If you have ever been horse shopping, for yourself, friend or client, you know how overwhelming that it can be. Sometimes, it is hard to get a feel for what the horse is like through what is said about it in an ad.
There are lots of terms you might see in a for sale ad. If you are new to horses and don't know what the terms mean, it can make it hard to decide which ones might be good prospects for you to look at.
Terms like "green broke", "started under saddle", or "needs mileage" all are a different way of saying that the horse is still in need of more training. If you are not an experienced rider, these would not be good prospects for you to check out. Especially if you don't have professional guidance.
When you see words like "flashy" or "lots of chrome" is just referring to the fact that the horse has pretty markings. If you go and look at a horse with this description, try to envision it as a plain brown horse. Would you still like it without the flashy looks? Don't be blinded by white legs and blaze faces!
Another term you might see is" started over fences". This means just what it sounds like. It means the horse has started to learn how to jump. If you are a new rider, you want a horse that is an experienced jumper to help you gain confidence. If you aren't confident over jumps and you buy a horse that is just learning. He will need to get confidence from you as his rider. It is going to be a struggle for both of you!
If you are looking for a beginner type horse, "packer" or "push button" are terms that refer to well-trained horses—horses that would be good prospects for a less experienced rider.
Have you seen the term " easy keeper"? This is a good thing in an ad. It refers to the horses care to be straight forward. He doesn't need a ton of expensive feed, hay or joint supplements. This is always a plus! If you see the term "hard keeper", it means just the opposite. The horse requires a lot of special feed, hay, supplements, etc.... This doesn't need to be a deal breaker, just something to consider as you are comparing horses.
If you see the term "barefoot" that is a good sign. That means the horse has good feet and can stay sound while working without needing shoes. Keep in mind though this could change as your horse changes jobs. Also, sometimes due to degenerative, age-related issues a former barefoot horse might need shoes.
Needs "corrective shoeing" means that the horse has some sort of issue that it needs special shoes to stay sound. This doesn't necessarily have to be a deal breaker. It is just something to consider since it is an additional cost.
You may see in an ad the term "vices". Vices refer to undesirable behaviors. Things like cribbing, weaving, or stall walking. Again, these don't have to be deal breakers. Just things to be aware of. Especially if you are going to be boarding your horse. Many barns won't take cribbers. If the horse weaves or stall walks he may be better living outside. These are all things to consider. They don't have to be deal breakers if the horse is everything you are looking for in all other aspects. Just something that you should keep in mind.
You can figure out a lot about a horse from reading the description in a for sale ad. Especially if you know what the horse terms mean. If you don't, hopefully, your trainer or instructor can help you horse shop.
Hopefully, by learning what these terms mean, it may help you rule our horses that aren't likely prospects. That way, you can focus on the ones that are more likely to be what you are looking for!