The horse is one of two extant subspecies of Equus ferus. It is an odd-toed ungulate mammal belonging to the taxonomic family Equidae; the horse has evolved over the past 45 to 55 million years from a small multi-toed creature, into the large, single-toed animal of today. Humans began domesticating horses around 4000 BC, their domestication is believed to have been widespread by 3000 BC. Horses in the subspecies caballus are domesticated, although some domesticated populations live in the wild as feral horses; these feral populations are not true wild horses, as this term is used to describe horses that have never been domesticated, such as the endangered Przewalski's horse, a separate subspecies, the only remaining true wild horse. There is an extensive, specialized vocabulary used to describe equine-related concepts, covering everything from anatomy to life stages, colors, breeds and behavior. Horses' anatomy enables them to make use of speed to escape predators and they have a well-developed sense of balance and a strong fight-or-flight response.
Related to this need to flee from predators in the wild is an unusual trait: horses are able to sleep both standing up and lying down, with younger horses tending to sleep more than adults. Female horses, called mares, carry their young for 11 months, a young horse, called a foal, can stand and run shortly following birth. Most domesticated horses begin training in harness between the ages of two and four, they reach full adult development by age five, have an average lifespan of between 25 and 30 years. Horse breeds are loosely divided into three categories based on general temperament: spirited "hot bloods" with speed and endurance. There are more than 300 breeds of horse in the world today, developed for many different uses. Horses and humans interact in a wide variety of sport competitions and non-competitive recreational pursuits, as well as in working activities such as police work, agriculture and therapy. Horses were used in warfare, from which a wide variety of riding and driving techniques developed, using many different styles of equipment and methods of control.
Many products are derived from horses, including meat, hide, hair and pharmaceuticals extracted from the urine of pregnant mares. Humans provide domesticated horses with food and shelter, as well as attention from specialists such as veterinarians and farriers. Specific terms and specialized language are used to describe equine anatomy, different life stages and breeds. Depending on breed and environment, the modern domestic horse has a life expectancy of 25 to 30 years. Uncommonly, a few animals live into their 40s and beyond; the oldest verifiable record was "Old Billy", a 19th-century horse that lived to the age of 62. In modern times, Sugar Puff, listed in Guinness World Records as the world's oldest living pony, died in 2007 at age 56. Regardless of a horse or pony's actual birth date, for most competition purposes a year is added to its age each January 1 of each year in the Northern Hemisphere and each August 1 in the Southern Hemisphere; the exception is in endurance riding, where the minimum age to compete is based on the animal's actual calendar age.
The following terminology is used to describe horses of various ages: Foal: A foal of either sex less than one year old. A nursing foal is sometimes called a suckling and a foal, weaned is called a weanling. Most domesticated foals are weaned at five to seven months of age, although foals can be weaned at four months with no adverse physical effects. Yearling: A horse of either sex, between one and two years old. Colt: A male horse under the age of four. A common terminology error is to call any young horse a "colt", when the term only refers to young male horses. Filly: A female horse under the age of four. Mare: A female horse four years old and older. Stallion: A non-castrated male horse four years old and older; the term "horse" is sometimes used colloquially to refer to a stallion. Gelding: A castrated male horse of any age. In horse racing, these definitions may differ: For example, in the British Isles, Thoroughbred horse racing defines colts and fillies as less than five years old. However, Australian Thoroughbred racing defines fillies as less than four years old.
The height of horses is measured at the highest point of the withers. This point is used because it is a stable point of the anatomy, unlike the head or neck, which move up and down in relation to the body of the horse. In English-speaking countries, the height of horses is stated in units of hands and inches: one hand is equal to 4 inches; the height is expressed as the number of full hands, followed by a point the number of additional inches, ending with the abbreviation "h" or "hh". Thus, a horse described; the size of horses varies by breed, but is influenced by nutrition. Light riding horses range in height from 14 to 16 hands and can weigh from 380 to 550 kilograms. Larger riding horses start at about 15.2 hands and are as tall as 17 hands, weighing from 500 to 600 kilograms. Heavy or draft horses are at least 16 hands (64 inches, 16
A livery yard or livery stable, or boarding stable, is a stable where horse owners pay a weekly or monthly fee to keep their horses. A livery or boarding yard is not a riding school and the horses are not for hire. Facilities at a livery yard include a loose box or stable and access for the horse to graze on grass. In North America "livery stable" had a somewhat different meaning: a stable where horses and wagons were for hire, but where owned horses could be boarded for a short time attached to a hotel or boarding house; the C. W. Miller Livery Stable is an example of a multi-story livery stable located at Buffalo, New York; the livery stable was a necessary institution of every American town, but it has been ignored by historians. In addition to providing vital transportation service, the livery was the source of hay, grain and wood; because of the stench and vermin that surrounded the livery and towns attempted to control their locations and activities. The scene of gambling and stag shows, they were condemned as sources of vice.
With the advent of the automobile after 1910, the livery stables disappeared. Full livery - The staff undertake all care of the horse and exercise or compete the horse on behalf of the owner; this is the most expensive option. Part livery - The horse is fed and the stall or loose box is mucked out on behalf of the owner, it is not exercised. Do it yourself or DIY livery - A field or paddock and a stable are provided; the owner undertakes all care of the horse and provides all hay and bedding. This is the least expensive option. Sometimes an amount of hay and/or straw for bedding is included. Everything else needs to be done by the horse owner who will visit the yard one or more times a day to manage their horse. Grass livery or agistment - A form of DIY livery in which a field or paddock is provided with a field shelter, but without stabling. Grass livery is only usable during drier weather or during the grass growing season, with the horses being stabled elsewhere at other times; this arrangement is similar to the owner renting a field or paddock for their horse, but fees are charged per horse rather than by the size of the field.
Working livery - Working liveries are common at riding schools and it involves the owner paying a discounted livery fee so that the riding school has the right to use the horse in lessons. In the United States, terminology is less defined and varies by region, requiring horse owners to inquire as to services provided, but boarding falls into one of the following categories: Full board: Generally includes all food, stabling, stall-cleaning, sometimes, daily turnout for exercise. In a few locations in the eastern US, "full board" may encompass grooming and riding of the horse, but not a common practice nationally. If a horse is groomed and taken into competition by someone other than the owner, it is referred to as "in training" or "at training," and the owner pays additional fees on top of full boarding costs. Part or Partial board: The horse is provided shelter, water and twice daily feedings of hay. All other care, including feeding of grain, stall-cleaning and all exercise, is the responsibility of the owner.
Self-board: Similar to "DIY livery" in the UK. The stabling is provided, the owner is responsible for all care. In most cases and stall bedding is available for the use of the boarders. In some places, this is included in the term "partial board." Pasture board: Essentially the same as "Grass livery" in the UK. Used year-round in the United States in the west. In the winter, if there is insufficient grass, some pasture board situations include hay fed to the horses, in other places, the owner must provide all supplemental feeding. Equestrian facility Horse care Livery Stable Blues Houghton-Brown, J. Horse Business Management: Managing a Successful Yard. Blackwell Science. Macdonald, J. M. Running a Stables as a Business. London: J. A. Allen. Spence, Clark C. "The Livery Stable in the American West," Montana: The Magazine of Western History, June 1986, Vol. 36 Issue 2, pp 36–49 https://web.archive.org/web/20060427005743/http://www.horsedata.co.uk/LiveryYards.asp Directory of livery yards in the UK. https://web.archive.org/web/20140502004702/http://www.ukliveryyards.co.uk/guide-finding-reliable-livery-yards-horse/
The saddle is a supportive structure for a rider or other load, fastened to an animal's back by a girth. The most common type is the equestrian saddle designed for a horse. However, specialized saddles have been created for oxen and other creatures, it is not known when riders first began to use some sort of padding or protection, but a blanket attached by some form of surcingle or girth was the first "saddle", followed by more elaborate padded designs. The solid saddle tree was a invention, though early stirrup designs predated the invention of the solid tree; the paired stirrup, which attached to the tree, was the last element of the saddle to reach the basic form, still used today. Today, modern saddles come in a wide variety of styles, each designed for a specific equestrianism discipline, require careful fit to both the rider and the horse. Proper saddle care can extend the useful life of a saddle for decades; the saddle was a crucial step in the increased use of domesticated animals, during the Classical Era.
The word "saddle" originates from the Proto-Germanic language *sathulaz, with cognates in various other Indo-European languages, including the Latin sella. Tree: the base on which the rest of the saddle is built - based on wood or a similar synthetic material; the saddler covers it with leather or with a leather-like synthetic. The tree's size determines its fit on the horse's back, as well as the size of the seat for the rider, it provides a bearing surface to protect the horse from the weight of the rider. The solid saddle tree raises the rider above the horse's back, distributes the rider's weight, reducing the pounds per square inch carried on any one part of the horse's back, thus increasing the comfort of the horse and prolonging its useful life. Seat: the part of the saddle where the rider sits, it is lower than the pommel and cantle to provide security Pommel or Pomnel / Swells: the front raised area of the saddle. Cantle: the rear of the saddle Stirrup: part of the saddle in which the rider's feet are placed.
Leathers and Flaps, or Fenders: The leather straps connecting the stirrups to the saddle tree and leather flaps giving support to the rider's leg and protecting the rider from sweat. D-ring: a "D"-shaped ring on the front of a saddle, to which certain pieces of equipment can be attached. Girth or Cinch: A wide strap that goes under the horse's barrel, just behind the front legs of the horse that holds the saddle on. Panels, Lining, or Padding: Cushioning on the underside of the saddle. In addition to the above basic components, some saddles include: Surcingle: A long strap that goes all the way around the horse's barrel. Depending on purpose, may be used by itself, placed over a pad or blanket only, or placed over a saddle to help hold it on. Monkey grip or less Jug handle: a handle that may be attached to the front of European saddles or on the right side of Australian stock saddle. A rider may use it to assist in mounting. Horn: knob-like appendage attached to the pommel or swells, most associated with the modern western saddle, but seen on some saddle designs in other cultures.
Knee rolls: Seen on some English saddles, extra padding on the front of the flaps to help stabilize the rider's leg. Sometimes thigh rolls are added to the back of the flap. There is evidence, though disputed, that humans first began riding the horse not long after domestication as early as 4000 BC; the earliest known saddle-like equipment were fringed cloths or pads used by Assyrian cavalry around 700 BC. These were held on with a surcingle that included breast straps and cruppers. From the earliest depictions, saddles became status symbols. To show off an individual's wealth and status, embellishments were added to saddles, including elaborate sewing and leather work, precious metals such as gold, carvings of wood and horn, other ornamentation; the North Iranian Eurasian nomads known in Europe as Scythians and in Asia as Saka developed an early form of saddle with a rudimentary frame, which included two parallel leather cushions, with girth attached to them, a pommel and cantle with detachable bone/horn/hardened leather facings, leather thongs, a crupper, a felt shabrack adorned with animal motifs.
These were located in Pazyryk burials finds. These saddles, found in the Ukok Plateau, Siberia were dated to 500-400 BC. Iconographic evidence of a predecessor to the modern saddle has been found in the art of the ancient Armenians and steppe nomads depicted on the Assyrian stone relief carvings from the time of Ashurnasirpal II; the Scythians developed an early saddle that included padding and decorative embellishments. Though they had neither a solid tree nor stirrups, these early treeless saddles and pads provided protection and comfort to the rider, with a slight increase in security; the Sarmatians used a padded treeless early saddle as early as the seventh century, BC. and depictions of Alexander the Great depict a saddle cloth. Early solid-treed saddles were made of felt. Asian designs appeared during the Han dynasty 200 BC. One of the earliest solid-treed saddles in the west was the "four horn" design, first used by the Romans as early as the 1st century BC. Neither design had stirrups.
The development of the solid saddle tree was significant.
In agriculture, a field is an area of land, enclosed or otherwise, used for agricultural purposes such as cultivating crops or as a paddock or other enclosure for livestock. A field may be an area left to lie fallow or as arable land. Many farms have a field border composed of a strip of shrubs and vegetation, used to provide food and cover necessary for the survival of wildlife, it has been found that these borders may lead to an increased variety of animals and plants in the area, but in some cases a decreased yield of crops. In Australian and New Zealand English, any agricultural field may be called a paddock if for keeping sheep or cattle. If stock are grazed there, the space may be called a run, e.g. sheep run. The term paddock is used more in animal husbandry for a system in which grazing land is divided into small areas and the stock graze each paddock in turn for a short period. Paddock grazing systems may be designed for example, 6 or 11 paddocks used in rotation. A paddock is fenced by wire, defined by its natural boundaries, or is otherwise considered distinct.
A back paddock is a smaller field, situated away from the farm house. The equivalent concept in North America and the UK is a pasture. In Australia the word seems to have had its current meaning since at least 1807 and in New Zealand since at least 1842. However, the English meaning of "field" was used earlier in Australia and is still used. Meadow was in early use and has appeared for example, in 2004. Field remains in regular use in Australasia in expressions such as football field, Field Day and field trip. In a new style of ranching developed in North America, featured in the Peter Byck short film Carbon Soil Cowboys, a paddock is a small temporary subdivision of a pasture made with electric fencing, intensely grazed for a day and left to rest for 80 days or more
Horse breeding is reproduction in horses, the human-directed process of selective breeding of animals purebred horses of a given breed. Planned matings can be used to produce desired characteristics in domesticated horses. Furthermore, modern breeding management and technologies can increase the rate of conception, a healthy pregnancy, successful foaling; the male parent of a horse, a stallion, is known as the sire and the female parent, the mare, is called the dam. Both are genetically important, as each parent provides half of the genetic makeup of the ensuing offspring, called a foal. Contrary to popular misuse, "colt" refers to a young male horse only. Though many horse owners may breed a family mare to a local stallion in order to produce a companion animal, most professional breeders use selective breeding to produce individuals of a given phenotype, or breed. Alternatively, a breeder could, using individuals of differing phenotypes, create a new breed with specific characteristics. A horse is "bred".
Thus a colt conceived in England but foaled in the United States is regarded as being bred in the US. In some cases, most notably in the Thoroughbred breeding industry, American- and Canadian-bred horses may be described by the state or province in which they are foaled; some breeds denote the state, where conception took place as the origin of the foal. The "breeder", is the person who owned or leased the mare at the time of foaling; that individual may not have had anything to do with the mating of the mare. It is important to review each breed registry's rules to determine which applies to any specific foal. In the horse breeding industry, the term "half-brother" or "half-sister" only describes horses which have the same dam, but different sires. Horses with the same sire but different dams are said to be "by the same sire", no sibling relationship is implied. "Full" siblings have both the same sire. The terms paternal half-sibling, maternal half-sibling are often used. Three-quarter siblings are horses out of the same dam, are by sires that are either half-brothers or who are by the same sire.
Thoroughbreds and Arabians are classified through the "distaff" or direct female line, known as their "family" or "tail female" line, tracing back to their taproot foundation bloodstock or the beginning of their respective stud books. The female line of descent always appears at the bottom of a tabulated pedigree and is therefore known as the bottom line. In addition, the maternal grandfather of a horse has a special term: damsire. "Linebreeding" technically is the duplication of more distant ancestors. However, the term is used more loosely, describing horses with duplication of ancestors closer than the fourth generation, it is sometimes used as a euphemism for the practice of inbreeding, a practice, frowned upon by horse breeders, though used by some in an attempt to fix certain traits. The estrous cycle controls when a mare is sexually receptive toward a stallion, helps to physically prepare the mare for conception, it occurs during the spring and summer months, although some mares may be sexually receptive into the late fall, is controlled by the photoperiod, the cycle first triggered when the days begin to lengthen.
The estrous cycle lasts about 19–22 days, with the average being 21 days. As the days shorten, the mare returns to a period when she is not sexually receptive, known as anestrus. Anestrus – occurring in the majority of, but not all, mares – prevents the mare from conceiving in the winter months, as that would result in her foaling during the harshest part of the year, a time when it would be most difficult for the foal to survive; this cycle contains 2 phases: Estrus, or Follicular, phase: 5–7 days in length, when the mare is sexually receptive to a stallion. Estrogen is secreted by the follicle. Ovulation occurs in the final 24–48 hours of estrus. Diestrus, or Luteal, phase: 14–15 days in length, the mare is not sexually receptive to the stallion; the corpus luteum secretes progesterone. Depending on breed, on average, 16% of mares have double ovulations, allowing them to twin, though this does not affect the length of time of estrus or diestrus. Changes in hormone levels can have great effects on the physical characteristics of the reproductive organs of the mare, thereby preparing, or preventing, her from conceiving.
Uterus: increased levels of estrogen during estrus cause edema within the uterus, making it feel heavier, the uterus loses its tone. This edema decreases following ovulation, the muscular tone increases. High levels of progesterone do not cause edema within the uterus; the uterus becomes flaccid during anestrus. Cervix: the cervix starts to relax right before estrus occurs, with maximal relaxation around the time of ovulation; the secretions of the cervix increase. High progesterone levels cause the cervix to become toned. Vagina: the portion of the vagina near the cervix becomes engorged with blood right before estrus; the vagina becomes secretions increase. Vulva: relaxes right before estrus begins. Becomes dry, closes more during diestrus; the cycle is controlled by several hormones which regulate the estrous cycle, the mare's behavior, the reproductive system of the mare. The cycle begins when the increased day length causes the pineal gland to reduce the levels of melatonin, thereby allowing the hypothalamus to secrete GnRH.
GnRH: secreted by the hypothalamus, causes the pituitary to release two gonadotrophins: LH and FS
Equus is a genus of mammals in the family Equidae, which includes horses and zebras. Within Equidae, Equus is the only recognized extant genus; the term equine refers to any member including horses. Like Equidae more broadly, Equus has numerous extinct species known only from fossils; the genus most originated in North America and spread to the Old World. Equines are odd-toed ungulates with slender legs, long heads long necks and long tails. All species are herbivorous, grazers, with simpler digestive systems than ruminants, but able to subsist on lower-quality vegetation. While the domestic horse and donkey exist worldwide, wild equine populations are limited to Africa and Asia. Wild equine social systems are in two forms. In both systems, females take care of their offspring. Equines communicate with each other both visually and vocally. Human activities have threatened wild equine populations; the word equus is Latin for "horse", is cognate with the Greek ἵππος, "horse", Mycenaean Greek i-qo /ikkʷos/, the earliest attested variant of the Greek word, written in Linear B syllabic script..
The genus Equus was first described by Carl Linnaeus in 1758. It is the only recognized extant genus in the family Equidae; the first equids were small, dog-sized mammals adapted for browsing on shrubs during the Eocene, around 54 million years ago. These animals had three toes on the hind feet and four on the front feet with small hooves in place of claws, but had soft pads. Equids developed into larger, three-toed animals during the Miocene. From there, the side toes became progressively smaller through the Pleistocene until the emergence of the single-toed Equus; the genus Equus, which includes all extant equines, is believed to have evolved from Dinohippus, via the intermediate form Plesippus. One of the oldest species is Equus simplicidens, described as zebra-like with a donkey-like head shape; the oldest material to date was found in Idaho, USA. The genus appears to have spread into the Old World, with the aged E. livenzovensis documented from western Europe and Russia. Molecular phylogenies indicate that the most recent common ancestor of all modern equines lived ~5.6 Mya.
Direct paleogenomic sequencing of a 700,000-year-old middle Pleistocene horse metapodial bone from Canada implies a more recent 4.07 Mya for the most recent common ancestor within the range of 4.0 to 4.5 Mya. Mitochondrial evidence supports the division of Equus species into noncaballoid and caballoids or "true horses". Of the extant equine species, the lineage of the asses may have diverged first as soon as Equus reached the Old World. Zebras appear to be differentiated in Africa, where they are endemic. Molecular dating indicates the caballoid lineage diverged from the noncaballoids 4 Mya. Genetic results suggest that all North American fossils of caballine equines, as well as South American fossils traditionally placed in the subgenus E. belong to E. ferus. Remains attributed to a variety of species and lumped together as New World stilt-legged horses all belong to a second species, endemic to North America; the possible causes of the extinction of horses in the Americas have been a matter of debate.
Hypotheses include climate overexploitation by newly arrived humans. Horses only returned to the American mainland with the arrival of the conquistadores in 1519. Extinct species/subspecies are marked with † Genus Equus Subgenus Equus Equus ferus Wild horse Equus ferus caballus Domestic horse †Equus ferus ferus Tarpan Equus ferus przewalskii Przewalski's horse †Equus algericus †Equus alaskae †Equus lambei Yukon wild horse †Equus niobrarensis †Equus scotti †Equus conversidens Mexican horse †Equus semiplicatus Subgenus †Amerhippus †Equus andium †Equus neogeus †Equus insulatus Subgenus Asinus Equus africanus African wild ass Equus africanus africanus Nubian wild ass Equus africanus asinus Domestic donkey †Equus africanus atlanticus Atlas wild ass Equus africanus somalicus Somali wild ass Equus hemionus Onager or Asiatic wild ass Equus hemionus hemionus Mongolian wild ass †Equus hemionus hemippus Syrian wild ass Equus hemionus khur Indian wild ass Equus hemionus kulan Turkmenian kulan Equus hemionus onager Persian onager Equus kiang Kiang Equus kiang chu Northern kiang Equus kiang kiang Western kiang Equus kiang holdereri Eastern kiang Equus kiang polyodon Southern kiang †Equus hydruntinus European ass †Equus altidens †Equus tabeti †Equus melkiensis †Equus graziosii Subgenus Dolichohippus Equus grevyi Grévy's zebra †Equus koobiforensis †Equus oldowayensis Subgenus HippotigrisEquus quagga Plains zebra Equus quagga boehmi Grant's zebra Equus quagga borensis Maneless zebra Equus quagga burchellii Burchell's zebra Equus quagga chapmani Chapman's zebra Equus quagga crawshayi Crawshay's zebra †Equus quagga quagga Quagga Equus quagga selousi Selous' zebra Equus zebra Mountain zebra Equus zebra hartmannae Hartmann's mountain zebra Equus zebra zebra Cape mountain zebra †Equus capensis †E
Tack refers to equipment or accessories equipped on horses and other equines in the course of their use as domesticated animals. Saddles, bridles, reins, harnesses and breastplates are all forms of horse tack. Equipping a horse is referred to as tacking up. A room to store such equipment near or in a stable, is a tack room. Saddles are seats for the rider, fastened to the horse's back by means of a girth, known as a cinch in the Western US, a wide strap that goes around the horse at a point about four inches behind the forelegs; some western saddles will have a second strap known as a flank or back cinch that fastens at the rear of the saddle and goes around the widest part of the horse's belly. It is important that the saddle be comfortable for both the rider and the horse as an improperly fitting saddle may create pressure points on the horse's back muscle and cause the horse pain and can lead to the horse, rider, or both getting injured. There are many types of saddle, each specially designed for its given task.
Saddles are divided into two major categories: "English saddles" and "Western saddles" according to the riding discipline they are used in. Other types of saddles, such as racing saddles, Australian saddles and endurance saddles do not fit neatly in either category. Breastplate or breastcollar: Prevents saddles of all styles from sliding sideways or backward on a horse's back Surcingle Crupper Breeching called "britching" Saddle blanket or numnah Stirrups are supports for the rider's feet that hang down on either side of the saddle, they provide greater stability for the rider but can have safety concerns due to the potential for a rider's feet to get stuck in them. If a rider is thrown from a horse but has a foot caught in the stirrup, they could be dragged if the horse runs away. To minimize this risk, a number of safety precautions are taken. First, most riders wear riding boots with a smooth sole. Next, some saddles English saddles, have safety bars that allow a stirrup leather to fall off the saddle if pulled backwards by a falling rider.
Other precautions are done with stirrup design itself. Western saddles have wide stirrup treads. A number of saddle styles incorporate a tapedero, covering over the front of the stirrup that keeps the foot from sliding all the way through the stirrup; the English stirrup has several design variations which are either shaped to allow the rider's foot to slip out or are closed with a heavy rubber band. The invention of stirrups was of great historic significance in mounted combat, giving the rider secure foot support while on horseback. Bridles, halters or headcollars, similar equipment consist of various arrangements of straps around the horse's head, are used for control and communication with the animal. A halter or headcollar consists of a noseband and headstall that buckles around the horse's head and allows the horse to be led or tied; the lead rope is separate, it may be short for everyday leading and tying, or much longer for tasks such as for leading packhorses or for picketing a horse out to graze.
Some horses stallions, may have a chain attached to the lead rope and placed over the nose or under the jaw to increase the control provided by a halter while being led. Most of the time, horses are not ridden with a halter, as it offers insufficient precision and control. Halters have no bit. In Australian and British English, a halter is a rope with a spliced running loop around the nose and another over the poll, used for unbroken horses or for cattle; the lead rope cannot be removed from the halter. A show halter is made from rolled leather and the lead attaches to form the chinpiece of the noseband; these halters are not suitable in loose stalls. An underhalter is a lightweight halter or headcollar, made with only one small buckle, can be worn under a bridle for tethering a horse without untacking. Bridles have a bit attached to reins and are used for riding and driving horses. English Bridles are seen in English riding, their reins are buckled to one another, they have little adornment or flashy hardware.
Western Bridles used in Western riding have no noseband, are made of thin bridle leather. They may have long, separated "Split" reins or shorter closed reins, which sometimes include an attached Romal. Western bridles are adorned with silver or other decorative features. Double bridles are a type of English bridle that use two bits in the mouth at once, a snaffle and a curb; the two bits allow the rider to have precise control of the horse. As a rule, only advanced horses and riders use double bridles. Double bridles are seen in the top levels of dressage, but are seen in certain types of show hack and Saddle seat competition. A hackamore is a headgear that utilizes a heavy noseband of some sort, rather than a bit, most used to train young horses or to go easy on an older horse's mouth. Hackamores are more seen in western riding; some related styles of headgear that control a horse with a noseband rather than a bit are known as bitless bridles. The word "hackamore" is derived from the Spanish word jáquima.
Hackamores are seen in western riding disciplines, as well as in endurance riding and English riding disciplines such as show jumping and the stadium phase of eventing. While the classic bosal-style hackamore is used to start young horses, other designs, such a