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Some live up to the adverts, while others leave you wondering what went wrong along the way, as the 16.2hh schoolmaster you went to see was actually a 15.3hh nutcase who can’t canter on the right rein.
Truly, the jargon and sneaky phrases that appear in horse adverts are enough to confuse even the most experienced of horse owners.
Here’s our guide to demystifying any horse advert you’ll ever come across:
Would make a good all-rounder = Horse is either easy and willing to turn a hoof to most things, or is not very good at anything.
For sale with all his tack = Owner will do anything to get this crazy animal out of their sight.
Not a novice ride = Grab the nearest pro and make sure they wear a body protector.
Once-in-a-lifetime horse = Because your lifetime will be very short after buying the horse.
Safe and bombproof, anyone can ride her = Good luck getting this horse to move.
Uncomplicated, easy ride = For beginners. Not a fancy horse. If you can’t do basics on this horse, you need more lessons.
Forward going and a fun ride = Doesn’t come standard with brakes. Often paired with ‘not a novice ride’ and ‘very athletic’.
Excellent dressage prospect = Terrible jumper, knocks all the fences.
Very flashy = Very expensive.
Can be "mareish" = The moody teenagers at your daughter’s school/the yard have got nothing on her.
16.3hh = 15.2hh.
Careful jumper, never touches a pole = Will not go near a pole, thus never touches one.
Loose jumps 1.20m easily = Hope your paddock fences are high.
Brought on slowly/low mileage = Has done nothing even though the horse is basically old enough to vote.
Moves beautifully = When he runs away from me as I’m trying to catch him, his extended canter looks wonderful.
Make an offer = If it is lower than we want (and we want too much), we will be angry.
Consistent jumper/dressage = Consistently below average.
Text by Sophie Kate Baker
Rio Image by Jon Stroud