Glossary of Equine Terms – S

Saddlebred to Suspensory Ligament.

Saddlebred: Flashy breed of horse, originating in the US, known for its spectacular gaits.

Saddle Horn: 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 Horn.

Saddle Horse: A riding horse.

Saddle Marks: White hairs in the saddle area, probably caused by galls.

School: Enclosed, marked out area used for the training and exercise of the horse. (See also Manege)

School Movements: The gymnastic exercises performed in the school or manege.

Scope: A horse which has scope shows potential and capability for freedom and movement to a special degree.

Scours: Name given to diarrhea in foals.

Scratches: Scabby, oozing skin inflammation on the back of the pasterns, just above the heel.

Seedy Toe: Separation of the hoof wall from the sensitive laminae, often caused by neglecting the feet. Sometimes accompanies laminitis.

Serpentine: School movement in which the horse, at any pace, moves down the center of the school in a series of equal-sized loops.

Set Tail: A tail that has been broken or nicked to produce an artificially high tail carriage.

Shank bone: Hind cannon.

Shetland Pony: Small breed of pony originating from the Shetland Isles, north of Scotland. One of the British native breeds. Known for its hardiness.

Shire Horse: Breed of draft horse, originating in northern England. Once used as a war horse and later as farm and draft animals.

Shivers: Abnormal hind leg gait seen in draft horses in which the horse flexes one or both hind legs and tremors can be seen in the large muscles in the upper leg. Thought to be caused by EPSM.

Shoe, To: The act of fitting and securing metal shoes to the horse’s feet, usually done by a farrier.

Shoulder-In: Two-track movement in which the horse is evenly bent along the length of its spine away from the direction in which it is moving.

Shy, To: Where a horse jumps suddenly to one side, having been startled by a real or imaginary object.

Sickle hocks: Hocks which are bent, giving the hindleg the shape of a sickle, with the hind legs too far under the body. Although consider a conformation fault, this trait is desired by some reiners as the horse has to almost sit down in some of the reining patterns.

Sidebone: Ossification of the lateral cartilage on either side of the coffin bone within the hoof.

Side Reins: Reins used in training to help position the horse’s head. They attach at one end to the bit and to the girth or to the training surcingle at the other end. Often have a rubber “donut” or elastic section in them.

Sire: A horse’s male parent.

Skewbald: English term for body color of irregular white and color patches other than black (i.e. brown, chestnut) Called pinto in the US.

Slab-sided: Narrow ribbed.

Snaffle (bit): Design of bit that acts of the corners or bars of the horse’s mouth. May be jointed or straight, but does not have shanks and only uses one rein.

Sock: White marking on any or all of a horse’s lower legs. Markings extending higher than the knee or hock are called stockings.

Sound: Free from lameness or injury.

Spavin: Name given to degerative arthritis of the lower joints of the hock, characterized by a bony swelling which can be felt on the front and inside of the hock. See also bog spavin.

Splints: Injury to one or both of the metacarpal or splint bones, which run up the back of the cannon bone. Stress or strain can cause the ligaments attaching these bones to the cannon bone to pull and tear, causing heat, swelling and lameness. Eventually additional bone is laid down on the site of the injury, leaving behind a bony swelling. called a splint.

Spurs: Small metal devices worn on the rider’s boot to help enforce the leg aids. Come in a range of severety, from very mild blunt spurs to severe roweled models.

Stable Management: The art of looking after one or more stabled horses, including all aspects of their care and welfare.

Stallion: Uncastrated male horse. (See also Entire)

Standardbred: Breed of horse popular as a harness racer.

Star: Name given to any white marking on the horse’s forehead. (Small markings are called a snip)

Stock Horse: Name given to horses that are used in ranch work, driving and cutting cattle etc.

Stocking: White marking on any or all of a horse’s legs which extends beyond the knee or hock. Markings which are confined below the knee or hock are called socks.

Strangles: Highly contagious disease caused by Streptococcus Equi. Also called distemper.

Stripe: Elongated white marking down the front of the horse’s face. (Also called a blaze)

Stringhalt: Condition characterized by the over-flexion of the hind legs, in which the leg often is jerked up toward the belly at each step.

Strongyles: Equine internal parasite, also known as bloodworms.

Stud: Breeding establishment – stud farm. The term is also used in the US to describe a stallion or a colt.

Studbook: A book kept by a breed society or registry in which the pedigrees of horses eligable for registration are recorded.

Substance: A horse possessing quality build and musculature is said to “have substance”. Weakly built horses are said to “lack substance”

Surcingle: Webbing strap which passes around the horse’s barrel. Can be used to attach side reins to when lunging young horses. Show jumpers, jockeys and eventers use them over the saddle as an added precaution against the girth breaking. Also used over blankets/rugs.

Suspensory Ligament: Ligaments involved in the support of the fetlock and spreading around the fetlock joint.

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