buying a Shetland

(19 Posts)
Anotherusernamechange Mon 25-Jan-16 20:30:17

I'm looking to buy a Shetland pony as a companion to the big horses. I'm very excited but have not owned a Shetland since I was a child. Any tips or experiences please?

Micah Mon 25-Jan-16 20:34:59

Just as a companion? They get fat easily, prone to laminitis (see above), and get quite arsey if not handled properly.

All the shetlands i have known ended up having to be worked regularly, and kept in/away from grass in the summer.

Have you tried horse rescues? There might be ponies there that need a companion home, that kind of home is relatively rare as most people want to ride.

Sunnybitch Mon 25-Jan-16 20:39:01

If someone tells you don't get to close they bite, don't try to see how small their teeth are like dp did hmm and oh how i laughed

Igottastartthinkingbee Mon 25-Jan-16 20:45:32

Can I second the 'try a rescue horse'. Rescue centres are stacked with 'companion only' horses that they struggle to shift. And the pp is right,, the needs of a larger horse and a Shetland are often very different. Try the blue cross, rspca or 'horses for homes' for a companion.

lavendersun Mon 25-Jan-16 20:55:29

I have a Shetland as a companion to a big horse grin, they have been together for years, happily, but she was used by my daughter when she was little.

I have got a post and rail paddock within a paddock to allow me to restrict her. I no longer work her, she is retired, but I do take her for a walk with the dog sometimes.

She wears a muzzle when out on my ten acres of land (rich pasture) and copes absolutely fine, she is not fat.

She is lovely, very kind and sweet and no bother at all. In my experience, the people who have problems with their little ponies don't treat them like an equine.

lavendersun Mon 25-Jan-16 21:10:41

Here you go another. 9.2 hands and 16 hands worth of ID/TB x.

They are out together throughout the winter on all of my land. I restrict them from March to October but have to restrict both of them so it is no big deal. The little one now has a post and rail pen about 40m x 60m and the big one has an acre around the outside of it.

You can make anything work with a bit of fencing.

Gabilan Mon 25-Jan-16 21:51:05

My horse isn't keen on hacking on his own so I sometimes lead a shetland out with me. He's one of the nicest ponies I know and DHorse loves him so much he whinnies when he sees me getting the shettie ready.
You do have to respect them though. Little bastard broncs and canters on grass verges while DHorse strolls along pretending he's not with shortie.

Millie2013 Mon 25-Jan-16 21:52:51

We've got two, they are prone to ballooning, so go out with my fatty 14.2, on not very much grazing. Ours are escape artists, one jumped the elec fence from a near stand still the other week when I took too long to get her in. I couldn't quite believe it. One of them is prone to nipping you on the legs and the other will only be caught on her terms, but they are otherwise a doddle to do anything with. The 14.2 adores them, she's a huge wuss so enjoys having field mates she thinks she can boss around. Little does she know, the Shetlands are in charge really!

Sunnybitch Mon 25-Jan-16 23:16:49

laven love how the big boy is the one with the full rug and shortie has got nothing...shows they are tuff little bastards grin

Pixel Mon 25-Jan-16 23:17:36

She is lovely, very kind and sweet and no bother at all. In my experience, the people who have problems with their little ponies don't treat them like an equine.

Can't help but agree. Ours is a complete darling and has never kicked or bitten, but she does get treated like a pony and not like a big dog. If she has one fault it's that if there is a weakness in the fencing she will find it. She doesn't break it but is adept at climbing through. She seems to do it backwards!
She does need to be restricted in the summer but then my Clydesdale X lives on fresh air and we have to watch him too, so size doesn't really come into it.

lavendersun Tue 26-Jan-16 05:38:41

You can't see it because it is in racks on the middle wall but the Shetland has ad lib hay in the winter too. She likes to wee on it though, hence I can't feed it from the floor in the field shelter!

They have beds in another shelter, she absolutely loves coming in (I bring her in when the other one comes in at night, below zero or foul weather normally).

She makes me laugh, she had never been in at all, apart from to foal and was 12 when I bought her (now 20). I was told she wouldn't come in yet she loafs around on a shavings bed in bliss.

Anotherusernamechange Tue 26-Jan-16 06:54:11

Thank you all for your stories. The situation is that I have one native fatty and the other horses are all tbs. My fatty has to graze alone and come in at night in the summer whilst the good doers stay out in lovely long grass with company. I'm having a mini stable specially built with a little door so the little fella will have his quarters and he will be on the same regime as my fatty who is also muzzled in the summer. I've got to get the fencing sorted - we have post and rails and electric here, but at the moment it would be too high.

lavendersun Tue 26-Jan-16 07:09:47

Sounds like a great plan.

I just have normal fencing. That way you can get something else to eat it down if you need to.

Mine can clear a five bar gate .... Like the one on the shelter in the photo, from inside at a standstill!

I had to mount a metal bracket on the inside and cut a rail to fit and extend her gate height one year. My vet saw it and was flabbergasted grin.

mrslaughan Tue 26-Jan-16 18:39:50

Maybe she/he climbed it like a ladder Lavendarsun! grin

lavendersun Tue 26-Jan-16 20:08:13

No we have witnessed it mrs. More like vaulted it. She has got some serious spring and when you are her size a 12 ft square box is big enough to get a running start from the back.

Wouldn't be without her now though, good job as I reckon she will go on until she is 40!

thetemptationofchocolate Wed 27-Jan-16 11:00:53

I have a Shetland x as companion to my native fatty, who I thought was a good doer until I met the Shetland!
Shetlands can get fat on nothing - mine is the only pony I know who gets fat in the winter. He has to be kept in a lot from April to november, I wish in one way that I had got a pony more of a smiliar size. On the other hand the Shetland x is such a character, I can't imagine life without him now smile

Pixel Fri 29-Jan-16 23:37:57

Lavendersun, ours is 32 this year. She's still got all her teeth and the vet says if her legs hold up there's no reason why she shouldn't just keep going (she has got a touch of arthritis in her fetlock). When we took her on loan for Ds to ride we certainly didn't expect to have her this long!

Themodernuriahheep Fri 29-Jan-16 23:50:32

I see them as the terriers if the equine world, huge personalities far bigger than their size. I only ever dealt, as a child, with incredibly strong and determined ones. They were charming on their own terms.

My godfather used to go out on his large large nag, with Shetland, Irish wolfhound and jack Russell. A sight to behold. They all hobnobbed really well together.

Anotherusernamechange Sat 30-Jan-16 08:26:17

I had a call from the RSPCA yesterday to say they have a gelding Shetland we may be interested in. They are coming on Monday to do a home check and we will pop to see him this week!

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