Racing Glossary

Workout jargon or slang:
All-out: When a horse extends itself to the utmost.
Bearing in-out (lugging in-out): Deviating from straight course. Maybe due to weariness, infirmity, inexperience, or the rider overusing the whip or reins to make the horse later course.
Blaze: A generic term describing a large, white vertical marking on a horse's face.
Blow-out: A short, timed workout, usually, a day or two before a race, designed to sharpen a horses' speed. Usually three-eights or one-half of a mile in distance.
Bobble: A bad step away from the starting gate, usually caused by the track surface breaking away from under a horse's hooves causing to duck its head or nearly go to his knees.
Bolt: Sudden veering from a straight course, usually to the outside rail.
Boxed in: To be trapped between, behind or inside of other horses.
Break: 1.) To leave from the starting gate or a pole, 2.) to train a young horse to wear a bridle and saddle, carry a rider, and respond to a rider's commands.
Breakdown: When a horse suffers a potentially career-ending injury, usually to the leg.
Breeze: Working a horse at a moderate speed, less effort than handily.
Bullet (Work): The best workout time for a particular distance on a given day at a track. Also known as a ''black-letter'' work in some parts of the country.
Bullring: A small racetrack, usually less than one mile. Climbing: When a horse lifts its front legs abnormally high as it gallops causing it run inefficiently.
Connections: Persons identified with a horse, such as owner, trainer, rider and stable employees.
Cuppy (track): A dry and loose racing surface that breaks away under a horse's hooves.
Dead Track: Racing surface lacking resiliency.
Dogs: Rubber Traffic cones placed at a certain distances out from inner rail, when track is wet, muddy, soft, yielding or heavy to prevent horses during the workout period from churning the footing along the rail.
Driving: A horse that is all out to win and under strong urging from its jockey.
Dwelt: Extremely late in breaking from the gate.
Eased: A horse that is gently pulled up during a race or a work.
Extended: Running at top speed.
Flatten out: A very tired horse that slows considerably, dropping its head on a straight line with its body. Some horses, however, like to run with their heads lowered.
Furlong: One-eighth of a mile, 220 yards, 660 feet.
Gait: The characteristic footfall pattern of a horse in motion. Throughbreds have four natural gaits – walk, trot, canter, and gallop.
Handily: 1.) Working in the morning with maximum effort. 2.) A horse racing well well within itself, with little exertion from a jockey.
Hand ride: Urging a horse with the hands and not using the whip.
Hung: A horse that does not advance its position in a race when called upon by its jockey.
In hand: Running under moderate control, at less than top speed.
Jog: Slow, easy gait
On the bit: When a horse is eager to run.
Over-reaching: Toe of hind show striking the forefoot or foreleg. It makes 'clickety-clak' sound when running.
Morning Glory: Horse that performs well in morning workouts, but fails to reproduce that form in races.
Pole: Markers at measured distances around the track designating the distance from the finish. The ¾, ½, ¼ pole are all marked in red. The 7/8, 5/8, 3/8 and 1/8 are marked in green, and 6 ½, 5 ½, 4 ½, 3 ½, 2 ½, 16th pole and 7 ½ pole are all black poles, and also called ''short poles''.
Prop: When a horse stops moving by digging its front feet into ground.
Pull-up: To stop or slow a horse during or after a race or workout.
Rank: A horse that refuses to settle under a jockey's handling in a race running in a headstrong manner without respect to pace.
Refuse: When a horse will not break from the gate.
Ridden out: A horse that finishes a race or a workout under mild urging, not severe as driving.
Set-down: When a jockey assumes a lower crouch in the saddle while urging the horse to pick up speed.
Short: A horse in need of more work or racing to reach winning form.
Spit the bit: A generic term used for an exhausted horse.
Sulk: When a horse refuses to extend itself.
Under Wraps: Horse under restraint in a race or workout to keep it from pulling away from the competition by too large a margin.
Washed out: A horse that becomes so nervous that it sweats profusely. Also known as ''washy'' or ''lathered(up).''


Medication Jargon and Definitions:
Bleeder: A horse that bleeds from the lungs when small capillaries that the lugs' air sacs (alveoli) rupture. The medical term is ''exercised-induced pulmonary hemorrhage''. Blood may be seen coming out of the horse's nostrils, although more commonly discovered by fiber optic endoscopic examination after exercise. The most common preventative treatment currently available is the use of diuretic Furosemide (Lasix).
Bowed Tendon: A type of tendinitis. The most common injury to the tendonis a strain or ''bowed'' tendon. Despite aggressive treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs, physical and rest, horses commonly re injure the tendon when they go back into competition.
Bucked Shins: Inflammation of the covering of the bone of the front surface of the cannon bone to which young horses are particularly susceptible.
Cannon Bone: The Third Metacarpal (front leg) or Metatarsal (rear leg), also referred to as the shin bone. The largest bone between the knee and ankle joints.
Coffin bone: The major bone that is within the confines of the hoof.
Colic: What I feel when I eat chili. Refers to abdominal pain.
Conformation: the physical makeup of and bodily proportions of a horse; how it is put together.
Displacement of the Soft Palate: A condition in which the soft palate, located on the floor of the airway near the larynx, moves up into the airway. A minor displacement causes a gurgling sound during exercise while in more serious cases the palate can block the airway. This condition can sometimes be managed with equipment such as a figure eight nose band or a tongue tie. In most extreme cases, surgery might be required, most commonly a ''myectomy.''
Grab a Quarter: Injury to the back of the hoof or foot caused by a horse stepping on itself.
Lame: A deviation from a normal gait due to pain in a limb or its supporting limbs.
Roaring: A whistling sound made by a horse during inhalation while exercising. It is caused by a partial or total paralysis of the nerves controlling the muscles which elevate the Arytenoid cartilages which thereby open the larynx. In severe cases, a surgical procedure known as ''tie-back'' surgery is performed, in which a suture is inserted through the cartilage to hold it out of the airway permanently.


Equipment definition:
Bandages (Wraps front-rear): Bandages or Wraps used on horse's legs are three to six inches wide and are made of a variety of materials. In a race, they are used for support or protection against injury. ''Rundown Bandages” also known as ''ankle wraps'' are using during a race and usually have a pad under a fetlock (also known as the bottom under side of the ankle) to avoid injury due to abrasion when the fetlocks sink toward the ground during weight bearing. A horse may also wear ''standard bandages'' thick cotton wraps used during shipping and while in the stalls to prevent swelling and/or injury.
Bar Shoe: A horseshoe closed at the back to help support the frog (the V-Shaped, pliable support structure on the bottom of the foot) and heel of the hoof. It is often by worn by horses with quarter cracks (A crack between the toe and heel, usually extending to the where the meets the hoof) or bruised feet.
Bit: A stainless, rubber or aluminum bar, attached to the bridle, which fits in the horse's mouth and is one of the means by which a jockey exerts guidance and control. The most common racing bit is the D-bit, named because the rings extending from the bar are shaped like the letter “D”. Most racing bits are “snaffled” (snaffle bit) which means the mental bar is made up of two pieces, connected in the middle, which leaves it free to swivel. Other bits may be used to correct specific problems as bearing in or out.
Blinkers: A cup shaped device to limit a horse's vision to prevent him from swerving from objects or other horses on either side of it. Also, helps horse focus on the task without distractions. Blinker cups come in a variety of sizes and shapes to allow as little or as much vision as the trainer feels is necessary.
Bridle: A piece of equipment, usually made of leather or nylon, which fits on a horse's head and is where other equipment, such as a bit and the reins, are attached.
Calk: A projection on the heels of a horseshoe, similar to a cleat, on the rear shoes of a horse to prevent slipping, especially on a wet track. Also, known as a ''sticker'' or incorrectly spelled as ''caulk''.
Earmuffs: A piece of equipment that covers a horse's ears to prevent it from hearing distracting sounds.
Nose Band: A leather strap that goes over the bridge of a horse's nose to help secure the bridle. A ''figure eight nose'' band goes over the bridge of the nose and under the rights of the bit to help keep the horse's mouth closed. This keeps the tongue from sliding up over the bit and is used on horses that do not like having a tongue tie used.
Reins: Long straps, usually made of leather, that are connected to the bit and used by the jockey to control the horse.
Run-out bit: A special type of bit to prevent a horse from bearing, lugging out or in.
Shadow Roll: A sheepskin roll that is secured over the bridge of a horse's nose to keep it from seeing shadows on the track and shying away from or jumping them.
Tongue tie: Strip of cloth-type material used to stabilize a horse's tongue to prevent it from ''choking down'' in a race or workout or to keep the tongue from sliding up over the bit, rendering the horse uncontrollable.