Horse Glossary Words That Start With D

Horse Words that Start With The Letter D

The horse world has its own language. Here are definitions of words you may hear when talking about horses that start with A. 

  • 01 of 08


    Big belly mare
    This mare has had several foals and is expecting one in a short time.

    K. Blocksdorf

    Definition: The word dam is most commonly used to describe livestock's female parent. A horse's dam the mare that is its mother. A grand-dam would the female grandparent. The word is most commonly used by breeders and when talking about a horse's pedigree. The female side of a horse's ancestry is sometimes called the dam side. The dam side is also called the distaff. A horse's father is called a sire.

    Also Known As: Mother, grandmother, the distaff side

    Examples: Her horse's dam was a Clydesdale Horse.

  • 02 of 08


    Wormer syringe

    K. Blocksdorf

    Definition: Dewormer is paste or liquid used to eradicate internal parasites in horses. Dewormers can be administered by the horse owner or by a veterinarian. Dewormers are given to a horse either daily in their feed, or scheduled several times a year, depending on the type used.

    Pronunciation: dēw ûr m ûr

    Also Known As: wormer, worming paste

    Examples: We bought a tube of dewormer at the tack store to give her new horse.

  • 03 of 08


    Watercolor painting of horse and handler
    A horse with a docked tail. Some are cut even shorter.

    Hulton Archive /Getty Images

    Definition: Often seen in some heavy draft breeds, docked tails have been shortened by cutting off the lower vertebrae. The tail is docked so it is shorter and does not become entangled in the driving lines or harness. As in dogs, this practice is considered inhumane by many animal lovers

  • 04 of 08


    Horses and donkey on grassy field seen through fence
    Betty Blahna / EyeEm / Getty Images

    Definition: Donkeys are members of the horse family. Their scientific name for the donkey is Equus asinus. Donkeys can be ridden and driven, although they are often used as companions. A male donkey is called a jack and a female is a jennet or jenny. Sheep farmers use them as guard animals because they will bray if a predator attacks the sheep. There are many types of donkeys. ​Pitou donkeys are one of the largest types and there are also miniature donkeys. The offspring of a horse mare bred to a donkey is called a mule. The offspring of a horse stallion bred to a donkey is called a hinny. Donkeys and mules are known to be hardy and intelligent. They have a strong sense of self-preservation which is sometimes regarded as stubbornness.

    Pronunciation: d än k ē

    Also Known As: ass

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Double Bridle

    Double bridle
    A full bridle.

    Tetra Images /Getty Images

    Definition: A double bridle is a bridle that has both a curb and snaffle bit, called a bridoon, attached to it. The rider carries two sets of reins, one attached to the curb bit and the other attached to the snaffle bit. The purpose of a double bridle is to provide very precise cues to the horse. Very basically, the snaffle is used for horizontal control such as turns, flexion to the sides and controlling speed. The curb is used to control the flexing of the neck and lifting the back, important for doing collected gaits and other precise maneuvers.

    Double bridles are most often seen on dressage horses, horses on drill teams and military parade horses. Riders must have very soft, skilled rein aids and know how to make the horse flex correctly. Incorrect use can result in a horse with improper neck flexion, a hollow back, and other problems.

    Also Known As: full bridle, bit and bridoon, bit and bradoon

    Examples: At the Grand Prix level, horses must compete in a double bridle.

  • 06 of 08


    Draft horses out on trail

    Paul Harris/Getty Images

    Definition: Any cold-blooded large horses breed, or heavy boned pony developed to pull or carry large loads.

    Pronunciation: dr a ft (short a sound)

    Also Known As: draught

    Examples: The draft ponies pulled the sled filled with logs.

  • 07 of 08


    Schooling a dressage horse
    Half halts are used frequently in dressage to prepare the horse for upward and downward transitions and other 'haute ecole' maneuvers. Getty Images

    Definition: A style of riding derived from cavalry methods that teaches responsiveness and athleticism to horse and rider using prescribed choreography and exercises. In its both basic form, dressage is teaching the horse to carry a rider. No matter what sport you plan to compete in--or if you just want to trail ride or pleasure ride, dressage is useful for learning and effective, comfortable riding aids and seat and teaching obedience to your horse

    Pronunciation: dre s ah ze (rhymes with massage)

    Also Known As: Haute Ecole

    Examples: The rider guided her horse through the complicated dressage test.

  • 08 of 08


    Horse pulling a cart

    K. Blocksdorf

    Definition: The act of controlling a horse that is pulling a conveyance such as ​a buggy, cart, wagon, or sleigh.

    Pronunciation: dr i v (long i sound)

    Also Known As: in harness

    Examples: One of the entries in the parade will be local businessman driving his team of miniature horses.