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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