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horses dont know if this is sport but...

(29 Posts)
chloeb2002 Sun 20-Mar-05 18:40:42

DD got a shetland pony from santa... not as flash as that sounds.... As well as being an overworked student nurse I am also a riding instructor and hence the link... however just wondered if anyone else out there has a pony/ or small person who rides? I want to break the small pony into harness to pull a little cart... any advice? About the only equestrian thing I have never done before!

blessima Sun 20-Mar-05 19:09:52

chloe... dd age 7 has a section A.
tbh I would probably be reluctant to break him for harness as friends have said it can make them a little too forward for little ones!

princesspeahead Sun 20-Mar-05 19:21:48

Chloe, there is a thread on breaking a shetland on the wonderfully named "saddle up" site - look here . Looks quite useful!
There is also a good book called Breaking and Training the Driving Horse by Doris Ganton which is american but I think you can get on amazon (the people who own the big livery stable in our village do a lot of driving and this book is always floating about, dog eared and covered in manure - well used though).

My daughter is pestering for a pony - she is just 7 (yesterday!), been riding for only 6 months (weekly), currently riding 13.2 off the lead rein, doing a nice rising trot, steering well, but I wouldn't say totally in control at all times. I prefer her on a 12.2 but she loves this particular pony at the riding school. Do you think 7 is too young for a pony? My instinct is that I should leave it a year until she is more competant and that little bit older but I'd be interested to know what you (and others) think....

princesspeahead Sun 20-Mar-05 19:26:48

sorry this is the same link but to a better version of the thread with pictures etc (the other link was just to plain text version)

JanH Sun 20-Mar-05 20:42:45

If you got her a pony of her own you could choose one around 12hh, pph, and wean her off the bigger one!

I am , I always wanted a pony, sob.

chloeb2002 Mon 21-Mar-05 19:09:03

seven is a great age i think.. old enough to do some of the dirty work that is just so important for little ones. DD is 2 1/2 but the pony was free... and just sort of arrived on a friends farm where i teach. Sad tale about being abandoned as a foal and taken in by the circus... so he does tricks. Bows and rears when tickled under his chin. the second is not such a great one! lunges and long reins too, so hence driving. Just feel he is a bit ornamental at the mo hence the driving tack.
thanks for the links. teaching tonight but will look tommorow. no rest for the wicked.
Cobs are awesome fun if they are nice... personally would sell my soul for a nice irish sports horse type (and the funds to keep and event it!) but currently ride a 16hh TB x whos just nice, a 16hh Tb freebie off the track who hopefully will novice event this season and a 16.3hh Tb x who is slowly becoming a babe. He will hopefully go intermediate quite quickly this year. So mustnt grumble, just a lack of time... also 12.2hh is better always better to slighty under horse not over with a novise rider. big ponies soon learn they are big!

miggy Mon 21-Mar-05 19:24:55

Id buy her one now,7 is good age to start little shows (fancy dress-so cute!) and pony club rallies/junior camp. Her riding will progress much quicker.
I was desperate to have a daughter (after 2 boys) so that I would have a child that liked ponies, well dd now 6 and I managed to get her to sit on a pony for the first time last week! Has been terrified of them, wouldnt even sit on a shetland with me holding her. Last week she actually asked to ride and did Yeeha! So if you like horses-get that pony now-before she changes her mind!

Anteater Mon 21-Mar-05 23:43:06

Quite a few ponies in our area are 'Ride n drives'! We have two dartmoors who would look great together (1/2 sisters) but its just a question of time.. When im too old to ride I will start to drive
PPH 7yrs is perfect. I also think its money very well spent, fills the gap between toys and boys with something thats healthy, fun and sociable.

princesspeahead Tue 22-Mar-05 13:33:50

oh thank you all for your thoughts! I thought you would all say "well, 7 is a little young, wait a year or so"... hmmmm. anteater, I'm a bit jealous of your dartmoors, I think they are lovely and everyone tells me they make the perfect first pony because they are so good and unflappable and lovely natured. unlike some others (there is a very bad tempered new forest around here that I keep well away from..!).

what is the best way to find a lovely, 10+yr old, safe but fun first pony? chat up the pony club mothers and see if anyone has grown out of one? I feel that pony buying is a bit of a minefield for the amateur....

HandbagAddiction Tue 22-Mar-05 13:38:41

Pony club is definitely a good place to start. But if all at in doubt, try to speak to someone at your local riding centre who knows what they're talking about and see if they'll help search. You'd be amazed what people will try and fob off to you, even if they know it's for a child and especially if they realise that you're not too sure of what your looking for/doing...

princesspeahead Tue 22-Mar-05 13:47:06

yes, that's what I'm afraid of! In relation to ponies I might as well have "rip me off" tatooed on my forehead...!
dd's riding school is also a pony club centre and the woman who runs it is great, so I ought to have a word to her, really.

god, do I really want to commit to a life of lugging dd and pony around wilts and south glos? better learn to tow a horsebox... aurgh!

sykes Tue 22-Mar-05 18:23:28

I'd say contacts and pony club - good first ponies can take a long time to find. Also, don't think she's too young but if she's only been riding for six months are you sure her enthusiasm will last? Why not try for a loan/pony share - your local club should be able to help.

Anteater Tue 22-Mar-05 18:39:14

Would second the 'a loan' pony. As you will find out, getting a good first pony is uphill work.

Good ones come up when families have a big age gap between children. ie they will not want to sell their gold dust, but if you offered to look after for a year or two all are happy!

Its being in the right place etc, so make it known that you are on the look out. We have DPs horse on loan at mo due to NO time and it can work very well.

Also, they should come with saddle and gear, so start up costs are low..

piffle Tue 22-Mar-05 18:44:52

my dd is 2 and she has a lead rein pony and we have a pure new forest pony filly foal (9 mths) ready to break for dd when she is 5-6 and a little better
my dd truly rode before she could walk
I was a very keen rider before a severe accident cost me my olympic place (ha ha not quite)
I am lucky as my best friend owns a 27 acre equestrian farm and we have lots of grazing and stabling for nowt
would love to keep tack of this thread!!!
Am horse NUTTER!

Berries Wed 23-Mar-05 14:18:02

My dd is 9 & has been riding for about 3 years now. She is desperate for a pony, but I just don't know how we would manage it. Have read that it costs an average £400 per month to keep a pony on full livery, & if it's diy then its down to stables am & pm to sort it out. Not sure whether a live out pony would be an option (may be places round here for one). Other things, I learnt to ride as an adult & rode for about 5 years, didn't ride for 15 & have just started lessons again(very achey now) but do enjoy it a lot. I would be quite happy doing a lot of the 'pony work' but couldn't take dd2(7) as she is allergic to horses. Has anyone come from a totally non-horsey background but bought their child a pony & did it work out. Any comments, helpful hints much appreciated.

blessima Wed 23-Mar-05 15:21:15

berries...although I have ridden on and off since childhood, I had never owned a horse until we bought dd her first pony.
My costs are £50 per week full livery (although we go down there every day to groom him).
Feet - he isn't shod but it's £15 to have them trimmed about every 8-9 weeks.
Worming - this costs me about £8 every 11 weeks approx.
Insurance - about £400/year.
In addition to this dd still has a lesson every week too.
I did intend to go from full livery to diy when ds started school last December, but our pony had a mild bout of laminitis which means that he now has two short periods of turnout per day. When I worked out how much petrol would cost to drive there and back 3 times a day it wasn't cost effective (DIY livery is £25/week)

dd had been riding for about 18 months when we bought her first pony but we only had him for about 12 months before trading up a bit!
What I didn't anticipate was the cost/hassle of showing. This is something that we never intended to do but dd was desperate to have a go. Aside from the fact that she needed showing gear we also had to buy a horsebox!

btw...dh never had anything to do with horses before and absolutely loves owning one now.

Berries Wed 23-Mar-05 16:40:19

Blessima - thanks for that breakdown - that seems a lot more realistic! How old is your dd? Also - does she go out hacking on her own - none of dds friends own a pony at the moment (although most go riding so expect that may change), but does your dd meet other pony mad kids at the livery?

blessima Wed 23-Mar-05 17:46:08

berries...dd has one or two friends with ponies but we're going to join Pony Club this year too so hopefully she'll make a few more. She is 7 btw.

I don't let her go out hacking on her own, and because of the busy roads she has to cross we quite often slip the lead-rein back on whilst hacking. Dd has little roadsense anyway so poor pony would be facing major confusion if we let her loose on the roads just now!

Whereabouts are you btw?

Berries Thu 24-Mar-05 14:14:29

Hi, we're in N Cheshire. DD is 9 so I probably wouldn't let her out on her own either!

HandbagAddiction Thu 24-Mar-05 14:16:40

North Cheshire - I used to be a member of the South Cheshire Pony Club! Had loads of fun!!

chloeb2002 Sat 26-Mar-05 08:10:11

Ill agree with thge idea of loaning a pony but sit slightly on the fence beacuse i've had ponies out on loan and been 'given' a horse on loan to. The pit falls of loaning id say are, if the pony is getting on a bit then the buck may stop with you to see the lovely fella through retirement etc.. The owners may ask for the pony back whilst DD still wants it.... If anything happens to the pony it can cause alot of stress! however you dont have to pay to buy one. Dont know what your prices are like not an area that ive worked or lived in but i know here is cold north yorkshire it varies alot between Newcastle and York. I buy horses in Newcastle and sell them to people in york! DD's shetland was free and last summer i got a free TB off the track too. However im lucky because the shetland lives for free on a friends farm and they took on the TB to for her Dh to hunt in the wintera nd i have him for gratis in the summer . They are just in the throws of diversifying to build an indoor areana and convert a cattle barn into stables. They will do DIY liverys only and charge £25 a week including straw and haylage. So you can save alot by doing it yourself. Remeber that if you buy a native pony they can winter out quite well even with a trace clip with a nice t/o rug... rambos are my favorite. saves on costs and work! Ask at pony club for ponies and please take someone with you to look at any ponies! If possible take a similar sized person to your DD who rides well and can guinea pig the pony first. Trust me some ponies are not as advertised!

Anteater Sat 26-Mar-05 14:39:20

I bought one of ours in Hexham and the other in Northumberland... the NE is much cheaper than here to!

chloeb2002 Sun 27-Mar-05 17:22:52

where abouts in northumberland anteater? I have friends who farm in Belingham. On the price front Australia is even cheaper.. to keep them in, event them in and to buy them.... will have to hit the wine now to recover from the depression! dont get me started on the rodeo boys.......

Anteater Mon 28-Mar-05 15:37:03

Up near Bamburgh, a small livery yard quiet close to the sea, cant remember their name, lovely area tho. Cheap as chips as well!

chloeb2002 Tue 29-Mar-05 21:30:09

Just have to say say on a different track but i cantered two of my boys today and they were just so fab that it has put me on top of the world. One has been a real headache. He's nearly 17hh and is Tb x. has spent 3 years in a paddock, and is now 9, before he came to his present home last summer. His last owners are the sort who believe he has been there and done it... ha.... trust me he couldnt. but today at last he cantered straight and into a contact almost felt like an event horse. feeling so pleased ive filled out his registration forms tonight jumping is i add no problem to him... eats big solid fences for fun and has won his first dressage novice test last week. showjumping watch this space.. i think i can just about steer him round a track but may skittle a few! just smiling. Ill add he cost only £1500 in the summer and his owner was offered £4000 last week at the dressage! not for sale tho!!!!

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