Buyer Beware!

Buyer Beware - A tongue-in-cheek look at what those glowing descriptions in horse classifieds really mean!
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Buyer Beware - A tongue-in-cheek look at what those glowing descriptions in horse classifieds really mean!

Whether you're reading homes for sale or horses for sale ads, you quickly notice that certain phrases pop up again and again. Glowing descriptions of a horse's appearance and abilities can make every horse look like the perfect one for you.

These amusing definitions were posted on the EquiSearch Forum

Addendum: My apologies to Holly Covey, of Harrington, Delaware (Delaware Horse) for not searching harder for the originator of these funnies, which have been doing the email rounds. Holly originally wrote these while working at Mid Atlantic Horse Magazine, back in 1996-97. She has graciously allowed me to continue to use them here on the About Horses site.

  • Big Trot ~ Can't canter within a 2 mile straightaway
  • Nicely Started ~ lunges, but we don't have enough insurance to ride him yet
  • Top Show Horse ~ won a reserve championship 5 years ago at a show with unusual low entries due to a hurricane
  • Home Bred ~ knows nothing except being raised on the front porch
  • Recently Vetted ~ someone else found something badly wrong with the horse
  • Big Boned ~ good thing horse has mane & tail or he would be mistaken for a cow
  • Doing Courses ~ when tranqualized to the eyeballs & lunged 6 hrs straight before hand
  • Well Mannered ~ hasn't stepped on, bitten, or kicked anyone for a week
  • Professionally Trained ~ hasn't stepped, bitten, or kicked anyone for a month
  • Should Mature 16 hands ~ currently 13h, dam is 14.2h, sire is 15h, every horse in pedigree back 18 generations is under 15h but this horse will definitely defy his DNA and grow
  • To Good Home Only ~ not really for sale unless you can 1) pay twice what he
    is worth, 2) allow current owner to tuck in beddy - bye every night, 3) are willing to sign a 10 page legal document
  • Bold ~ runaway
  • Athletic ~ runaway
  • Needs intermediate Rider ~ runaway
  • Needs Experienced Rider ~ "dead" runaway
  • Dead Quiet ~ just dead
  • Started O/F ~ started overfeeding because we can't ride
  • No Vices ~ especially when he wears his muzzle
  • Light Cribber ~ we can't afford to build any more barns & fences for the buzz saw
  • No Time For Him ~ he's lucky to be fed
  • Excellent Disposition ~ never been out of his stall
  • Clips, hauls, and Loads ~ Clippity, clippity is the sound his hooves make when he hauls a$$ across the parking lot when you try to load him

Some of our forum members added more funny definitions.

From Grizzles:

  • Good Broodmare prospect ~ not even a chance she's rideable

From MaryAnn:

  • Daughter outgrown ~ she's into boys now

From Horses.Guide (Me):

  • Good Dressage prospect ~ we tried him in the hunters and he's a complete maniac over fences

From Karice:

  • "Hey cowboys, here's one for you" ~ only if you're into bucking stock
  • Big circle horse ~ can't turn in 240 acres
  • great stops ~ slams those shoulders and launches rider every time!
  • easy to catch ~ in a 10 X 10 stall
  • easy to load ~ only takes 3 hours, 4 men and a tractor with loader
  • rides good ~ not rideable, but rides the trailer good.
  • gentle ~ to other horses... he tore out 3 inches of my hair, kicked the kid and chased mother all the way cross the pasture.
  • smooth ~ mouthed that is... his gaits are enough to make you smooth mouthed too... rattle your teeth loose!

From Sharon:

  • Spirited ~ Loves to run all out all the time.
  • Good mother ~ Awful at everything else.
  • Protective mother. ~ Don't even think about getting near that baby until weaning time.
  • Easy breeder ~ A stallion that will mount anything that moves.
  • Has beautiful babies ~ good, because she's plug ugly herself.
  • Pasture horse ~ He'll kick a new door in your stall to get out.
  • Spectacularly marked ~ Horrible conformation, pretty spots.
  • Used to race ~ Still does, unless firmly tied to a tree.
  • Owner getting out of the business ~ Owner is tired of dealing with this ignorant monster.
  • Works well off his rear." Because the front is usually off the ground.

From Jennasis:

  • Must sell due to financial situation.. ~ horse is costing me a fortune in bute and supplements.
  • Puppy dog temperament ~ has no manners, but is cute, so it's ok.
  • Always in the ribbons ~ 10th place....out of 10 riders.
  • Goes in a snaffle ~ ...like a bat out of hell.
  • Scopey ~ has jumped out of every paddock we own.
  • Wonderful Halter prospect ~ bred for beauty...not brains

From Melinda Pritchard, via email:

  • "Ladies horse"- Calm around women but hates men and tries to kill them! (I'm lucky enough to have one of those)

These are just in fun, but I think there's an element of truth in a lot of them. For example, my own horse was advertised as a "good dressage prospect" and I found out later that the former owners had tried him in the hunters with no success.

I hope you enjoyed them and I'd like to thank the forum regulars for their input. If you'd like to add your own definitions, we'd love to read them!