Fifteen Words That Mean Something Different to Horse Lovers

Pop Culture
The word "chrome" means very different things to devotees of tricked-out rims and fans of a certain two-time Horse of the Year. (Wikimedia Commons/Eclipse Sportswire)

The equine world has a lot of jargon; from racing to pleasure riding, horse people often use common words in colloquial ways, and that can be very confusing if you find yourself in a conversation with horse lovers! Here are 15 words that mean something different to horse people.


1. Bay

(Wikimedia Commons)
(Penelope P. Miller/America's Best Racing)

To most people: A body of water indenting a shoreline.

To horse people: A brown horse with a black mane and tail.


2. Frog

(Wikimedia Commons)
(Eclipse Sportswire)

To most people: An amphibian that’s either cute or creepy, depending on your phobias.

To horse people: A part of the horse’s hoof that acts as a shock absorber.


3. Green

(Wikimedia Commons)
(Wikimedia Commons)

To most people: A color usually associated with trees and plants. It’s green. You know what it is.

To horse people: A horse that’s not fully trained – riding a green horse can occasionally lead to an unscheduled dismount.


4. Hand

(Wikimedia Commons)
(Wikimedia Commons)

To most people: The appendage at the end of arms. Usually each one has four fingers and a thumb.

To horse people: A unit of measurement of a horse – a hand is four inches, and horses are measured from the ground to the withers (the part of the horse where the back and neck meet.)


5. Paint

(Wikimedia Commons)
(Penelope P. Miller/America's Best Racing)

To most people: Either a means to artistic expression or a chore you have to do this weekend. Both, maybe?

To horse people: A horse with a two-toned body, consisting of white patches on the base color.


6. Star

(Wikimedia Commons)
(Penelope P. Miller/America's Best Racing)

To most people: A celestial body appearing as fixed luminous points in the sky at night. There’s a chance they grant wishes if you see one falling down.

To horse people: A small white patch of hair on a horse’s forehead.


7. Tack

(Wikimedia Commons)
(Wikimedia Commons)

To most people: A handy office item used for affixing one thing to a wall or cork board. Do not step on one with bare feet.

To horse people: Essentially, what horses wear. Saddles and bridles are tack.


8. Groom

(Wikimedia Commons)
(Eclipse Sportswire)

To most people: A man about to get married, often found at an altar.

To horse people:  A person who dedicates their life to taking care of horses, often thought of as a living saint.


9. Chrome

(Wikimedia Commons)
(Eclipse Sportswire)

To most people: The shiny stuff on cars.

To horse people: Large white markings on horses; or, California Chrome, the fan favorite racehorse who won the first two legs of the 2014 Triple Crown.


10. Coach

(Wikimedia Commons)
(Wikimedia Commons)
(Eclipse Sportswire)

To most people: A person who tells sports players what to do. Also a classic TV show that ran from 1989-1997!

To horse people: A tricked-out carriage – think Cinderella on the way to the ball. For horse racing fans, though, Coach means D. Wayne Lukas, trainer extraordinaire and cowboy hat aficionado.


11. Cob

(Wikimedia Commons)
(Wikimedia Commons)

To most people: The best way to eat corn.

To horse people: A stocky equine roughly the size of a small horse or a large pony.


12. Sire

(Wikimedia Commons)
(Eclipse Sportswire)

To most people: How you address a king, should you happen to run into one.

To horse people: The father of a horse. Should you happen to run into one, you don’t have to address him as such.


13. Tree

(Wikimedia Commons)
(Wikimedia Commons)

To most people: Extremely large plants that are kind enough to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen.

To horse people: The center frame of a saddle, usually made out of wood and covered in leather.


14. Purse

(Wikimedia Commons)

To most people: An accessory designed to simultaneously hold and empty your wallet. Those things get expensive!

To horse people: The amount of prize money up for grabs in a competition.


15. Hunter

(Wikimedia Commons)
(Wikimedia Commons)

To most people: A person who hunts game or other wild animals for food or in sport.

To horse people: A discipline of English riding in which horse and rider are judged for their movement, manners, appearance, and precision.

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