A Glossary of simple equestrian terms created by non-horsey individuals

A Glossary of simple equestrian terms created by non-horsey individuals

In this light-hearted look at common equestrian terms we discover what equestrian lingo looks like from an outside perspective and bring into question why a ‘curry comb’ really is called a ‘curry comb!’

  1. Snaffle – A simple bridle bit, typically with a joint and used with a single pair of reins.Equestrian terms

“Thing that straps to their face that they eat from”

“A brand of horse treats, like a snaffle bar”

“A type of apparatus or something for their nose”


“Is it the soft bit they sometimes put over their noses like to cushion the bridle”

“That sounds gross. “

“A horse mask”

“A bit to eager”

British Horse Feeds banner fibre beet



  1. Forelock – A lock of hair growing from the poll, hanging down over the forehead.

“The point at which a horse’s front leg co-contracts parallel the floor.”

“Full extension of the front legs”

“When a horse gets cramp in its front legs”

“A type of strap to go around the head of the horsey.”

“Neck collar”


  1. Metal curry comb – A metal device with serrated ridges used for removing dirt or hairs from a body brush.

“A particular type of comb used to make the horse look pretty. One of many grooming tools. Designed by someone called Mr. Curry? Curry comb is obviously the best ? I assume.”

“A type of mane braid”

“A type of comb? With curry on it”

“Something to sift through your Balti”

“Special utensil to fish up curry”

“If it’s a comb that makes curry, I want one”

“What a comb looks like after you brush the horse’s tail once it’s had a poo.”

“Curry scented comb”

“A comb for specifically curry coloured horses”


  1. A green horse – A young or inexperienced horse.


“A horse that hasn’t ridden a race before”

“An illness, looking under the weather e.g. “That horse looks Green”, Green with flu.”

“A lucky horse? Or one that poops a lot”

“A sustainable horse”

“I’m gonna say that a green horse is one that has been out of action for a while, maybe an old horse, but then has a come back and ready to go! Like recycled.”

“As close to the wizard of Oz’s rainbow coloured horses as you can realistically get”


  1. Throat lash – A strap passing under the horses throat, to keep the bridle in position.IMG_8669

“Go to whip a horse but accidentally miss the side and hit it in the neck region e.g. “Oh sorry I just throat lashed that horse.”

“A strap that you can pull the horse with to direct it when not sat on the horse … To go around the throat lol”

“Like whip lash but for horses”

“Yanking the reins?”

“Sounds fun”

“An encouraging movement to make the horse move faster”

“Oh goodness”

“Horse equivalent of the cone of shame”


  1. A fresh horse – a sharp, excitable or unsettled horse.fresh horse

“One that’s been on a long weekend somewhere”


“Fresh trim, just had a haircut”

“A new born”


  1. Wither – The bony formation at the bottom of the neck and start of the back between the shoulder blades. This is the highest part of the back and where a horses height is measured from.withers

“Wither is a technique used by horse riders to slow the horse down after racing.  “Roberta withers horse a)’ to allow her to dismount after a spectacular race”

“It’s a behaviour when the horse doesn’t want to come out or go into its trailer or stable. It’s refraining from instruction.”

“A pace somewhere between canter and gallop e.g. ‘he’s withering’”

“slacking (wither without you)”

“Your horse has died”


  1. Numnah – A pad which goes underneath the saddle.numnah

“A cream e.g. Deep heat for horses.”

“When a horse kicks with its back legs and hits a person. That person is a numnah.”

“What’s a numnah I hear you ask?

A numnah is a word used to describe transition between running stages and speeds of the horse, and how well they respond to the riders command. So the numnah between a canter and gallop can be smooth or jerky ect. A horse can have a good numnah or a bad one.”

“How to ask your horse if he/she is ok”


  1. Wind sucking – is a habitual behaviour and a vice, which  involves repeated arching of the neck and noisily sucking in and swallowing air.

“When a horse accidentally breathes in when their supposed to be breathing out, when he’s running, causes them to choke.”

“Maybe a foal baby or some breathing thing caused by the high-speed winds in races”

“Going as fast as you can”

“Heavy breathing”

“Out of breath”

“Horses lips blowing in the wind”

“Burping your horse”


  1. Pommel – The front arch of a saddle.saddle

“Pommel is a pretend horse, made from wood or metal, which can teach beginners how to sit on a horse and how to put a saddle on one ect. Can be as simple as a cylinder model or a full on horse statue.”

“A jump”

“A horse ale (i.e going for a cheeky pommel with the lads)”


A big thank you to all willing participants, your responses were witty, yet hilariously unfounded. I would like to take this time to assure certain individuals that equestrians are not quite as brutal as your definition of a “throat lash” would insinuate. Although I think we would all concur, that an individual who did suffer a kick from a horse, would indeed be a numnah, for quite some time.