The thoroughbred industry is full of jargon that can be quite confusing -especially to those who weren’t born in the saddle. Below is a listing of useful terms and brief explanations of words you may come across when purchasing your thoroughbred or attending the track.
The total gross takings of a thorough-bred sale.
A horse that is 7 or more years old.
Bandages are used to protect the front and back legs of horses when racing or travelling. When a horses legs are bandaged for a race, the bandages must be stitched from top to bottom with one continuous stitch.
Term used to describe a mare that is not’ in foal.
A cover used to protect the horses heals and coronary band when training.
At yearling sales, staff members (known as bid-spotters) will be placed around the sale ring to take the bids of the potential buyers.
The intending buyer at yearling sale.
The Bit is a piece of metal attached to the bridle which runs through the mouth over the tongue and is used to direct or help control the horse when handling or riding.
BIT – ANTI LUGGING An Anti-Lugging Bit is used to stop a horse from rearing.
Any Group or Listed race win gives a horse ‘black type?.
A horse that bleeds from both nostrils due to blood vessels rupturing under pressure.
Eye shields fixed, to the bridle to prevent a horse from looking sideways.
A device attached to the saddle that prevents it from slipping back On the horse.
A bridle is placed on the head of a horse. Both the reins and bit are attached to the bridle.
When a horse sustains serious leg or other injury.
A mare used for breeding.
Boots placed on the horses forelegs to prevent injury when passing closely together.
A term used to refer to the sire of a horse. For example, a horse is said to be “by” Danehill if Danehill is its sire.
When a horse falls or lies down close to a wall or fence and cannot get up without help it is said to have “cast” itself.
Rubber aids fitted to the bit to prevent the rings of the bit entering the horses mouth.
Legs that are free of swelling, deformity or conformation faults.
The coloured silks worn by jockeys in a race.
A horse with a stiff back and gait when first mounted.
A young male horse (3 years and under).
A horse’s anatomical make up.
A conformation fault in which the hocks are too close together and the feet are splayed wide.
Vice in which the horse grabs hold of objects with this front teeth in order to swallow air. Also see Windsucking.
CROSS OVER NOSE BAND
A band attached to the bridle that crosses over on top of the nose and under the bottom lip. Generally used to stop the horse opening it’S mouth whilst in work.
The horse’s mother.
The yearlings presented for sale by one stud.
A neck which the line along the mane is concave.
Female horse (3 years and under).
A young horse up to the age of 12 months.
A skin sore resulting from rubbing by the saddle or girth.
GAVEL The auctioneer’s hammer.
A male horse that has been castrated.
Protective eye-wear Worn by jockeys.
GROUP RACES The nations highest quality races are graded into three levels of importance with Group One races being the principal events.
HALTER A bitless bridle used for leading a horse.
HAND The form in which horses are measured from the ground to the top of the Wither. One hand is equal to 10 centimeters.
HORSE A stallion (4 years & over) that is used or will potentially be used for breeding purposes.
KNOCKED DOWN Term to describe that the horse has been sold on the fall of the hammer.
LOT NUMBER The thoroughbred sale catalogue number allocated to each horse.
MAIDEN A horse that has never won a race on the flat or a mare that has never been in foal.
MARTINGALE A device used to stop a horse holding or throwing its head to high when in work.
MEDIAN The middle price of the sale: ie where 5% of the catalogue is more and 50% is less.
NOSE ROLL Padded sheepskin roll applied across the bridge of the nose to encourage the horse to lower its head carriage.
ONE-EYED BLINKER Where only one eye is covered by a blinker to stop the horse from veering in a particular direction when racing.
OVER REACH When a horse over extends its hind leg, clipping the heel of its front hoof.
PACIFIER Mesh eye covers used as eye protection and can encourage horses to relax when racing.
PARROT MOUTH A shortened lower jaw.
PASSED IN If the horse has failed to reach it’s reserve price at auction.
PEDIGREE The family lineage and history of the horse.
PIGEON TOED A conformation fault in which the hooves and lower legs point inwards.
PROTECTIVE VEST A standards approved vest worn by jockeys to prevent injury that may occur during a race fall.
PULLER A horse that pulls on the reins.
RIG An abnormally developed or improperly castrated male horse with one testicle only.
ROARER A horse with paralysis of the larynx, which causes a roaring sound when breathing in.
SAND ROLL An sandy box or enclosure used for horses to roll in after work.
SADDLE Lightweight race saddle usually made of pigskin.
SADDLE CLOTH The cloth placed on the horses back under the saddle used to prevent sweat damage to the saddle. Also used to highlight the number of the horse during a race.
SADDLE PACKING Protective padding applied under the saddle for the horses comfort.
SCOURING The passing of loose and watery faeces.
SERVICE The mating of a mare by a stallion.
SIRE The horse’s father.
SKULLCAP Protective headwear worn by jockeys to prevent injury during a race fall.
SPELL Resting a horse, usually at a stud or agistment farm.
SPLINT A bone enlargement on the inside of the cannon bone.
STIRRUP IRONS Metal irons in which jockey’s place their feet when mounted.
STIRRUP LEATHERS The straps attaching the irons to the saddle.
STRAPPER The person handling the horse.
STUD The property where the horse is bred.
STUDMASTER The person in charge of the stud.
SURCINGLE A belt passed over the saddle and girth that is used to hold the saddle in place.
TENDON BOOT Horse boots that protect tendons from damage during hard work.
TOUNGTIE A tie used to hold the tongue down to prevent the horse from getting it over the bit.
TYING-UP A condition associated with elevated muscle enzymes (similar to a cramp in humans) which is bought on by exercise and can be effected by diet.
VENDOR The stud or individual breeder who is selling the horse.
WEANLING A foal that has been taken away from its mother.
WEAVING A nervous habit of rocking from side to side.
WINDSUCKER A horse that grabs hold of a railing, fence or feed bin and gulps in air. Windsucking is a vice rather than a medical condition. Usually associated with Cribbing.
WOBBLER A horse with an uneven gate or action due to compression on the spinal cord in the neck region.
YEARLING A one year old horse, not yet two years of age.