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Aids - term used in training horses for signals given by the rider to the horse using legs or hands in order to execute a certain command

Airs (Airs above the ground) - is specific in classical dressage and includes high difficulty movements: levade, courbette, capriole and ballotade

Andalusian - horse breed from the Iberian Peninsula also called Pure Spanish Horse or Pura Raza Espanola (PRE)

Arena - enclosed zone where horses are trained or where competitions are being held

Artificial Insemination - technique used for breeding a mare by human with no physical implication of the stallion


Balance - when the horse is walking and distributes the rider and his weight in perfect equilibrium on all 4 legs

Balk, balking - term used to define a horse that refuses to move from different reasons

Bit - is a metal object placed in the horse mouth in order to help the rider communicate with his partner

Breeding - refers to the provenience of the horse, the pedigree

Cadence - refers to the movements executed in harmony with the beat and the rhythm

Collection - the highest level of Training Scale

Colt - describes male horses until 3 or 4 years that haven't been neutered yet

Crossbred - a horse breed obtained by crossing two breeds


Dam - horse mother

Damsire - is equivalent of the maternal grandfather for humans

Disobedience - when the horse refuses doing what is asked or is doing something that was not asked to do

Disunited / Canter - when a horse canters with the left leg in front and the right behind


Elasticity - horses that have the aptitude to work with their musculature in order to obtain flexibility and springiness

Elevation - is used in Piaffe to indicate to what height horses have to raise their legs

Engagement - intensified the flexion of the hind's legs joints and the sacro-lombar joint which is permitting to reduce the croup to the forehand. Do not confuse with the movement in which the hind legs are flexed while the front legs are in the air

Evasion - little gestures which are describing passive resistance from the horse when he is asked to execute movements (turn the head to the left or right, open mouth, broken neckline etc.)

Expression - this term is used to describe when the horse is increased impulsion in the correct way, keeping the harmony and balance


Falling In, Falling On Inside Shoulder, Falling Out, Falling Over Outside Shoulder - deviation of the forehead or forelegs that is resulting from a loss of balance

Figure - Component of tests that is describing a geometrical figure such as an eight or a circle

Flexion - ability to bend the joints resulting in small angle between bones

Forward - shows the direction in which the horse has to go but it doesn't present the way he gets there; opposite to sideways, backward, or standing still.


Gait - refers to basic foot movements such as: walk, trot, canter, gallop

Goose-stepping - is usually used in walk to describe excessive and artificial action of the forelegs


Half-Halt - describes a concomitant action of the rider's hand, legs and seat to obtain the horse attention and get back the balance

Halt - when the horse has to stop with the 4 legs in perfect balance and has to maintain calm and attention

Half-Pass - is used in lateral movements when the horse is inclined in the same direction in which is the movement executed


Impulsion - is used in trot or canter and refers to the moment of suspension in which the horse is releasing the energy stored by engagement (see also the Training Pyramid)

Inside - the side of the horse situated to the interior of the ring. Also shows the direction where the rider has to position or bent the horse


Late - execution after the aids used in flying changes or transitions

Lateral - flexion or bend executed to the one side or term that indicate the direction of movement

Lift - see Elevation

Lightness - Lightness of the horse in its feet or lightness of the horse in reins

Looseness - relaxation. Release from a negative mental or physical stress. The term is also an element of the Training Pyramid


Marching - determination in the step of walk

Mobility - ability of the horse to move shoulders resulting narrowing and shortening of the horse's base support

Movement - Style in which a horse is moving over the ground. Test movement - section of a dressage test. Dressage movement - an exercise such as leg-yielding, reinback, shoulder-in, travers, renvers, half-pass at trot and canter, flying changes, pirouettes, turn on the haunches, piaffe, and passage, but not a figure, pattern, transition, or combination of those


Nodding/Bobbing - not normal action of the horse's head that is possibly caused by using in the past different gadgets


Obedience - desire to perform an asked movement, figure or exercise

On the Aids - refers to a responsive and obedient horse, well-connected and on the bit

On the Bit - smooth and quiet acceptance of the contact with lengthened neck and with lateral and longitudinal flexion as was asked

Outside - side of the horse which is in exterior of arena or the wrong direction in which the horse should be positioned or bent

Overbent/Overbending - excessive bent of the neck in relation with the body which cause discordance of the lateral curve of the horse

Over-Turned - in half-pirouette turned more than 180 degrees or in full pirouette turned more than 360 degrees


Pacing - gait in which the lateral pairs of leg move in harmony, unison

Poll - the occipital zone; the highest point of horse's skull

Pushing Out - when the hind legs of the horse are performing too far behind the horse

Purity - Correct order and timing of a gait


Quality - fluency and elasticity of a gait


Reach - is used to describe the extension of the fore limbs, hind limbs, and neck of a horse 

Regularity - correctly executed gaits in terms of purity, evenness, and levelness

Relaxation - mental or physical state of the horse, see also looseness

Rhythm - regular sequence or intervals


Slack - lacking contact of the reins or referring to the musculature "slack loin"

Submission - when the rider receives all the attention and is in perfect harmony with his horse

Shoulder-In - the horse is bent around the rider's interior leg about 30 degrees

Shoulder Fore - similar with Shoulder-In but the angle is about 15 degrees


Tempo - beats per minute; is not the same with the rhythm or regularity

Training scale - or Training Pyramid presents the levels that must be achieved by each horse in Dressage competition


Uneven - variable length of the steps

Unlevel - variable height of steps


Wide Behind - evasion commonly in piaffe refers to the horses hind feet being further apart than the fore foot

Working in Hand - refers to those exercise of the training lessons when the rider is training the horse from the ground using a long/dressage whip