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From head +‎ stall.



headstall (plural headstalls)

  1. The part of a bridle that fits over a horse's head and supports other elements. [from 14th c.]
    • c. 1593, William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew, Act III, Scene 2,[1]
      Why, Petruchio is coming [] his horse hipp’d [] with a half-cheek’d bit, and a head-stall of sheep’s leather which, being restrained to keep him from stumbling, hath been often burst, and now repaired with knots []
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, V.3:
      Another, that would seeme to have more wit, / Him by the bright embrodered hed-stall tooke […].
    • 1952, John Steinbeck, East of Eden, Penguin, 2003, Chapter 15, Part 4, p. 172,[2]
      He turned back, slipped the bit in Dox’s mouth, and laced the big flop ears into the headstall.
    • 1989, Keith Bosley, translating Elias Lönnrot, The Kalevala, XIX:
      Then the smith Ilmarinen / the everlasting craftsman / out of steel formed a bridle / forged a headstall [transl. päitset] of iron […].
  2. (obsolete) A phorbeia. [18th-19th c.]




Baranowski, Zdzislaw, "The International Horseman's Dictionary", Pitman Publishing, New York, 1955

Stratton, Charles, "The International Horseman's Dictionary", Hamlyn Publishing, Melbourne, 1975

Summerhayes, R.S., "Encyclopedia for Horsemen", Frederick Warne & Co., London and New York, 1966