Ultimate Horse Glossary for English Riders




All Purpose Saddle Pads All Purpose Saddle Pad

All purpose saddle pads are typically square and offer a shorter slightly forward cut flap to accommodate all purpose or jumping style saddles. These pads typically feature a quilted fabric and may be worn in any color for schooling; this style pad may be used for shows by show jumpers and eventers and the color is often matched to barn or show outfit. Contrasting trims and bindings are common.

Ankle Boots

Horse Ankle Boots

Ankle boots are also known as fetlock boots and they are designed to protect the horse’s ankles from interference injuries. Ankle boots are popular with jumpers and equitation riders. They are often made of leather or synthetic materials and may be lined with sheepskin or fleece.

Bell Boots

Bell boots

Bell boots are designed to be worn over the upper portion of the horse’s hooves and are used to reduce the risk of overreaching injuries. Bell boots are also used during turnout to reduce the risk of lost shoes. Bell boots are generally made of heavy-duty rubber, PVC or durable ballistic nylon.

Body Brushes

Horse body brush

A body brush is a soft brush with medium to long natural or synthetic bristles that is used to remove light dust and dirt from the horse’s coat.


Boucher bit

The boucher bit is a hanging cheek style bit with the smaller top ring connecting to the cheekpiece, and the larger ring connecting to the reins. Contrary to the first appearance this bit does not offer poll pressure because it has no leverage. This offers a very stable feel in the horse’s mouth.


Bradoon bit

Bradoon bits are snaffle bits that are designed to be used in conjunction with a Weymouth bit as part of a double bridle. They offer smaller rings and generally feature loose ring or eggbutt style cheekpieces.


English riding breastplate

Breastplates are attached to the saddle and prevent the saddle from slipping backward. Breastplates are commonly used in speed or jumping events or riding over rugged terrain. Breastplates may be made into a martingale with the use of an attachment that can be added to the center ring.


English riding browband

browband is the part of the bridle that sits on the horse’s forehead below the ears. Browbands may be padded for comfort and are often decorative in style.

Canter A three-beat gait, the canter offers faster movement than the trot.

English cavesson

English cavessons, also known as nosebands are available in a variety of types. Cavessons may be padded for comfort. Cavessons are available with a standard buckle closure or may feature a pullback or crank cavesson. A plain, straight cavesson is also known as standard or French cavesson. This type of cavesson accommodates most horses. A drop cavesson looks similar to a plain cavesson, but buckles in front of the bit for greater control of the horse. A flash cavesson combines the styling of a standard cavesson with a secondary strap that buckles in front of the bit for control, yet allows for the use of a martingale. Figure 8 cavessons are also referred to as Mexican or grackle nosebands and feature a crossed front that buckles by the horse’s chin and jaw allowing for greater control without restricting airflow.

Coat Polishes

Horse coat polish

Coat polishes are used after bathing to increase the shine on a horse’s coat and to help reduce dust and dirt from sticking to the coat before competition. These polishes should not be used in the saddle area, or on the mane and tail if they are intended to be braided.

Cob The term cob has two meanings, it either refers to a smaller draft-type horse, usually of 13 to 15 hands, or to a horse tack size between that of a horse or pony, used for breeds with fine heads such as Arabians.

Horse standing with blue cooler

In cool weather, coolers are useful in drying a horse off after exercise and preventing the horse from catching a chill. Coolers are designed of wool, polar fleece or other technical fabrics with moisture-wicking properties. Coolers are often used as prizes in larger, championship competitions.

Crownpiece The crownpiece of the bridle goes over the top of the horse’s poll. Crownpieces are available in a standard shape with an included throatlatch or may feature an ergonomic, integrated or mono style. Crownpieces may also be padded for additional comfort for the horse.
Curry Combs

Horse curry comb

curry comb is a rubber oval brush used to remove mud, sweat and loose hair while stimulating the horse’s skin.

D-Ring Snaffle

D Ring Snaffle bit

Another common type of snaffle bit, the D-ring snaffle features a D shaped fixed cheekpiece design that helps prevent pinching of the lips and prevents the bit from sliding through the horse’s mouth. D-rings are popular for hunter riders and for horse racing. Racing style D-ring bits tend to feature a smaller cheekpiece and narrower mouthpiece than a hunter style D-ring bit.

Dandy Brushes

Dandy brush

dandy brush is a hard bristle brush with medium length synthetic or natural bristles that is used to remove dried mud and sweat from a horse’s coat.

Draft Horse A draft horse is a stockier type of horse that was traditionally bred for harness farm work pulling plows, wagons or logging work.
Draw Reins

Bay horse with draw reins

Draw reins are a common training aid used while riding to assist the horse in learning to submit to the rider’s hands and the bit. They are typically attached at the girth or a training collar at the chest and run through the bit to be held by the rider like a second set of reins, exerting a pully type effect.

Dress Boots

Tall dress boots

Dress boots are a tall, knee height English riding boot. Offering no laces at the ankle this style of boot features a more formal styling that is popular with dressage riders and eventers. Dressage riders typically chose a variant that has a forward inset zipper and a back stiffener to accommodate the longer stirrup used in dressage. Crossover style dress boots generally feature a softer leather and a more flexible ankle to accommodate a shorter stirrup. Dress boots are typically black in color, but may also be available in brown. Dress boots are available in leather or leather-like synthetic materials.

Dressage The sport of dressage is based on the classical French word for training. In dressage riders complete a series of pre-planned movements in order to showcase the horse’s responsiveness to the aids, athletic ability, and the horse and rider’s partnership. Dressage competitions feature a variety of levels from intro, 1st through 4th level, and then the upper levels of the sport, Prix St. George and Grand Prix.
Dressage Pads

White dressage saddle pad under saddle

Dressage saddle pads are typically square and feature a quilted fabric with bonded edge and offer a longer, straighter cut design to match the dressage saddle shape. Dressage saddle pads worn for showing are traditionally white in color, but any conservative color may be used. For schooling, riders can choose any color or design. Additional design features include fashionable bindings and piping or even accents of crystals.

Dressage Whip

Dressage whip

dressage whip is a long, narrow whip designed to be used without taking the hands off the reins. It is typically applied behind the rider’s leg to reinforce the aids. Competition legal whips are typically under 47.2″ including lash.

Driving Bits

Driving bit

Like English bits, driving bits are used to control the horse through the use of reins. Driving bits are specialized for the extended length of the driving lines and the harness tack. Driving bits are available in a wide range of styles and mouthpieces to meet the needs of the driver and individual horse.

Eggbutt Snaffle

Eggbutt bit

Similar to a D-ring snaffle, eggbutt bits feature a fixed ring with an oval cheekpiece. These offer slightly less stability than a D-ring but are a great choice for young or green horses.

Endurance Riding Endurance riding is a controlled long distance race and is generally from 50 to 100 miles for day-long races. During the race horses are periodically checked by veterinarians for health and safety, and the winning horse must be cleared by a vet.
English Bits

English bit

English Bits are designed for riding in the English disciplines. Bits are available in a snaffle, curb or a combination. Snaffle bits use direct action on the mouth for steering and control, while curb bits use indirect pressure include pressure on the poll for more precise control. Bits are available with a number of different mouthpieces. The most common type of mouthpiece is the smooth, single jointed mouthpiece. This style offers a nutcracker effect that collapses onto the tongue and bars, which can cause discomfort for some horses. To lessen this effect double jointed bits such as French links, lozenge or oval style mouthpieces are becoming increasingly popular. other common mouthpieces include mullen or straight bar mouthpieces. Stainless steel is the metal of choice for most bits, but other metals such as copper may be added to increase salivation. Other materials like rubber or even flavored polymers are also popular for young or sensitive-mouthed horses. Bit types are commonly restricted according to discipline and it is always best to check with your organization’s rulebook before a competition.

English Bridle

White horse with black English bridle

English bridles are designed to be used in the English riding disciplines. A bridle is used on the horse’s head to control the movement and speed of the horse. Bridles are available in a variety of styles and types. English bridles include a cavesson, also known as a noseband, crownpiece with throat latch, browband, and cheekpieces. Many bridles are sold with reins, but the vast majority of bridles are sold without a bit, which is chosen based on the horse and rider’s preference. Bridles made by made of leather or synthetic materials.

English Pleasure English pleasure classes are generally shown in either hunt seat or saddle seat. When competing on the flat, riders show in a group competing at different gaits on cue by the judge. Hunter English pleasure classes may also be shown over fences. Horses are judged on their response to the rider, movement, conformation, quality, and impression of rideability.
English Saddle Pads

Pink English saddle pad

English saddle pads are designed to provide protection for the saddle and the horse’s back. English saddle pads are available in a variety of styles and designs suitable for schooling and showing. Saddle pads are made of natural or synthetic fibers in a square, fitted or half pad styles to fit specific saddle types and sizes. Saddle pads often feature billet and girth loops to prevent them from sliding around underneath the saddle.

Eventing Eventing is often referred to as equestrian triathlon and is sometimes referred to as combined training. Eventing consists of a dressage phase, a cross country phase, and a show jumping phase. Lower level competitions are typically held over one day, but larger shows and higher level competitions are often held over three days with each phase on a sequential day. The dressage phase is held first and showcases the control and technical obedience of an athletic horse. Cross country is ridden as the second phase and consists of a course of solid obstacles ridden at speed on an outside course over varied terrain. The last phase is the show jumping phase which demonstrates the horse’s fitness and stamina after the cross country test. Eventing competitions start at beginner novice and run through the upper-level competitions which have star designations.
Farrier A farrier is a professional who takes care of horses’ hooves by trimming growth. They are often also versed in hot or cold style horseshoeing.
Field Boots

Black tall field boots

Field boots are a tall, knee height English riding boot. Field boots have laces at the ankle and are offered in softer leather. This style of boot is popular with hunter/jumper riders and is designed to meet the needs of riders using a short stirrup for jumping. Field boots are available in leather or synthetic materials. Field boots are commonly black, but may also be worn in brown.

Filly A filly is a young female horse that has not given birth, generally of 4 years of age or less.
Fitted Saddle Pads

White English fitted saddle pad with fleece

Fitted saddle pads are often made of sheepskin or synthetic fleece. These pads are available in all purpose, jumping or dressage shapes and are commonly used for showing in hunters.

Fly Sheets

Horse running in pasture wearing light blue fly sheet

Fly sheets are designed to provide lightweight protection from biting insects while the horse is turned out in the pasture. Fly sheets are typically made of a finely woven mesh of a light color. Fly sheets may also feature neck covers for additional protection. Additional features of fly sheets may include UV sun protection or active fly repellent finishes.

Foal A foal is a young horse from birth to about 12 months of age.
Full Cheek Snaffle

Full cheek snaffle bit

Full cheek snaffle bits offer a longer straight cheekpiece that assists in steering. These bits are commonly used with bit keepers, a small leather loop that attaches to the upper arm of the bit and the cheek piece to stabilize the bit in the horse’s mouth.

Full Seat Breeches

Pink Full seat breeches from B Vertigo

Full seat breeches feature an inside seat that offers a grip patch along the full inside seat. Full seats are typically made of synthetic stretch suede, leather or silicone printing. Full seat breeches are very popular with dressage and event riders for their superior grip. When worn for showing in dressage white breeches are the color of choice, for eventers, tan is common during the show jumping and cross country phases. Any color of breeches may be worn during schooling.

Gag Bits

Gag bit

Gag bits are available is two styles, a traditional sliding gag that threads through a set of cheekpieces and an elevator style gag which features multiple rings for adjustability. Gag bits are designed to be used with two reins, a snaffle rein, and a curb rein and offer superior control for a strong horse.

Gaited A horse that is said to be gaited has a four beated ambling gait that is faster than the walk but is usually slower than a canter. This gait is generally natural and inherited and is smoother to ride than the trot and may be maintained for long periods of time. Some common gaited breeds are American Saddlebreds, Icelandic Horses, Tennessee Walking Horses and Paso Finos.
Gaits Gaits refer to the different beated natural movements of the horse. Includes the walk, trot, canter/lope, and gallop.
Gallop A fast, four beat gait with the horse extending its body to the maximum length. Thoroughbreds and quarter horses race at this gait.
Galloping Boots

Black galloping boots

Galloping boots provide full protection for the lower legs and are also known as sport boots. These horse boots may also offer suspensory support. These boots may be used for flatwork and for jumping. Boots designed for jumping often have reinforced strike plates for additional protection. Boots designed for use cross country are also water-resistant. Boots can be made of leather or synthetic materials and may be lined with sheepskin or non-absorbent materials.

Gelding A gelding is a castrated male horse of any age. Most male riding or driving horses not intended for breeding are gelded.

English girth

Girths are used to secure the saddle around the horse. Girths are available in long or short styles. Long girths are designed to be used with saddles that have short billets, such as close contact or all purpose saddles. Short girths are commonly known as dressage girths and are designed to be used with saddles that have long billets such as dressage saddles or monoflap jumping saddles.

Green Horse or Rider A green horse or rider is one who is a beginner who has just started their training, or who is new to a particular discipline.
Grooming Supplies Grooming supplies is a general term used to refer to all brushes and other tools such as hoof picks that are used to clean and care for a horse’s coat and hooves.


A type of bitless control for the horse, typically featuring a noseband to which the reins are attached.

Half Chaps

Horze Amara half chaps

Half chaps are designed to mimic the feel of tall boots, providing additional grip and protection for the lower leg. They are designed to be knee height and are worn with paddock boots. Half chaps are available with leather, suede or synthetic materials. Half chaps typically feature a zipper closure for easy removal with an elastic gusset for a custom-like fit.

Half Pads

Horse and rider using half pad while jumping over fence in show arena

Half pads are designed to be used with a traditional saddle pad and feature extra protection along the horse’s spine and back. Half pads are often made of fleece or have additional cushioning like memory foam or gel. These are popular in a number of disciplines.


Bay horse with brown leather halter

halter is a piece of tack that is worn on the horse’s head for daily handling and grooming. Halters are made of leather or synthetic materials and are used for leading or tieing the horse. Some halters have a strap or tab designed to break in an emergency is the horse is tangled or panics while tied.

Hand A hand equals 4″ and is a unit of measurement used for stating horse height. It is measured at the highest point of the horse’s withers.

Horse mannequin wearing harness

horse harness is a set of tack that allows the horse to be driven and attaches the horse to a carriage, sulky or other wheeled carts. Harnesses typically include a horse collar or breast collar, traces, harness saddle, girth and may include, breeching, back bands, crupper, running martingale and an overcheck. In harness racing pacing hobbles may also be included to help maintain their gait.

Harness Racing Harness racing is a racing sport that is completed with drivers in a sulky. Harness racers compete at the trot or pace; North American harness racing is restricted to Standardbred horses, but in Europe, horses may be a variety of breeds.
Hoof Boots Hoof boots are designed to cover the hoof and are used to replace a horseshoe. Hoof boots can be designed for regular riding and are often popular with trail riders, or they can be designed for the application of medicines for hoof injuries.
Hoof Gauges

Brass hoof gauge

hoof gauge is a specialized tool used to measure the hoof angle and balance after the initial trim.

Hoof Knives hoof knife is a specialized knife used to trim the frog and sole. It is available in right or left-handed versions and features a curved blade with hook and often has a wooden handle.
Hoof Nippers

Hoof nippers

Hoof nippers are used to trim the hoof wall and excess growth of the sole. Traditionally hoof nippers have a straight handle.

Hoof Testers hoof tester is used to examine the horse’s hooves and detect weak or sore points in the horse’s hooves. It is typically used to test for an abscess or sole bruise.
Hook Picks

Blue hoof pick with brush

hoof pick is designed to clean dirt and other debris out of the horse’s hooves. This helps to keep the hoof healthy and helps reduce the risk of hoof bruises or abscesses.

Horse Blankets

Bay horse wearing blue blanket in pasture

Horse blankets and sheets are designed to provide protection from the elements, insects, or from dust and dirt. Horse blankets are available in designs for use in the stable or at turnout. Common types of horse blankets include turnout blankets, stable blankets, coolers, quarter sheets, and fly sheets. Blankets typically have some amount of fill, while sheets offer a single layer of protection with no fill.

Horse Tack Horse tack generally refers to any piece of equipment that is used in the daily handling or riding of the horse. In the English riding disciplines, this includes the bridle, saddle, stirrup leathers and irons, girth and saddle pad.
Horseshoe Pullers Horseshoe pullers look similar to hoof nippers but are generally larger. They are used to remove the shoe from the hoof. To help distinguish the tool from hoof nipper, it typically has a rounded knob end on the handles.
Hunt Seat Hunt Seat riding is a forward style of riding that is commonly used in North America and based on the type of riding that was used for fox hunting. This style of riding is primarily used by show hunters and jumpers and may be used on the flat or over fences.
Hunters Hunter shows are based on the traditions of fox hunting, with riders competing in a ring over natural fences. Riders typically use the American hunt seat style of riding in this discipline. Horses are judged on the flat as well as over fences. Riders may compete in two variants of classes, hunters and equitation. Hunters are judged on manners, style, and conformation of the horse; equitation is based on the rider’s ability and the work of the horse and rider as a team. Classes are typically divided into open classes in which anyone can compete, juniors for riders 18 and under and amateur/owner classes.
Jodhpur Boots

Black leather jodhpur boots

Jodhpur boots are similar to paddock boots as they are a short ankle height boot designed for riding. However, jodhpur boots feature a pull-on styling, often with pull tabs at the front and back of the boot. They also have elastic gussets at both sides of the ankle to make them easier to pull on. Jodphur boots may be worn in place of paddock boots for schooling and are the boot of choice for saddleseat riders. Jodphur boots are available in leather or synthetic materials.


Tan jodhpur pants with stirrups

Jodhpurs are available in two types. The most common English-style jodhpur is often worn by young children on ponies and features a cuffed hem that is worn over top paddock boots. These are typically worn in a tan color with garter straps when showing. Kentucky jodhpurs are typically worn by saddleseat riders and feature a bootcut style flared hem that is worn with jodhpur boots.

Jumping Bat

Blue jumping bat

jumping bat is a short riding whip featuring a larger leather popper at the end instead of a lash. It is typically used while training or competing over fences.

Kimberwick Kimberwick bits combine the action of a snaffle bit and a curb bit. The cheekpieces are attached to the top slot of the bit and the reins are attached by the mouthpiece. This bit is considered milder than a pelham bit due to it’s shorter shank.
Knee Patch Breeches

Tan breeches with suede knee patches

Knee patch breeches feature a grip patch along the inside of the knee, which is typically made of synthetic suede or silicone print. Most modern knee patch breeches also feature a Euroseat stitch design which mimics the look of a full seat patch, allowing for greater comfort in the saddle. Knee patch breeches are popular with a variety of riders and are the style of choice for hunter/jumper riders. For showing tan or beige breeches are the color of choice, although white breeches are worn in the most formal classes. Any color may be worn for schooling.

Lead Line

Blue leather lead shank with gold chain

lead line is a flat line that is attached to the halter for leading. Lead lines may or may not have a chain lead shank, which is used for additional control of a strong or fractious horse. Lead lines are available in leather, cotton or nylon. Leather lead lines are typically used when showing in hand without a bridle.

Lead Rope

Red lead rope

lead rope is designed to be attached to the halter to lead or tie the horse. A lead rope is typically a rounded rope made of cotton or nylon with a simple snap end.

Long Lines Long lines are essentially driving lines that are designed to be used for ground driving. These lines are typically made of cotton or nylon.
Loose Ring Snaffle

Loose ring snaffle bit

Loose ring snaffles are a type of English bit, that feature circular rings that can move freely through a ring in the mouthpiece. These bits are very popular amongst dressage riders and reduces the horse’s ability to lean on the bit.

Lunge Lines

lunge line is a long line that is used to control the horse in place of the reins when the horse is worked on the lunge, It is typically made of cotton or nylon and may or may not include a chain shank on the end that attaches to the horse.

Lunge Whips

Lunge whip

lunge whip is a long whip that is used when training the horse on the lunge line. Lunge whips are used to cue or reinforce a verbal cue to the horse.

Lungeing Lungeing refers to groundwork completed with the horse on a lunge line working in a circle around the handler. lungeing may be used in conjunction with saddled work to reinforce training techniques, or it may be used in lieu of riding for exercise.
Lungeing Cavessons

Lunging cavesson

lungeing cavesson is used in place of a bridle when the horse is being worked on a longe line, or with long lines. It typically does not include a bit but provides rings on the noseband on which training aids like side reins may be attached.

Mane Combs

Mane and tail comb

Mane combs or brushes are used to brush out the horse’s mane. Brushes may also be used on the tail once initial detangling has been performed.

Mare A mare is a mature female horse, generally of 4 years of age or older. A female horse of any age that has given birth may also be referred to as a mare.

Running martingale

Martingales provide added control of the horse and prevent the horse from flipping its head up and hitting the rider. A running martingale features two rings through which the reins run, this is typically used for show jumping or cross country, a standing martingale attaches to the noseband at the chin and is commonly used in the hunter show ring.

Monté Racing Monté racing is a saddled trotting style race that is becoming popular in Europe. The same type and breeds used in harness racing typically compete in these races.
Nail Clinchers

Nail clincher

Nail clinchers are used to fold over horseshoe nails to secure the horseshoe to the hoof. One side of the clincher head has a straight edge, the other has a turned back, ball style head. Farriers can use either side to clinch the nails.

Neck Covers

Bay horse wearing navy blue neck cover

Horse neck covers are designed to be used with a turnout or stable blanket. Neck covers provide additional protection from the elements and are particularly useful for horses that have been clipped, or those that have thin skin.

Pace This two beat gait is differentiated from the trot by its lateral movement with one side of the horse’s legs moving in unison. Standardbred horses typical race at this gait or at the trot.
Pacers Pacers are horses that are known to have the pacing gait. This is typically used with horses that compete in harness racing.
Paddock Boots

Black leather paddock boots

Paddock boots are short ankle height riding boots. Paddock boots may have a zip or laced front or offer a combination of the two. Paddock boots may be worn by children or adults and are often paired with half chaps for schooling rides. Paddock boots are available in brown or black in leather or synthetic materials.

Pelham Bits

Pelham bit

Pelham bits are similar to kimberwick bits in that it combines snaffle and curb action into a single bit. Two reins are used, one for the snaffle and the other for the curb; this allows for greater and more precise control without having the bulk of two bits in the horse’s mouth.

Polo Polo is a team sport that is played on horseback. Two opposing teams use a long-handled wooden mallet to hit a ball through the opposing team’s goal. In field polo there is a team of four and on arena polo there is a team of three. It can be played on a large field or in a smaller arena. Gameplay generally lasts one to two hours and is broken up into periods called chukkas, riders generally have multiple horses who are swapped between chukkas.
Polo Wraps

Horse wearing blue polo wraps with rider in outdoor arena.

Polo wraps are made of soft fleece fabric and are used to wrap the horse’s legs for protection and support during exercise. Polo wraps are commonly used for schooling in the sports of dressage and jumpers.


White pony standing next to girl in pink riding outfit in front of outdoor arena

An equine with a height of 14.2 hands or less (58″). Often separated into small, under 12.2 hands, medium 12.3 to 13.2 hands or large 13.3 to 14.2 hands for showing designations.

Pulling Combs

Pulling comb

Pulling combs are short metal combs use to pull the horse’s mane to prepare for braiding. They are available with or without a handle. Mechanical, bladed pulling combs are designed to simulate the look of a pulled mane, but cut the hair at the root rather than pulling and are useful for sensitive horses.

Quarter Sheets

Woman riding bay horse with quarter sheet in outdoor arena

Quarter sheets are designed to be used while riding. Quarter sheets are available in styles that provide warmth, or in styles that provide protection from insects. Cold weather quarter sheets may offer a cutback design that can be fastened around the rider for extra insulation for the rider’s legs as well as the horse.

Quilted Bandages

White quilted leg bandages

Designed to be used underneath a standing bandage, quilted bandages are used instead of sheet cotton for extra protection and support. Alternative styles of quilted bandages are pillow wraps or no bow bandages.


Farrier using rasp on horse's hoof

A rasp is essentially a nail file designed for horse’s hooves. Rasps are available in a long full sized design for farriers or in a smaller pocket size designed for riders to trim in between farrier visits.


Rubber reins with hand stops

Reins are attached to the bit and are used for the main steering and speed control of the horse. Reins are generally made of leather and are available in plain leather, cotton or nylon web, rubber or a combination.

Riding Boots

Black leather tall field boots

Riding boots are designed to be worn in the saddle and offer a flat sole with a short heel for security in the stirrup. English riding boots are available in tall or short styles.

Riding Breeches & Jodhpurs

Woman walking up steps wearing white riding breeches

Riding breeches and jodhpurs are specially designed riding pants. Breeches are fitted pants that feature no inside seams, they also offer additional grip along the knee or inside of the seat. Breeches are designed to fit inside of riding boots. Jodhpurs are typically worn by young children and are designed with a cuffed hem that is made to be worn outside of paddock boots.

Riding Crop

Riding crop

A riding crop is a shorter riding whip that features a leather popper instead of a lash. It may or may not include a wrist strap and is made of leather or synthetic materials.

Riding Disciplines The different horse sports that riders can choose to compete and train in are referred to as riding disciplines. The English style disciplines, known as the Olympic disciplines are Show Jumping, Eventing, and Dressage. The other popular English competition discipline in the US is show hunters. Trail riding is also a very popular non-competition choice.

Brown leather English saddle

Saddles offer a supportive seat for the rider on a horse. English saddles are available in all purpose, close contact, jumping or dressage styles. Saddles are generally chosen based on the style or discipline that the rider chooses; saddles used in jumping disciplines offer a shorter, more forward flap style, while dressage saddles have a longer, straighter flap. Saddles are available in leather or synthetic materials. Racing saddles resemble English saddles in shape, but are much lighter and smaller, offering minimal support for the rider.

Schooling Breeches

Man and woman walking in front of bay horse wearing schooling breeches

Schooling breeches are designed to be worn while training, trail riding or just while having fun with horses. Schooling breeches may feature a traditional breech shape and design but are often fashioned in a pull on tight style. Schooling breeches may be full seat or knee patch in style to match the rider’s preference. Schooling breeches are available in a vast array of colors and designs. Denim breeches are very popular and are designed to look like five pocket jeans, but are designed without an inside seam. Schooling breeches are available in lightweight fabrics for Summer or heavy, insulated fabrics for Winter riding.

Show Coats

Woman wearing show coat and white breeches in front of show jumping arena

Show Coats are available in short or long styles and feature different designs to match the needs of different competitions. Show coats in all disciplines are typically a conservative color, with black or navy being traditional. Jumper show coats often feature a shorter design with metallic buttons in a three or four button style with a dual back vent. Dressage coats styles vary by level with lower level competitors wearing a four-button coat that is visually similar to the jumper’s coat. True dressage coats typically feature a longer cut and a single back vent. Upper-level competitors in dressage compete wearing a dressage shadbelly coat, which features a double-breasted style with a long tail design; these differ from hunter shadbelly coats by their metallic buttons and their longer, weighted tails. Eventers will typically wear a jumper style coat or a shadbelly for dressage at the higher levels. Show hunter coats feature a shorter cut with three button styling and conservative, self-colored buttons and a double back vent. During classics or derbies, a hunter style shadbelly coat may be worn.

Show Jumping Show Jumping is a timed discipline where the horse and rider compete over a series of show jumps in a ring. Riders must jump all of the fences in the correct order within the time allowed without knocking down any poles. Penalties, known as faults, may be given for knocking down a rail, for a refusal or going over the time allowed. To break ties, riders may compete in a second jump off course, wherein the rider with the fastest, round with the least faults wins.
Show Shirts
Side Reins

Side reins

Side reins are used when lungeing to take the place of the rider’s hand. Side reins are often made of leather or synthetic materials and include an elastic insert or rubber donut to provide some give for the horse.

Snaffle Bridles

White horse with brown snaffle bridle

Snaffle bridles are a specific type of English bridle that is designed to be used with a snaffle bit, or a combination bit, such as a pelham bit. Snaffle bridles are available with different types of cavessons including a plain or French cavesson, a flash cavesson, figure 8 or a dropped noseband.


Two spurs, one silver and one black

English spurs are worn on the rider’s feet to reinforce the rider’s leg aids. Spurs are typically made of metal and English spurs are designed to be worn with additional spur straps over the rider’s boots. Spurs are available in a variety of different styles with the shank size and the end style of the spur increasing the severity of the spur.

Stable Blankets

Bay horse wearing black, quilted stable blanket in outdoor arena

As the name implies, stable blankets are designed for use while the horse is in a stall. Stable blankets are generally not waterproof. Stable blankets are available in the same weights as turnout blankets: lightweight at 100 grams or less, medium weight at 200 grams or heavyweight at 300 grams or more.

Stallion A stallion is a mature, uncastrated horse of approximately 4 years of age or older. May also be colloquially referred to as a stud.
Standing Wraps

Black standing polo wraps

Standing wraps are used as part of a stable bandage or shipping wraps to provide protection and support for the horse’s legs while stabled. These wraps should not be used during exercise and they are typically used to protect injuries or to reduce swelling in horses that are stalled.

Stirrup Irons

Stirrup iron

Stirrup irons are attached to the saddle with the use of stirrup leathers and provide a resting place for the rider’s feet. Stirrup irons provide greater stability and grip in the saddle. Although stirrup irons were traditionally made of stainless steel, many are now made of high tech, lightweight polymer or aluminum.

Stirrup Leathers

Black stirrup leathers

Stirrup leathers are the strap of leather that attaches stirrup irons to the saddle. Stirrup leathers are adjustable with a number of pre-drilled holes for customizable sizing. They are traditionally made of leather, but may also be made of synthetics. Stirrup leathers are also available in stitched or with a nylon core to reduce stretching, or limit the risk of breaks under stress.


Black surcingle

A surcingle is used during ground training work and is used in place of a saddle. Surcingles generally have multiple rings where training aids may be attached or where ground driving lines may be placed.

Tendon Boots

Horse wearing black open front tendon boots in pasture

Tendon boots are designed to protect the horse’s tendons from injury during riding or turnout. They are also known as open front boots because the front of the boot is not protected, allowing the horse to feel if they hit a fence. These boots are popular with show jumpers and equitation riders and may be made of leather or synthetics and are often lined with sheepskin or fleece.

Trail Riding Trail riding is also known as hacking and generally refers to riding outside of the ring. Trail riding is often more casual and may take place in parks or on the rider’s home farm. It may take place over a short or long distance. Competitive trail riding is becoming more popular and is used to demonstrate the horse’s ability and useful skills in trail-like conditions.
Trot A two beat gait of a medium speed where the horse’s legs move diagonally. The trot is considered to be the horse’s all day gait that can be maintained at length in a horse of average fitness. Harness racing horses typically compete at this gait or the pace.
Trotters Trotters are horses that race in harness or under saddle at the trot.
Turnout, Turn Out The term turnout can refer to two different things. It can refer to a horse that is turned out on grass or at pasture, or it can refer to the horse and rider being groomed and dressed for shows.
Turnout Blankets

Gray horse running with pink turnout blanket in pasture

Turnout blankets are durable waterproof blankets designed to provide protection from the elements while the horse is turned out in the paddock or pasture. Turnout blankets are designed in three weight categories: lightweight having 100 grams or less of fill, mediumweight having 200 grams of fill and heavyweight blankets having 300+ grams of fill. Turnout blankets have variable layers of tensile strength fabric, generally starting at 600 denier at the weakest, and the most common being at 1,200 denier, providing protection from rips and tears suitable for most horses.

Warmblood A warmblood is a popular sporthorse type whose origination descends from the crossing of hot-blooded horses like Arabians with cold-blooded or draft type horses. Often used in tack sizes to designate a size larger than a horse, but smaller than a draft.
Weymouth Bridle

Bay horse with black leather weymouth bridle

Weymouth bridles are also known as full or double bridles and are designed to be used with two bits, a Weymouth curb bit and a bradoon snaffle bit. In order to accommodate the secondary bit, Weymouth bridles include a bradoon hanger. Two reins are often included in these bridles. A plain cavesson is featured in this style of bridle.

Weymouth Curb

Weymouth curb bit

A Weymouth bit is a curb bit that is designed to be used in conjunction with a bradoon as part of a double bridle. Double bridles are commonly used in upper-level dressage, but may also be used by other disciplines.

Yearling A young horse of either gender from roughly 12 months to 24 months of age.

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