Australian Glossary

A lot of readers of the Free Rein series are from the United States and the United Kingdom. I know I use horse terms that are common in Australia, but not so well known elsewhere.

So I’ve created a glossary of terms you may come across in the Free Rein series to help you learn a little more about Australian terms, or just horse terminology in general!

Agistment – in Australia people pay to keep their horses in paddocks. The horses live here, play, eat and sleep and sometimes get ridden in the paddock that they’re agisted in. Horses may be agisted in a private paddock (by themselves) or in a group paddock (with other horses). Agistment may also mean paying to keep your horse in a stable some or all of the time. It might also be known as boarding or livery.

Agistee – someone who pays to have their horse kept on another person’s land.

Bay – this is the colour of a horse.  They will be brown over their body, with a black mane and tail and black legs.

Chestnut – this horse colour is for one that appears almost orange in colour.  They may otherwise be referred to as sorrel.  They are this colour over their body, legs and mane and tail.

Float – this is an attachment to a car that can be used to tow horses. It can fit one, two or three horses depending on the type of float. They may otherwise be known as trailers or horse boxes.

Grey – this is a horse colour.  It may otherwise be known as gray.  Grey horses can be dark or light in colour.  They can be so light that people may describe them as white.  They are technically grey however, as they have a black body with white hairs over the top.

Hands high (hh) – this is the term used to define a horse’s height. They are measured from the base of the hoof up to the top of the wither (point at the base of the horse’s neck). One hand is recognised as being around 10cm, so a horse that is 14 hands high, is 140cm high at the wither.

Paddocks – this is a grassy, fenced in area where a horse is kept. It tends to be bigger than a yard and may be known as a field in other countries. Horses are able to kept in paddocks all year round in Australia.


I will keep adding to this list as I come across words or write more into future stories.  You’re welcome to comment here and ask for a definition of a word that you’re not familiar with in one of my books and I’ll add it to the list!

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