If you want to know more about horses, you’ve come to the right place!
We’ve already filled you in on the differences between horses and ponies, we’ve shared a list of must-have items for horse-lovers—and now we’re bringing you the ultimate glossary of horse phrases to keep you in the know on your next visit to a barn.
Scroll below to stay informed!
Horses wear halters when they need to be groomed, led around, shipped in a trailer and turned out. They allow the horse-lover to control the horse without worrying of anything getting caught or stuck.
Riders put bridles on to ride and show horses. Bridles come in many forms. You can customize every single piece of them for how your horse likes it the best. There are many parts of the bridle.
Saddles are where the rider sits. There are many types used for all sorts of competition. Western saddles have horns in front, dressage saddles have long flaps and a deep seat and hunter and jumper saddles are very minimal to allow riders to feel their horses as much as possible.
The girth is the belt that holds on the saddle. You always have to check your girth and tighten it as you get on to make sure nothing can slip when you’re cantering around the jumping course.
Saddle pads help keep a horse comfortable while they work in a saddle and make sure nothing pinches or makes a horse sore. They also absorb a lot of dirt and sweat, depending on the time of year. If you put a saddle pad in your home washing machine, your parents will probably not be happy with you.
Wraps protect a horse’s legs as they walk, trot, canter, gallop and jump. They are allowed in competition in jumper and equitation divisions.
Boots have a similar purpose to polo wraps. Trainers and horse-owners can choose which works better for each individual horse. Same as polo wraps, they are allowed in competition in jumper and equitation divisions. You will see many hunters practicing in them as well. They take them off when they are actually in the competition ring.
A martingale goes around a horse’s neck and attaches the bridle (the noseband specifically) to the girth. It helps allow everything to stay in place and not slip and also helps the rider keep the horse’s head in the correct position while cantering and jumping.
The bit is attached to the bridle and goes in the horse’s mouth. There are many different types of bits. It is your job as rider to choose one that makes your horse the most happy and most controllable as an athlete performing.
Reins are also part of the bridle and are what you hold onto with your hands as you ride. Many riders use gloves for better traction and to prevent calluses and blisters.
Lead ropes attach to the halter or bridle and are used to handle your horse anywhere you need to go—the paddock, ring or up the ramp onto the horse trailer.
Spurs go onto a rider’s boot if they need additional help in directing the horse over what just the heel of their boot-squeezing can offer.
Stirrups go on the saddle and they’re what you put your feet in to keep balanced. The top riders all practice without stirrups to strengthen their legs and their core.
Just like spurs, a crop can be used if your body and hands are not enough to help get the reaction you need out of the horse. They’re carried by many riders while riding, but rarely used. When riding, they can be used to tap the horse on the shoulder in front of your leg or a more serious tap behind your leg on the horse’s flank.
A scrim sheet protects a horse from sun and bugs. It is commonly used when horses are at the show ring waiting for their turn to perform.
Coolers are put on horses when it is chilly out and they might warm up from exercise or riding, but don’t want to catch a chill while cooling back off. Coolers are also frequently awarded to winners in riding competition.
When it is cold, horses wear sheets or blankets around the barn, turned out in a paddock or shipping on a horse trailer to keep warm.
When horses show on grass fields, they sometimes need more traction than plain horseshoes can give them. When this happens, studs or metal lifts are screwed into the horse shoes so that the horse can dig into the footing.
The tack trunk is where you keep all your supplies. It lives in the barn either outside your horse’s stall or in the tack room and ships and travels with you to horse shows with all of your equipment.
If you love horses and other beings as much as we do, then you’ll want to click HERE to find out how to connect with your power animal!