Glossary of Racing Terms
name (of a Thoroughbred): Names of North American Thoroughbreds are registered by The Jockey Club. They can be no longer than 18 characters, including punctuation and spaces. The words "the," "and," "by," "for," "in" and "a" are almost always lower case unless they are the first word in the name. Examples "Love You by Heart," "Go for Wand" and "Strike the Gold."
nasogastric tube: A long tube that is capable of reaching from the nose to the stomach.
National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA): A non-profit, membership organization created in 1997 to improve economic conditions and public interest in Thoroughbred racing.
navicular bone: A small, flat bone within the confines of the hoof that helps-along with the short pastern bone and the coffin bone-to make up the coffin joint.
navicular disease: A degenerative disease that affects the navicular bone (small bone in the back of the foot), navicular bursa and deep flexor tendon.
Generally considered a disease of the front feet. Both front feet are often affected, but one will usually be more noticeable than the other.
near side: Left side of a horse. Side on which a horse is mounted.
neck: Unit of measurement. About the length of a horse's neck; a little less than a quarter of a length.
nerving: See neurectomy.
Netlon: Brand name for a plastic mesh which is mixed into the soil of a turf course. The grass roots grow around and through the mesh, helping to prevent divoting, especially in wet weather.
neurectomy: A surgical procedure in which the nerve supply to the navicular area is removed. The toe and remainder of the foot have feeling. Also referred to as posterior digital neurectomy or heel nerve, or nerving.
night eyes: See chestnuts.
nod: Lowering of the head. To win by a nod, a horse extends her/his head with its nose touching the finish line ahead of a close competitor.
Nom de Course: The name adopted by an owner or group of owners for racing purposes.
nominator: One who owns a horse at the time s/he is named to compete in a stakes race.
non-sweater: See anhydrosis.
nose: The smallest advantage by which a horse can win. Called a short head in Britain.
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 rings 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 who do not like having a tongue tie used.