horse or pony for an adult - differences

(21 Posts)
ShapeSorterGoesWild Tue 01-Dec-15 20:37:20

I'm 5.2 and usually 7.5 to 8 stone. I used to have a 13.1 pony and I'm thinking about maybe having a pony or horse in the future. I would only be looking at minimum 14hh and 16hh maximum. So what I'm wondering are ponies really more fun? More hardy? Think for themselves more? Keep you out of trouble or is this all myth. Having never had a horse I'm curious smile

mrslaughan Tue 01-Dec-15 21:08:49

I think it depends what you want to do? We have a 12 2 for my son - a welshie, and I have a 17 1 warmblood. In terms of handling - my warmblood is so much easier, infact my son leads her from the field and I bring in the wilful welshie, as she has become known!!!!

I would say for atheletic ability my horse has that more(though I do realise you would want smaller - I am 5'10", though the welshie can jump etc. For dressage, again my horse has that more, but then welshie is 5 1/2, (whereas mine is 8) and my son is currently teaching her to change her stride within a pace. she is smart and eager to learn - but her smartness does mean that she will take advantage if she thinks she has it over you!!!!

they are both fab out hacking.

Given the size you are wanting - I would have thought a connie would have been great for you - there is a new lady joining our yard, who YO is helping to find a horse/pony (she is not tall like you)....and they are looking at connie/connie crosses.... Pony-ish with the athletic ability of a sporthorse?

mrslaughan Tue 01-Dec-15 21:15:10

though I think I should add - DS at the moment only gets to ride 2 - 3 times per week, wilful welshie, is absolutely perfect with that. Not sure mine would be - she is in full work, and I think she might be a bit fresh with only 3 days per week - but not 100% sure as never tried it!!!!

ShapeSorterGoesWild Tue 01-Dec-15 21:37:12

Thanks MrsL! My last pony was an arab x connie and was amazing although a handful at times smile

Ridingthegravytrain Tue 01-Dec-15 22:08:05

Horses seem to break more than ponies! That's my experience. Given my time again I'd get a nice Anglo Arab or Welsh sec d. That can live on fresh air and has great feet grin

Hopefullyoneday1 Tue 01-Dec-15 22:20:19

I had a 14.2 part bred sec D gelding, who was un flppable, sensible (most of the time) but very strong so not for a novice, would totally look after you.

I now have a 15.3 ex flat racer, mare and she is a whole different ball game. Not a nutter but very sensitive. Very honest when being asked to do something but in times of trouble she looks after herself! She won't dump you but if you come off its your own doing.

In terms of more fun and adaptability, I would say the ex racer all day long.

Connie / Arab x you get the best of both worlds smile

Floralnomad Tue 01-Dec-15 22:28:07

Surely what you get depends very much on what you want to do with it . If you are just looking to hack / school then a pony will be fine if you want to compete then you probably need to get something bigger . We have owned ponies and horses ranging from Shetland to ex race horse and they all have their issues .

Booboostwo Wed 02-Dec-15 14:37:31

Pretty much what Flora said. Don't think of breeds or types, but write a list of what you want to be able to do with the pony/horse and then find one that fits the bill.

Whaleshark Thu 03-Dec-15 13:55:07

I think in general ponies are hardier, and a lot cheaper to keep. All the ones I've known seem to get fat on fresh air. That said they can also be trickier characters than some horses.

I think it is worth remembering though, that they are all individuals, and the one you click with, may not be what you thought you wanted at all. That is why, at a similar height to you, after looking for something 15 to 16hh, I have found myself with a 16 3hh TB x shire. He is far too big for me, but he is absolutely bloody lovely, and totally looks after me.

Catscatsandmorecats Sat 05-Dec-15 06:45:25

I'm in the pony camp but I have a 13h welshie! I'm only 5ft and 8.5 stone and she is strong as an ox, in her younger wilder days she was a bit strong for young kids.

Anyway, I agree with pps, think about what you want to do with your horse/pony, what facilities you have available and how you want to keep it, then look for something suitable, pony or horse. In general its no good getting a thoroughbred type if you want it to live out 24/7 with little shelter and minimal hard feed. Equally if you want to keep it in, there's no point getting something that prefers living out. If you want something that is a schoolmaster ribbon machine don't buy a happy hacker.

I don't agree that ponies are no good for competition, that's ludicrous! It totally depends on the type and level of competition you'd like to do, if any, as to what horse or pony would be suitable. There are many horses my pony has regularly been placed higher than at riding club events, including dressage, however,neither she nor I will ever be at a level to do much more than local stuff. I'm happy with that, it is all about finding your level and working on improving within your capability.

H&H have just run a couple of articles about ponies competing in high level dressage and eventing so you can never say never! I suppose that's the same for any shape, size and breed, there are always exceptions.

I'm still a vote for a pony though, in general, they are much more fun smile

lavendersun Sat 05-Dec-15 07:02:39

I would go for a pony if I were your size. I am tall ish and really fancy a Highland next, if I go for another one (currently have two retirees so when one of them goes as I don't want three). My horse is ID/TB and has been absolutely wonderful but I want something different.

Look at this lovely thing

www.highlandponysociety.com/shop/ryedale-dinkie-highland-pony.html

I would love it, half of me wants a break when mine die, but I felt like that in my late 20s when my old horse died and I lasted four months without one!

Nottalotta Sat 05-Dec-15 07:22:00

Really depends on what you want to do competition wise. As a pony and until recently, horse owning adult i have had both!

Also agree with pp that they are individuals. My 13.2 welshie is incredibly cheap to keep,.good to box/shoe/clip etc. Excels at dressage and regularly placed above warmbloods. Is difficult though. Worn have out alone. Unpredictable spooky.

In your position (height and weight) i. Would look for a suitable pony. With pure bred m & m you can compete to Olympia and hoys level at flat and whp showing. I think you may be able to do trailblazers too.

You will be unable to do any high level jumping.

Recent lost my retired horse (tb) and my costs and work have plummeted.

bimandbam Sat 05-Dec-15 07:37:27

I am 5ft 5 and a (lot)bit heavier than you and bought myself a Highland filly this summer. We also have 2 welsh section a ponies for the dcs and my sister has 2 Welsh cobs.

In the past I had a welsh x arab pony and a 16.1 tb.

I would go for a native pony or native x every time. Much cheaper and easier to keep, higher sense of self preservation and lots more character. All my ponies (including the baby Highland who lived up a Scottish mountain for 2 years with minimal human contact) are loving and affectionate and give us so much pleasure. We compete locally and there are loads of classes we can do. Plus I will do some dressage with the Highland possibly.

Cost wise they all live in fresh air. I use minimal rugs. All are unshod.

The main drawbacks are managing their weight, stopping the Highland breaking the fencing and managing the cheek of the welsh ponies. And being licked/nuzzled/followed around the field when doing jobs.

A connie or connie x would suit your build but also some of the welsh cobs these days are more athletic and forward going. Even the lighter highland types can have a bit of a ping. There are also some nice coloured sports ponies about too.

TeamSteady Fri 11-Dec-15 14:19:39

I have a 14.2 cob which i share with 12 year old ds and I wouldn't swap him for the world!

I'm 5'4 and usually 9 3/4 stone... 14 weeks pregnant now so more like 10+, but still fine to ride him. Ds is 5'3.5 and 6 stone!

Coblet lives out 24/7 (may well come in in the really grotty weather dec-feb), only gets haylage when he is in. Touch wood, has never seen the vet apart from routine things.

He is small enough for ds (we have had him 2.5 years). He is small enough i can hope on and off when out hacking, when i inevitably drop my stick, need to unpadlock gates... or fall off whilst hunting!

He has done PC, SJ, XC, and DR, at local but respectable level- he was placed in C+T finals 2014.

He is the sweetest boy ever and a doddle to handle. Ds does everything with him handling wise and always has done- bring him in/out, load and unload him, all grooming/tacking up by himself.

The downsides are that he is a ridiculous colour- far too much white for such a mud monster!! He gets super hairy so needs a lot of clipping, and he eats ANYTHING so we have to be strict about treats or he'd be nose deep in pockets constantly.

I think but it may just be the limited no of horses i have met, that a good cob is less cheeky and less likely to try it on test you than a pony... but they do have a bit of a stubborn streak!

tootsietoo Wed 16-Dec-15 19:38:12

Totally depends what you want to do - if you want to jump big hedges or event up to, say, novice, then maybe you should get a horse. But.....

I rode a 14.2 until I was 32, then had 2 horses and have just gone back to a 14.2 Welsh Sec D. I love him sooo much! He is tough, clever and just so much fun. He does everything for me, he is so easy, so I am starting to have fun again (doing BE80s) because he is so able. Ponies all the way, particularly Welsh ones!

ShapeSorterGoesWild Thu 17-Dec-15 20:12:31

Thank you for all your responses smile didn't expect so many smile. The more time I spend riding, I think I will probably want to do a bit of everything. I think I will probably go for a small horse...compromise smile maybe 16hh ish. Thanks again.

DogTheHellhound Thu 07-Jan-16 21:57:16

I have a 13.1 welshie and I'm 4'11" so we match. He can jump his height and can easily do a dressage test in the 70s, that said he is quirky as hell and was known as the ASBO pony. He's never had a child on board and I often find him strong and sharp riding him is like herding cats 😁 . He is never the same and is never as consistent as the big horses, though looks nice while squiggling his way through life 😊

DogTheHellhound Thu 07-Jan-16 22:13:33

That said I have a 14.2 Cleveland x cob and she is consistent, just consistently a head case. The issue was she is a horse sized pony so could quite manhandle like the other one. Pretty though 😊

CoppyPock Sat 09-Jan-16 13:37:34

I have always had horses.
My current one is a 16hh ex racer.

I find myself craving a hardly little 14.2 sometimes....

Bails2014 Sun 13-Mar-16 21:36:48

I have a 13.2 New Forest, I'm not small, I'm 5ft 9 but I have done a bit of everything with my mare, hunting, XC, SJ, dressage, fun rides, showing, happy hacking. She's fab. I can leave her for two weeks and not ride and hop on with no problems. I pulled her shoes when I was pregnant and haven't put them back on. She costs me livery, a trim and insurance each month.

Super easy to deal with as a parent as she lives out, so I check on her once a day and that's about it during the week.

Yet if I want to go out and do something 'proper' with her it's not a worry.

My old horse was a few pages short of the full book and although I never fell off my old horse, he regularly had me in tears.

The only issue with pony is that if we want to affiliate we're very limited, I don't think we can BE (I think you can do BE80 if you are 138cm and that's it). So if I harbored dreams of competing in anything other than unaffiliated I would go for a 14.2hh to fit in with rules and regs. But to be honest I can't see myself every going for anything over about 14.2 again.

Plus I can mount from the ground out hacking and at the moment despite suffering from a twisted pelvis I can just about step onto her from the mounting block.

elastamum Sun 13-Mar-16 21:45:06

I would think very carefully about what you want to do before you decide and also consider temperament as well as size. I have a 16.2hh Hanoverian x ID, who is the gentlest safest horse I have ever had and a tiny 15hh TB who is beautiful, but an absolute menace to ride.

I would go WB x now anytime. Only problem with her being 16.2 is that getting on her off the ground is like scrambling up a mountain, so I try very hard not to get off whilst out hacking.

FWIW, when D horse retires my next horse will definitely be smaller as I am in my 50's so in he future want something a bit easier to get on!

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