Skip to main content

Modern Pentathlon 101: Glossary

Modern Pentathlon
USA TODAY Sports

Modern Pentathlon 101: Glossary

Learn the language of modern pentathlon. 

Aid
In riding, the use of hands, legs, voice or body weight to prompt a horse.

Bit
In riding, a metal mouthpiece attached to the reigns. When restrained, a horse is "on the bit."

Bore
In shooting, the diameter of a gun barrel.

Bout
In fencing, a contest in its entirety.

Bull's-eye
In shooting, the center ring of the target.

Canter
In riding, a gait that resembles but is slower than a full gallop, when three legs are simultaneously off the ground. Canters include (from shortest strides to longest): collected canter, working canter, medium canter and extended canter.

Combination
In riding, a series of jumps separated by only one or two strides.

Compound
In fencing, an attack or counterattack involving several moves.

Corps-a-corps
In fencing, when both competitors' weapons are disabled by an engaging position.

Counter-parry
In fencing, a defensive maneuver in which one competitor goes around the other's blade to move it away.

Counter-riposte
In fencing, a counterattack by a competitor who just blocked an opponent's counterattack.

Cross-country
In running, a race through mostly rough terrain, as opposed to a flat track.

Disobedience
In riding, a horse's refusal that results in a penalty.

Double Hit
In epee fencing, hits by each fencer occurring within .04 of a second, canceling each other out.

En garde
In fencing, the French term for "on guard," a pre-bout position.

Fault
In riding, a scoring unit for penalizing errors.

Feint
In fencing, a decoy attack that precedes a real one.

Fleche
In fencing, a running attack.

Gait
In riding, a horse's characteristic motion. Gaits include: walk, trot, canter and gallop.

Gallop
In riding, the fastest gait of a horse. A run.

Gauge
In shooting, the internal diameter of a gun bore.

Kick
In swimming or running, a burst of speed saved for the final stretch of a race.

Lath
In riding, the boundary of a water jump.

Lunge
In fencing, the basic attack in which a competitor moves forward with the front leg while the back remains straight and stationary.

Parry
In fencing, a block of the opponent's blade.

Pass
In fencing, a thrust or lunge.

Penalty point
In riding, a point assessed for an error.

Piste
In fencing, the French term for the bout's playing surface. Also called the strip.

Redouble
In fencing, to attack a second time after an opponent's failed counterattack.

Refusal
In riding, when a horse stops short of an obstacle, incurring a penalty.

Remise
In fencing, an attack that follows a blocked attempt.

Resistance
In riding, a horse's refusal to continue, rearing, stepping back or making a half-turn.

Riposte
In fencing, a counterattack by a fencer who just has blocked an attack.

Run-out
In riding, a horse's attempt to avoid an obstacle.

Sighters
In shooting, practice shots to adjust sights. They occur before matches and do not count toward the final score.

Touch
In fencing, a hit with the point of the epee, winning the bout.

Trot
In riding, a gait in which the horse moves its diagonal legs at the same pace. Types of trots include (from shortest strides to longest strides): collected trot, working trot, medium trot and extended trot.

Walk
In riding, a marching pace. Types of walks include (from shortest strides to longest strides): collected walk, medium walk and extended walk. A free walk has a relaxed pace and the horse has complete freedom to lower and stretch his head and neck.

Modern Pentathlon 101

Learn more about modern pentathlon:

Basics | Competition format | Equipment | Glossary | Olympic history | Qualification | Venues

More from {{firstLevel.more_from}}

{{firstLevel.data.roofline_text}}

{{firstLevel.data.title}}

{{firstLevel.data.short_desc}}

See More Coverage

More from {{secondLevel.more_from}}

More from Olympics

+