ALAMAR KNOT: decorative knot used to tie a mecate around a horse's neck. In traditional Old California horse training, when a horse had graduated to become a finished bridle horse, the alamar knot was tied from two coils of a mane hair mecate draped over the horse's neck and the knot worn on the horse's chest to denote him as a bridle horse. Link to a site showing how to tie the Alamar Knot
Bell Mare: generally older mares wearing a bell, used as leaders in pack trains or put in a remuda to locate where horses are grazing at night.
Bell: To trim an animal's tail into a distinctive bell shaped pattern. Often used on mules. The pattern is used for identification, for instance to show where a horse or mule should be in a pack string.
Bronco: an animal that has never been broken to saddle or harness use. Also bronc. (Spanish: rough)
Bronc: Rodeo term used to designate the bucking horses that are ridden with a saddle.
Rough string: saddle horses that buck every time they are saddled. Some never become gentle.
(Caballada): Spanish for a band of horses. Saddle horses maintained by a ranch. Also see remuda or cavvy.
Cavvy: (caviada)Buckaroo term for a ranch outfit's saddle horses. The cavvy horses are gathered by a horse wrangler and brought "to the ropes." This is a rope corral, sometimes temporary, at which the "day horses" are roped. The jigger boss, second in command, does the roping. The buckaroo calls out which horse he wants based on the instructions the cow boss has given for the day's work. Term used mainly in the Great Basin and northwest.
Parada: a relay of horses and the place the change is made. Similar to cavvy. Group of broke horses.
Remuda: all saddle horses on a roundup that are thrown together and constitute the remount horses for the cowboys. The remuda is in the charge of a cowboy whose duty is to herd and bunch the animals when the cowboys want a fresh mount. This term is used most often in the southwest and Texas. North of U.S. Highway 50 the term most often used is cavvy or cavvietta.Also see 'caballada', cavvy.
Cold-backed: A horse that has a tendency to buck when initially mounted in the morning.
Sun fish: when a bronc bucks and twists its body into a crescent, and throws head alternately to right and left...looks as though he is trying to sun both sides of his body.
Swap ends: when a bronc is bucking and goes up facing one direction but lands facing the opposite direction.
Croup: The croup is the rump of the horse, the top of the hind quarters from the tail to the kidney area (loin).
Rafter-hipped: horses with a low tail set. Mustang types lacking a rump often show this fall-off from the hipbone to the tail. Arabs and Tbreds have a straight topline (flat croup), but some Quarter Horses show a lot of slope from the loin down to the tail.
Donkey: common name for a member of the ass family. The Spanish brought donkeys, called "burros" in Spanish, to North America beginning in the late fifteenth century. They were the favored beast of burden used by prospectors in the desert Southwest of the United States. A male donkey (jack) can be crossed with a female horse to produce a mule. A male horse can be crossed with a female donkey (jennet or jenny) to produce a hinny.
Rocky Mountain Canary: a burro, also sometimes called a Colorado Mocking bird.
Mule: cross between a male ass and a female horse (mare) Sure footed and hard working animal. Photo shows a mule with its horse mother.
Gouch eared: Having ragged or cropped ears. Sometimes a horse will lose part of an ear to frostbite or an accident.
Ground-Tie: The horse is taught to stand still with the reins dropped on the ground rather than tied to an object. Handy, but not fool-proof.
Hazing: Rodeo term referring to bulldogging. The bulldogger rides his horse on the left side of the steer. The hazer rides on the right. When the steer is released from the box, the hazer attempts to keep the steer between his horse and the bulldogger's horse so that the bulldogger has a better chance to get off on the steer and throw it down. The word "haze" is used to mean push or herd the animal.
Rim-fire: When a cowboy gets his rope caught under his horse's tail, usually while roping cattle. This can cause a severe wreck when the horse takes exception to the position of the rope.
Rollers: "blowing rollers" A snorting, rattling sound made by a horse when he is spooked.
Stray: an animal found strayed away from its owner or from the range where it belongs.
String: A group of several horses designated for use by a cowboy. Each horse has a different athletic ability and disposition. A cowboy chooses his mount for the day according to the work to be done that day: corral work, big-circle, gather, etc.
String: a cowboy's rope or a line of pack-animals.
War Bridle: a type of head control that just uses a loop around the lower jaw of the horse. There are other types that include nose bands and a loop over the poll. Those types are often used as training aids for problem horses. As shown here, the war bridle is not severe, is used very lightly, and much is communicated to the horse using the rider's legs and body.
At the ropes: horses are gathered at a ranch into a rope corral. They are trained to stand with their heads facing the rope and and are roped by the jigger or cowboss for the cowboys from behind using a hoolihan loop. The cowboy asks for his horse for the day according to the work to be done.
(Caballo): Spanish for horse
Cow horse: a horse that is trained to roping, cutting, working out a cow-herd.
Cow sense: What a horse has when it has a natural ability to use for roping, cutting and general cow work.
Cutting horse: certain cow-horses used at a round-up in cutting out cattle for ownership and brand; today, a whole branch of horsemanship and horse use.
Critter: often in speaking of cows or horses a cowboy calls them a "Critter." Other animals can also be critters.
Bangtail: Mustang mare, (not necessarily limited to mares). In older days, uncombed tails were a sign of an unbroken horse.
Broom-tail: a class of range horses that are considered not worth much.
Cayuse: a range-bred horse.
Owl-headed horse: A horse that looks around a lot. Negative term.
Mustang: (MESTEÑO) a feral horse. From the Spanish word mestizo meaning mixed blood.
Buckskin: a tan or yellow colored horse with black mane & tail.
Dun: "Dun factor doesn't not mean dun color, it's a type of gene inheritance. Dun factor acts on the base coat color and usually lightens it a shade or two. Also, many dun factor horses have a stripe down the back and lines on the legs, neck, and ear tips, etc." courtesy of Kathy Kadash-Swan
Flaxey: Blonde colored or flaxen mane or tail on a horse.
Grulla: (pronounced groo-ya)a mouse colored horse, a mousy-dun. The dun version of a black horse. (Mexican: grullo) Note the dark dorsal stripe, tiger striped legs and white ear tips.
Palomino: a golden colored horse with a light or white colored mane and tail.
Pinto: a paint or spotted horse.
Glass-eyed: Blue or white eyed horse. An old-wives' tale says blue-eyed horses do not see well or are night blind, but most see as well as any other horse.
Gelding: it is a range custom to let a male colt run on the range until he becomes a 2-year old. He is then castrated and becomes a gelding. Horses are gelded to help ensure good temperament. The old way was that only geldings were used by cowboys. Mares were turned out with a stallion in stud bands to raise a new crop of colts.
Locoed: horses and cattle become addicted to the eating of Loco weed, thereby causing the victim to become thin; with injury to eyesight, muscular control and brain; causes an abnormal growth of hair on the mane and tail of horses - on cattle an extra increase of hair on flanks.malnutrition, often effecting an animal's thinking.
Weedy: same as above, but caused by eating too much black sage or other plant instead of a normal diet and causing
Re-ride: To ride again, such as to check a pasture or allotment for cattle not gathered the first time. Also with reference to riding a bronc or bull in a rodeo, if the animal does not buck as should be expected, the rider is given a different horse or bull in the hopes they can score their best.
Stallion: an adult male horse. Usually kept mainly for breeding purposes although many are shown and ridden. Another term is "stud."
Stud Band: a group of mares turned out on open range with a stallion. In the days before Taylor Grazing and lots of fenced deeded ground, most horses and cattle were run this way.
Two-rein horse: In the vaquero tradition, the "two-rein" is a step in the horse's training progression. The horse goes from snaffle bit to hackamore to two-rein to bridle. A "bosalito" or thin bosal, used with a mecate goes under a second headstall that uses a half-breed bit with California-style rawhide reins and romal.
Tattoo on a thoroughbred horse. These numbers are tattooed on the inside of the upper lip and registered with the Jockey Club. This is a permanent manner of identification, however not easily seen.
War Knot: tail knot used to keep the horse's tail out of the way while working. Used by buckaroos and vaqueros.
Wheel Team : first team attached to a wagon that requires more than one team, such as in a "four up" or "six up".
"Pull leather / pul lethər/ v a disparaging term used to indicate that an off-balance rider has been forced to grab his saddle with his free hand in order to prevent falling off his horse." Term and usage suggested by Kent Hanawalt
External links are listed as a convenience. We take no responsibility and give no guarantees or warranties, implied or otherwise, for content or accuracy of third-party sites. External sites are not necessarily endorsed by Cowboy Showcase.