horsesense - Home
horsesense - Home

Aids: Signals or cues by which the rider communicates his wishes to the horse. The "natural" aids include the voice, the legs, the hands and the weight. "Artifical" aids include the whip and spurs.
Arena: An enclosed, surfaced area which is usually rectangular for exercising horses or having a lesson in a "safe" environment. Typically arenas can be in either indoors or outdoors

Artificial Aids: Mechanical means by which the rider conveys his wishes to the horse. Includes spurs and whip.

Bit: Mouthpiece, of made of metal but may be made of rubber or other man made material and held in place by the bridle, by which the rider conveys instructions to the horse.

Bridle: Item of equipment worn on the horse's head, enabling the rider to communicate his wishes through use of the bit and the reins.
Canter: Three-beat gait of the horse in which one hind leg strides first (the leading leg), followed by the opposite diagonal pair and finally the opposite foreleg. Called the lope in Western riding.

Cantle: Back ridge of an English saddle.

Cavelletti: Adjustable low wooden jumps used in the schooling of horse and rider.

Chin Groove: The groove above the lower lip in which the curb chain of a curb bit lies.

Cues: Another name for aids. Signals by which the rider communicates his wishes to the horse.

Equine: A general description that includes horses, ponies, mules, donkeys, or miniatures. Of special note: the equine is not inanimate, therefore, we refrain from phrases such as 'using the horse' or 'a pony is used'. We might 'use' the movement of the horse, or we may 'use' examples of equine behaviors, we do not 'use' the animal. Consider phrases such as: work with the horse, equine partner, incorporating the equine, the horse assisting the therapist, or the pony facilitating the therapy.

Equine Assisted Therapy (EAT): Treatment that incorporates equine activities and/or the equine environment. Rehabilitative goals are related to the patient's needs and the medical professional's standards of practice.

Equine Assisted Personal Development, EAPD: Uses interactive sessions with horses in an innovative model to help people develop their potential. EAPD teaches self-awareness, becoming conscious of your intent. The horses can guide you to develop and raise your awareness in a manner that can improve your ability to "read" a person or animal immediately. You can learn to "walk your talk" with congruity.

Equine Facilitated Experiential Learning (EFEL): Includes equine activities incorporating the experience of equine/human interaction in an environment of learning or self-discovery. EFEL promotes personal exploration of feelings and behaviors in an educational format. Goals may be related to self-improvement, social interaction and/or education.

Farrier: Skilled craftsman who shoes horses.

Filly: Female horse under four years old. A female foal is called a "filly foal".

Foal: Colt, filly or gelding up to one year of age.

Gait: The paces at which horses move, usually the walk, trot, canter and gallop.

Gelding: Castrated male horse.

Girth: (i) The circumference of the body measured from behind the withers around the barrel. (ii) Means by which an English saddle is secured to the horse, which attaches to the saddle on one side, running under the barrel just behind the legs to the other side. Called a cinch in Western Riding.

Grooming Kit: The various brushes, combs and other equipment used to clean the horse's coat, mane, tail and hooves.

Ground Manners: Term used to describe the behavior of a horse while being handled on the ground, being groomed, saddled, in the stable etc.

Hand: Unit of measure used to describe a horse. One hand equals 4 inches, partial measurements being described as 14.1, 14.2, 14.3.

Hind Quarters: The part of the horse's body from the rear of the flank to the top of the tail down to the top of the gaskin. Also called simply the quarters.

Hock: Joint midway up the hind leg, responsible for providing most of the forward energy of the horse.
Horse handler, horse expert, equine professional, horse leader, equine specialist - Terms which may be used to indicate the person handling the horse during a session and/or training and conditioning the horse for participation in equine assisted activities.

Horsemanship: The art of equitation or riding.

Human-Animal Bonding: The attachment that develops between humans and animals involving strong feelings and psychological ties. Studies have supported that the love and attentiveness given by people to animals is reciprocal and both animals and people benefit (Anderson, 1983).

In Hand: When a horse is controlled from the ground rather than being ridden.

Inside Leg: The legs of horse and rider which are on the inside of any circle or curved track being traveled.

Irons: The metal pieces attached to the saddle by means of leather straps in which the rider places his feet. (See also Stirrups)

Join-up®: The moment of Join-up® is when the horse willingly chooses to come to you through communication. The horse has decided that you will be the leader of its two-member herd. This is a 50/50 partnership, meaning you give each other full attention and are also willing to meet each other midway.

Leader: Either of the two leading horses in a team of four, or a single horse harnessed in front of one or more horses. The "near" leader is the left hand horse and the "off" leader is the right hand horse.

Leg Up: Method of mounting in which an assistant stands behind the rider and supports the lower part of his left leg and giving a boost as necessary as the rider springs up off the ground.

Longe or Lunge: The act of training a horse by working it in the various paces on a circle using a long longe or lunge rein. This rein is attached to the cavesson. Also novice riders may have their first lessons on the lunge as they learn the basics of position, without having to concern themselves with the control of the horse

Manege: An enclosure used for training and schooling horses. Also called a school.

Mare: Female horse aged four and over.

Paddock: Small enclosure in which horses are turned out for grazing.

Palomin Coat color in which the body can be varying shades of gold, with a silver or white mane and tail.

Poll: The highest point on the top of the horse's head.

Pommel: The center front of an English saddle. In some designs the pommel is cut back.

Quarter Horse: Breed of horse, originating in the United States and popular for ranch work, racing and riding in all equestrian disciplines.

Round Pen: A round pen is an integral tool to Monty's Join-Up training methods. Because a round pen has no corners, the horse remains in a consistent distance to the handler and doesn't recognize a natural place to lose focus as he travels the perimeter.

Stirrups: The metal pieces attached to the saddle by means of leather straps in which the rider places his feet. (See also Irons)

Tack: Point at the bottom of the horse's neck from which the horse's height is measured.
Therapeutic Riding (TR) - Mounted activities including traditional riding disciplines or adaptive riding activities.

Withers: Refers to the equipment of a riding horse - saddle, bridle etc. Short for "tackle."

Yearling: Colt or filly between one and two years of age.

"There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man."
Winston Churchill