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Glossary

This page contains a list of commonly used terms relating to equine passports and their definitions.
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
A

Aged

A horse of 15 years of age or older. Prior to this age, experienced horsemen can estimate the age of a horse by examining the teeth.

Akhal-Teke

Ancient breed of horse originating in the Turkmenistan area, north of Iran and east of the Caspian Sea.

Albino

Term used to indicate lack of pigment. True albino horses have pink skin, white hair coat and pink eyes.

Andalusian

Elegant breed of horse originating in the Iberian peninsula, also known as the Pure Bred Spanish Horse.

Anglo

Type of horse resulting in a cross between a Thoroughbred and any other breed of horse or pony eg. Anglo Arab.

Appaloosa

Type of horse exhibiting one of a number of distinct coat patterns of spots on the body. Originating in the USA in the vicinity of the Palouse river populated by the Nez Perce Native Americans. Coat patterns include leopard spot, blanket, snowflake, frost.

Arabian

Ancient and graceful breed of horse, originating in the deserts of the Middle East and having a strong influence on many other breeds, including the Thoroughbred.

Azteca Horse

Relatively new breed of horse, developed in Mexico by crossing Andalusians, Criollos and Quarter Horses.

B

Back-breeding

The practice of breeding back to a certain stallion to preserve a particular desirable trait.

Bay

Coat color - deep reddish brown with black mane and tail. (See also Dark Bay and Light Bay)

Blood Horse

A Thoroughbred horse.

Bloodstock

Thoroughbred horses bred for racing.

Breed

A classification of horses and ponies into equines which breed true to a type or that are bred selectively for consistent characteristics over a long period of time.

Breed Society

An organisation that maintains a studbook register containing breeding and identification information usually specific to breed of equine but can also contain information on part-bred horses.

Brood Mare

A mare used for breeding purposes.

Buckskin

Coat color - body can range from creme to dark bronze, mane, tail, legs and tips of ears are black or dark brown. Horses showing similar colouration, but with a dorsal stripe, are called dun.

C

Carriage Horse

An relatively light and elegant horse used for carriage driving.

Chestnut

i) The small rubbery protrusion on the inside of all four legs.
ii) Reddish-brown coat color (sometimes referred to as Sorrel). (See also Dark Chestnut).

Cleveland Bay

Breed of horse. Originating in England as a carriage horse. Increasingly popular for crossing with Thoroughbreds to produce versatile sport horses used in a number of equine sports.

Clydesdale

Breed of heavy horse originating in Scotland and used for heavy draft work.

Coach Horse

A powerfully built horse, capable of drawing a heavy coach.

Cob

A type of horse, rather than a breed, a cob is a horse of stocky appearance, well-adapted to carrying heavyweight riders in all circumstances.

Coldblood

The name used to describe the heavy European breeds of horse descended from the prehistoric Forest Horse.

Colt

Uncastrated male horse up to four years of age. Male foals are called "colt foals".

Competition Discipline

An organisation that provides performance data to NED, e.g. British Eventing. See also Performance discipline.

Connemara

Breed of horse native to Ireland renowned for their hardiness, agility, versatility, intelligence and a natural jumping ability.

Crossbreeding

The mating of horses of different breeds or types.

D

Dales Pony

One of the nine breeds of horse or pony native to the British Isles. Originating from the Pennines, from Derbyshire to the Scottish border.

Dark Chestnut

Dark brown coat color. (See also Chestnut).

Dartmoor Pony

One of the nine breeds of horse or pony native to the British Isles. Originating in the Dartmoor region of southwest England.

Dam

A horse's female parent.

Dark Bay

Coat color - dark brown with black mane and tail. (See also Bay and Light Bay)

Desert Horse

Term used to describe horses bred in dry, desert conditions, or horses descended from such horses. Examples are Arabian and Akhal Teke.

Donkey Colour

Colour typical of the donkey breeds.

Draft Horse

A term applied to any horse used for hauling vehicles or loads, but most usually associated with the heavy breeds.

Dressage

i) The art of training the horse so that he is totally obedient and responsive to the rider, as well as supple and agile in his performance.
ii)Competetive sport which, by a series of set tests, seeks to judge the horse's natural movement and level of training against an ideal.

Dun

Coat color. Yellow or sandy colored body with black points. Also has a dorsal strip.

Dutch Warmblood

Popular sport horse derived from the breeding of French, German and English horses with native Dutch horses. Bred originally as a carriage horse, but has evolved into a versatile horse which excels at many equestrian sports, including dressage, showjumping and eventing. See also Warmblood.

E

Equitation

The art of horse riding.

Eventing

Equestrian competition held over one or three days and including the disciplines of dressage, cross country and show jumping.
F

Fell Pony

One of the nine native breeds of Britain. Originating in the fells of northern England.

Filly

Female horse under four years old. A female foal is called a "filly foal".

Fjord/Fiord

Norwegian Fjord Horse. Ancient breed of horse, retaining the characteristics of the primitive wild horse, the Przewalski.

Foal

Colt, filly or gelding up to one year of age.

Foundation

Foundation Quarter Horses are Quarter Horses whose bloodlines have not had any Thoroughbred blood added since 1940. Must be registered with the American Quarter Horse Association and have less than 10% Thoroughbred blood.

Friesian

Elegant breed of horse originating in the Netherlands. Always black in color with wavy mane and feathering at the fetlocks.

Futurity

Incentive breeding and evaluation program to improve a breed or type of horse or pony.

G

Gelding

Castrated male horse.

Green

A horse that is in the early learning stage of his particular discipline is said to be green.

Grey

Coat color ranging from pure white to dark grey. Further described by terms such as "dappled" (small iron-grey circles on a lighter background) and "flea-bitten" (flecks of dark grey on a white background).

H

Hack

(i) A type rather than a breed, hacks are elegant riding horses, popular in the show ring in England.
(ii) "to hack" i.e. to go for a ride.

Hackney

Breed of horse exhibiting a disctinctive high-stepping action. Popular as a light harness horse.

Haflinger

Attractive breed of horse originating in Austria. Always chestnut in color, with light colored mane and tail.

Hand

Unit of measure used to describe a horse. One hand equals 4 inches, partial measurements being described as 14.1, 14.2, 14.3.

Hanoverian

Popular sport horse derived from the breeding of German horses with Thoroughbred horses. Bred originally to refine the quality of cavalry and farm horses , but has evolved into a versatile horse which excels at many equestrian sports, including dressage, showjumping and eventing. See also Warmblood.

Heavy Horse

Any large draft horse, such as the Shire, the Clydsdale, the Belgian Draft.

Highland Pony

One of the nine native breeds of Great Britain. Sturdy pony originating in the highlands of Scotland.

Horsemanship

The art of equitation or riding.

Hotblood

Term describing horses of Arabian or Thoroughbred blood.

Hunter

In England, a type of horse, rather than a breed, suitable for being ridden to hounds. In the US, a well mannered, smooth gaited jumping horse shown in Hunter Under Saddle and Hunter Over Fences classes.

Hybrid

A cross between a horse and one of the other equids, such as an ass or a zebra.

I

Icelandic Horse

Ancient breed of horse originating in Iceland. Known as versatile riding horses, exhibiting a unique gait, the tolt, or running walk.

ID Only

An organisation that issues passports for any breed of equine, e.g. Pet ID UK Ltd. The breed information contained in an ID only passport is not verified and is not shown on NED.

Inbreeding

The mating of brother/sister, sire/daughter, son/dam, to fix or accentuate a particular trait or character.

Irish Draught Horse

Breed of draught/draft horse originating in Ireland. Popular for crossing with lighter breeds to produce the Irish Sport Horse.

J

Jack

Male donkey.

Jennet/Jenny

Female donkey.

Jumper

Type of horse suited to jumping and which competes in jumping classes

K

Knackers

Slang word for slaughterhouse, abbatoir. Someone who buys horses at auction for purposes of taking to slaughter.

L

Light Bay

Coat color - light brown with black or dark brown mane and tail. (See also Dark Bay and Bay)

Light Horse

Horse, other than a heavy horse or pony, which is suitable for riding or carriage work.

Line-breeding

The mating of horses having a common ancestor some generations removed, to accentuate particular traits or characteristics.

Lippizan/Lippizaner

Elegant breed of horse from Europe. Most famous for their performances in the Spanish Riding School in Austria.

Lusitano

An elegant breed of horse native to Portugal .

M

Mare

Female horse aged four and over.

Morab Horse

Breed of horse derived from crossing Morgan horses with Arabians.

Morgan Horse

Gentle and elegant breed of horse developed in the 1780's. The founding stallion was a bay colt named Figure, owned by Justin Morgan, from whom the breed gets its name.

Mountain and Moorland

Name given collectively to the native breeds of Britain. See also native ponies.

Mule

Offspring of a male donkey and a female horse.

Mustang

Wild horse of the American West.

N

Native Ponies

Another name for the Mountain and Moorland breeds of the UK - i.e. New Forest, Exmoor, Dartmoor, Highland, Fell, Dale, Shetland, Connemara and Welsh.

NEDLink

A NEDLink is a code used by the NEDOnline site to allow users to link directly to a specific horse's passport record in NED without any searching taking place. Each NEDLink is unique and refers to only one horse in NED.

New Forest Pony

One of the native breeds of Great Britain, originating in the New Forest area of Hampshire.

Norwegian Fjord Horse

Ancient breed of horse originating in Norway. See also Fjord Horse.

NPI

NED Performance Index - a performance score given to an equine based on its results in a given discipline. Across the range of equine disciplines there are a number ways in which horses can be ranked - e.g. amount of prize money won or number of points scored. NPI values in NED are calculated in a way that allows an interested party to quickly compare the success of an equine for any discipline in which it has participated.

O

Overo

Coat pattern seen in Paint Horses. Uneven splashes of white over the horse's belly, legs, neck and head. See also Paint Horse and Tobiano.

P

Paint Horse

Breed of horse exhibiting pinto coloring. See also Tobiano and Overo.

Palomino

Coat color in which the body can be varying shades of gold, with a silver or white mane and tail.

Part-bred

Result of breeding any pure bred horse or pony with another horse or pony which is not a pure bred of the same breed eg Welsh part bred.

Paso Fino


Breed of horse, originally from Spain, known for it's comfort and endurance.

Pedigree

Information on Ancestors, progeny and/or siblings recorded in a studbook or registry.

Percheron

Breed of draft horse, originally bred in the Normandy region of France, but popular throughout the world.

Performance Discipline

An organisation that provides performance, evaluation or grading data to NED, e.g. British Breeding. See also Competition discipline.

Peruvian Paso

Breed of horse originating from breeding stock brought from Spain during the Conquest period, displaying a comfortable ambling gait. National horse of Peru.

Piebald

Term for body color of white with black patches.

PIN

Unique passport reference number used for identification of equines. This sytem of numbering has been superceded by the UELN system.

Pinto

Term for coat color of white with patches of another color. See also piebald and skewbald.

PIO

Passport Issuing Organisation

Pony

An equine standing 14.2 or less.

PPEG

Pedigree, Performance, Evaluation and Grading data is gathered by NED and linked to the relevant equine. This is then made available to view in the form of a report.

Purebred

A horse with both parents being of the same breed.

Pure Bred Spanish Horse

See Andalusian
Q

Quarter Horse

Breed of horse, originating in the United States and popular for ranch work, racing and riding in all equestrian disciplines.

R

Racehorse

Horse bred for racing. Can be Thoroughred, Quarter Horse, Arabian, Standardbred.

Reining

Type of Western riding in which advanced movements such as spins and slides are executed in various patterns.

Riding Horse

Horse suitable for riding, with the conformation associated with comfortable riding action (as opposed to draft or carriage horses)

Roan

Coat color in which white hairs are mixed with the base coat color. A strawberry roan is where chestnut and white hairs are mixed to give an overall reddish effect. A blue roan refers to a coat in which black and white hairs are mixed, giving an overall blue effect.

S

Saddlebred

Flashy breed of horse, originating in the US, known for its spectacular gaits.

Shetland Pony

Small breed of pony originating from the Shetland Isles, north of Scotland. One of the British native breeds. Known for its hardiness.

Shire Horse

Breed of draft horse, originating in northern England. Once used as a war horse and later as farm and draft animals.

Sire

A horse's male parent.

Skewbald

Term for body color of irregular white and color patches other than black (i.e. brown, chestnut) Called pinto in the US.

Sorrel

See Chestnut.

Sport horse

A type of horse generally taken as having been bred to compete in eventing, show jumping or dressage. A sport horse is a type of horse rather than a breed of horse

Stallion

Uncastrated male horse.

Standardbred

Breed of horse popular as a harness racer.

Stud

Breeding establishment - stud farm.

Studbook

A book kept by a breed society or registry in which the pedigrees of horses eligible for registration are recorded. A studbook usually has several sections for pure bred and part bred horses

T

Tack

Refers to the equipment of a riding horse - saddle, bridle etc. Short for "tackle."

Thoroughbred

Breed of horse, originating in England, used as a race horse and also to add refinement to other breeds of horse.

Tobiano

Coat pattern - commonly referred to as Piebald.

Trakehner

Breed of warmblood horse, popular in a variety of equestrian sports.

U

UELN

Unique Equine Life Number - A unique passport reference number given to an equine consisting of 15 digits e.g. 826051123456789

The first three digits denote the country - 826 = Great Britain
The second three digits are the PIO code - 051 = British Equestrian Federation
The next 9 digits are a reference number unique within the organisation that issued the passport.

V

Vaulting

Equestrian sport involving gymnastic exercises done on the back of a moving horse.

W

Warmblood

Generally taken to mean a type of horse, originating on the European Continent which is a result of crossing native draught horses with thoroughbred, arabian and other blood to produce a more refined, but athletically strong and capable horse, such as the Swedish Warmblood, the Dutch Warmblood etc. Most warmblood horses are sport horses 

X

Y

Yearling

Colt or filly between one and two years of age.

Z

Zony

Hybrid cross between a zebra and a pony.

Zorse

Hybrid cross between a zebra and a horse.