Regency Horse Terms A-G

AIRS or AIRS OF A HORSE were certain equestrian movements or cadence made by a horse for pleasure or for self-defense and involved the horse being off the ground.
An AMBLE was an intermediate horse gait and slower than a canter.
AMBLE FREE was a horse that ambled but without a halter.

BALLOTADE was one such air position where the horse was off the ground. In this instance, the horse’s forefeet were drawn up (as if leaping) and its back feet raised to show its shoes.

Ballotade, Courtesy of Wikipedia

Ballotade. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

A carriage for training horses was called a BRAKE.
The BRIDLE HAND is a horseman’s left hand
A BRUSH GALLOP implied a very fast gallop but not equal to the horse’s topmost speed.

CABRIOLE is a position that a horse assumes when it is suspended in the air.
CANTER referred to a short, slow gallop. It was often used by women when riding.
The hind part of the saddle was referred to as a CANTLE.
CAPARISON referred to a sort of cover for a horse.
A harmless but incurable swelling on a horse’s hock was known as a CAPELOT.
CAPRIOLE were leaps a horse made in the same place without advancing forward.
An unwieldy horse was described as a CART-HORSE.
A CAVISSON was used in the early stage of horsebreaking and was a head-stall provided with a nose band and ring, to which a long cord was attached. This was used to help control the horse.
The joint or the bending of the upper part of the animal’s hind leg was called a CHAMBEL OF A HORSE.
CHARGER referred to an officer’s horse.
A horse’s girth was referred to as CINGLE.
CLIPPING was an operation performed on rough or long-coated horses.
COACH-HORSE was a horse used for pulling coaches.
A low built but powerful horse or a hack was called a COB.
COFFIN referred to a horse’s whole hoof above the coronet and included the coffin-bone.
COLLAR was the harness fastened around a horse’s neck.
COLT’S TOOTH referred to an imperfect tooth in a young horse.
COURBETTE involved using a series of hops where the horse raised its forehand off the ground, tucked its forelegs evenly, and jumped forward, never allowing the forelegs to touch down.

Regency horse terms - Courbette

Courbette, Courtesy of Wikipedia

A swift horse was known as a COURSER.
CRIB referred to the horse’s stall or manger.
A horse that bit at his stall or manger was said to be CRIB-BITING. As CRIB-BITING was dangerous to the horse, to prevent it, a leather strap was put around the horse’s neck close to the jaws  so as to impede its feeding.
CRIPPLE meant either to lame or make lame a horse.
CROUPADE was a position, as shown in the illustration above, where the horse leapt into the air with all its feet off the ground but its legs were pulled inward.

Regency horse terms - Croupade

Croupade, Courtesy of Wikipedia

CUB-HUNTING referred to pursuing or chasing young foxes, which could be dangerous to horses and destructive to the game.
To guide a horse with a CURB meant to restrain or check the horse.
CURRY referred to cleaning scratching, or rubbing a horse with instruments to clean its coat, and a CURRYCOMB was the instrument used to curry a horse.

Common horse grooming tools used today. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

To DISMOUNT was to alight from a horse or to be thrown off a horse.
DRAUGHT referred to drawing or pulling a carriage.
DRAYHORSE was horse that pulled a dray, which usually carried beer or other heavy loads.

EQUESTRIAN referred to skilled horsemanship, belonging to a horse, or appearing on horseback.
A master of the horse was known as an EQUERRY.
EQUIPAGE referred to the carriage, vehicle, retinue, furniture and other accoutrements related to the horseman.
ESTRAPADE referred to the defensive moves a horse made when not obeying. 

FALSE QUARTER referred to any defect in the hoof of a horse acquired by injury.
Leprosy in a horse was known as FARCY.
FEATHER was a sort of natural frizzing of the hair.
A horse that leapt was called a FENCER.
FETLOCK is the tuft of hair that grows behind the pastern joint.
Chains for the feet were known as FETTERS.
A young mare was known as a FILLY.
The offspring of a mare or another beast of burden was called a FOAL. The word also means to birth a foal.
FOREHAND the part of the horse that is before the rider or the part of the horse that extends from the ears to the withers.
The hair that grows from the forepart of the head is known as the FORELOCK.
A pony bred in the forest was known as a FORESTER.
FORGE was a place where horses were shod.
A nail with a prominent head that was driven into the horse’s shoe was called the FROSTNAIL.
FREE HANDICAP was an expression that frequently appeared in race lists and was achieved by weighing the supposed performance of each horse so that they were all equal and assigning this weighted number to the horse so that the horse’s owner could decided whether or not to race their horse.

The motion of a horse running at full speed where it moves forward by leaps with all its feet off the ground at once is called a GALLOP.

Regency horse terms - Horse Galloping with all Feet off the Ground, Courtesy of Wikipedia

Horse galloping with all its feet off the ground. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

A horse that galloped was called a GALLOPER.
An extinct horse that was no more than fourteen hands high was known as a GALLOWAY.
GAMBREL refers to the hind legs of a horse.
A small horse or a wretched horse was known as a GARRAN.
GENET or JENNET is a small well-proportioned Spanish horse.
GREASE referred to a horse’s swelled or “gourdy” legs after a journey.
A peculiar knuckling over of the fetlock joint often observed in old and over-worked horses was called GROGGINESS.
A servant that took care of the stables and was responsible for the management of the horses was called a GROOM.

For Regency Horse Terms H-Z, click here.


  • Astley, Philip, Astley’s System of Equestrian Education, 1802
  • Maxwell, William Hamilton, The Field Book, 1833
  • Taplin, William, The Gentleman’s Stable Directory, 1793
  • Wallis, Thomas, The Farrier’s Horseman’s Complete Dictionary, 1766

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