The decision wasn't taken because of the incident. We loaned one of the farm ponies for hacking and for DD to be responsible for a specific pony. Then she decided she wanted to do gymkhana etc. The loan pony is a Section D, on occasion stroppy and ill mannered (but lovely too!) and far too strong for DD. Plus, she just doesn't want to do PC again (did it all years ago with owners daughters), would be a nightmare on camp as she hates being in and we knew it would be a matter of time only.
Our lovely and extremely knowledgable friends have taken a lot of their own time up seeing loads of ponies and this one seems to be a little dream. His owners are super too, very genuine and helpful, they clearly care deeply about him. I've had insurance company and vet confirmation that he's never had treatment, goes unshod, loads well etc. He's done all PC stuff apart from gymkhana, but we took the games equipment with us on the last visit and he was picking it up in minutes. He's so good, it's a battle with DD's current pony, this one does as he's told!!
Anyway, I know nothing about ponies but am learning quickly, particularly about how expensive they are (tow bar, tack, pony, insurance!!),
And I may ask some very daft questions, lots of them
Mine is NFU insured as well, expensive (£62) but they are so good if there is a problem. Mine got kicked in the field and chipped elbow, when it wasn't healing vet said send him to newmarket I phoned nfu and they just said ok, didn't have an operation in the end and came sound but was so nice not to have to argue the toss with an insurer at that difficult time. Up til then I had three years of not having the vet for anything and from time to time considered it a bit expensive but so glad I kept up good cover as got all my money back - vet xray visits cost over £500 a pop, plus they paid for physio for months afterwards.
I would say vet the pony for your piece of mind but keep the results in perspective, at 12 with a bit of work behind him they are likely to find some injuries/ faults etc but this does not mean he is not suitable for what you want to do. Vetting is quite risky for the vets concerned and they are very cautious. I had a full vet when I bought my gelding and he actually failed the flexion test on one of his hind legs, he was 12 and also objects to trotting on quickly with pins and needles after they have held up the leg. On balance I already knew the horse and he was still a good buy and I was happy he was sound at the time so I went ahead as in the round he is worth it and good to handle etc which isn't something they get marks for on the vet! Five years later still sound on that leg so was a good call. However if they had found a heart murmur I would maybe have seen it differently, so I would get a vet for information but don't worry too much if they bring up things, if something is found try to keep it in perspective and take time to consider what those problems might mean to you and maybe do another post at that stage?
There are different kinds of insurance: - third party liability insurance: for me this is a must, it's not very expensive, it's available through membership of various bodies (like the BHS) and protects you in case your animal causes harm or damage to persons or property.
- vet fees insurance: cover varies depending on a number of factors.
a. premium: the higher the premium, generally the higher the cover. If you come across a really good deal read the small print carefully for exclusions, it may be that the cover is much narrower than other policies. As far as I know insurance companies only cover you for one claim for a year, after that exclusions apply which can affect long term conditions,
b. excess: the higher the excess you are willing to pay the lower the premium but it may mean that you are only insuring for a catastrophic emergency and not for many common medical problems and accidents,
c. value of horse: the more expensive the horse the higher the premium,
d. activities: some activities cost more to insure for as they are more risky,
e. loss of use: decent loss of use policies are exceptionally expensive, most people take a risk with respect to this.
It's worth asking around for reputable insurers as the last thing you want when you have a sick animal is for the insurer to delay treatment by not agreeing to pay up.
I know Eve, its a nightmare. we are away most weekends at the moment and consider 3 hrs travel to be "near". Generally its 4-5hrs (usually involving M25 on friday night). Sadly PC stops games at 15 and its the only thing DS loves to do so I make the effort. OP if near the advert location is not in a bad place for MGA though, better than down south.
After my reversing attempts at the weekend I definitely need lessons for just this aspect of towing at the least! Thanks, I will look into this, might be useful. I found hitching up the trailer fine and towing fine actually, but reversing threw me completely!
Thanks again for the detailed posts re insurance, in particular booboostoo, as that got me thinking about what aspects of cover we need/already have. Both DC are covered by a specific Youthguard sports policy covering their riding and rugby, this has significant and thorough personal accident cover. PC membership covers public liability so I really needed vets fees as my priority. He's also doing the less risky activities etc. With these caveats, I have gone with horse-insurance.co.uk for £20 per month (obviously that's not including the cost of my other policy and PC membership so in reality, it's more than this).
He's here, we didn't vet, based on overall price of pony and medical history so far. For better or for worse . He was a little nervous obviously but generally still pretty calm, just rather tense and twitchy at new sounds etc. Just fed him, brushed him and left him to settle in the field. Did tack him up to check saddle and tack etc.
DD is using another pony for her competition at the weekend, which I am glad about as this will let him settle. She plans just feeding, brushing and a couple of light hacks this week. She will be very busy actually, training on another pony for the comp, getting to know Merlin and feeding her loan pony, which I have said she should until the end of the month.
Hope that sounds like a plan anyway!
Previous owners were gutted, hope that's a good sigh Promised loads of picutes and updates.
That's great news (the new arrival)! I hope he settles in really well!
You are right to take it easy with him, DD should take her time doing new things with him as they need to get to know and trust each other. However, get some work into him so that he doesn't get too full of energy. The best thing would be for you to lunge him. 20 minutes a day (10 minutes at the start spent in walk on both reins and then 10 minutes walk and canter on both reins) will take the edge off him. It's a good idea to lunge him before DD gets on for the first few times as well.
He is now kept in a much bigger field than at his last home. This has given him the opportunity to fly up and down it at will! Our friends said he was watching him during the day and did I realise that he can really shift and that he picks up his feet beautifully, far better than most of the other ponies.
Well, it was difficult to see how fast he might be on intial inspection and I know nothing about ponies so I couldn't actually take any credit for this
I thought he was pretty nervous of the farm machinery and slightly twitchy in genreral which had worried me a bit but again, our friends said, no, not nervous, alert and receptive and slightly unsure obviously but they have brought ponies to the farm that have freaked, this is really very calm, he just needs a week or so to settle.
DD needs to talk to him more too I think, although she caught him yesterday no problem and he let her lead him to where they feed him easily.
Thanks. I have been at the farm this morning and he's happily eating grass with his field friends. I gave him a couple of carrotts . His body language was calm, he pricked up his ears and looked over when I called his name. I spoke gently to him loads etc, stroked him etc. He then wandered off to find his friends.
DD will be down this afternoona and I will go down tomorrow and do some poo picking in the field
DD went on a light hack tonight with 4 other ponies. They then went in the field and did some easy jumps, which apparently he was 'popping' with ease and loving. My friend was watching them surreptitiously and he was loving it she said.
Field politics seems to have settled too. He's nuzzling the ponies in the other field over the fence and all is calm in his own field too. He's even a little protective of the foal in the field. Have been poo picking tonight for an hour, chatting to the ponies and watching.
Sure there will be good and bad days but a solid start given he's been here only a couple if days.
Good. My dds pony who is a saint really was quite unsettled for a week or so. Lots of puffing and blowing at me, was a bit of a sod to our other pony, lots of running up and down. Also he refused lots of jumps at a SJ rally in the first week (probably shouldn't have taken him)
6 weeks on and he's as easy as pie. Whickers to me (whereas before I clearly made him feel a bit stressed out), stands like a rock for grooming and while I make a right mess of his bridle (have been doing it for 35 years can never work it out as am really unspatially aware!). And at the SJ rally last night he only refused once and that was when a peacock wandered in front of the jump so we'll let him off
He's settled so well. We've been at a competition all weekend but the farm have texted with updates, he's been lying chilling in the shade all together in a line with his field friends a lot and everything is calm
We got back yesterday evening at 6pm and DD caught him from the field with ease, gave him a good brush down etc and a very small feed to help with the bonding etc. He was calm and responded to her instructions. They have gone on a hack today and brought him to our door!! All 5 ponies very relaxed in each others company. So pleased for DD . He hasn't flinched at traffic or the strange surroundings. Nuzzling the other ponies a lot.
My question is about his legs! My friends at the farm have all commented on his lovely 'beautiful' legs! However, he's so slight (we need a new head collar, pony size is too big), he is all leg, very slim too they are. He's had a couple of little scratches on his legs this week I have noticed. His previous owners used boots for competition work (jumping mainly) and travel only but I wondered if you can get boots for when they are turned out? Or, do ponies just get small scratches etc and I am worrying about nothing?
I would emphasise that they are tiny nicks/scratches only, just two early on in the week when field politics was at it's height but I wouldn't want him hurt at all. Plus, I know gymkhana is tough on their legs so want to ensure he's ok.
Also, he's unshod and always has been, his previous owners used hoof oil but the farm are not big fans and prefer to only use something if their ponies feet are dry. What is the best thing to do here?
He has a busier week coming up after a week of mainly just settling in. We are going to a training centre all day Thursday and a rally on Friday, hacking and PC training
You shouldn't need boots in the paddock. Boots, as a generalisation, can cause rubs and should only be worn when really necessary ie when jumping, riding in heavy ground, or if you have a history of brushing or overreaching. Buy some sort of antiseptic spray - usually a purple colour -and just apply if he actually breaks the skin.
We use hoof oil in competitions but don't bother at home. If he has a history of hoof problems probably best to toughen them up from inside through good diet and supplements.
Thanks for this information. He has no history of hoof issues and the farm apply hoof oil for competitions too so that makes sense.
They have the antiseptic spray there too (blue) and did use some on his first scratch as a precaution as I was flapping. Not sure if they would have done on their own ponies but think they were humouring me!
So much to figure out
Hack went well, they were out for an hour and a half and managed a couple of gallops too! They have set up a cross country route over the fields for the morning, he's going to be a happy, fit and well worked boy.....
Some people use boots for the field and they can prevent some injuries but they cannot be left on 24/7 because they cause rub injuries. I take my chances with mine with no boots. You may want to use boots for jumping as it is a higher risk activity, and they would only be on for specific times.
Washing any cuts and applying antiseptic is usually enough to help them heal.
If his hoofs are good I would not touch them. In general in dry weather you may need something to moisturise them, in wet weather something to dry them out (and the frog) and if the feet become brittle something to harden them up. Kevin Bacon and Keratex do good products. For an all round feeding supplement for hoofs nothing can beat Farrier's Formula for my money.
Sorry I just saw the x-country post and wanted to add. Your DD and the pony should be very confident over showjumps before they go anywhere near solid fences. Even small, home made x-country fences are much more solid than showjumps and any little mistake can have much more serious consequences. Also the course should be set up by someone who really knows what they are doing and always check that portables are securely fixed to the ground (a x-country fence that is not secured to the ground will tip forwards if hit by a horse causing the horse to have a rotational fall, by far the most dangerous fall for a rider as the horse falls on them, this can happen at any size fence not just 'big' ones).
I don't want to scare the life out of you but I do want to point out that cross country fences always deserve respect.