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If Equestrians Used ’10-Codes’

“Police say: 10-45 and mean ‘wreck.’ Equestrians say: 10-45 and mean ‘call the jump crew for fence repair.’ What if equestrians used law enforcement’s 10-codes? Esther Roberts has a thought experiment.

Flickr/Elvert Barnes/CC

Equestrians are often accused of being an “exclusive” bunch, partially because we have a language all our own. Whatever your discipline of choice, terms such as “bradoon” or “hames” are unique to those of us who like to horse around.

Law enforcement folks also have a language understood only by those “on the inside” of the industry. Listen to a police radio for just a few minutes, and you’ll soon be lost in a sea of “10-code” language.  The rule of thumb for such radio traffic is:  “the radio is for communication, not conversation” so any way you can successfully abbreviate whatever you’re trying to say is appropriate.  Hence the world of 10-codes.

Here at Horse Nation, we love crazy humor, crossovers, and mashups, so, in a salute to police horses everywhere, here’s our take on “10 codes for horse folk.”  Feel free to add your own creations in the comments. (Note: 10-codes can be specific to a region or a particular police department; for safety’s sake, do not assume any of the 10-codes given below will be accurate in your area, nor should you use them instead of plain language when contacting the police in your area.)

Police say: 10-4, and mean “acknowledge/understood”

Equestrians say: 10-4, and mean “my trainer is a FREAK and I can’t possibly ride that crazy horse she wants me to try but I’ll get on anyway because, well, horses


Police say: 10-15 and mean “prisoner in custody”

Equestrians say: 10-15 and mean “I finally caught that darn horse!”


Police say: 10-23 and mean “escaped prisoner”

Equestrians say: 10-23 and mean “loose horse!”


Police say: 10-20 and mean “what’s your location”

Equestrians say: 10-20 and mean “where the heck are you; the judge is waiting on you!


Police say: 10-24 and mean “traffic problem”

Equestrians say: 10-24 and mean “there’s too many riders in this equitation class; the judge can’t even see me!”


Police say: 10-39 and mean “injured person”

Equestrians say: 10-39 and mean “I can still ride though, right?”


Police say: 10-41 and mean “missing person”

Equestrians say: 10-41 and mean “where IS that loose horse?!”


Police say: 10-45 and mean “wreck”

Equestrians say: 10-45 and mean “call the jump crew for fence repair”


Police say: 10-46 and mean “wreck with injuries”

Equestrians say: 10-46 and mean “call the jump crew for fence repair… and bring the first aid kit along”


Police say: 10-7 and mean “out of service”

Equestrians say: 10-7 and mean “broken bones; can’t ride for two days”


Police say: 10-58 and mean “public drunk”

Equestrians say: 10-58 and mean “I won my class, let’s party!”


Police say: 10-71 and mean “forgery and fraud”

Equestrians say: 10-71 and mean “judge is a freakin’ lunatic — no way I deserved this score”


Police say: 10-72 and mean “riot”

Equestrians say: 10-72 and mean “morning turnout”


Police say: 10-84 and mean “juvenile problem”

Equestrians say: 10-84 and mean ” he’s just green”

Go riding.

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