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  • Sandy Stetson

All About Horse Terminology

Updated: Nov 13


While we are all familiar with horses, if you are booking a horseback ride with us on your Colorado vacation, you might be getting ready to see one up close for the first time and are likely curious about what you should know—which is why we are here to help!


Knowing some of the terms you will hear us use to refer to horses can be extremely helpful as you gear up for your first ride. While there is no quiz or diagramming test, being able to tell the muzzle from the hoof can be quite useful! Here is a glossary of common terms you may hear around the farm and what they mean.


An Overview of Terminology for the Parts of a Horse:


The muzzle. Beginning at the front and working our way back will start us at the muzzle. This term encompasses the horse’s mouth, nose, chin and lips, where you will find the skin to be extremely soft and covered in whiskers they can use to gain sensory information about their surroundings.


The forelock. The forelock is the bunch of hair that falls between a horse’s ears and down its forehead. Historically, the forelock grew long to help protect their eyes from flies and other insects, but around the farm you will sometimes see them trimmed as we have better pest protection now.


The withers. At the top of a horse’s shoulders and at the base of its neck, you will find a lump called the withers. The withers are the tallest vertebrae, providing a visual marker for where the saddle should sit behind. The withers are also how a horse’s height is measured.


The flank. The area behind a horse’s stomach and in front of its back legs is called its flank. The flank can tell you a lot about how tired your horse is, as it is where its breathing is apparent. It can also indicate dehydration if the flank has a sunken appearance, so it is a great spot to look for clues.


Are you ready to put your horse terminology knowledge to the test? Come see us for a horseback riding adventure to see all the beauty that horses, and Colorado have to offer. Book online today to get started!

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