Glossary of Equine Terms – H

Habit to HYPP.

Habit: Traditional riding attire for sidesaddle riders.

Hack: (i) A type rather than a breed, hacks are elegant riding horses, popular in the show ring in England. (ii) “to hack” i.e. to go for a ride.

Hackney: Breed of horse exhibiting a disctinctive high-stepping action. Popular as a light harness horse.

Haflinger: Attractive breed of horse originating in Austria. Always chestnut in color, with light colored mane and tail.

Half Halt: An exercise, basically a “pay attention, please” used to communicate to the horse that the rider is about to ask for some change of direction or gait, or other exercise or movement.

Half Pass: Dressage movement performed on two tracks in which the horse moves sideways and forwards at the same time.

Halter-broke: Term used to describe a young horse that has been accustomed to the very basics of wearing a halter.

Hames: Metal arms fitted into the harness collar and linked to the traces.

Hand: Unit of measure used to describe a horse. One hand equals 4 inches, partial measurements being described as 14.1, 14.2, 14.3.

Hanoverian: Popular sport horse derived from the breeding of German horses with Thoroughbred horses. Bred originally to refine the quality of cavalry and farm horses , but has evolved into a versatile horse which excels at many equestrian sports, including dressage, showjumping and eventing. See also Warmblood.

Harness: Term for the equipment of a horse that is driven, as opposed to being ridden.

Harness Horse: A horse used in harness and having “harness” type of conformation, with straight shoulders etc. and having an elevated “harness action”.

Haute Ecole: The classical art of advanced riding. See also Airs Above the Ground.

Heart Room: Term used to describe a horse’s barrel. A deep-chested horse with well-sprung ribs is said to have plenty of heart room. Indicates that the horse will have enough heart and lung capacity to stand up to strenuous exercise.

Herring Gutted: Term used to describe a horse with a barrel that slopes up sharply behind the girth, like that of a greyhound.

Heaves: Term used to describe the abnormal breathing pattern seen in horses with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease COPD, or broken winded. Also a common name for COPD.

Heavy Horse: Any large draft horse, such as the Shire, the Clydsdale, the Belgian Draft.

Heavyweight: A horse that is judged capable, by virtue of its bone and substance, capable of carrying weights of more than 196 lbs.

Highland Pony: One of the nine native breeds of Great Britain. Sturdy pony originating in the highlands of Scotland.

High School: See Haute Ecole.

Hind Quarters: The part of the horse’s body from the rear of the flank to the top of the tail down to the top of the gaskin. Also called simply the quarters.

Hinney: Offspring of a male horse and a female donkey (See also Mule)

Hives: Allergic reaction characterized by bumps or weals on the skin. More properly called Urticaria.

Hock: Joint midway up the hind leg, responsible for providing most of the forward energy of the horse.

Hocks Well Let Down: Term used to indicate a horse that has short cannon bones (shanks) which is considered to be a good conformational trait giving the horse strength in the legs. Long cannons, on the other hand, are considered a conformational weakness.

Hogged Mane: A mane that has been shaved close for its entire length. (See also roached mane)

Holsteiner: Breed of warmblood horse derived from native north German horses. Bred originally as a cavalry and carriage horse , but, with infusions of Thoroughbred blood, has evolved into a versatile sport horse which excels at many equestrian sports, including dressage, showjumping and eventing. See also Warmblood.

Horn: (i) Hard, insensitive outer covering of the hoof. (ii) Prominent pommel at the front of a western saddle around which the rider loops or twists the lariet when a steer has been roped to secure the animal. See also Saddle Horn.

Horsemanship: The art of equitation or riding.

Hot: A horse that becomes overly excited is said to be “hot”. Easily excitable horses are also called “hot”.

Hotblood: Term describing horses of Arabian or Thoroughbred blood.

Hunter: In England, a type of horse, rather than a breed, suitable for being ridden to hounds. In the US, a well mannered, smooth gaited jumping horse shown in Hunter Under Saddle and Hunter Over Fences classes.

Hybrid: A cross between a horse and one of the other equids, such as an ass or a zebra.

HYPP: Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis. Genetic muscular disorder causing muscle weakness and tremors, sweating and difficulty in breathing. Can be traced back to the Quarter Horse stallion, Impressive.

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