Equestrian Court of Grammatical Peeves

You would bail the water out of the trough before scrubbing it. Then get a bale of hay to feed your horse.

As you wearily wander through the fields you might wonder where your wary horse is.



I love the line in Into the Woods- While her withers wither with her…


A different kind of grammatical gaffe: a line from a childhood horsey book about a boy’s pony ready for the county fair: “his dappled hide was spotless.”


You didn’t drug the ring, you dragged it. Your horse didn’t drug you either, if you were so unfortunate to have been dragged.


For Americans: “Draught” is pronounced “draft” (there is no such thing as an “Irish Drawt”!)


The people that I see posting about looking for a ferrier and horses for sale who are good for the ferrier are not harkening back to some long lost French word, they just can’t spell worth beans.


Hmm. I’ve always used marechal-ferrant (sorry, no accents on my phone) in French. Is ferrier regional or Canadian usage?

ETA: Never mind. It appears @horsepoor just answered my question. Thanks!


@Old_Mac_Donald Ferrier in French in regards to a Blacksmith, is a Latin based word. Comes from Ferrum meaning iron and ferrous meaning metal worker. Blacksmith works iron and metal but is not nessesarily a Farrier. The “black” in blacksmith probably came from the black on everything from using coal or coke in their forge! Along with worked iron being black if not polished. Silversmith, Goldsmith are named such because of the the metal they work .

So Ferrier and Farrier are not interchangeable terms, as you pointed out.


@alpine1 Yes, the draught (pronounced draft) has put Cleveland Bay horses forever in the draft horse catagory for the USA Govt. At some point an official heard they were used for riding and driving/pulled carriages. You know, “DRAFT horses” instead of draught meaning light horse breed, driving horses, not plow horses.

People looking up the Breed now get misled into thinking they are a draft breed, are big and chunky for pulling heavy loads, instead of the elegant, light footed, galloping type movers they are.

Spelling errors count!!


LOL! So true.
It is a fact that “fer” in French means iron. But “ferrier” refers to the waste generated from the process or iron ore.
Nothing to do with a maréchal-ferrant, or just maréchal, the person who puts shoes on your horse :wink:


A boarder pays to board their horse in your barn.
A border is a politically sensitive topic nowadays :wink:

A Baucher is a type of bit (named after the 19th century French riding master).
A boucher is a butcher.


I just learned this last month when I bought a Baucher. I would have sworn “Boucher” was correct, but all the bit manufacturers had them labeled as “Bauchers.” I had to look up to see where the name came from!


Me! I make those types of mistakes.
Sorry that my life long inability to spell properly causes you so much stress. Some people just suck at spelling. Always have. I try hard, but still suck at spelling.
It is hard to be less than perfect but some of us have to carry that burden.


Your car has brakes. Your horse has “brakes”.

If your horse has breaks, I suggest calling a vet.


It’s such a common mistake.
The pronunciation is different too -
Baucher = “bo-shé” (closed o as in “more”, é as in café)
boucher = “boo-shé”


I get farrier v. ferrier, or draft v. draught…those are spelling errors that are unusual and require memorization.

But I don’t understand how someone can write ridding when they mean riding. That’s the foundation of English spelling and pronunciation rules:



Double consonants define the long vowel v. short vowel sound. When you look at it, doesn’t it just look wrong?

Lose/loose…maybe that’s a little harder.


I am sorry that you do not understand that though some of us did well in school in many other subjects the convoluted memorization of spelling dumbfounded us and we fail at it far more often than we like to. It is not intentional to offend people like you think we are just too stupid to spell well.
The next thing someone is going to say about those of us who do not spell well is that we need to read more (because that is what is frequently said here on this topic). I read lots. I love to read. I still can not spell well. (In case you wondered, I prefer to read actual paper books. I am one of those people.)

I frequently mess up spelling something so much that spell check does not even offer me a choice.

For the record, I know how to spell riding. I know how to spell farrier.
Heck, I know how to spell hose bibb, which spell check likes to say is wrong.

But…there are lots of very basic words, that when spelled correctly I look at and wonder if they are right, because darn it, they do not look right to me.

Again, sorry that this is hard for someone with a great grasp of grammar to understand.



Get over yourself. Next time don’t respond to a post about spelling words incorrectly and then say you do know how to spell them.

Please feel free to give every other poster on this thread your lecture about being mean to others.


I was commenting because I frequently debate on the one or two thing when adding the ing.

I know riding because I happen to have it memorized, not because I know why it is spelled that way.

I was responding more to you point that it is stupid that people spell things incorrectly, than that specific word.

I sent one of my friends a note the other day asking about the spelling of a word that I was not sure about. I googled it but could not figure out if I was correct or not.


I think what @S1969 is saying is that it goes beyond spelling. It’s phonetics. If you read it, it should “pronounce” differently if spelled the different ways.

Spelling isn’t always about brute memorization (though sometimes it is).

It’s not the same as my example of Brake and Break.

Riding and Ridding are two entirely different words both in meaning and pronunciation.