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Ok, tell me straight, but be kind!

(20 Posts)
Pixel Mon 23-May-11 17:42:07

Do you think ds is too big for dshetland? recent pic here(bear in mind he is bareback, when he has a saddle his legs don't dangle down quite so far).
He only has short rides on the lead-rein, mostly walking and the occasional trot. She always seems keen enough and one word or tongue-click from me is enough to get her trotting, I've never had to drag her along or anything like that.
But, I know he is quite a big lad now (turned 11 this week) and sits like a sack of spuds (no core strength), and dshetland is 27.
Up until now I've thought they were ok, they have a lovely bond, ds loves her, she is safe as houses and I do believe in keeping old horses/ponies going for as long as you can as long as allowances are made. However, now she is lame I've had people saying "oh well, your ds is too big for her anyway", "he can't ride her forever" etc etc, and I'm paranoid that they have been talking behind my back! I get the impression that even if she becomes sound again I'm expected to retire her and ds never ride her again. Even my sister has hinted as much.

So, am I being cruel (I would hate to think I am), or is everyone else wrong? AIBU?!

sykes Mon 23-May-11 19:06:13

Can't see the pic but don't think for a minute you'd ever be cruel.

LisaD1 Mon 23-May-11 19:24:09

Ok, here it is straight as you asked for..

DS looks totally fine on pony for what you're doing. If he was hacking out off lead rein for hours on end then it would be a definite not ok imo, but for what they're doing together I cannot see the problem.

Hope pony comes sound again for you.

MitchiestInge Mon 23-May-11 19:24:12

I don't see the problem, if she is sound and he doesn't balloon to ten stone or something what does it matter if he becomes tall for her? Surely shetlands are strongest of them all?

Pixel Mon 23-May-11 20:01:02

Phew, well that's a relief. Obviously I know he is getting very close to the time where he will be too big/she will be too old, and although I'm dreading that day coming I feel I'm capable of realising for myself. I am a bit resentful of people thinking I need to be told (especially when main person telling me this weighs at least 15 stone and rides a 13.2 - not my sis I hasten to add).

Sykes, pic is on my profile too.

Pixel Mon 23-May-11 20:09:11

Lisa, we usually just go round the block, it takes 10 mins (plus another 10 for random strangers to pet her smile) and he rarely rides more than once a week, maybe twice in the holidays. I thought that was fine but people have made me doubt myself!

ManateeEquineOhara Mon 23-May-11 20:39:18

They are FINE. DS used to ride at a shetland pony riding school, the ponies were ridden by teenagers often, and most of the ponies used in the school were 20 - 30 years. You have a good couple of years left with your DS riding that pony, so long as she comes sound again.

Pixel Mon 23-May-11 20:46:21

Manatee, I love you!

Saggyoldclothcatpuss Mon 23-May-11 22:46:54

My best friend who is an AI, weighs around 10st, is 5'2 and often rides her Shetland. It's not a full standard, but carries her fine. She also has a 10th Shetland x stallion. They hack round the block, (takes about 30 mins) and occasionally does longer hacks. She gets abuse often. People have even called the RSPCA on her. They come out, look at her, check out the pony, tell her it's all fine and leave. Shetlands were bred 'to carry a man and his wife to work' and until relatively recently this was a class at Shetland shows.
Id just ignore the people who look down on you. We took our standad to PC, and were totally insulted. Little kids pointed and stared, and one mother insisted that we sell her and buy a proper pony. I told her to get stuffed! Don't take any notice. you are a sensible person, trust your own judgement!

Pixel Tue 24-May-11 00:00:10

Thanks all, I feel better now. I do feel a weight of responsibility because I don't own her, and her owner is great about trusting us to look after her. She never interferes but if anything needs doing she doesn't need asking twice. For example, if I say dshetland needs the vet she doesn't question it but turns up ready to pay the bill.

I would hate anyone to say anything to her that would make her think she wasn't doing the right thing in trusting us iyswim.

Anyway, no point in worrying about it any more until we can get the little love sound again. It was just the constant digs getting to me more as she is lame!

Btw, isn't she the cutest little girl ever? smile

Saggyoldclothcatpuss Tue 24-May-11 00:05:47

No. My shetland is the cutesy in the world ever! grin

Pixel Tue 24-May-11 00:24:58

In the interests of Tack Room harmony we will have to declare a draw, I'm sure they are both lovely. smile How can a shetland not be lovely?

(ok, don't answer that, I'm sure you've met some little horrors too!)

Saggyoldclothcatpuss Tue 24-May-11 00:27:05


MitchiestInge Tue 24-May-11 12:46:23

We want a Shetland so badly - me and youngest daughter - don't even know why, we just do. sad

Callisto Tue 24-May-11 14:18:40

I've met some totally vile Shetlands, nasty, nippy and handy with their back ends.

Pixel - your son/pony combo looks fine to me too. Shelties are as tough as old boots and bred to carry weight.

Saggyoldclothcatpuss Tue 24-May-11 14:59:28

Callisto. If you have met vile shetlands, I'd lay money on it not being the ponies fault. These are not toys, or really child's ponies, lthough that's how they end up. They are bred down Highlands. Built to work and with endless stamina. Given to a child, understimulated, fed treats and generally treated like a pet, bad behaviour is to be expected. They are EXTREMELY clever and can be willful. I've seen small ones jump 2ft, walked for MILES, driven, they need to be treated like horses. Never ruined by children and people who think they are cute and cuddly!

Pixel Tue 24-May-11 16:52:18

Totally agree. There are other shetlands where we are, bought as 'pets' they never come out of the field because the owners can't handle them. Not surprising since they've allowed their children to chase them around and clamber about on them and fed them endless titbits. Shetlands won't put up with it for long and will soon learn how to get their own way. One girl has bought an unbroken shetland and thought all she had to do was plonk her daughter on his back. The daughter who'd never ridden before btw. You can guess how well that went!
Dshetland has always had a proper job, she taught her owner's daughter to ride, then she was driven for years and now she is a lead-rein pony again. You can trust her in any situation, but she has had the same owner since she was 18 months old and was always treated the same as the bigger ponies, which is quite right.

Callisto Fri 27-May-11 13:24:52

Yes, I agree Saggy. I swore I would never get a Shetland because I didn't think they made good childrens ponies, were stubborn and as a breed were nasty natured (having only met Shetlands like this). Now I have what I think is a shetland-section A cross who is uttely adorable so I have revised my opinion somewhat. He is never given treats as I don't like nippy ponies, but he gets loads of cuddles which he loves. He is very green but unfazed by anything, he loves DD very much and really takes care of her when she is riding him. I'm currently breaking him to drive and he is really enjoying all of the extra work. I could go on and on about what a perfect pony he is but that would be dull... wink

Pixel Fri 27-May-11 19:51:41

My dh has just said to get ds a pony of his own if I want to.

I said it was a lovely thought but it's not the buying, it's the keeping and I couldn't commit to another atm, with the price of hay and everything (Dh never asks how much I spend on dhorse which can be a relief sometimes!).

He'd just got back from working away all week, had a bit of dinner and we were in the car so I could drop him off at his second job, yet he still said it and meant it. I knew there was a reason why I married him. smile

ManateeEquineOhara Sat 28-May-11 09:04:32

Good choice Pixel (the DH!) smile

I agree on Shetland behavour, I also had been brainwashed into the 'shetlands are unsuitable child's pony' way of thinking, until my DS went to the shetland riding school and I saw how they are not like that at all. Out of the school ponies, there were only a couple that were more difficult, but for many breeds the number would be far higher.

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