horse is fastened to a cart, plow etc and controlled by it's driver.
Hand - This is the common way to measure horses. One hand is 4 inches, so a horse that is 15 hands is 60 inches tall.
Martingale - A strap or set of straps, attached at one end to the noseband (standing martingale) or the reins (riding martingale) of a horse and at the other end to the girth. It is used to prevent the horse from raising it's head too high.
Mare - A female horse over 4 years old.
Rein - A long, narrow strip attached at one end to a horse's bit, typically used in pairs to guide or check a horse while riding.
Saddle - A seat fastened on the back of the horse for riding. It is typically made from leather and raised at the front and rear.
Stirrup - A pair of devices attached to each side of a horse's saddle, in the form of a loop with a flat base to support the rider's foot.
Stallion - A male horse over 4 years old that has not been castrated.
Trot - The pace of a horse, faster than a walk, lifting each diagonal pair of legs alternately.
Tack - Tack is any of the various accessories worn by horses in the course of their use as domesticated animals. Saddles, stirrups, bridles, halters, reins, bits, harnesses, martingales, and breastplates are all forms of horse tack.