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Shetland Ponies

(41 Posts)
slipperandpjsmum Mon 27-Dec-10 20:06:10

Does anyone own a Shetland? I have little experience of them and a friend has asked me for my thoughts on buying one for her daughter. I replied I did not know but knew people who did! Thoughts and comments very welcome.

Santassnowyoldclothcatpuss Tue 28-Dec-10 12:53:32

Let me think: Cute, Cuddly, Cheeky, Cheap, Hardy, Low maintenance, Feisty, Frustrating, trouble and TOTALLY addictive!
They are lovely ponies, BUT, shetlands have a reputation for a reason. They are basically a scaled down highland pony. Pound for pound they are very strong. Think built on the same lines as a Percheron! Don't get me wrong, I love them, I have two, bought for my own kids, but they are not cute little teddy bears. The traditional spec for a shetland is 'to be able to carry a man and his wife to work'! I have a large black and I ride it! They can be quite stubborn, and I NEVER ever feed them treats by hand, as they can get very nippy, like most small ponies. they get a carrot when they get put away after work.
They take very little in the way of maintenance, I learned to trim their feet myself (not for the novice) as our farrier moans like hell, and it is very easy to over feed them. Mine eat only grass except when there is snow on the ground, and I still had laminitis last month! The main problem with shetlands is that people treat them like toys. They are a horse like any other. Mine jumps, drives, does dressage and would hunt beautifully! A life on lead rein is fine, but the Shetland has so much more to give and some get bored and frustrated.

Santassnowyoldclothcatpuss Tue 28-Dec-10 13:08:12

My advice is, buy a tried and tested pony, don't buy a foal, unbroken youngster or a stallion. Simple advice you'd think but I've seen it done many times with shetlands.
If you can't keep them entertained, think about a share, and don't ever over feed. They are better on short rations in the winter to leave room for the spring grass. They are fabulous ponies and I'm waffling now so I'm going to shut up! grin

LisaD1 Tue 28-Dec-10 13:11:41

I haven't had a shetland since my teens but I do remember being dragged all over the place by it, they are VERY strong. I agree with PP to buy one that's tried and tested.

They are also very cute/easy to look after in terms of feed etc.

AliceandtheGinormousBaps Tue 28-Dec-10 13:18:11

I am not a fan of shetland ponies, would prefer a dartmoor instead tbh.

Having said that, my friend has the most amazing little shettie who is the dream pony and only 5yrs. I clipped her for the first time last year, she didn't bat an eyelid. We are hoping to have her on loan in a year or so.

If you are looking for a first pony, i would look to possibly loan an old pony club veteran that has been there and done it. These ponies are rarely for sale as people want to keep them for their own children/grandchildren and because of this the ones that come onto the market are ££££

Good luck to your friend smile

olderyetwider Tue 28-Dec-10 13:53:47

We'll have a pony club veteran who'll be outgrown this summer/autumn, and my plan is to loan him out(staying on current yard) as I wouldn't sell him for anything, so I was massively encouraged by your post, Alice.

RectalNourishment Tue 28-Dec-10 14:07:11

I want a Shetland - am assuming cost of keep minimal based on ones I know - ready for when I become a grandmother next month! Suppose is not imperative that the baby has a pony before she/he is actually born.

Hadn't thought of taking one on loan, will start looking in Jan., the other option am mildly obsessed with at the moment is donkeys.

Santassnowyoldclothcatpuss Tue 28-Dec-10 14:47:55

Rectal, what will you do with it until the unborn child is old enough to ride it? And do you know that donkeys hate the wet and cold and can live for 70 years?
Slippers, where are you?

RectalNourishment Tue 28-Dec-10 15:04:50

Don't think can seriously have donkeys, much as I'd love to.

Think my 11yo could ride a shetland, maybe my friends' small children could come and be led round bit more safely than on our pony. Look I just want one! Grandchild is an excuse!

AliceandtheGinormousBaps Tue 28-Dec-10 15:06:24

Donkeys don't live for 70yrs, they just look like they do grin

Santassnowyoldclothcatpuss Tue 28-Dec-10 15:56:44

I'm near Colchester and have a spare...

RectalNourishment Tue 28-Dec-10 16:01:12

Really? We are not far, Suffolk, you can come and see how spoilt well cared for our horses are if you like! Apart from when I dye one pink and invent lateral show jumping of course blush

Have you really really got one for sale/loan?

AliceandtheGinormousBaps Tue 28-Dec-10 16:11:17

shock it is you

Can we call you granny?wink

RectalNourishment Tue 28-Dec-10 16:19:36

Yes! Soon! Am not even 40 yet, but might be (baby due 2 days after my 40th in Jan) by the time she/he is born.

Have got a few grey hairs (earned them all!) so am part way there. Am sure there are more practical ways of helping than by getting a pony but it's the perfect excuse and we've got this lovely field now.

AliceandtheGinormousBaps Tue 28-Dec-10 16:22:27

Definitely grin

Congratulations! In the nicest possible way i can imagine you would suit the role of disgraceful granny wink

Santassnowyoldclothcatpuss Tue 28-Dec-10 16:23:13

Have you name changed recently rectal? I only know one MNer who dyes ponies?!

RectalNourishment Tue 28-Dec-10 16:25:33

yay for disgraceful!

was MitchyInge but managed to dereg without really meaning to - probably slightly drunk, I would like a better name than this really

Santassnowyoldclothcatpuss Tue 28-Dec-10 17:09:36

How about Pinkponies?

RectalNourishment Tue 28-Dec-10 17:13:59

I don't remember being pink ponies but I did dye the skewbald pink, and he looked more flayed alive than pretty pastel until I toned it down with lilac glitter.

Actually don't sell/loan me a Shetland, who knows what I might do!

AliceandtheGinormousBaps Tue 28-Dec-10 17:20:50

How about DreamsAboutPinkDonkeys - people will wonder if it is rude? grin

LovePinkBitsOfMyHorse Tue 28-Dec-10 17:24:36

You inspired me to try this slightly less ambiguous version grin

kormachameleon Tue 28-Dec-10 17:27:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LovePinkBitsOfMyHorse Tue 28-Dec-10 17:27:27

except am worried pony will think I don't love his pink bits

cannot help it, I just do love the horse a bit more, I would marry him if it was legal

LovePinkBitsOfMyHorse Tue 28-Dec-10 17:28:20

Ooooh I love exmoors, they are so prehistoric. Tell me more!

Pixel Tue 28-Dec-10 17:40:25

I adore our shetland, I really do. Don't tell the others but she is my favourite by a long way! She is utterly trustworthy with ds and has never put a foot wrong in 5 years. I take her all through town and she has never shied or spooked at anything.

However, for a little thing she can be quite high-maintenance. Not money-wise, she only has a foot trim once in a blue moon, doesn't need rugs etc and just has her annual teeth and jabs check up from the vet. No, what she takes is time and commitment to keep her healthy because we have to be VERY on the ball when it comes to avoiding laminitis. We are all on a mission really because we are determined that whatever eventually finishes her off it won't be something we could have prevented.

Oh, and she can't go in the field with dhorse because she beats him up and makes his life an utter misery. All 15.2hh heavy cob of him!

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