Horse Terms You Need to know

Confused over words in sale ads and show rules? These horse terms will help you talk like a Breyer expert.

Terms - A TO G 

All-Purpose Saddle- This saddle is for eventing, equitation, English pleasure, and trail riding. It has a larger knee roll and a deeper seat than a close contact saddle. If your rider is a higher-level jumper, you might want a close contact saddle.

Appaloosa- A horse with small spots on a solid coat. Also a breed used in Western riding. Appaloosa patterns include Leopard (dark, round spots on a white coat), Blanket ( white blanket over the hindquarters, with a few small spots.), Snowflake (small white spots on a dark coat), Frost (white flecks on a dark coat), and Varnish Roan (lots of white hairs with dark patches on the head and lower legs).

Leopard Appaloosa coat pattern

Leopard Appaloosa

Australian Saddle- Aussie saddles are like a cross between English and Western saddles. They have poleys (big knee rolls that stick out from the saddle) and a horn. Aussie saddles are used in stock work, endurance riding, and trail riding.

Bald face marking


Bald Face- A face marking where the horse's head and muzzle are white. The white goes past the eyes.

Barrel Racing Saddle- This saddle is used for speed events. It has a tall horn for the rider to hold onto, a high cantle and small, round skirts.  A back cinch to help keep the saddle on is optional.


Bay- a chestnut horse with black points.

Closeup of a bay coat

Bit- the metal piece on the bridle that goes in the horse's mouth.

Black- a horse that is black with no brown points.


Blaze- a wide white stripe on the horse's nose.

Blaze face marking
Blinkers on a draft horse harness bridle


Blinker- Blinkers are leather pieces on a harness bridle that keep the horse from being distracted by activity behind it.

Bosal- a hackamore noseband usually made of braided rawhide.

Bosal Hackamore- a bridle of Spanish origin, has a large braided rawhide noseband, and no bit. The hackamore is used sometimes in Western riding.

Western breastcollar

Breastcollar- a piece of tack that goes around the horse's chest to attach the saddle and cinch. The breastcollar keeps the Western saddle on the horse's withers. Breastcollars can have tooling or silver plates for decoration.



Reflective police horse breastplate on a Breyer Black Beauty model

Breastplate- an English breastcollar. Breastplates loop around the girth and attach to D rings on the saddle. They do not have any kind of decoration. The breastplate in the photo is a reflective Police Horse breastplate on a Breyer horse.

Bronc Halter- a leather or rope halter with a  leather noseband that is about 5" wide in the middle on a real horse. Bronc halters are mostly worn by horses used for Western riding.

A bronc halter on Breyer Lady Phase



A western browband studded with crystals

Browband- This is the part of a Western or English bridle that goes across the horse's forehead. Not all western bridles have these. Browbands on either type of bridle can be decorated. English browbands have metal strips or ribbon. Western browbands often have engraved silver plates. Both styles can have crystals. Check the rules for your show discipline before you decorate your bridle's browband.

Brown- a black horse with light brown points.

Closeup of buckskin coat with dapples


Buckskin- a gold colored horse with a black mane and tail but no dorsal stripe.

California Reins- these Western reins are connected to each other by a quirt called a romal. California reins are also called closed reins. Arabian Western pleasure horses are often ridden in these.

Canter- a fast, smooth 3-beat gait that is slower than a gallop.


Cantle- the back of the seat on a Western or English saddle. Some Western saddles have silver decorations on the cantle.

Cantle on a Western saddle

Cheekpiece- this part of the bridle attaches to the bit and rests on the side of the horse's face. On an English bridle, there are four, two on each side. One attaches to the bit and a smaller one attaches to the noseband. Western cheekpieces have silver plates sometimes.

Chestnut- a reddish brown coat color. The horse can have a chestnut or flaxen mane and tail.

Classics-  Breyer's  line of 1:12 scale model horses. Read more about Classics.

Close Contact- this is a jumping saddle. It has a small knee roll, short flaps angled forward, and a flat seat. A rider in this saddle should lean forward.

Concho- a round, engraved silver decoration on a Western saddle.

Breyer Stablemates conga line

Conga Line- a collection of model horses that are all the same mold but in different colors.




Corner Plates- engraved silver plates that go on the corners of the skirts on a Western saddle.

Silver corner plates on a Western saddle

Coronet- a white leg marking around the coronet. Also the area of the leg around the top of the hoof.

Cossack Loops- the leather loops on a vaulting surcingle that the vaulters can put their legs through. Some are adjustable.

Cremello- a cream horse with pink skin and blue eyes.

Crown Piece- the part of the bridle that goes over the horse's poll.

Crupper- this is a leather loop with a strap that attaches to a saddle. The loop goes around the horse's tail to keep the saddle from sliding forward.


Curb Bit- a bit with shanks that the reins attach to. Most Western riders use curb bits.

Curb Chain- the curb chain is fitted on a curb or pelham bit and goes across the chin.

Curb Strap- a leather strap that attaches to the curb bit on each side of the Western bridle and goes across the horse's chin.

Cutting Saddle- this Western saddle has a deep seat, a tall horn, a low cantle, and forward angled fenders. Cutting saddles have back cinches.

Closeup of a dapple grey coat


Dapple Grey- a grey horse with lighter patterns in the coat.

Decorator- a Breyer model that is painted an unrealistic color like blue, pink, gold, or silver. Some decorator models are for special events like BreyerFest.

Double Bridle- an English bridle used for dressage and showing. A double bridle has two bits- a Bridoon and a Weymouth. The bridle also has a curb chain, a chain that goes under the horse's chin,a lip strap, and a sliphead that attaches to the Bridoon. Double bridles are also called full bridles or Weymouth bridles.

Draft Horse- a large horse used for pulling plows or wagons. Draft horses are often over 16 hands high at the withers (64 inches). They are calm and easygoing horses.

Dressage saddle- the dressage saddle has a long, straight flap and a very deep seat. A rider should sit deep in a dressage saddle, and their knees should not be bent much.

Drop Noseband- This English noseband keeps the horse from opening its mouth. The cheekpiece attaches to a ring that each side of the top and bottom noseband pieces attach to. The bottom strap goes around the horse's chin in front of the bit.


Dun- a horse with a golden coat, black mane and tail and a dorsal stripe. Dun horses sometimes have zebra markings on the lower legs and a cross over the withers.

Dun Norwegian Fjord
Face piece on a draft horse harness bridle


Face Piece- a leather tab on a harness bridle that rests on the horse's forehead.

Fiadore- a rope attached to the heel knot on a hackamore that goes over the horse's poll and works like a throatlatch.

Fixed Head- the upper pommel on a sidesaddle that the left leg rests on top of.

Flash Noseband- this is a cavasson noseband that that has a thinner strap attached to the front. The thin strap buckles around the horse's nose behind the chin and in front of the bit and cavasson. The Flash noseband helps keep the horse's mouth closed. It is used in English riding.

Flea-bitten Grey- a grey horse with red or brown flecks in its coat.

Fly Link- a ring on the curb chain that hangs down for the lip strap to pass through.

Gait- the horse's way of going, a certain sequence of footfalls. Natural gaits are the walk, trot, and gallop.

Some gaits are specific to certain breeds of horses. Tennessee Walking horses perform a smooth Running Walk. Icelandic Horses can do the tolt. Racing Standardbreds pace. American Saddlebreds do the rack at shows.

Gallop- a very fast four-beat gait.

Girth- the girth goes around the horse's stomach and buckles to the billets on both sides of the saddle. The girth keeps the English saddle on the horse. Girths are leather or synthetic straps with two buckles on each end. String girths are made of cords stitched together in places. Western girths are called cinches and are different than girths in some ways.

Grips- the leather-covered metal U-shapes on the vaulting surcingle that the vaulter holds on to. Some grips are more complicated shapes.


Grulla- a mouse colored horse with black points and a dorsal stripe. Some grullas have black heads. Pronounced Grew-ya. Can also be spelled grullo.

Guarninicion-it attaches to the back of the saddle and goes around the back of the horse. The tail cover is embossed and made from leather. The guarninicion serves the same purpose as a crupper- to keep the saddle from sliding forward. It is part of the Peruvian Horse's native costume.

Terms - H to Z

Abbreviations for Breyer, Breeds and Condition

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