Glossary of Terms
Crop - A short whip used in horseback riding, used only as an aid to re-enforce the rider's leg.
Diagonals - The correct posting, up/down motion, of the rider in sequence with diagonal movement of the horse's legs at the trot.
Equitation - Refers to a class of English riding in which the rider is judged on maintaining correct riding position and controlling the horse.
Equitation / Horsemanship - In competitions, this indicates that the riders are being judged on their ability to control and show the horse while maintaining the correct riding position.
Figure Eight - Two circles connected by a change of direction, most often seen in reining patterns.
Gait - Thee ways, canter/lope, trot/jog, or walk, by which a horse can move by lifting the feet in different order or rhythm
Halt - The command for stop.
Horsemanship - Refers to a class of Western riding in which the rider is judged on maintaining correct position and controlling the horse in a pattern.
Hunt Seat - The category of equitation English riders compete in, whose foundation lies in jumping and riding across country, such as foxhunting.
Irons - The English stirrups used in riding.
Leads - They are determined at the canter/lope by which front foot is leading. Correct leads have the inside foreleg reaching furthest.
Lead Change - Done at the canter/lope to change which front foot is leading.
Natural Aids - Subtle or imperceptible body signals from the seat, legs, hands, and voice are allowed to communicate commands to the horse and in addition exaggerated shifting of the rider's weight is not desirable. The resulting performance shown by the horse is not to be considered more important then the methods used by the rider in obtaining them.
On the Rail - Both riding disciplines compete in this manner, in which the riders enter the show arena and show collectively at all required gaits on command form the judge.
Reining - For these classes, the most advanced Western riders perform an individual, pre-assigned pattern from memory, demonstrating a variety of stops, turns and figures in various speeds. The emphasis is on the technical application of natural aids and the rider's ability to show unfamiliar horses.
Roll back - A turn performed in equitation over fences class to show control of the horse and rider's ability to maintain a position throughout a turn. A tight turn performed between two fences. In Western reining, a rollback is a 180 degree pivot with speed after a halt.
Schooling - Practice time before the classes, is not allowed for intercollegiate competitors.
Sliding Stop- A smooth stop from the lope, in which the horse is supposed to balance on its back feet while the front feet continue to move.
Stock Seat - The common Western division, where the goal of the rider is to maneuver the horse through a herd of livestock she wishes to rope, move or control.
Striding - A single coordinated movement of the four legs of a horse or other animal, completed when the legs return to their initial relative position. In the hunt seat fence classes, proper striding between two jumps in a line is required. Ex: If you need to have six strides down the diagonal line and five strides on the outside line.
Tack - The equipment worn by the horse (saddle, briddle, etc.)
Two - Point Position - Performed in practice to learn the proper leg position, balance, strength. The position is done on the flat and requires the body to be positioned forward just out of the saddle. This is the forward position used over fence.