9 Horse Ads From Back in the Day

Ever wish you could be transported to Downton Abbey times, with fancy riding habits and personal grooms? Travel back in time with these ads.

[top image: Wikimedia Commons]

These old-timey horse ads will make you smile for so many reasons–beautiful typography, quaint turns of phrase, and even just imagining what the horses behind the ads were like. So when a bad Craigslist ad makes you want to gouge out your eyes and revoke someone’s horse license…just put on your sepia-toned glasses and go back in time.

Philadelphia, May 1789: a “full blooded horse” with “the most beautiful figure of any horse in America” for sale or stud at “the usual place.” What, your town doesn’t have a “usual place” for horse breeding?

eclipse[Archiving Early America]

Wouldn’t you love to send away for a cloth-bound catalog with more etchings of these Percherons?

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[Knick of Time]


[Circus No Spin Zone]

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[Circus No Spin Zone]

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[Circus No Spin Zone]

Or maybe you don’t need a carriage horse…click to enlarge this list of hunters for sale:


Some of the highlights:

ROBERT MACAIRE, bay gelding, up to 13 stone; clever and fast, a good hack and quiet in harness, and a good mover.

LODI, by Austerlitz (winner of the Liverpool Steeplechase), chestnut gelding, up to 13 stone, very clever, handy, and particularly quiet and pleasant to ride; a very fine fencer; goes a fine pace, and is suitable to a good man in any close country, and quiet enough for most nervous man or woman; quiet in harness.

ADONIS, by Solon, brown gelding, up to 13 stone; fast, a bold and clever fencer, and will go in any country; a good hack, very handsome; carries a lady on the road, but too bold to hounds for most ladies.

THE RED FOX, chestnut gelding, up to 13 stone; a free, bold horse with very good action, carries a lady; a very clever fencer, and can go anywhere; quit in harness.

NEIGHBOUR, grey gelding, up to any possible weight; rides light in hand, and is a good walker and trotter and very pleasant; a good jumper and clever; not fast in his gallop; quiet harness; a good mover.


Can you imagine how long it would take to clip a horse with non-electric clippers circa 1868?


[Old Ads are Funny]

Don’t want to bother with a real horse? Don’t worry–these late 1890s ads promise “a perfect substitute for the live horse” that also “prevents stagnation of the liver” and other dire maladies like obesity and gout.  Hey, if it’s good enough for the Princess of Wales!

horse at home

[Mixed Bag]



Go Riding!


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