Horsin’ around: new words to use when you write about the “neddies”

Suze with "Merrylegs" ... (Suze is the one on the right...)

“Moi” with the delightful “Merrylegs”
who wanted to bite my fingers
but decided against it…

Horse jargon is spreading beyond horsey types, although some journalists try to use it and get it wrong, hence making prize fools of themselves, especially when writing articles about equestrian Gold Medallists and Zara Phillips, the UK Queen’s grand-daughter who is a wonderful rider and must grit her teeth when she reads the cr*p such journalists write about her.

Here is a brief look at some new horsey terms that might give those journalists a bit more than a run for their money. Read on for some good (horse) laughs…

Appaloose: breed of horse known particularly for its fondness for breaking its lead rope when tied to the trailer at shows and galloping about the showground causing chaos

Brouches: breeches which have inexplicably become painfully tight after having hung unused in your wardrobe for a few years

Collected banter: the pace at which your farrier tells you all the latest gossip from other yards where he works

Crab biting: a condition whereby the horse crib bites sideways

Crass country: a new, politically correct equestrian discipline in which competitors jump obstacles common in urban areas e.g. abandoned stolen cars, stacked supermarket trolleys, dumped milk crates and large, heaped collections of discarded McDonalds cartons

Dirth: a girth which – though long enough in winter months – is inexplicably found to be too short, usually in the late spring when ponies have been stuffing themselves on rich grass

Dithers: the place where the withers should be, but can’t be seen or felt, on a fat pony

Faminitis: a disease suffered by many equids, particularly ponies, causing them to escape from their boxes and attempt to raid the feed bins

Fatlocks: those over-sized plaits you angrily create on the morning of a show, cursing yourself for having forgotten to pull the horse’s mane the previous day

Forelicks: the anticipatory slobbering your dogs do while waiting for the farrier’s trimmings from your horse’s feet

Gollops: the clods of mud flicked into your face by the horse in front while you are all galloping across a damp field

Heck joint:  the bony protrusion on a young horse’s hind leg that hits you in the chin when you’re trying to pick his or her hind foot up and causes you to utter an expletive

Horsehuge: a type of partly-fermented forage specially formulated for Shires, Clydesdales, Suffolk Punches, Percherons, other heavy breeds and heavyweight hunters exceeding 17.2hh

Hunting stuck: a type of neckwear worn by anxious riders who forget the dressage test they should be performing and regret the fact they have not employed the services of a caller

Loungeing:  Lungeing a lazy horse on a hot sunny day

Mad fever:  a personality disorder suffered by horse owners as a result of walking about for prolonged periods in wet, muddy fields chasing after a horse which will not be caught

HTWB picture 1 leftNosebend: the shape your nose assumes when your horse has raised its head suddenly in alarm at the same moment that you lean forward

Poobald: a grey horse or pony which has taken a nap in an unskipped-out box after you have bathed him or her ready for a show

Shoulder on: a dressage movement performed by an owner whose horse has shoved him or her up against the wall of the box while eating and refuses to move out of the way

Strongles: a painful condition of the rider’s hands as the result of habitually riding a horse that pulls or leans on the bit

Sweat itch: a condition whereby the horse, having sweated up while being worked, insists on scratching his or her head on the just-dismounted rider’s backside

Thoroughdread: a thoroughbred horse who has just noticed a plastic bag that’s caught in the hedge and which is now flapping in the wind

Tornout rug: a lightweight rug worn by turned-out horses who enjoy picking and eating brambles out of the hedge or reaching for greener grass on the other side of a barbed wire fence

Warpblood: a warmblood with an intense dislike of tractors who has just spotted one coming up the road while out on a hack and takes off at Mach 1 or more

Working haunter:  the invisible ghost lurking in the bushes behind “E” in your outdoor manege, that causes your horse to spook nearly every time you pass by it

All of the above excerpted from my best-selling (yes, genuinely, no Amazon scams…)  The Horse Lover’s Joke Book, available on most Amazons, in bookshops and equestrian retail outlets all over the place.

While you’re here, don’t forget to stop by my Bookshop…books and eBooks to help you write better – and to give to friends and family – from just $2.50

Pic of me and bolshie little pony a.k.a. Merrylegs thanks to Aaron Wood Photography.

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