Racing Terms

  • Halter


    Like a bridle, but lacking a bit. Used in handling horses around the stable and when they are not being ridden.

  • Hand Ride

    Hand Ride

    Urging a horse with the rider’s hands and not using the whip.

  • Handicap (HCP)

    Handicap (HCP)

    This race type refers to a race where the weights are assigned by the track’s Racing Secretary or Handicapper based upon past performances. Their goal is to assign weight to each horse so that all entrants have an equal chance of winning the race. THERE IS NO ADDED MONEY IN A HANDICAP RACE.

  • Handicapping


    This is the study of factors in the past performances of racehorses used to determine the relative qualities and abilities of horses in a race.

  • Handily


    1) Working in the morning with maximum effort. (Depending on location, used to describe a horse working in the morning “in hand” or of little effort) Compare with, 2) A horse racing well within itself, with little exertion from the jockey.

  • Handle


    Money wagered.

  • Harrowing


    Implement or unit with pulling teeth or tines used to rake and loosen the upper surface of a track.

  • Head


    A margin between horses. For example, one horse leading another by the length of its head.

  • Head of Stretch

    Head of Stretch

    Beginning of the straight run to the finish line.

  • Helmet


    A lightweight fiberglass cap worn by riders to prevent head injuries. It is required equipment that is not considered part of a jockey's riding weight.

  • High Weight

    High Weight

    Highest weight assigned or carried in a race.

  • Hock


    A large joint just above the shin bone in the rear legs. Corresponds to the level of the knee of the front leg.

  • Hood


    A (usually) nylon covering which goes over a horse's head to which blinkers or earmuffs are attached.

  • Horse


    When reference is made to sex, a "horse" is an ungelded male 5 years old or older.

  • Hot Walker

    Hot Walker

    Person who walks horses to cool them out after training, workout or races.

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