Again, I have not been reading in English this week. But I have been horseriding, so I thought I would list here some words I kind of know about horseriding and check their definitions, as well as some words I did not know. Also, check this very interesting article about idioms related to horses that I found while looking up my horseriding words. (See this week round-up at BermudaOnion’s blog!)
Tack: n. equipment used in horse riding, including the saddle and bridle.
According to Wikipedia, tack includes “saddles, stirrups, bridles, halters, reins, bits, harnesses, martingales, and breastplates”.
Girth: n. a band attached to a saddle and fastened around a horse’s belly.
According to Wikipedia, this is called a cinch in the Western US.
Bridle: n. the headgear used to control a horse, consisting of buckled straps to which a bit and reins are attached.
Rein: n. a long, narrow strap attached at one end to a horse’s bit, typically used in pairs to guide or check a horse in riding or driving.
I tend to get these two confused, both in English and in other languages.As far as I can understand, the reins are the straps alone, those that the rider holds, while the bridle is the whole thing placed on a horse’s head. Of course, there is also this:
Bit: n. a metal mouthpiece attached to a bridle, used to control a horse.
Martingale: n. a strap or set of straps running from the noseband or reins to the girth of a horse, used to prevent the horse from raising its head too high.
I wouldn’t know about this if I had not seen it on the horse I was riding!
Canter: n. a pace of a horse between a trot and a gallop, with not less than one foot on the ground at any time.
Gallop: n. the fastest pace of a horse or other quadruped, with all the feet off the ground together in each stride.
This is a difference that is not commonly known in Italian, mostly the same word is used, and even in technical contexts a canter is known as a “small gallop”.
(All definitions are taken from the Concise Oxford English Dictionary © 2008 via WordReference.com)