from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The section of a bridle that fits over a horse's head.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun That part of a bridle which encompasses the head.
  • noun Same as capistrum, 1.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun That part of a bridle or halter which encompasses the head.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A synthetic or leather headpiece or headcollar, for leading or tying up a horse.
  • noun The part of a bridle that fits over a horse's head and supports other elements. (US)

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the band that is the part of a bridle that fits around a horse's head


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Engraved in the silver of the headstall was a word in odd, ancient-looking characters: Papillon.

    Three Hearts and Three Lions

  • The saddle was of the Mexican type, but the headstall was the lightest possible, with a simple snaffle bit, even that seeming almost superfluous for she guided her mount more by the motions of her body than the bridle.

    A Dixie School Girl

  • Donas jerked his head and rolled his eyes as I took the bridle, but I was in no mood to put up with tantrums, and I yanked the rein firmly down and grabbed the headstall.

    Sick Cycle Carousel

  • In order to insert the bit correctly the groom should, in the first place, approach on the near77 side of the horse, and then throwing the reins over his head, let them drop loosely on the withers; raise the headstall in his right hand, and with his left present the bit.

    On Horsemanship

  • Sabin gripped the bridle close to the headstall, taking comfort from the champing of the horse against the bit, and forced himself to meet them.

    The Falcons of Montabard

  • And he neighed and capered for the homeward road, though he knew how full it was of hardships; for never yet looked horse through bridle, without at least one eye resilient toward the charm of headstall.

    Mary Anerley

  • By this time, in fact, I was so proud of the Escuela Mann that I could not forbear proclaiming that a member of my own family, no less than the father of the grandson for whose potential donkey I was buying that headstall, was one of the architects of the Escuela Mann building.

    Familiar Spanish Travels

  • We chose a headstall of such splendor that no heart could have resisted it, and while he sewed to it the twine muzzle which Spanish donkeys wear on their noses for the protection of the public, our guide expatiated upon us, and said, among other things to our credit, that we were from America and were going to take the head-stall back with us.

    Familiar Spanish Travels

  • Some hobbled old nag, having slipped the headstall, would advance with kangaroo-leaps towards a neighbour against whom it had a private grudge.

    Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Madinah and Meccah

  • Rahail collected me out of my death-sleep by jerking my headstall and striking me, while he shouted that we had lost our direction, and were wandering toward the Turkish lines at Aba el

    Seven Pillars of Wisdom


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