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Horse Talk


Musings, insight, and pro tips

Horse Talk

Sophia Proler

My dad has a saying about his athletic ability,

I dress black, talk blue, and ski green.
— the Dad

Dress black

Ski green... or just ski fail

In other words, he may not have been picked first in gym class, but he will always dress like the champion.



In horse speak, The Rider's Closet realizes that we may not all win the Grand Prix at Thermals... but darn it if we don't deserve to look like we could.

So if (with The Rider's Closet's help!) we dress 'Grand Prix' though we ride 'Rusty Stirrup*,' how can we talk like an A-circuit competitor? 

Dakota and I sharing a joke.

We've created a glossary (which we'll continuously update) to increase your horse lingo fluency. Test a few out this weekend!



Horse Temperament & Style

DEAD BROKE aka PACKER: this horse knows its job and knows it well. Put any level of rider on it; this horse will take very good care of him or her.

Often overheard: "So-and-so won Champion again on her dead broke gelding. That thing wins blindfolded."

HOT: when someone describes a horse as 'hot,' imagine a person who is perpetually over-caffeinated. You'll see more 'hot' horses in the jumper ring than in the hunters, and they can usually be found prancing in place, awaiting any signal to get to work. 

Often overheard: "She's hot, but she's safe and will get you the fastest jump-off time, no problem."

SLOPPY: a horse with a 'sloppy' style or 'sloppy knees' is likely to clunk the top rail of a jump - both potentially dangerous and worthy of a markdown in the hunter ring.

Often overheard: "It's a miracle they were clean this round. That horse is super sloppy with her front end."

CAREFUL: A 'careful' horse, on the other hand, tucks his legs in tightly and uses his back end to clear the fence by plenty of room. Good horsey.

Often overheard: "What a careful horse! He jumps a 10 out of 10."

PADDLING: my mom's old horse, Ace, had a serious paddle foot. Every time he stepped forward, his left front hoof below the ankle circled out like a miniature oar, much like some human runners do. This movement comes from a horse's particular confirmation (anatomy), and may or may not cause lameness.

Often overheard: "That gelding has a bit of a paddle, but I still think he'd win in the junior hunters."



Have an idea for our next Horse Talk post? Leave a comment below and you could be featured (and credited!) on our site and on Instagram!



*Rusty Stirrup is a division for adults who have returned to riding after several years, so they may be a bit rusty! Jumps usually hover around 2'.