We've been left some money. Do I spend a chunk of it on a possibly overpriced pony for dd1?

(30 Posts)
ponydilemma Fri 11-Jan-13 11:45:51

We've been looking for a new pony for dd1, a 14.2 who loves jumping. Our budget has been around 4,000. Due to a family bereavement we've been left some money. Not a life changing amount but it would be very helpful for various things that need doing around the house, plus providing a comfortable buffer for us. DD1 has a pony currently. DD1 is a lovely girl who is completely dedicated to her pony and her sport. She is 13 and (not that it is relevant really) an ed pscyh 'diagnosed' her with suspected ASD (aspergers) a few years ago, she's not statemented, there was always a question mark over it, but anyway she is doing very well at school in small classes and with a real structure and routine. dd1's pony has been great for building her confidence but she now wants to jump higher and bigger etc etc and her current pony has started refusing rather nastily at anything over 2'3 (he lacks confidence in SJ anyway although he is great hunter). So I have found a pony who on paper sounds perfect for dd and after speaking to the owner at some length she sounds great. BUT she is 7,000 shock. Now, due to the money we've been left we COULD afford this but I am really scared about spending the money. WE are going to see her in a week and I am a bit worried that dd1 will assume we are definitely getting her (this is where the ASD bit kicks in as she really won't take on board that it's not a done deal hmm). We've had two ponies for a year but I wouldn't say we were anything other than novices really although we are keen and the girls do everything that comes their way. I don't really know what I am asking other than trying to talk it through with someone. Thanks for listening.

Butkin Fri 11-Jan-13 12:01:22

Would you sell the current pony to help fund the new one?

If your new budget became 7,000 then would this definitely be the pony you'd want to consider buying or would you start searching in that price bracket?

At that price you definitely need to try a few out and get them vetted for insurance purposes.

We tend to think that children only live once and you want to give them the best you can afford - especially if the ponies are young enough that they will have a decent resale value one day.

ponydilemma Fri 11-Jan-13 12:31:35

Butkin that is exactly our philosophy - the only living once thing. I want to get dd1 a good pony because I want her to be able to get onto school teams etc now while she is still young enough, that sounds pushy but I don't mean it in that way, we aren't going to affiliate or anything. She doesn't have to win, just to be on a pony that jumps a nice clear round. And I probably don't have to pay 7,000 for that. Also this pony has never hunted whereas dd1 loves hunting...

Our current pony is on loan.

ponydilemma Fri 11-Jan-13 12:33:06

Well even if our budget had alwways been 7000 this one is still the nicest sounding one I've seen in about 5 months of scouring ads and asking people! She's ridden in a snaffle which appeals to me although dd1 quite likes fancy bits hmm - pony club!

Booboostoo Fri 11-Jan-13 13:34:18

No. For a couple of reasons:

What would happen if the pony did not suit DD? To re-coup that kind of money you'd have to put the pony in training livery to continue its competitive career and that would cost you a lot more money on top of the purchase price.

7k is a lot of money, if that's the pony's value I would worry it is too big a step for your DD to go from 2.3" to a full on competition pony. What level has it jumped at? With what kind of success? I would suggest your DD needs an PC type pony to be able to jump 2.9" to 3.3", not a pony for the bigger tracks.

If your DD wants to hunt you are taking a huge risk with a pony that has never done it. It may take to it very nicely, but then again it may not. Would your DD be OK with a pony that did not hunt?

If you do go view take your instructor with you. A competition partnership is a difficult thing to get right and you need a professional's opinion on the pony's suitability (I appreciate your comments about DD becoming upset at a failed viewing, but whichever pony you do buy you will have to view several. Is there any way you can work with her over this? You don't want to buy the first pony you view, nor is it possible to judge suitability from an advert).

I'm with you on the snaffle issue though!

ponydilemma Fri 11-Jan-13 15:55:53

Well the not suiting issue could happen with any pony I suppose. She wants a competitive pony although we don't plan to affiliate. The pony has done quite a lot. Dd is 13 so needs to start being a bit more serious if she's going to be the next Mary King wink

I am sure we could find a pony cheaper if we waited. The lack of hunting is an issue.

Booboostoo Fri 11-Jan-13 17:08:40

Yes you are right it could happen with any pony, but if you buy a pony for 4k, it does not suit at all and you can always in desperation sell it for 2k. If you buy a 7k pony because it is in work, has a great competition record and is currently going like a dream, but it doesn't suit, you'll have to sell it in six months with no rider to show it off, a break in competition and the problems that might have been created in the mean time. You stand to lose a lot more money, but of course that is one of many considerations.

If she does not want to affiliate I don't see any reason to spend that much on a pony. I am not suggesting you buy an unbroken/lunatic bucker/serial bolter for meat money, but a compromise. 4k should get you a nice hack, hunter, all PC activities type pony.

Booboostoo Fri 11-Jan-13 17:10:09

Oh, sorry to harp on, but make sure you check out the pony's competition history (BE, BS, and BD all available on line) to confirm the owner's claims and check who the rider was, whether there were any breaks, etc.

ponydilemma Fri 11-Jan-13 18:16:54

I have been looking at 4k and haven't found anything in 3 months. Depressing. Best thing would be to wait until end of hunting season but it's going to be hard to wait that long.

Booboostoo Fri 11-Jan-13 19:01:17

It may be the wrong 3 months. Mid-winter anyone with a decent hunter will be using them and anyone with a worthwhile horse will be waiting for spring to sell.

Butkin Fri 11-Jan-13 21:19:31

Agree with Booboo regarding hunting ponies. Wait until March because then they should come on the market and still loads of time before PC camps, competitions etc.

Loshad Fri 11-Jan-13 21:27:20

that is a huge amount of money on a pony, particularly if you want a hunting pony and this has never hunted.
I have never spent more than £995 on a horse, and have had horse compete up to BE OI, jump foxhunters and dressage medium for that. Current horse was £950 and jumps BE100 for fun, only haven't moved up to novice due to my lack of time.
I really would not spend £7k on a kids pony, it might go lame next week, it might be a total psycho out hunting etc.
Where have you been looking?, where abouts are you?

Zazzles007 Fri 11-Jan-13 23:13:32

The other thing OP is that most people will tell you that 3 months is 'nothing' in the pony hunting game. Most people looking for a horse/pony seem to spend 6-12 months on the search. There is so much more to consider when buying a partner for your DD, and as such a careful search becomes more important, especially considering the pony is for a teenager, and the conditions you have described. When searching for the right horse/pony, its always a case of 'make haste slowly'.

For the type of pony you are looking for I would put the word out in pony and riding clubs, as many youngsters are outgrowing (hopefully) jumping ponies that would love a new home. Moving up to jumping 2'6"-3' requires more heart from the pony than talent, but the move to 3'+ requires talent.

I would also second the posters who think that you do not need to send 7K on a pony that jumps 2'6"-3'.

Hope this helps.

Ariela Sat 12-Jan-13 01:35:59

I really don't think you should be spending £7K on a pony if you're not going to affiliate and go all the way, as previous poster said it's a lot to loose if he breaks.

There are lots of pony club ponies coming up for sale all the time - a really lovely one (who was on the area teams for sj, dressage and XC, and regularly compets at 1m ) has just gone on the market in our PC for £5K, he is a tall looking 14-14.1hh. I say tall in that he seems bigger than our 14.05h New Forest - who was cheap and yet is also on the team show jumping, regularly double clear as he's very careful, and never refuses these days.... are you sure it's not the rider rather than the pony?

We found ours started refusing big style after daughter lost her nerve about some scary flller or other. It took a LOT of coaching, and recuse remedy for her, along with calmer for him, as he used to fizz up and get a bit unmanagable and dive out at the scary fillers - horses are herd animals and need a leader, and a nervous leader transmits her fears to the horse. Could be a bit of an anticipation element - does she fall off when he refuses? - and he picks up on it thus DOES refuse. After another 6 months of competing where I'd dropped the pony calmer but still continued with the recue remedy for her, as well as telling her the pony had had his, she overcame her nerves (ridiculous she was nervous really as she'd NEVER fallen off him apart from when he slipped over once on a circle in the mud) and with some excellent tuition at Pony Club (and she really is a dedicated instructor, last time out took 4 teams the teams finished 1st,2nd,3rd & 4th in the team class, and completely stole the show in the individual results) we found the pony flew round everything. Now they're qualifying at 90cm without calmer or rescue remedy - and daughter is asked to go and ride naughty little ponies who refuse jumps.....she's firm and insistent and holds the line till they don't refuse, and then their younger rider gets on and flies round.

You say you feel novice - just wondering have you had an older/more experienced rider take the pony jumping, and have you had a different instructor (ideally a show jumping specialist - look for recommendations locally and be prepared to typically pay £40 or so for 45 mins ) to look at the pair and give them some lessons and improve their technique?

Also has the pony had the usual feet, back, teeth, saddle checked in case there any issues meaning jumping higher is uncomfortable?

Finally, not being funny but at 13 she's likely to be growing fast and you may need your 7K for a horse soon! (we do, think this will have to be daughter's last year on ours and she's 13 1/2)

Booboostoo Sat 12-Jan-13 08:04:45

Sorry to go on, hope I'm not boring you, but here's another thought. I have bought a number of competition horses for decent amount of money and it has almost always been through word of mouth. My trainer will know their trainer, or I will have seen the horse out competing, or it will be a well known horse, etc. so if you do decide to go the 7k route speak to decent trainers/dealers. By dealers I mean professionals who bring on and compete ponies in your chosen discipline and will know all the ponies looking for a new home. They will want a commision for the contact if there is a sale but usually it's worth it as good ponies don't go on the market.

Good points from Ariela as well. Has your DD jumped a lot at the 3.3-3.6 level?

Callisto Sat 12-Jan-13 09:41:49

I wouldn't even spend £4K on a pony, or any animal. It is just way too much. There are loads of seriously good ponies out there for much less. Have you tried the Pony Club pages? There are always decent ponies on there.

50BalesOfHay Sat 12-Jan-13 10:54:24

If your dd rides and competes at a level where she needs a top class pony then £7k is not unreasonable, but by tht I mean if you plan to be out competing every weekend, travelling widely, PC area/nationals and intending to affiliate. If it's for local, unaffiliated fun then it's over the top. You sound like you're looking for the same sort of thing as me, and I reckon £4k should get something nice. I don't know whether you have transport, but if I'd got £7k to spend I'd be spending £3.5k to £4k on a pony and the rest on a small lorry.

CatPussRoastingOnAnOpenFire Sat 12-Jan-13 16:27:38

£7k is an obscene amount of money! People are giving ponies away at the moment! I'd maybe spend a grand or two on Dds forever horse in a year or two, but there's no way I'd spend more than £1k for a kids pony. I have 5. The whole lot combined cost me £850! They are all perfectly good ponies!

horseylady Sat 12-Jan-13 17:25:08

I agree with the comments above!! £3-4k should buy you exactly what you want. Or the very very most £5k but today's Market isn't great!! No need to spend that amount of money if you don't want to affiliate in the near future.

I also like the transport idea!! And join pc if you're not already a member.

Good luck with the search!! It's a minefield!! When I bought my pony 11 years ago I was looking for 9 months!! When I bought my horse she was literally the first horse I saw. Fell in love with her and took her home!! I wasn't even looking for me! Whoops!!

miggy Sat 12-Jan-13 23:30:02

I think 50bales is spot on, that's real serious competition money. Would certainly want at least a two week trial and going out to compete within that time.
I always look at horses as how much money can I afford to potentially throw away. They are so breakable and you never know how a particular partnership will work out either.
The last pony we bought for ds three years ago was £2k and 20 yrs old. He was perfect for ds at the time and worth every penny as two weeks later we were able to go straight to a pony club area competition and then to championships. But I knew when I was buying him that we would never see that money back. Ds had three great years with him, cost £700 per year, I see it as a kind of gym membership fee smile
New pony was for sale for £5k we had her on trial for two weeks, loved her but found enough lumps and bumps that she would never pass a vetting. Told the owner that x was the max we could pay for her (being the amount again I was prepared to gamble away) and luckily he agreed.
Bit ramble but think I am trying to say don't see it as any kind of investment, spend what you are prepared to spend on your child's hobby, like you would in any other sport.

ponydilemma Sun 13-Jan-13 19:41:57

Thanks all. I am going to advertise on my local pony club's website and also say that I don't mind waiting until after the hunting season. The thing which has occurred to me is that we are at our limit at the moment as it is, with rallies and lessons and the odd competition, feeling as though we HAVE to compete a pony would be more stress than I can handle. Also we really need 2 stables so I would rather spend some money on that and hopefully not more than 4k on a pony.

Current pony's refusals are totally unpredictable, yes I can believe some of it might be dds nerves but he has put in a couple of very dirty stops recently which even pony club instructor said were totally not dds fault. Her teacher has also said she is really ready to move on. He lacks confidence SJ and is fine hunting as he has a leader. He may do brilliantly with a really tough, confident rider BUT as he is the absolute opposite of forward going he wouldn't appeal to anyone wanting to be competitive. Shame as he's a sweetheart really and if we could keep him purely for hunting we would sad

ponydilemma Sun 13-Jan-13 19:45:48

I think you have to be extremely knowledgeable and have lots and lots of experience and time to get a £900 pony up to BE100 level. I'm just a mum who used to ride, with three kids and a job :-)

Roseformeplease Sun 13-Jan-13 19:45:53

If you are interested, and want something cheaper (and I know nothing about horses) my sister is involved with a charity www.totemrescue.org.uk who have an ever changing range of rescued / abandoned horses and ponies. In the current economic climate they get all sorts so you might be lucky or they might keep you in mind.

ponydilemma Sun 13-Jan-13 19:47:31

callisto if you can find me a 14.2 that meets my criteria for under 2k on the Pony club website I'd be amazed!

ponydilemma Sun 13-Jan-13 19:48:46

I don't want a rescue. I don't want a project. I want a kind, honest pony who has been 'brought up' properly and who genuinely enjoys competing and particularly jumping and has a good history within PC.

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