A Beginner’s Guide to Horseback Riding Terms

One of the most notable aspects of taking a vacation to Red Horse Mountain Ranch is you don’t have to be a seasoned equine enthusiast to have a good time. Year after year, we help teach beginners the ins and outs of horseback riding and help intermediate riders brush up on their skills. We also pride ourselves on providing an enriching learning experience for children and teens. One of the first things you or your kids may want to do is start learning the basic horseback riding terms. To help give new riders a jumpstart, we put together a simple glossary of some of the most common terminology.

Idaho Horseback Riding at Red Horse Mountain Ranch

We understand that horseback riding can be intimidating for people unfamiliar with equine behavior. We promise to go above and beyond to ensure you have everything you need to make your vacation enjoyable. After all, horses are large animals that wield a lot of strength! Beginners and novice riders should be curious as they embark on their new hobby, so don’t feel like you need to know everything right away. We hope it’s something you can continue to improve, and we’re here to do our part. So before you saddle up, here are a few good horseback riding terms to make the learning process easier.

Standard Terms for New Horseback Riders

  • Bit: A small metal bar or link connected to the bridle that fits comfortably into the horse’s mouth to help riders control them.
  • Bridle: Buckled straps that the horse wears over their head connecting to the bit and the reins. 
  • Equine: Anything relating to horses or members of the horse family, such as donkeys and mules.
  • Foal: A young horse, donkey, or mule.
  • Gait: The speed or pace of a horse.
  • Gallop: The fastest pace of a horse leading to all four hooves being off the ground simultaneously.
  • Lope: A medium-paced gait that is slower than a gallop.
  • Mare: A female equine animal.
  • Rein: A long strap attached to the bit used to help guide a horse
  • Saddle: A sturdy seat attached to the back of a horse so riders can sit securely.
  • Shoe: A narrow U-shaped band of iron that is nailed to a horse’s hooves to protect their feet.
  • Stallion: An adult male horse.
  • Stirrup: A pair of rings or loops attached to the saddle on the horse’s sides to provide a step for mounting and help support the rider’s feet.
  • Tack: Gear used for horseback riding and training.
  • Trot: A faster than walking gait and identifiable by each diagonal pair of legs lifting alternately.

Horseback Riding Vacations Near Coeur d’Alene

Hilltop Home bedroomWe hope that our glossary of horseback riding terms can provide valuable insight before you make your way to the ranch. And don’t worry if you still have questions. We’re here to help every step of the way! At Red Horse Mountain Ranch, we incorporate horseback riding into every exciting day. We’ll pair you with a horse based on the information you provide on the activity form and give you at least two opportunities per day to experience authentic Western-style Idaho horseback riding. We schedule rides throughout the week for every skill level, and you’ll have miles of trails to hone your skills! 

Find out more or book your stay by reaching out to Red Horse Mountain Ranch online or calling 888-689-9680.