So you’re looking to find your next superstar horse and you are faced with all number of adverts. Some well written, some lacking vital information and some that you can’t decide whether they are good or bad!
First of all decide what you are actually looking for in a horse to narrow your pool to a reasonable number. If you can’t find suitable horse within that pool then expand accordingly. i.e. your ideal is a 6-10yo 16-16h2 gelding of TB based breeding competing low level BE with scope to go on. If this is your criteria you can discount a large number of horses, but could later increase the age and height ranges if required.
When looking at adverts the same phrase in two different adverts doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing but in this part of our buying and selling series we will attempt to help you decipher what various adverts are trying to tell and even hide from you. *health warning – please note this article is written with my tongue firmly stuck in my cheek although with a lot there is an element of truth!*
Not novice ride = spins/spooks/naps/rears at sight of a leaf (in all seriousness this is normally not the case and the horse may just be a fit responsive sport horse that doesn’t suit a beginner)
Irish = from Ireland unknown breeding so it’s Irish!
Imported = Its passport isn’t in English so we can’t work out where it’s from
Has BE/BS/BD = has results just don’t expect them to be good!
Competed BE Novice = read carefully that says competed not completed
Bombproof = You could fire a gun whilst turning somersaults on its back and it still wouldn’t flinch
Seen hounds = seen them once from a distance but not actually as a pack or with several other horses
Confidence giver = donkey
Easy to do = nice donkey
Stands quietly for vet/farrier = anyone would think it was sedated
Nice person = big dog that would sit in your lap given half the chance
Good doer = bordering on laminitic but cheap to feed
Xc machine = never got an xc penalty but the dressage is the wrong side of 50%!
Double Clear machine = ditto above but even on your dressage score don’t expect a rosette
Fast XC = will pull your arms out trying to slow it down to not get too fast penalties.
Fun horse = will complete but don’t expect a rosette
Needs experienced rider to bring on = we’ve tried to school it but don’t have a death wish so selling it to someone that does
Still green = been backed and not much else because it refuses to co-operate
Seen from field = can’t catch the bugger
Lack of time forces sale = needs to be ridden 2 hours a day minimum to be kept sane
Seen with pro = amateur can’t ride one side of it
Suit amateur = never going to compete/place above pre-novice so best going to someone who can at least enjoy its personality!
Aimed at age classes = well it’s the right age to do them, doesn’t mean it will be any good though.
Brother to XYZ = yes by the same sire but XYZ was out of a premium papered mare and this was out of a donkey!
Homebred = bred out of precious mare with questionnable conformation that had half arsed results by anyone’s standards and despite breeder promising foal would have a forever home doesn’t like it so selling it.
Promising jumping technique = presuming you can get it near the jump
Showing scope = leaves about 3 foot air between itself and jump as too scared to touch a pole
Good prospect = blind judge may give it a decent mark
Potential = it can walk trot canter and jump a jump without falling over what more do you want?
Please note that there are exceptions to all the above and often they are used very genuinely. When reading an advert look for black & white factual information such as records, videos etc. Everything else is open to interpretation and therefore should not be relied on as factually accurate. If the factual information and photos/videos appeal call the owner and discuss. You will never get a truly accurate representation of a horse from an advert so you should just use them as a guide to create a longlist, use phonecalls with the seller which we will cover in more detail later in the series to create your short list which you will then go and view.