Beginner’s Guide to Equestrian Terms

Getting yourself involved in sports also requires an in-depth understanding of what you are going into. The first step to take is to learn the basic terminologies of the sport you want to join and grow from there. Equestrian like any other sports out there also has terms exclusive for it. Today, we are going to walk you through some of the basic terms you should know. You probably know some of the words listed below already but there should be something new around the bush.

As you might already know, equestrian terms developed over the past centuries. Note that some terms are only used in certain countries such United States, United Kingdom, and Australia so terms may vary depending on your location.

Ace or ACP
Also known as acepromazine or acetyl promazinem a sedative widely used on horses by a professional veterinary. It is illegal to use in a show ring.

Agistment/Agister
In Australia, it means letting out pasture to the horse but in Agister in the United Kingdom means an officer or member of the New Forest Verderers whose duty is to control grazing on the Forest.

Aids
Pertaining to the signal from the rider or driver to the horse instructing it to do a task. It goes down to variation: natural and artificial aids. Natural aids pertains to the hands, seat, weight, legs, and voice while artificial aids pertains to extending, reinforcing (included terms are bits, whips, spurs, and martingales)

Airs above the ground/Airs
In the rider’s command, the horse leaps with two or four legs a movement in haute ecolé or “high school” classical dressage. Coined by the Lipizzan horses at the Spanish Riding School. They also call it school jumps.

Amble
This pertains to the range of four-beat intermediate speed horse gaits that are smoother to ride. Various terms also include slow gait, single foot, running walk, stepping pace, sobreandando, paso corto, paso llano, rack, tölt, and paso largo which all depend on the style, speed, rhythm, and breed of horse.

Bearing rein, overcheck or checkrein
Strap from the over the head of the horse from its back. This is to prevent the horse from lowering the horse’s head at a point.

Bit
An item placed into the mouth of the horse to guide and direct it. Made of metal and other materials such as rubber.

Bolting
The horse running away without a rider or when the horse eats too fast.