Shopping for a new horse can be extremely daunting. I often find myself wondering if I will ever find my perfect match. It’s like sellers have their own language and it is up to the buyer to figure it out. As I peruse sale ads on the internet, I can’t help but think to myself, “what on earth do they mean by that?” The more horses I inquired about, the more I seemed to understand the “lingo.” So I present to you the Buyer’s Guide to Decoding Horse Sale Phrases, my handy dandy guidebook that helps me understand exactly what the seller is inadvertently trying to get across.
Disclaimer: this is all in good fun and not ALWAYS the case…
“Friendly enough for an amateur on a budget” “I’ve ridden his horse five times and he has never bucked, so he’s good.
“Requires light maintenance.” Two legged lame… don’t even try to do a PPE!
“Your next upper level horse.” I’m not keeping him because I’ve realized he has no talent at all and I’m just hoping someone else is blind and will believe me.
“Flashy, flashy, flashy!” The fact that this horse is a paint is all that it has going for him.
“Sensitive ride.” Don’t even think about putting your leg on this thing without expecting to be in the next county.
“Warmblood looks, without the price!” This half Mule, half Percheron cross isn’t exactly warmblood quality but he’s big bodied so that counts… right?
“An absolute sweetheart on the ground.” Also your worst nightmare when you’re in the saddle, but who needs to mention that?
“UNICORN ALERT!!!!” Add another zero for every exclamation point following this phrase because this horse is WAY out of your budget.
As buyers we just need to take everything with a grain of salt. Doing your research, checking USEF records, performing a PPE, trying the horse yourself, and most importantly having a reputable trainer to assist you with the search process can all help you buffer out the good from the bad. It is the seller’s job to represent the horse fairly and accurately, but it is your duty as the buyer to verify all the information you are provided to ensure the horse is the proper fit for you.
Stay resilient, shoppers. Your unicorn is worth the wait.