One of the many hats I wear is matchmaker, helping my clients find horses. That means a lot of reading sale ads, and over my years, I’ve developed a little dictionary, to translate into normal people speak. Here are a few of the entries. (And if you’re lacking a sense of humor, I’d stop reading, right now.)
Well-bred prospect for any discipline! = but not good at any of them. This is the branch of the family tree that needed to be pruned.
Hunter or dressage prospect = moves like a Dodge Dart but I’m hoping you won’t notice because Donnerhall is in it’s pedigree.
Competed to 3* but selling as a dressage horse = lame.
Competed to 3* but selling as a jumper = feral.
Competed to Second Level but selling as a hunter = fat, pretty and with hind legs so far out behind it couldn’t change clean if it’s life depended on it.
Competed to Second Level but selling as an eventer = feral.
Competed to 1.30 but selling as a dressage horse = lame AND slow.
Competed to 1.30 but selling as a hunter = lame, fat AND slow.
Competed as a hunter but selling as a dressage horse = clean up on aisle 4.
Has papers from the Friesian Heritage Horse Association = at least half Percheron.
Has papers from the International Dutch Harness Horse Association = at least half Standardbred.
This unexpected breeding… = goddamn 2-year-old colt jumped the fence and bred a lesson horse.
This unexpected line breeding… = goddamn 2-year-old colt jumped the fence and bred his sister.
Serious inquiries only = expensive.
To a loving home only = I’m going to email you every week to ask how Fluffy is doing.
To a competition home only = needs to stay in training or it’ll eat you
For the ambitious amateur, Jr/YR or pro = hope you have a half halt or you’re going to be paint on the train.
Many in-hand successes! = thank god it’s pretty, because it moves like a Jack Russell Terrier on linoleum.
Outgrown by his amateur owner = amateur owner found out having to kick every stride is a bummer.
Schooling First Level = leg yields are harrrrrd.
Schooling Third Level = changes are harrrrrd.
Schooling Fourth Level = First Level horse with a clean change that defies explanation, but will probably high-ho silver if you half halt.
Schooling Grand Prix = will jiggle out hacking when his buddy leaves.
Bombproof = hope you can kick really hard.
Athletic = hope you can pull really hard.
A Unicorn! = can’t afford it.
World Class! = either can’t afford it, or it trots for a 5, and the seller should probably spend more time on YouTube.