Hold my hand and tell me this is the right decision!

(30 Posts)
Principality Sun 15-Sep-13 08:32:16

Dear All,

I was just wondering if I can run this by you.

We are currently pony hunting at the moment for a confidence giving mum/son share. My son is ten and very slight but very tall- just under 5'2 at the moment. We have had a 14.2 pony on loan over the past nine months, but we have decided to move on as sometimes he can get very whizzy and over excited, particularly when jumping and his confidence is just crumbling.

So we were on the hunt for a safe, sensible confidence giver that he could relax and have fun on. To do all PC activities, local level jumping/showing etc, lots of hacking and generally having fun mucking about with a young boy.

So we found perfect pony on paper. 14.2 coloured cob, been active member of PC for 2 years, done rallies, camps, clinics, beach rides, hacking and generally played with by a young teenage girl. Being sold as she wants to affiliate and he is an allrounder jumping a max of 85cm.

I spoke to the DC of the PC and their instructor for references and spoke to them at length about who we were and what we wanted in our pony and what they had seen him do etc. Both said he was a really sensible sort who tried hard, but approached things in a calm manner. Both said he sounded a really good match.

So we went to go to see him. He was lovely. Not normally my type of pony at all if you had asked in my head what I had in mind when we started searching a few weeks ago. Long mane and feathers etc, and quite heavy set. But he was wonderful grin He was so friendly. He was a real sweetie. He was happy to be caught, led in sensibly and happily by my son. Let him brush him all over and stood nicely, no issue doing his belly etc (liable to get kicked by current pony unless you're careful!) Tacked him up beautifully, stood quietly, no issues.

His owner rode him in the school and he went round beautifully. She warmed him up for a bit, then asked for him to work in a more rounded outline, which he did happily. Popped him over several jumps about 70/80cm.

I got on. He was so so different to current pony. It was very odd, not in a bad way, just so different. Much wider, but i felt much better on him. I always worry that i look a bit big on current pony as a size 12 5'4 mum. He took a bit of leg to get going, but once he had gone up a gear in each transition you didn't need to keep your leg on so much. I worked him in all three paces on each rein and popped a jump. It was lovely because he kept the same rhythm before and after the jump, I felt safe on him. Our current pony clocks the jump and then almost feels like he locks into it and gets much stronger on the approach- and when out after the jump too. However, i couldn't get him to stay in a consistent outline, we would get it for 1/4 of the length of the school then I would loose it. I am not a particularly great rider. I have been riding since a child, but did a lot of happy hacking in my youth and just had fun rather than concentrating on how we were going. I still have lessons a few times a month... so in theory i should be able to get to grips with this, right? I would like to have a lot more lessons and then maybe be able to go out and do the odd low level local dressage test. (I am able to get our current pony going quite nicely in the school - so long as there are no jumps around!!)

Then my son got on him. It was a bit of a change for him, and at first he struggled to get upwards transistions. He rode him for about 15 minutes and after the first 5 or so, he seemed to get him a bit more and was then ok. There was a bit of pony club kicking to get the canter transition for example. Do you think this matters? I am looking for something safe and sensible and not likely to tank off, unlike our current pony, i just want to make sure i don't go too far the other way, i guess! His owner didn't find any of his transitions an issue, and had him going round beautifully from the tiniest nudge. Do you think this would just be a case of getting used to each other? He jumped a mini course with him. He said he loved it as he felt safe on him, that he wasn't going anywhere of his own accord, it was because he had been asked. He jumped him from trot and canter, which is a big deal because we have had control issues when we have had speed on our pony. He got left behind on about 50% of the jumps, which he doesn't normally do. Do you think that is just a case of getting used to the feel of a different pony, and seeing the different striding?

We then took him out on a little hack around the block. On grass/open space and on the roads. We saw regular car traffic and a big yellow bus. He didn't bat an eye.

We got back and they had a cuddle together and his owner was showing my son all his funny tricks he could do. He was a really lovely, genuine and kind pony. I felt that i could trust my son with him, on the yard and in his stable, doing all the usual things with him without having to hover over his shoulder protectively.

I told the family last night that we really like him and subject to a vetting we would like to proceed. I think I am just having a "my god, am i doing the right thing" moment this morning. Think it was made worse by the fact that he is so far away- and 8 hour round trip, except with bad traffic yesterday it was 10.5 hours. So we weren't able to take anyone with us, or have a second viewing. The only things that are tiny doubts are, is he going to be a bit too lazy in the school for my son- but then the other part of me says, actually a bit lazy is good, we have been too far the other way and he got scared. My son could still do things with him, it was his first time riding him, it will just take a little while for him to be able to get the best out of the pony. And the other thing, although i think i have answered it myself already, was if i found it more challenging asking him to soften and round for me... but actually if he is doing it happily for his current owner- and doing exactly what i want to do with him with her, ie low level dressage tests- surely with time and lessons we will be able to do the same together.

I felt safe on him. I felt that i would be happy hacking him alone, and in company during the week in the winter when its too dark after school. I felt that i wasn't too big on him. I felt happy pottering over a few jumps in the school. i had seen lots of photos of him at pc camp having great fun at XC, in a snaffle, which is something i would love to do, but no chance with current pony as we would have no breaks whatsoever.

My son thought he was wonderful. He was friendly and cuddly and easy for him to handle. He seemed happy and agreeable to all usual things he would do on the ground with him. I felt watching them that he would be safe to handle him by himself ( supervised from a distance of course). He didn't seem too worried that he struggled to get him going a bit in the school and he enjoyed jumping him. He was having a big chat with the owner about the halloween jumping he wanted to do at PC next month and how he wanted to do the fancy dress and was coming up with ideas. She got all excited and started showing him her xmas dressing up outfit that he had worn (poor pony was lit up like a xmas tree with bauble and lights, bells and tinsel grin ). My son normally gets so nervous about events as sometimes current pony gets very overexcited and silly.

Writing this down, he sounds like a bit of a treasure doesn't he? grin i think I am being a bit silly. It is just a huge decision.. so mums netters, please can i have your thoughts.

mrslaughan Sun 15-Sep-13 09:17:38

Firstly - he does sound like a treasure.
Could you go back and have a lesson on him with your instructor? The reason I ask is that maybe some of the things you struggled with, that are making you hesitate, are just a matter of tuning your riding to him?
For example - and maybe a bad one, I rode a horse last week, I am thinking of sharing... He is a true schoolmaster, a horse I would normally think is too good for me. Anyway his owner got on and ride him beautifully - my mouth was open...... Then I got on and I got it all wrong - wanted walk trot, got walk canter, as my lower leg is not stable enough and I moved it back, wanted a circle and got shoulder in, down the long side, as my outside leg was not "on" . He was not phased and his owner and my instructor, were saying he will teach me.... I am worried I will ruin him....
Anyway by the end if the lesson, I got the circle......but my instructor and his owner were correcting my riding.
My point is, what are your riding goals - it's seems the main point is as a confidence giver, which he sounds like her is perfect for. My second point is , you can't get on a new horse (unless you are a top rider) and get it to go perfectly. Each and every one has its foibles.
The canter, you may find thy you son needs to carry a stick, and give him a little tap..... But better that, than hooning off down the arena.....

I love the fact that he keeps the same pace into and out if a jump, I think that is a sign of a good steady and actually well schooled pony.

Mirage Sun 15-Sep-13 09:56:01

He sounds fab.I know how you feel though,I've been there and it isn't easy,it is such a big responsibility.Having just moved DD2 off a whizzy,prone to running off naughty pony,onto a steady,sometimes lazy confidence giver,I would pick the' lazier' pony every time.

It is hard and can take a good 6 months to click with a new pony.He obviously has the capability to go nicely,you and your son will be able to achieve this with time and a few lessons.Good luck

Lovesswimming Sun 15-Sep-13 10:35:30

Yes I agree with the others and I'd buy him (if I didn't already have a 14.3hh gypsie cob!) my daughters little pony is a little lazy when she's on and typically of been there fine that ponies she liked to go where she wants but is a great confidence giver. When my teenage daughter gets on her she's a completely different pony, does exactly as she's told and straight away, is far more zippy. She obviously knows the difference in them. So he will learn what you expect of him. Maybe up the lessons for a month or so to give you a good start. You have been very thorough and its great when you can speak to the pony club and get an honest opinion. If you're not used to lots of feathers then send me a pm with your email, I was given a really good email sheet from someone on another forum that gives good advice and tips. Good luck and let us know when he's arrived smile

I think he sounds good - imagine when you get into a car you're unfamiliar with for the first time, it takes a while to get used to changing gear, steering etc and then suddenly it come right. Similar scenario with a new horse/pony - they are all individual and require different buttons pressing. My first horse was a 16hh TB, current horse is a 16.1 TB, similar ages when I got them but so completely different to ride. The main thing is to feel safe on and off, and that any possible issues are minor - which is what it sounds like to me.

Don't expect miracles straight away, it takes time to develop a bond and understand how your horse works, but it does come. Well done on finding such a treasure!

Principality Sun 15-Sep-13 11:49:13

Thank you all.

Mrs L - Unfortunately we can't go back with our insructor because of the distance. We had planned to do that if they were up to an hour and a bit away but as much as our instructor likes us I don't think she wants to go all the way up there and spend a day in the car with us!

His current owner, did say, feel free to give him a tap, she said he won't buck/do anything, just swish his tail. She was lovely about it. Said when she was trying out ponies when she bought him there were several she couldn't get to canter. smile

I would love that sheet, please, lovesswimming. I'll pm you in a mo.

I spoke to a few people at the yard today and they all echoed what you said. I fell much happier about it having talked it over.

I'm off to go and call them. grin

mrslaughan Sun 15-Sep-13 14:01:20

Yay!!!

Mirage Sun 15-Sep-13 14:12:39

Hurray! I'm sure you won't regret it.Photos please when he arrives!

PoshPenny Sun 15-Sep-13 18:18:58

He sounds wonderful, good luck with the vetting. It's supposed to be about having fun and enjoying yourself, it sounds like this pony will give you years of pleasure, even after your son has grown out of him if you wanted to. Easy and uncomplicated is good in my book...

Pixel Sun 15-Sep-13 19:13:22

Buy him quick is what I say, he sounds gorgeous!

Littlebigbum Sun 15-Sep-13 19:34:09

All sounds good, and yes you and your son will have learn to ride him 'he is not car'
Good luck

Yorkieaddict Mon 16-Sep-13 09:10:19

I'm glad to see you are going for him. He sounds great! I've got a horse on loan who sounds similar. He seemed a bit uninspiring when I went to try him out, safe, and sensible schoolmaster type. In the last few months since I got him I have had more fun than I'd had in years. I can take him anywhere and do anything with confidence. I'd thoroughly recommend it!

fait Mon 16-Sep-13 12:46:23

Buy this pony before someone else does!!!!

Principality Mon 16-Sep-13 16:11:32

He is being vetted on Thursday. [Grin]

Fingers crossed for us!

Littlebigbum Mon 16-Sep-13 16:18:13

With Fait

Principality Fri 20-Sep-13 15:12:03

He passed his vetting and is coming home on Wednesday!

So excited but absolutely terrified.

We are moving yards at the same as unfortunately the last vacancy at livery went before we had confirmed. New yard seems lovely and friendly, but still hugely scarey!

Doesn't quite seem real yet!!

PoshPenny Fri 20-Sep-13 21:38:42

So pleased to hear he passed smile

Lovesswimming Sat 21-Sep-13 09:59:00

Excellent!

saintmerryweather Sat 21-Sep-13 10:06:13

im so glad you have decided to get him, sounds lke a lovely boy and i was going to say you should snap him up!

Yorkieaddict Sat 21-Sep-13 11:17:45

Brilliant news. I hope you have lots of fun with him!

Principality Mon 23-Sep-13 12:31:54

Change of plan! He is coming home today via horse transporter!!!

Only downside is that ds2 has decided to have an awful cold come on over night and was up from 2 until 5 (i'm so tired!!) and is now sat here all sad and poorly with a temp of 38.7c sad

He should arrive at 2.30-3pm. Really need to be getting on with moving stuff but i just can't with a poorly 4 year old. sad

saintmerryweather Thu 26-Sep-13 12:30:59

how are you getting on with him?

Principality Thu 26-Sep-13 16:12:01

He is AMAZING!!

My son had a potter on the school on Tuesday and I've hacked him in company for the past two days. He is great. Fun and will go when asked but perfect polite breaks. Had a gallop today and he was just perfect! My son is going to jump him tomorrow.

An absolute angel to handle and on the ground. I just love him. :D

Mirage Thu 26-Sep-13 17:04:11

Oh I'm glad he is working out well.When can we see a photo?

Zazzles007 Thu 26-Sep-13 23:40:03

I've been following this thread, but not posted. What a great update OP, glad that you are already having so much fun with the new pony. A safe and honest pony that will slow itself down for your son, yet has a bit of go in it for a better rider is a rare find. Keep on updating is with your progress grin.

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