Horse Person Phraseology 101


Are you planning to bring your significant other or non-horsey friend on an exotic, last-minute trip to the barn or horse show this season? If so, they might be well-served by learning the meaning behind some of the basic phrases they could encounter. The below crash course is sure to help the equine-challenged immerse themselves quickly and get the most out of their experience.

Listen and repeat:

Horse Person Phrase
Layman’s Translation
I am going to hand graze for a little bit.Off to take sunset Instagram photos, see you in 45 minutes!
I am hacking today.I may be late to dinner due to inevitable post-hacking screwing around.
I am almost finished hacking.I am about to uncover a new problem that requires an additional 30 minutes of flatwork.
Cooling out as we speak! I’ll be home in no time.I am catching up on barn gossip and confirming pony is still afraid of scary bamboo in back field. Confirmed.
Just wrapping things up!I am engaging in last-minute snuggling/forelock braiding.
Just cleaning my bit! I am sitting on a tack trunk with bit in one hand, Googling “Do copper rollers actually do anything” with the other hand.
Just cleaning my tack trunk!There’s no way I am actually doing this. I must be doing something horrible that I’m trying to protect you from, like burying a body or trying a new horse.
I’m getting in the car. I’m walking to the car.
Leaving right now!I am leaving in five minutes… probably.
Leaving in five minutes!I hadn’t seriously thought about leaving until those words came out of my mouth.
I don’t know if I can ride today.I may need a hospital.
[Horse] was great![Horse] was fine/good/great! (Finally, a cognate! Lucky you!)
[Horse] was fine.[Horse] was terrible, and it feels like a personal affront, and I don’t want to talk about it, and I refuse to admit it.
I’ll probably be showing in thirty minutes.I could be showing in thirty minutes, or I could be showing in two hours, or I might be late for my class right now, or we might be here until it’s dark.
I still need to clean my boots. I haven’t fed the horse mints yet.
It wasn’t that much.It would be best if you didn’t investigate the cost.
It was on sale. If it hadn’t been on sale, no reasonable person with a mortgage would have even considered spending the kind of money I just dropped.
Will you be working late this week?How many days this week can I get away with lessoning?
I’ll try to get home a little early tonight after the barn.You can expect me at exactly the same time as usual.
I have a great idea about an investment opportunity for our retirement account. I have been Googling horses I cannot afford all afternoon.

Wow! Look at you! You’re practically a native speaker! See you at the barn, you worldly person, you.

Emily Bogenschutz lives in Texas and is a freelance writer,
recent hunter-turned-jumper, and professional sneaker of saddle pads
into the washing machine. Follow her on Twitter: @EJBog.



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