Horse Ads Decoded

Posted in: Featured, Horse Training, Uncategorized

I have been perusing horse classified ads lately, and man, let me tell you – the entertainment factor is satisfyingly high. Quality of horse flesh offered for sale varies, but I am thoroughly enjoying the wording of some of these ads. I’ve rounded up a sampling of some of my favorite horse-selling phrases for your enjoyment, plus a few words about what I think they really mean.

The lines are pulled directly from ads, but names, pictures, and other identifying characteristics have deliberately been left out. Because the last thing I need is a bunch of horse owners, predominantly middle-aged females, coming after me armed with manure forks and perimenopausal rage. Here goes nothing!

Offered for sale due no fault of his own…

Because usually when horses are offered for sale, it is their own dang fault. Or some horses ask to be sold? Some just have it coming? And if the horse did something unsavory that merited its immediately being put up for sale, would it be wise to advertise this? Ben and Howdy tried that in The Rounders, and they weren’t able to sell their big roan horse, either.

Yep, those two were stuck with Fooler.

horse ads

He is an “in your pocket” kind of horse.

I have seen this phrase enough recently to assume it means the horse is very friendly, the type that will perhaps nose your pocket for a treat. I also saw one horse advertised as an “in your tent” kind of horse. I am unclear what exactly this means – presumably it’s the same super-friendly trait, but maybe this is the camper’s version? Or an Arabian sheik? A nomadic herder?

Fights with other horses, even through the fence.

Because everyone needs a vicious horse, right?

The infamous “needs experienced rider.”

Ah, this is one of the most-ridiculed phrases in the equine class ad lexicon. I’m surprised it’s still in use, since basically everyone knows it means that the horse is so hard to manage that only an….

19-year-old ranch horse. Can ride all day, good to rope on. Barefoot.

This ain’t my first ranch horse. Ranch horses typically work hard, often traversing rocky ground that necessitates the use of horseshoes. Why is this horse barefoot? Probably because he tried to paw a hole in the top of some poor cowboy’s hat when he tried to touch his leg below the knee.

Will walk over a tarp.

Thanks to popular modern horse training techniques, there are a LOT of horses that are comfortable walking over tarps. Some horses can even be completely wrapped up within a tarp, with just the tips of their little ears and nose poking out. Their owner/sellers even have videos to prove it. I understand this is intended to demonstrate how gentle and unflappable the horse is, but it doesn’t have very many practical implications. Never once have I been out riding, saw an approaching rain cloud, and thought “So glad this horse is tarp-broke, now I can completely cover him with his full-body equine rain coat!”

Watchy on the ground.

You better be even more watchy than the watchy horse, or he will end up in your tent.

Needs a little Bute to stay sound.

Barn name: Tripod.

She was supposed to be broke, but I’ve only rode her once.

I’d like to know what happened during this one ride, but I’d guess it was one of these three things: 1) the mare bucked the rider off, 2) the mare ran off, or 3) both.

I have been working with her, but her only issue is she doesn’t stop.

“That’s okay, stopping is optional” said no potential horse buyer ever. You can overlook a short mane when you wanted a long one, or even be convinced to purchase a gelding when you initially wanted a mare. But no stopping? Pretty sure every rider wants a horse with a fully functional “whoa.”





Posted in: Featured, Horse Training, Uncategorized

About Jolyn Young

Jolyn Young lives near Montello, NV with her cowboy husband and 3 small kids. For more, visit

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