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Centri equestri


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Lack of normal pigmentation or coloration. Horses that are albinos lack pigmentation due to a congenital absence of melanin. Albino horses have white coat, pinkish mucosae and eyes


To move along at an easy gait by using both legs on one side alternatively with both on the other.


Dark-skinned horse with a spotted coat. The coat is usually predominantly grey, with brown or black spots.



the area where the saddle goes, begins at the end of the withers, extends to the last thoracic vertebrae.

Back at the Knee

The knee inclines backward, behind a straight plumb line dropped from the middle of the forearm to the fetlock.


Distribution of weight between horse and rider. A horse is said to be balanced when his own weight and that of his rider is equally distributed over all four feet.


Covering of armour for the breast and flanks of a war-horse. Also occasionally used for an ornamental covering for a horse.


The body colouring of the horse is brown. The mane and tail must be black.

Behind the bit

When a horse places his head down to evade contact with the bit.

Black points

when the mane, tail and lower legs are black.

Blue dun

A black horse. The coat is solid "mouse-colored" gray or silver with black or dark gray markings.


The entire headpiece, the headstall, bit, chin strap, and reins, is called the bridle


A female horse over 4 years old used for breeding.


A bay horse with a yellow, cream or gold coat while keeping the black points (mane, tail, legs).


Camped Out Behind

Cannon and fetlock are "behind" the plumb line dropped from point of buttock. Associated with upright rear pasterns.


Three time pace of the horse. In this pace the sequence of legs is as follows: outside hind, inside hind, and outside fore, inside fore. This is then followed by a moment of suspension when all the legs are off the ground


sturdy leather coverings for the legs. They are buckled on over trousers.


A reddish body color with no black. Mane and tail is the same shade or lighter than the body coat. The main color variations are: Liver chestnut (very dark brown coat), Sorrel (Reddish-tan to red coat, the most common shade of chestnut) and Blond or light chestnut.

Chin groove

the part of the horse's head behind the lower lip and chin.

Cold blood

Muscular and heavy draft horses are known as "cold bloods," as they have been bred, not only for strength, but also to have the calm, steady, patient temperament needed to pull a plow or a heavy carriage full of people.


Pain in the horse's digestive system; the causes can be many and varied. Veterinary advice should be sort immediately colic is suspected.

Cow Hocks

Hocks deviate toward each other, with the cannon & fetlock to the outside of the hocks when the horse is viewed from the side. Gives the appearance of a half-moon contour from the stifle to hoof. Often accompanied by sickle hocks.


result from the cross between an English purebred or an Arabian horse and a mare of any other breed.


also known as mixing, refers to the process of breeding a hybrid animal of two purebred parents.


The part of a horse's back behind the saddle.


Dapple gray

a dark-colored horse with lighter rings of graying hairs, called dapples, scattered throughout.


Round, colored markings on a horse's coat.


phenomenon whereby, a stud horse is able to pass his own characteristic genetic traits on to its descendants.

Dorsal Strip

A band of colour, darker than the majority of the body, along the line of the backbone from the poll to tail. Often seen in donkeys, mountain and moorland breeds.


The art of training a horse so he is totally obedient and responsive to his rider, as well as agile and fluent in his performance.



Term used to describe an ungelded horse.

Ermine marks

are dark patches of color on the white limb of a horse, just above the level of the hoof.


is an equestrian event which comprises dressage, cross-country and show-jumping.


The top line of the neck is concave.



front part of the head that can vary dramatically from breed to breed. It can have a concave profile (dished), convex profile (roman nose) or a straight profile.


the long hairs around the pasterns of most heavy breeds and some ponies.


A foal is a horse that is one year old or younger. More specific terms are colt for a male foal and filly for a female foal.



The majority of breeds have four kinds of gait: walk, trot, canter or small gallop and gallop. Some other horses can have other specified gaits


It is the fastest gait of the horse, a four-beat gait, averaging about 25 to 30 miles per hour. Like a canter, the horse will strike off with its non-leading hind foot; but the second stage of the canter becomes, in the gallop, the second and third stages because the inside hind foot hits the ground a split second before the outside front foot. Then both gaits end with the striking off of the leading leg, followed by a moment of suspension when all four feet are off the ground.


A castrated male horse.


The skin is dark and the coat contains a mixture of black, grey and white hairs. Very dark greys are called iron grey, those with circle-like patterns in their coats are called dapple-grey, and those with a freckled appearance are called flea-bitten grey.



A device made of rope or leather straps that fits around the head or neck of the horse and is used to lead or secure the animal.


10cm. (4") The measurement used to find out a horse's height in many countries.

Harness riding

Form of horse racing in which the horses race in a specified gait. They usually pull two-wheeled carts called sulkies. The races include dressage, endurance racing and gymkhana.


The height of a horse is measured from the withers to the ground.

High Mount

Horse with very long legs

High School or Haute École

The training of a horse to execute a series of difficult and controlled movements at all paces

Hollow Back

When the natural concave line of the back is exaggerated, often found in old horses


the horny covering of the end of the foot.

Horse conformation

refers to the correctness of a horse's bone structure, musculature, and its body proportions in relation to each other.

Hot blood

term used to identify the temperament of pure breeds such as the Arabian and the English Thoroughbred.


result from the cross between two purebred lines.



Is breeding between close relatives.



One or both knees deviate inward toward each other, with the lower leg angles out, resulting in a toed-out stance.


Leg markings

they are called stockings if the white marking extends at least to the bottom of the knee or hock, sock if it extends higher than the fetlock but not as high as the knee or hock, fetlock or sock if the white marking extends over the fetlock, pastern if it is above the top of the hoof and coronet if the white is just above the hoof, around the coronary band, usually no more than 1 inch (2.5cm) above the hoof.


dark spots of varying sizes over a white body.

Line breeding

the selective breeding of horses for a desired feature by mating them within a closely related line, only separated by few generations.


The act of training a horse by directing him around in a circle while on a long 'lunge' rein.



A female horse over 4 years old.

Moon eye or "Night" eye

A blue eye. Horses with blue eyes are less common than horses with brown eyes, but can see equally well.


Open front

Seen from the front, the hooves are outside the ideal vertical lines (plumb lines) traced by the points of shoulder


term used to describe breeds coming from Asia like the Arabian and the breeds derived from it.


breeding between horses of the same breed but from different lines.


is the practice of introducing unrelated genetic material into a breeding line.

Over at the Knee

Knee inclines forward, in front of a plumb line, when viewed from the side.


Pig eye

A small eye, primarily an aesthetic issue, but claimed by some to be linked to stubbornness or nervousness, and thought to decrease the horse's visual field

Pinto horse

has a coat colour that consists of large patches of white and another color.

Plumb lines

Conventional lines dropped in front or at the side of the horse to evaluate its correct conformation.



a color pattern that causes white hairs to be evenly intermixed within the horse's body color.


A swift, 4-beat hoof pattern in which only 1 foot is on the ground at any given time. This motion produces a very smooth gait.

Red Roan

A grey base coat with red roaning pattern with the mane and tail being the same red as the body. Red roans are also commonly referred to as a Strawberry Roan


The term for a horse bought for military service before issue to a unit. The term describes an Army horse at any stage of his career.

Roman nose

The horse has a very convex profile.



order in which the horse's legs move during gaits. Each gait is characterized by a specific sequence.


a competitive sport in which horses and their riders have to jump a series of artificial fences, walls etc

Sickle Hock

Is a conformation fault, see from the side the hocks are too concave - shaped like a sickle.

Sloping shoulder

The horse has an oblique angle of shoulder (measured from the top of the withers to the point of shoulder) with the withers set well behind the elbow. Often accompanies a deep chest and high withers.

Slow galt

A 4-beat motion of the legs in which only 1 hoof is touching the ground at any given time. This is a slower version of the Rack gait.


a small white marking on the end of the muzzle.


a set of guidelines which is used to insure that the horses produced by a breeding facility conform to the specifics of the breed.


A horse with the capacity for keeping up speed for a long distance without getting unduly tired.

Straight Shoulder

Occurs when the line of the shoulder from the point of the withers is comparatively straight rather than sloping well back.


A male horse, that is used for breeding.


The span of the back dips noticeably in center, forming a concave contour between the withers and croup.


Toad eye

Show the white sclera ring around the rim of the eye as in the Exmoor pony.


An angular limb deformity causing a pigeon toed appearance from the fetlock down, with the toe pointing in toward the opposite limb.


a two beat diagonal gait of the horse where the diagonal pairs of legs move forward at the same time. There is a moment of suspension between each beat.


Varnish roan

a mix of red and white hairs that extends over the entire body.



A pace of four-time, the sequence of hoof-beats being left rear, left front, right rear, right front.

Wall Eye

Is a lack of pigment in the iris of the eye, showing more white than usual around the pupil.

Warm blood

refers to any cross of "cold blooded" draft horses on "hot blooded" Thoroughbreds or Arabians.


One of the rarest colors, a white horse has white hair and pink skin. These horses are born white, with blue or brown eyes, and remain white for life.


Start at the dip at the base of the crest line of the neck; they should be reasonably high and pronounced at the highest point of the shoulder. They should slope away gradually into the back.

Wobbly Hocks

Hocks deviate from each other to fall outside of plumb line, dropped from point of buttocks, when the horse is viewed from behind.


general term used to indicate parasites living in the horse's bowl. They can cause sickness and sometimes even death.



A colt or filly between one and two years old. Purebred's foals are conventionally considered being born on January 1.


Zebra Marks

Striping on the limbs, neck, withers or quarters of horses or ponies.


Seek and find



Sale & Repair of Equestrian Equipment.
Via di Vittorio 150 - Chianciano Terme
Tel: 0578.61238


Selleria il Puledro

Strada di Cerchiaia 31 - Siena
Tel/Fax: 0577.247660


La Selleria

Traversa Stazione - Colle Val d'Elsa
Tel: 0577.923868


La Mensa del Barbero

Loc. Pian dei Mori - Sovicille
Tel: 0577.391096
Fax: 0577.391582


Caccia & Pesca

Piazza Bargagli - Sarteano
Tel: 0578.266292





Are the equestrian centres organized for children?

Are the trails marked? Is it possible to ride them without a guide?

Are the trails practicable in every season?

Where can the guides be hired?



Are the equestrian centres organized for children?

Children are welcome to Terre di Siena where several centres are specifically dedicated to the younger riders (riding courses with experienced instructors and excursions outside the paddocks). A number of interesting events are also available for children. A complete calendar can be found here.
As well as horse-riding Terre di Siena offers the chance to organize any kind of holiday with your children, please visit www.bambini.terresiena.it


Are the trails marked? Is it possible to ride them without a guide?

At the moment the trails are not equipped with specific signposts. Only expert riders can tackle them with the help of detailed maps of the areas. We recommend to all riders, including the more skilled ones, to contact the equestrian centres located along the trails. The assistance of a guide allows, as well as to ride in safety, to have in case of mishaps a direct and fast link with the local facilities. In other words for the non-expert riders the guide is essential and for the skilled ones it represents an important reference point for the logistics.


Are the trails practicable in every season?

Generally yes, even though we have to take into account two important atmospheric factors . In summer, the middle of the day is not recommended to both riders and horses and it is important to evaluate the water supply along the trail. In other periods the heavy downpours can affect the trails that in some points cross over rivers and areas with little and sometimes poor rain drainage. In both cases the best thing to do is to gather all the available information at the centres present in the area and located along the trails.


Where can the guides be hired?

At any of the equestrian centres scattered across the province territory.








Siena - Palio di Siena

2 luglio - Palio dedicato alla Madonna di Provenzano
16 Agosto - Palio dell’Assunta

La manifestazione che vede il cavallo protagonista più famosa e conosciuta del mondo. Tanta la storia, la tradizione e la passione che hanno reso possibile il perdurare nei secoli di una festa complessa ed unica come il Palio di Siena, di cui la spettacolare corsa di cavalli nella Piazza del Campo è solo il momento culminante, il compiersi di un rito che si rinnova, ripetendosi, ad ogni edizione. Eppure, in estrema sintesi, il cavallo è il vero protagonista del Palio: cresciuto ed allenato per affrontare i 3 giri della corsa, amato e curato per 4 giorni dai contradaioli cui viene affidato in sorte a rappresentarne i colori.
17 stalle nascoste nei vicoli di Siena, che hanno ospitato cavalli che hanno fatto la storia del Palio, attrezzi, ferri, briglie che potrebbero raccontare aneddoti e storie di cavalli bizzarri e dalle strane abitudini, viziati e coccolati da chi è incaricato di occuparsi di loro.
Nel cavallo si ripongono tutte le speranze di vittoria, a volte attesa per anni.
Il cavallo non tradisce mai e corre per vincere e la vittoria più bella, per i contradaioli,è quella che ottiene da solo, il cavallino “scosso”, che arriva primo dopo una caduta del fantino.

Asciano - Palio dei Ciuchi

Si svolge la seconda domenica di settembre nell'ambito dei festeggiamenti in onore del SS. Crocefisso.
Il Palio, in cui si sfidano i sette rioni, è preceduto da una sfilata storica, e dall'esibizione di sbandieratori.

Casole d'Elsa - Palio

La corsa ha luogo ogni anno, la seconda domenica di luglio, in onore di San Isidoro.
I cavalli sono montati a pelo e corrono su una pista in terra battuta che si sviluppa in salita.
E' un palio alla "romana" o "palio lungo", con punto di partenza diverso da quello di arrivo.


L’ultima domenica di settembre si svolge la manifestazione A Briglia sciolta, trekking al lago di Chiusi riservato alle amazzoni.


Ad Acquaviva, per Pasqua, si tengono le tradizionali corse al galoppo e ad Abbadia, la Domenica delle Palme, le corse di cavalli montati a pelo.

Monteroni d'Arbia

A Tressa, la seconda domenica di settembre si può assistere ad una Corsa dei ciuchi.


In aprile si svolgono le corse di cavalli montati a pelo nella Pista del Tamburo che riproduce con diverse dimensioni la Piazza del Campo.
Queste corse sono considerate un test molto importante per i cavalli che verranno presentati per correre il palio di Siena.
In giugno, sempre alla Pista del Tamburo, si sfidano i rioni del paese nella Festa dei Rioni.
A Iesa, la prima domenica di settembre: Corsa dei ciuchi.


La seconda domenica di settembre: Corsa etrusca, corsa di cavalli disputata tra le diverse frazioni del comune nell'ambito del “Weekend etrusco”.
Bagnaia, maggio e settembre: Concorso ippico internazionale.

Piancastagnaio - Palio

L’appuntamento coincide con i festeggiamenti della Madonna di San Pietro. 
Il 18 agosto quattro Contrade si sfidano con cavalli montati a pelo.

San Giovanni d'Asso - Giostra di Simone di Montisi

Sfida dal sapore medievale fra le 4 contrade; nella giostra i cavalieri al galoppo cercano di colpire il “buratto” che rappresenta Simone Cacciaconti che nel 1292 aveva attaccato il castello.

Sarteano - Giostra del Saracino

Gioco equestre che rievoca la lotta dei cavalieri contro il predone arabo (Il Saracino) che, nella rappresentazione, è costituito da una tipica statua di legno, a mezzo busto, adattata su un supporto che la rende girevole.
Si svolge il giorno di Ferragosto.
Terza domenica di giugno: Febbre da cavallo, giornata dedicata al cavallo nei suoi diversi aspetti: passeggiata a cavallo, gimcana equestre, dimostrazione di varie discipline equestri, musica e banchetti.


A Barontoli, prima domenica di agosto: Corsa dei ciuchi.

Torrita di Siena - Palio dei Somari

Si svolge ogni anno la domenica seguente il 18 marzo e nasce negli anni ’60 dall'idea di una piccola associazione di torritesi di istituire una festa popolare in onore del santo protettore dei falegnami San Giuseppe. 
Dopo sfilate e sbandieratori, otto contrade si sfidano sul campo di gara allestito nello spiazzo del “Gioco del Pallone”, esterno all'antica cinta muraria di Torrita.


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