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Loan pony has come up - bit worried he might be too much for my dd though

(10 Posts)
nomnomdeplume Tue 02-Oct-12 10:29:01

We have been thinking about the next move for my dd whose first pony is getting a bit small and also he is not very forward going - he's a poppet though and has given her so much confidence. A friend of a friend has a 14 1 for loan but he does sound a huge step up - part arab part well bred NF - fine, fiesty and ridden in a 3 ring gag (which I hate) on the top hole but the 2nd hole for xc and sj. On the plus side he's an amazing jumper and will probably really bring her riding on (she's about to be 13). They've had him for 7 years and are very fond of him, owner says absolutely not nasty in anyway but sharp and fast. Havent told dd yet as she is bound to fall in love with the idea of him. We are going to see him next week but my instincts are saying NOOOOOOOOO....

Callisto Tue 02-Oct-12 10:36:10

It sounds like too much of a step up to me, not the size so much, but the fizzyness. Going from a plodder to a 'racehorse' is quite a leap for a child. It would be very easy to overhorse your DD and put her off completely.

I think in this case your instincts should be listened to smile.

nomnomdeplume Tue 02-Oct-12 10:38:59

Do you think its even worth goign to see him...he's had very positive recommendations from horsey friend. I think my dd is frustrated by having a plodder. Hmm. Wish we had enough money to buy an inbetweener! She definitely wants to do jumping - this pony hates dressage which always rings alarm bells as I tend to think good dressage = well mannered and obedient...

Callisto Tue 02-Oct-12 11:23:25

It is difficult, I know. When I was looking for a pony for DD I had a spreadsheet with basics like age, height etc and then the plus and minus points of the ponies we had seen. It really helped me to be clinical about quite an emotive task. Having said that, I knew as soon as we saw her current pony that he was The One and I bought him the day we saw him. smile

Perhaps go and see the pony and see how your DD gets on. If she looks tiny on him then walk away, likewise if she struggles to control him. If he is native x arab he is going to be bright and he will get the measure of your DD before she gets the measure of him, this would be a minus from me also (though from my DD's point of view - your DD may be much braver). I'm also not keen on gags on ponies and once you bit up you can't come back down really so this would also be a minus point. The hating dressage wouldn't necessarily be a minus, but if he hates basic schooling and can't carry himself in an outline without an arguement then it would.

I'm not being much help here really, sorry.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Tue 02-Oct-12 11:24:36

Well. Firstly, the three ring gag would do my head in. They are NEVER used properly! If it truly needs it for control, it's too much.
Second, 14.1 is huge. I'm firmly against over horsing children.
Third, it does seem a big step up, from plod to Arab.
Personally, I'd take dd to see it. Several times. She needs to ride it in as many different situations as possible. Catch it in from the field, enter its stable, hack, school, jump. Only when you are satisfied she can handle it, and only then, take it on.
I'd be worried that if it tanked off, she would be unable to stop it. That's a lot of horse. And like I said, the gag= red flag for me!

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Tue 02-Oct-12 11:32:13

Actually, we have bitted back down. But the poor ponies were obviously over bitted. To the point of being inside out/overbent, and totally blank around the eyes. Bastard pony club advice We went into a bitless, then after a rest period, back into plain snaffles! The dangerous unstoppable ponies usually turn back into nice intelligent, sensitive rides. It's really heart warming.
But I'm hijacking really, sorry. From the sound of this pony, my gut says that it's in a gag so a teenager can control it, and bitting back down would put it out of your Dds range. Tbh, personally, I'd be very cautious about touching it.

Callisto Tue 02-Oct-12 14:00:20

I agree Saggy - I've bitted down with 'dead-in-the-mouth' hunters but it does take time and schooling and it isn't something I would want my DD (7yo) to have to cope with.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Tue 02-Oct-12 15:05:53

Absolutely not!

frostyfingers Tue 02-Oct-12 18:02:59

How big is her current pony, and how much is he outgrown? Enquire into the feeding and exercise regime of this other pony - could it just be overfed and under exercised? My ex pt to pointer came to me off the back of 6lbs oats a day (!), in all the time except for 2 hours in the field and on the horsewalker every other day - as you can imagine he was nuts to start with, but in a pretty short space of time on ordinary light mix and being out 24/7 has turned into a remarkably chilled chap. He is TB though and does have nutty moments, but to handle and hack he's a donkey now.

It could be that the child currently riding the pony what my family call a "hot bum" - some people seem just to have to sit on a horse for it to light up, others have a really relaxing effect.

Does he have a kind nature? Does he shy, buck, spook at all?

I wouldn't be happy with a 3 ring gag either - there are kinder alternatives if the pony really needs something stronger, but it isn't something you can always change straight away. Ask why they feel it needs that bit, has it always needed it?

TBH I would be wary - it sounds like a big step up, and it isn't worth having your DD frightened. I was overponied when about her age and ended up being bolted with down towards a main road. The pony was replaced with a ploddy cob who I loved to bits and drove me mad eventually, but it took about a year before I would go in an open field unaccompanied. If in doubt, don't.

That's all a bit long winded, but hopefully not too bossy!

dappleton Wed 03-Oct-12 09:59:28

Go with your gut-feeling. If you think the pony will be too much then you're probably right. Could you see the pony without your DD being there and watch someone else ride, then see if you feel your daughter would cope.

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