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Hoofbeats - The Blog 

Welcome to our blog page, HOOFBEATS, where we talk about the countryside with a main emphasis on training and caring for horses and ponies. If you would like to contribute ideas and information about your own experiences, we would be delighted to hear them. Please email to editor@horseandponyinfo.com or post to our Facebook Page, Horse and Pony Info. If you're into Twitter, you can contact us @horse_ponyinfo.

The opinions expressed here are from personal experience and we strongly advise you to contact your vet or your riding instructor if you are seriously worried about your horse.

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Five examples of 'horse salesperson speak' - or what we aren't being told!

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. 

2. 'All 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 do so. 

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 bombproof.

7:55 pm gmt 


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