Buying a horse or pony is a time-consuming process that starts with filtering through dozens of horses for sale ads.
To help you read between the lines, we’ve pulled out seven commonly used phrases and deciphered what we think they really mean.
“He's still quite green”
i.e. Will rush off at any given moment or try and buck you off into the nearest hedge.
Put in the hours and you can bring on a lovely little horse, but be under no illusion, you’ll need time, patience and probably a lot of velcro on your breeches to get there.
“He loves having a job to do”
This horse sounds like a dream that’s eager to please, but give him a day or two off and he’ll be more excitable than a toddler hyped up on Haribo.
The perfect partner if you’re keen to ride every day, but might not be suitable if you’re looking for a chilled-out type to take hacking at the weekends.
“No time wasters”
Horses are a lot of money and choosing the perfect partner for you is a big decision. It’s rare that you’ll meet a horse and hit it off straight away, so don’t feel bad if you need to visit a couple of times to be sure.
Sure, don’t take the mick with the seller, but equally you shouldn’t feel pressured into buying a horse that you don’t really want.
There's every chance this seller might have been messed around in the past, but they could also be keen for a quick sale of a less-than-brilliant horse.
“Prefers company when hacking”
This horse isn’t for the nervous hacker. He may be happy as anything on a group hack at the weekend, but taking him out on the bridleway alone is a different story.
Every flapping leaf makes him all of a quiver and by the time you’ve got home (jogging and sweating profusely, obviously), he’ll have snorted enough to make a dragon proud.
“Very little mileage”
Usually a term we’d associate with cars, this gem frequently makes its way into horse adverts too.
While he’ll need bringing on and showing the ropes, it also means he hasn’t been competed to within an inch of his life and is a blank canvas.
“She’d excel as a broodmare”
If you’re looking to further your riding career, this little lady probably isn’t for you. Whether she’s had an injury that’s held her back, or is just a down-right madam to train, she’s not going to be heading to the Olympics any time soon.
And if she’s really that much of a nightmare in the saddle, would you really want to breed from her? Approach with caution.
“Will let the smallest of kids drag him round”
This pony has the patience of a saint. Any horse that’s happy to be manhandled by a bevy of keen young equestrians is worth his weight in gold.
Don’t miss the latest issue of Your Horse Magazine, jam-packed with training and veterinary advice, horse-care tips and the latest equestrian products available on shop shelves, on sale now. Find out what’s in the latest issue here.