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Horses have been an integral part of human society for centuries, and over time, a rich lexicon of words and phrases has evolved to describe these magnificent creatures. As riders, we use certain phrases to communicate with our horses and convey our intentions. In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most commonly used phrases by professional horse riders.


This is one of the most fundamental phrases used by riders, which means to slow down or stop. It’s used to command the horse to come to a halt, and is often accompanied by a gentle pull on the reins.

Walk On

This phrase is used to tell the horse to start moving forward from a standing position. It’s usually used as a cue when starting a ride or when moving from a halt.


This is a term used to describe the second gait a horse can perform. It’s a faster movement than walking, where the horse moves its legs in diagonal pairs. The trot is used in many equestrian disciplines, and is often used as a means of warming up the horse.


This is a controlled three-beat gait, faster than a trot but slower than a gallop. The canter is often used in horse shows and is a graceful and smooth gait.


This is the fastest gait of the horse, with all four feet leaving the ground at once. It’s used when the rider wants the horse to go as fast as possible and is commonly used in racing and cross-country riding.


This is a command used to stop the horse completely, usually by applying pressure on the reins.

Back Up

This phrase is used to make the horse move backward, usually by applying pressure on the reins.

Leg Yield

This is a technique used to move the horse sideways, which involves applying pressure to one side of the horse’s body with one leg, while keeping the other leg neutral. The leg yield is often used in dressage, and helps the horse become more supple and flexible.


This is a term used to describe the horse’s ability to carry itself in balance and with suppleness, using its hindquarters to support its weight. Collection is often used in dressage and is an important part of training for any discipline.

Half Halt

This is a technique used to rebalance the horse by applying a small amount of pressure on the reins, which helps the horse come back to a more collected frame. Half halts are used frequently in dressage and jumping.

Horses have a language of their own, and riders need to learn this language to communicate effectively with their equine partners. These phrases and words may seem simple, but they form the foundation of a rider’s communication with their horse, and are essential to developing a harmonious partnership between horse and rider. By understanding and mastering these phrases, riders can build a strong and effective relationship with their horse, and achieve their riding goals.

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