Colourful descriptions in sales ads...(22 Posts)
What is the most ridiculous statement you've read in an ad? Behaviour traits played down or covered up with nice language/positive spin? Is there a knack to spotting when something is probably best avoided?
E.g my experiences...
Green = sat on once, in a stable
Cheeky = eats children
Compact = 4 inches shorter than advertised
After having my confidence knocked after some let-downs I did try a pony once advertised as 'bombproof', and contrary to this thread he really was! I was taken for a hack on him which included a busy high street. Buses passing inches away, police sirens and pedestrian crossings. By the time we got back I was so clamped onto him in fear that I couldn't get off, but he didn't even blink! Wish I'd bought that bloody pony!
Forwards going: bolts and has no breaks
Better in company: won't move a yard by itself
Sold from field: noones dared get on it for months
Marish: complete witch
Suit confident rider: dangerous
Not novice ride: this is my least favourite, I've seen it on horses who are super duper duper quiet nearly all of the time but once jumped slightly at a firework, to literally unrideable horses.
Ah yes, the forward going ones. Sometimes it means that they're keen, and sometimes its a polite way of saying he has no brakes!
'Needs ground work' - when tied up this pony would calmly sit down until twine snapped and then leg it. No fuss or tantrums, just sat down and waited to be free!
5 year old schoolmaster No it's not
Good second pony. Nut job
5 year old bombproof. Let us know when you intend to view it so we can drug it before you get here
Blank canvas = I tried to lunge it once and shat myself.
Good to clip/catch etc - beware of 'etc' what is not said! By this it could be good at everything or it could mean refuses to load and kicks the farrier.
Good doer - fat
Needs a quiet rider - bolts
Seen to crib occasionally on one fence - crib bites, wind sucks and has worn down teeth and no stable door left
Great to handle - no one dares sit on him though
we laugh yet we know it's all true (though thankfully not always!)
And let's not forget my all time favourite - would make great broodmare - can't be ridden, lame, ill, never bred before, no particular breed lines, but hey she's got a womb!
Whatslove Or 'show condition'. Knew a pony that was regularly in show condition...fat!
'Brave' = you might not have asked to clear the privet hedge, but you're going over it!
The best one I've seen recently was the 3 year old that had apparently been out several times competing at showjumping, and was apparently used to take out beginners. I really hope it wasn't actually 3!
"You have to share his sense of humour" is my all time favourite. It covers a multitude of sins and if you don't find them funny it's because you have no sense of humour.
Whatever the vendor writes, it is ALWAYS a case of buyer beware. Had either of my 2 best buys been advertised truthfully I would not have even gone to look at them. DS's fabulous, amazing little pony who I have people asking me all the time if they can have him once he is outgrown (certainly not! I will train him to drive and keep him for the cuddles) was advertised a 'perfect child's pony, safe kick along,' but would have been better advertised as 'mature pony only gelded and backed 6 months ago, before which he was running unhandled on the hills with his herd of mares. Refuses to move when a saddle is put on him unless food is used to bribe him.'
My own horse was advertised as 'genuine riding club type, 6yo.' Would actually have been more honest to write 'clueless but friendly 3yo with no history brought over from Ireland purely to fill the space on the transport. He was chosen as he was the only one we could get near out of the 100+ horses running round in the massive field.'
Think of all vendors as someone who wants one less mouth to feed and your money in their pocket, and it's not difficult to see why such trite selling phrases are trotted out all the time.
Booboostoo, my old horse had a sense of humour. He thought he was hilarious. I didn't always find stuff he did as funny as he did though!
There's funny, and then there's funny though. Dribbling feed down the back of your shirt and eating your hair while you're trying to wash feet is funny (more so on reflection...). Bucking you off every 10 yards is not, but some people believe it is! If you enjoy that sort of thing...
backinthebox do you regret buying them though? Maybe it's reasonable to put a positive slant on things when you know you do have a good horse to sell, but don't have a genuine glowing report.
We learned to ride on a 3 yo Shetland stallion, who appeared one day after dad had gone to a farm auction. 'There you go, it's a pony!' You would think you could tell how that worked out? Actually, he was an amazing pony and taught us all to ride. He was with us right to the end, aged 33. Would I be so brave when it comes to my own children? I don't know...
Do I regret buying them? No! They are bloody marvellous - I actually spent much of today basking in the reflected glory of the clueless Irish one at his first ever indoor showjumping. And our third pony is the grandson of the stationary only-just-become-a-gelding, as he is so awesome I deliberately went looking for his offspring.
I just avoided all of this by buying two unhandled colts
No nasty surprises and I know their balls are all off because I watched them come off lol.
Our first pony was advertised as a second pony, but when my mum phoned up and asked why she was told 'because he's hard to get going' so we thought that was ok. Turns out 'hard to get going' meant he was extremely nappy, would prefer to run backwards than forwards and was quite reluctant to turn left. We found out most of this on the way home after we'd bought him! We also found out that the spinning and refusing to go forwards was usually a precursor to taking a flying leap and then taking off at high speed, especially if there were a lot of bigger horses that he was determined to overtake. He was a great games pony though . He was also a perfect gent to handle, bombproof on the roads, a neat jumper, broken to drive, was as surefooted as a goat and had the heart of a lion. We had him for 20 years (that was after meeting a previous owner and finding out he was actually 16 when we bought him, not 10 as advertised).
I suppose nowadays we'd sue the vendors for our money back and never know what we'd missed out on.
^ at least that's more being a bit generous than out and out lies.
I've seen one advertised recently as a confidence giver.... This horse is very very buzzy, very green and rushes everything. But apparently he is a confidence giver because despite trying to do everything at 90 miles an hour and pulling like a train he doesn't spook much.
Words like confidence giver will not attract appropriate riders for that horse
I find it to be just as bad when you advertise one for sale though!
I had a flighty Arab mare. She wasn't a puller and was snaffle mouthed. I advertised her as such and that she was not for novices.
The responses I had amazed me - from doting grandparents that were sure she would be fine for their granddaughter who had been riding six months to "I like the sound of her, but can you tell me what does flea-bitten mean?"
Luckily I sold her to a lovely lady, on a yard that I knew and was that relieved to have someone that got on with her I took quite a lot less than what she was advertised at.
On the other side, and back to the OP, I bought a four year old from a dealer (a well known one!). I asked how he was in traffic. "He's bombproof" I was told. "Fuck off (dealers name) he's never seen a road has he?" I said. "No......" he replied and laughed. I bought him. He was a sweetie.
We just sold our sons 13 2 - god we loved that pony , but he was advertised as spooky, requiring a confident rider . The phone calls we have someone for there 6 year old (overhorsing anyone)and one for a nervous 7 year old who lost there confidence easily - have you read the ad? And no, there is no point you coming to see him....
He is fab, amazing scope, saw a stride and never strong in the ring......just not your average happy hacker .
All time favourite was someone advertising a "top bsja pony, jumping top of the wings". The only photo they had of it "jumping" was it stepping nonchalantly over the tiniest cross pole haha. Still makes me chuckle
I contacted a small dealer once about a horse she was selling. It was four and seemed really genuine but they claimed it had done sj, PC and hunted and so I contacted her just to learn more das it seemed a lot at such a young age:
Me: "Hi - like the look of the gelding you're selling but has he really done all that and is only 4?"
Her: "yes. Read the ad."
Needless to say it was yet another horse person I ran a mile from.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.