BRIDLE: (la brida, el freno) the head harness for a horse, basically
consisting of the headstall, bit, chin strap and reins, but often including also a brow band, nose strap, and throat latch.
BIT: (el freno) - metal mouthpiece on a bridle, when connected to reins,
used to steer the horse. There are a great many variations on bit shapes and severity. Some types include half-breed, spade,
snaffle, curb, and ring bits.
BOSAL: (bozal) noseband, usually of braided rawhide, used with headstall
to make a hackamore. Usually used with a mecate for reins.
BREAST COLLAR: strap, often made of leather, that passes around the
animal's chest and is attached to the saddle. Used to keep the saddle from sliding back.
BRITCHIN: (Breeching) Leather strap arrangement fitting over an animal's
hind quarters to keep a saddle from slipping forward. Essential on mules because of their slim shoulders.
The term breeching also refers to a permanent identification mark made horizontally across both sides
of a cow's rump (in the same place the leather strap is shown on the mule in the photo).
BUCKING ROLLS: padded attachments at the front of the saddle to supplement
the swells to help the rider stay in the saddle. Most often used on A-fork saddles.
CANTLE: (la teja) arched, rear portion of the saddle tree.
CHOKER: different style of breast collar. Also called martingale.
CINCH: (la cincha) a leather or fabric band (or girth) that holds the
saddle on the horse's back by being tightened around its body just behind the front legs. Usually it is fastened to leather
straps (latigos) that hang from the rigging on each side of the saddle.
double rigged - two cinches, one forward and one (flank) behind the
single rigged - one cinch which can be different distances back on a
CONCHO: (la concha) a metal disk, often of silver, set on a leather rosette that secures saddle
thongs or used as other decoration.
ROSETTE: (la roseta) a circular design; on western stock saddles, a
small leather disk with two slits for thongs or saddle strings to pass through, securing skirts to saddletree.
CRUPPER: A leather strap that goes around an animal's tail to keep the
saddle from slipping forward.
Dally: When roping, wrapping the rope counter-clockwise around the saddle horn to hold the
animal or object roped.
FIADOR KNOT: (Sometimes called Theodore knot) This knot is used to tie
a hackamore in conjunction with the hackamore knots and tie knot. This is known as the hardest knot to tie in horse gear.
HACKAMORE: (la jaquima) consists of a noseband (bosal), usually of braided rawhide, that fits over the horse's nose, a strap behind its ears, and reins
(usually a mecate) forming a type of bridle or halter.
MECHANICAL HACKAMORE: metal version of the above with metal side pieces
that work on the nerves of the nose and a chain under the jaw that works on the nerves there. Sometimes called a broken-jaw
HALTER: (el cabestro) a headstall usually with an attached rope or strap,
for holding and leading an animal.
Harness: Sets of straps, collars, reins, and hardware that are used
on horses in order to have them pull a wagon.
Headstall: Straps that go over a horse's head which, together with a
bit and reins, form the bridle.
HOBBLES: (manellos) straps placed around a horse's legs to keep it from wandering off.
HORN: (la cabezal) the projection, often bent forward, above the pommel
used for dallying a rope. Different style horns are regional. Different style horns are used for cutting and roping.
KEEPER: piece of leather attached to the saddle through which loose
equipment or saddle parts can be hooked.
LATIGOS: leather straps to which the cinch is secured, each suspended
from a latigo ring (or rigging ring), one on the near or on-side (el latigo) and sometimes one on the off-side of a single
rigged saddle; on a double-rigged saddle there is also a second (flank) cinch. Some saddles have an off-side billet to secure
the cinch instead of a second latigo.
MARTINGALE: (la gammara) strap from the (front) cinch to the bridle,
or ending in two rings through which the reins pass, to help control the horse. Also used to refer to the "choker" style breast
Macardy (el mecate) A rope, often of braided horsehair, that is used
as a combination rein and lead rope.
McClellan: style of military issue saddle used by the U.S. Cavalry.
MOCHILA: Mail pouch the Pony Express riders carried on their saddles
to hold the mail.
MORRAL: A feed bag for a horse that fits over its nose. Also called a nose bag. It is
a handy method of feed a horse grain or pellets. Little feed is wasted and one animal cannot eat another's ration.
NIGHT LATCH: Safety strap attached to the saddle for the rider to
hold on to in order to stay on a contrary horse.
SAWBUCK PACKSADDLE: (la albarda) (juste) simple wooden framework with
crossed ends placed on animal's back to carry loads.
DECKER PACKSADDLE: different style pack saddle with metal rings to support
the load. The saddle pictured is made by Tom Padgitt, Waco, Texas and has metal arches with "horns" for tying, rather than
REIN: (la rienda) strap or cord (in pairs) that runs from the bridle
bit around the horse's neck, to be held and manipulated by the rider. These straps manipulate the bit and apply pressure on
a horses mouth and neck in order to steer the animal.
Reins are of two general types, open (split) and closed. Texas cowboys
prefer open reins. One advantage of that type is that they are not joined together, so that if a rider is thrown, he is not
in danger of becoming entangled.
Ropers and California buckaroos are partial to closed reins. Closed reins are attached to each other
California style reins often have a long flexible quirt called a "romal"
ROMAL: a quirt or whip attached to a set of California style reins.
RIGGING RING: (la argolla) latigo ring.
ROPES: Extensive look at different type of ropes
SADDLE: (la silla) (Also called a "wood.") seat type device set on an
animal to facilitate riding it. Different styles are used in different parts of the country and for different uses.
POMMEL: (la campana) forward, arched portion of saddletree.
SWELLS: bulging shoulders of the saddle pommel
FORK: (el fuste) saddletree, bows of saddletree.
GULLET: (el interior del arzon) inside of the pommel or the front edge
of the forward arch of the saddle.
SADDLE BLANKET OR PAD: (el cojin, el baste) heavy blanket or pad placed
under the saddle to protect it from dirt and to help conform the saddle to the animal's back.
SADDLE BAGS: (las cantinas) (bolsas) large leather or canvas piece with attached pockets,
placed over the rear extensions of the saddle to carry extra gear.
SADDLE STRINGS: (los tientos) narrow strips of tanned leather, usually
in pairs, that lace through the saddletree or coverings, and are held on surface by rosettes; the long ends are decorative
and also serve to tie on ropes, and other pieces of equipment.
SADDLETREE: (el fuste de silla) framework, often of wood covered with
rawhide, consisting of two side-boards connected by two forks for the pommel and cantle; the conformation of these parts gives
the saddle its characteristic shape and name. There are many different styles of saddletree.
SIDESADDLE: ladies' riding saddle. Women began to ride astride when
they needed to do real ranch work. The style of riding sidesaddle began to go out of fashion around the turn of the 20th century.
SHOO-FLY: tassel like accessory, often made of horse hair, that swings as the horse moves
scaring away flies and other insects. Often attached to the front cinch.
SKIRTS: (las faldas) large leather panels attached to the saddletree,
to protect the rigging and give form to the saddle.
The skirts on this saddle are square.
SNOWSHOES for horses...? That is what we are told this devise is...Shod
horses will build up snowballs in their hooves making it difficult to impossible to travel. Shoes are usually pulled in areas
with heavy snowfall during the winter months. This clamp-on shoe would help that problem. It appears to have been wrapped
with burlap for padding against the hoof.
SOOGAN: (also: sougan) Quilt or comforter in a cowboy's bedroll.
STIRRUP: (el estribo) a device hung from each side of a saddle to receive
the rider's foot. Stirrups come in different widths and cowboys prefer different style stirrups for different tasks.
Oxbow stirrups: Narrow stirrups sometimes made of metal and sometimes
preferred by bronc riders.
TAPADEROS: also called taps. Stirrup covers to protect rider's feel
from brush and weather. They come in different styles.
Eagle bill (or eagle beak) taps: Tapaderos with long pieces of leather hanging below the stirrups.
When moving cattle, a cowboy can slap the pieces of leather together by wiggling their legs and the noise helps push the cattle.
Monkey nose taps: Blunt nosed stirrup covers used strictly to protect
the feet & stirrups.
STIRRUP LEATHERS: (los arciones) adjustable straps that suspend the
stirrups from the saddletree
FENDER: (el alero) leather piece projecting back from stirrup leather
to protect the rider's legs.
WOOD: Another term for "saddle