Basic terminology for Equestrian

Equestrian 1

Image credit: Aundry Gan/SportSG

Here are  some basic terms that can help novice riders gain a better understanding as they learn how to ride.

Amble - A slow pacing gait.

Bascule - The arc a horse makes while jumping an obstacle.

Buck - When a horse leaps into the air with its head lowered and back arched.

Canter - A  three-beat gait.

Collected - A controlled gait.

Counter Canter - Refers to the horse cantering in a circle leading with its outside leg.

Dressage - Training a horse such that it becomes obedient and responsive to its rider while performing. It also refers to the competitive event, where riders and horses compete in tests.

Eventing - Refers to a competition lasting one to three days that includes cross country, show jumping and dressage.       

Forging - A  fault where the horse's hind foot strikes the bottom of the front foot, at the same time.

Gait - The pace a horse moves at, namely  walk, trot, canter and gallop.       

Gallop - Refers to the four-beat gait of the horse.                   

Half pass - A  dressage move where the horse moves forwards and sideways at the same time.

Impulsion - Refers to the forward movement of the horse.

Inside leg - The  legs of riders and horses that are on the inside of a curved track.

Nearside - The left hand side of the horse.

Offside - The  right hand side of the horse.

Pacer - Refers to a horse moving its legs in lateral pairs, instead of diagonal pairs.

Pace - A  lateral two-beat gait.

Pirouette - A  dressage movement where the horse uses its forelegs to move in a circle while using its hind legs as a pivot.

Running Walk - Refers to the speed of a four-beat gait that is about 10 km per hour.

Traverse - A  quick and choppy stride.

Trot - A  moderate speed gait

Walk - A slow four-beat gait.

Whoa - A  verbal command used to signal a trained horse to stop while pulling gently on the reins.

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