Leader (Lead horse): Member of the forward pair of a 4 horse outfit

Team (outfit): A horse hitch of four horses on a racing chuckwagon

Wheeler (Wheel horse): Member of the rear pair of a 4 horse outfit (nearest the chuckwagon)



Driver: The person who sits on the wagon’s seat and directs the horses

Outrider: One of either 2 or 4 people who perform specific tasks during a race, including following their wagon to the finish line on horseback.



Bit: a piece of metal or similar synthetic material that is placed in the mouth of a horse and allows an individual to control the animal. It rests on the bars of the mouth in a region where there are no teeth. It is held on a horse's head by means of a bridle and has reins attached for use by an individual.

Bridle: A piece of equipment used to control a horse. The bridle fits over a horse's head, and has the purpose of controlling the horse. It holds a bit in the horse's mouth.

Blinkers: also called "blinders," are partial eye blocks used primarily on driving horses and some race horses that prevent the animal from seeing what is behind it.

Halter: headgear that is used to lead or tie up a horse; it fits behind the ears (behind the poll), and around the muzzle. To handle a horse, a leadline of strap or rope is attached to the halter beneath the muzzle.

Hames: Two J-shaped metal or wooden strips containing riveted rings to which the tugs (traces) and the rest of the harness are attached. The two hames buckle together by short straps at the top and bottom to snugly fit a horse’s collar. The Hames take the full force of the pull of the wagon, padded by the horse collar.

Harness: type of horse tack that allows a horse to pull various horse-drawn vehicles such as a carriage, wagon or sleigh.

Horse Collar: A thick padded oval or loop fitting closely around the horse's neck pointed at the top to fit the crest of the neck and used to distribute load around a horse's neck and shoulders when pulling a wagon allowing a horse to use its full strength when pulling. A front facing rim supports the hames. A horse collar is usually made of leather and filled with horse-hair or straw, and sometimes used in conjunction with felt or fabric cushions called sweat pads.

Tugs (traces): The thick leather or nylon straps (with chain link ends which connect to the wagon) which take the pull from the hames to the wagon.

Crupper: A strap attached to the rear of the harness that places a soft padded loop under the base of the tail, to keep the harness from slipping forward.

Lines: Long leather straps running from the bits of all 4 horses to the driver's hands, used to guide the horses.

Reins: Leather straps running from the bit of a horse and used to control the horse by a mounted rider (outrider).



Canvas (tarp): The cloth or plastic fabric which covers and protects the rear box section of a chuckwagon. In racing, it displays the name of the chuckwagon’s sponsor and driver.

Doubletree: An approximately three foot piece of hardwood or metal which bolts to the wagon pole (tongue) and to which the two singletrees are attached.

Neck yoke: a short thick wooden or metal rod with a large “O” ring on each end connected to the forward edge of the wagon pole (tongue). When secured with straps to the wheel horses’ hames, the neck yoke holds the pole up off the ground.

Singletree: A short piece of hardwood or metal with a ring on each end to which a tug (trace) from a horse’s harness is attached. Connected by a ring or bolt to a doubletree.

Stove: Originally a working metal stove weighing up to 70 pounds, replaced by metal, wooden, cardboard and now rubberized imitations. Loaded into the stoverack by an outrider at the beginning of a race.

Stoverack: a wooden or metal basket attached on the inside of the back of a chuckwagon to carry a simulated stove.

Tent Pegs: two slim wooden, metal or plastic rods with weighted tips; used to support the chiuckwagon’s rear tent flap (fly) – both flap and pegs are 6 feet long and are loaded by outriders into the wagon box at the beginning of a race.

Wagon Pole (tongue): one long wooden or metal shaft connected to the front axle of a chuckwagon to which the doubletrees and neck yoke are attached.



Backstretch: the straightaway area farthest from the infield and grandstand

Barrel: a plastic cylinder used in pairs as obstacles around which each driver must make a figure 8 turn at the start of a race.

Homestretch: the straightaway area which leads to the finish line in front of the infield and grandstand.

Infield: The half-moon shaped enclosure directly in front of the grandstand which often encloses rodeo events as well as the barrel turning setup for chuckwagon racing.

Klaxon: The loud horn which signals the start of a race.

Long Barrel: The inside starting position (Barrel position #1) with the farthest distance between the 2 barrels.

Racetrack: An oval circuit around which horses run.

*Glossary of Chuckwagon Racing Terms was taken from the book Hotcakes to High Stakes by Doug Nelson and used with permission.