Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Five examples of 'horse salesperson speak' - or what we aren't being told!
7:55 pm gmt
We've all probably heard of 'estate agent speak'. It's a special language, or use of words, by estate agents when they
describe houses for sale. 'In need of some renovation', for example, usually means the house is a complete ruin. I thought
it would be a good idea to assemble some 'sales speak' which people might hear from sellers of horses.
1. 'He's a lovely horse (or pony) but he's a little green.' - A little green has obviously
nothing to do with the animal's colour - it means he's uneducated. Green horses or ponies need time put into them to teach
them to become quiet and reliable. Green horses don't suit inexperienced or nervous riders.
you have to do is lunge her before you ride her and she'll be as quiet as a lamb.' - Trust me, any horse
that needs to be lunged every day before being ridden is anything but quiet. I know a young woman who recently bought
a horse from a supposedly reputable owner and was told this. The horse turned out, surprise, surprise, to be a crazy animal,
and bucked off the girl's father and broke his back. Needless to say, they returned the horse and were lucky to be able to
3. 'All this pony needs is a sympathetic rider with soft hands'. - Again, we're
probably dealing with a mad thing but this one will probably tear around the arena with his head in the air or try to pull
the reins out of the rider's hands. The dentist (more info here) might be able to help but, unless the rider considers himself calm, sympathetic and able to deal with over-sensitive horses,
I wouldn't go there.
4. 'I'm afraid I've lost her passport, but she's only nine years old.' -
It's amazing how many sellers have lost passports. What this usually means is that the passport has been thrown away because
the horse is at least fifteen years old. When I'm told the horse's age and there's no sign of a passport, I immediately
look at the teeth as it is easy to tell an older horse's age using Galvayne's Groove as a guide (see details opposite). I
bought a pony from a dealer last Autumn. She knew I knew about Galvayne's Groove so admitted that the man she'd bought
the pony from had tried to tell her he was nine. We both thought he was more like fourteen or fifteen but he's kind, sensible
and good for beginner riders so it didn't really matter.
5. 'This horse is four years old and
he's bombproof'. - If I got a euro for every time I see bombproof four year olds advertised for sale, I'd be
a rich woman. I don't believe there's such a thing as a 'bombproof' young horse. They simply don't have the years of mileage
and experience behind them. Obviously some horses and ponies are more sensible than others but only older ones should be labelled