Glossary of Equine Terms – G

Gait to Gymnastic

Gait: The paces at which horses move, usually the walk, trot, canter and gallop.

Gaited Horse: Horses which move at paces other than the walk, trot and canter – such as the Saddlebred, the Paso Fino and the Icelandic.

Gallop: Four-beated gait of the horse, in which each foot touches the ground separately, as opposed to the canter, which is a three-beat gait.

Galvayne’s Groove: Dark line which appears on the upper corner incisor of horses between 8 and 10 years of age. Since it extends downward gradually, it can be used to estimate the age of a horse.

Gaskin: The “second thigh” extending from above the hock upwards to the stifle.

Gelding: Castrated male horse.

Girth: (i) The circumference of the body measured from behind the withers around the barrel. (ii) Means by which an English saddle is secured to the horse, which attaches to the saddle on one side, running under the barrel just behind the legs to the other side. Called a cinch in Western Riding.

Going: Term used to describe the nature of the ground, i.e. deep, good, rough.

Good Doer: Describes a horse that is easy to keep, which maintains good condition of small rations. (See also Thrifty)

Goose-rumped: Pronounced muscular development at the croup seen in some jumping horses. Sometimes called “jumper’s bump”.

Grackle Noseband: (Also called a Figure-Eight noseband) Noseband with thin leather straps which cross over at the front and buckle both above and below the bit.

Grade: Term used to describe an horse that is not registered with any breed association.

Grease: Inflammation of the skin at the back of the fetlock and pasterns. Seldom seen now, but does occur in horses pastured on wet grass. Can be likened to diaper or nappy rash in babies.

Greenbroke: Horse that has been accustomed to the tack and the rider and has begun initial training. (Also called broken-in or broke to ride)

Green: A horse that is in the early learning stage of his particular discipline is said to be green.

Grey: Coat color ranging from pure white to dark grey. Further described by terms such as “dappled” (small iron-grey circles on a lighter background) and “flea-bitten” (flecks of dark grey on a white background).

Grooming Kit: The various brushes, combs and other equipment used to clean the horse’s coat, mane, tail and hooves.

Ground Line: Pole placed on the ground in front of a fence to help the horse and/or rider judge the take-off point.

Ground Manners: Term used to describe the behavior of a horse while being handled on the ground, being groomed, saddled, in the stable etc.

Gymkhana: Mounted games, including bending poles, sack race, musical sacks and a variety of other games and races.

Gymnastic: Combination of fences placed at relative distances to each other, used in the training of the jumping horse.

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