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Pony or horse?

(39 Posts)
50BalesOfHay Mon 07-Jan-13 09:37:46

GD is currently informally loaning a 15hh irish horse. He's very nice, and she's doing a great job of sorting out the issues which have frightened his less confident owner, which is great for her as a winter project, and the owner's happy as if she sells him he'll be fit, in work and schooled rather than sold from the field.

He'll probably be for sale in the spring, but he's not the right horse for GD in the long term (conformation isn't up to the athletic work she'll want from her horse/pony) so we're starting to put together a 'wish list' prior to starting to look to buy in the spring. We can't decide whether to go for 15hh, or keep her on ponies a bit longer.

GD is 13, very tall and leggy, and whilst slim is muscular and srong. She looks right on 15hh, and has the strength (as well as the ability) to manage this difficult but basically genuine horse, so we're tempted to get her something around this size, but if we go above 14.2 she'll be competing with adults, but she did look a bit leggy and tall on her 14.2 last year so if we go for a 14.2 it would need to be chunky, and that's not really her style of horse. She's quite happy at the prospect of adult classes, but I wonder if it might be demoralising for her.

We've got a budget of around £3,000, she'd like something a bit more 'ready-made' this time round rather than one with potential that needs a lot of work (and she deserves it, she's really paid her dues with her last pony and current loan horse). Any thoughts about what we should be looking at would be very welcome

pmgkt Mon 07-Jan-13 09:40:39

Horse otherwise in a years time you will be buying again.

horseylady Mon 07-Jan-13 10:54:17

Tricky. Does she do pony club or anything? Or showing?!

I own both a horse and a pony. I love my pony, she's great fun you can relax on her and kids love to ride her. I love my horse, but find she's a bit more hardwork. I think it's because she's much more flightly, she reacts more to situations than my pony (and most ponies I know!!) react.

However, at 13 I moved from ponies onto horses and the messing about thing never interested me. I just enjoy riding, bringing horses on and always ride sensibly. Its probably more down to personality but I do find I think less and do more with my pony. Then again she's the one currently out on loan!!! And if I have a choice of who to ride, my horse wins out.

Callisto Mon 07-Jan-13 12:04:00

Well she is only going to get taller so if she looked to tall for her 14.2 last year she is going to look even taller on the next one.

Go for a horse, as PMG says, if you get a pony you'll have to get a horse anyway in a year.

50BalesOfHay Mon 07-Jan-13 12:12:40

My instinct is to go for a horse, and spend as much as we can afford on the right one that will last her. Do you think the budget is realistic for something well mannered but scopey? She's done a lot of showjumping, and also working hunter classes, and she's recently got into hunter trials, and would like to start doing one day events, as well as all the usual pony club stuff.

Floralnomad Mon 07-Jan-13 12:16:06

Go for the horse but if she wants to compete perhaps go for 15.2 ish then it gives you a bit more growing room . I got my first horse at 13 and she was a 16.1 ex race mare . My sister ( same height) got a 15.1 Irish draught X at 14 , he was great but she was more of a leg at each corner type rider whilst I was more of a speed merchant!

marialuisa Mon 07-Jan-13 13:06:20

TBH, given we are roughly in the same area I think your budget may be a little tight if she wants something that's been brought on a fair amount although my interpretation of what you're looking for may be awry! I'm sure people will pile in saying that 3k is loads, but thinking about what people I know have you may need to be prepared to take your time to look around to get something.

Booboostoo Mon 07-Jan-13 13:10:38

I would go for a horse as well, but one with some pony characteristics and the right training. For example, my first competition horse was a 15.2hh TBx Connie, who had been brought on by a professional with the aim of making him suitable for an amateur. So, SJ, which was his thing, he could see a stride, lengthen his stride, shorten his stride, take off at a bit of an angle, and generally get me out of a lot of trouble all by himself. The TB made him fun and the Connie made him manageable. He could also turn his hoof to BD, not a record breaker but he could get placed/points at Novice, and he could complete a Intro/PN one day event.

Budget wise the market is in your favour, but if you could add a bit to the 3k it wouldn't hurt.

50BalesOfHay Mon 07-Jan-13 13:15:18

Much as I suspected, marialuisa. We can't extend to the real superstars which are £10k plus, but I think we may have to see if we can stretch a bit further, especially as I don't want to buy another oldie that we then won't ever sell on! We'll see what's around, and don't want to buy until April ideally as we still have Nell's chemo to fund. If anyone not too far from Leicestershire hears of a good horse coming up for sale I'd be grateful for a pm

50BalesOfHay Mon 07-Jan-13 13:17:16

I'm thinking tb/connie Booboostoo. Her 14.2 was a small connie/tb and allthough green, she had great potential

marialuisa Mon 07-Jan-13 13:33:38

If you could stretch a bit I think you'd find something a bit more easily. I'm working on DH at the moment as the perfect next pony for DD is unexpectedly on the market. I'm sure we could cope with running 2 for 12 months.....I am ignoring the fact that the cars are heading for 10 years old, the windows need replacing etc. etc.!

Callisto Mon 07-Jan-13 14:21:51

£3K does sound loads to me! Can you go for a youngster with potential? I know she wants something more finished, but nice ready-made horses are about the only thing holding their value at the moment. I think a connie x tb is a great idea. In fact there is one on our yard but he is still only 8 months old...

horseylady Mon 07-Jan-13 18:06:52

I think you can get something ok for £3k. Definitely something between £3-4k. Plus if you look around the £4k mark people always come down in price!!

I paid £2k for my mare but she had only been broken. Probably the type of thing you're looking for. But it took 6 months before she was ready to compete. There's a fair amount on the pc website.

The thing with buying an 8month old, it's fine if you own your own land. For Me it would cost a minimum if £1500 a year to keep (grass livery, feed, farrier, vets, insurance!) so assuming you can ride it a reasonable amount at 4, it's still cost £3k doing nothing and no riding from that. That's before spending any money buying it/tack/rugs plus you have the hassle if breaking it in. Id rather pay someone to do that.

50BalesOfHay Wed 09-Jan-13 13:04:37

Well, we're going to look at a 10 year old 14.2hh Section D looking mare tomorrow, competes unaffiliate dressage, scopey over natural and coloured, well mannered, for sale through the really reputable equestrian centre where GD started riding. The pony's very full up 14.2hh so we'll see how she looks on that size, as last 14.2 was much finer built.

(pony's called Willow on website for Witham Villa Equestrian if anyone fancies a google and an opinion on suitability for keen teenager, and whether she's overpriced) She's a bit over-budget, but they might negotiate a bit!

CatPussRoastingOnAnOpenFire Wed 09-Jan-13 13:24:15

That's a nice looking horse.

Booboostoo Wed 09-Jan-13 15:13:29

It's impossible to tell from a tiny advert and one photo, she may well be lovely and if you trust the sellers to give you an accurate picture of her temperament that's really, really important.

If I was going to be fussy about it I would ask:
- is she working at the RC at the moment? If yes what would she be like in a private home with less work?
- do they have test sheets from her dressage?
- is dr the only competition she has? At 10 I would expect a pony/riding club record in all three disciplines, she's old enough to be known if she is a reliable horse.
- what is she like in the summer? Personally I avoid mares, a good one is great but you need to know them all year round to be sure they don't change character when in season.

My final thought is that while she will take up your daughter's leg by being stockier so 14.2hh may be fine, being stockier will make any dressage efforts more difficult. The ideal thing for someone to learn in dressage is how to control the shoulders, and a stockier horse will make this more difficult. This is nit picking, I know, but just putting the thought out there. I would prefer a LW taller horse to a MW shorter horse for learning on.

Booboostoo Wed 09-Jan-13 15:15:58

Oh Welshies can have stubbort characters but again that's a generalisation.

Just being really critical now, Welshie owners don't be upset! smile

horseylady Wed 09-Jan-13 15:23:03

I love mares. In fact I pretty much always buy them over geldings.

Can you ride both that are for sale? Just thinking that although the chestnut may be slightly unsuitable in terms if greeness both are what you are looking at!! It could then possibly help you narrow down your search. They're both up for sale with the same lady.

Has vale view got anything for sale? Another place to look is Hargate which is not too far to me. Not sure if they've got anything but maybe worth a look (assuming the website is up to date!!)

50BalesOfHay Thu 10-Jan-13 09:18:58

My thoughts too, Booboostoo re the level of work. I also want to be sure why she's being sold (although the school don't keep them too long as they get bored), and I also want to be sure she's not got too 'institutionalised' if she's been in the school a couple of years.

If we like her today then it will be the first of several visits, and I was also thinking of trying the 15.2 as well. They don't hack out, so I'd need them to suggest how we try her in traffic etc, and I also want to know whether she's been out compting or just on the premises. They've got a XC course, and I'd also like to try her round a SJ course. I'd also like ideally to try her away from the RS environment if she's not been out and about for a couple of years.

She's pretty expensive so I'd want something with a bit of talent (although if she'd got a competition record and was a Pony Club star and on their website she'd be even more). This pony has, however, piqued (sp?) GD's interest in dressage, which she's neglected up to now, so I'm thinking that could be good thing.

I think from today we'll get a good idea of whether a chunky 14.2 or a finer bigger one is the way to go. I think we need to try lots of different styles of horse to get the sense of what we're after, so just an initial try today (and haven't actually got the cash at the minute so can't impulse buy anyway)

Booboostoo Thu 10-Jan-13 10:05:34

Why don't they hack out? That would worry me as a horse that won't hack, especially if it's bad in traffic, or nappy about going out alone can be a total nightmare.

To try her out in traffic, have her ridden (ideally by you or DD so you can feel her reactions, although that is more dangerous if she's a lunatic), get someone to start up a car in front of her, watch out for reactions, if all well get the car to drive next to her overtaking, while she keeps moving in walk. Give yourself a bit of room at first to ensure she's OK, then repeat mimicking the distance you would have from a car overtaking on a road. Make sure the car overtakes while the horse is moving and the car comes in the opposite direction while the horse is moving. Repeat with a tractor (from the beginning, tractor in front of her, watch out for reactions, etc).

Don't let them fob you off with a car/tractor in front of the horse only. Many horses are fine if the traffic is crossing in front of them, but lose it when they are overtaken or meet the traffic face to face.

Have you looked at Horsequest? There seem to be a few 15.2 or thereabouts, allrounders, with RC or PC records (some also BE records), good to hack for around 3.5k (I assume that is negotiable in the current market).

50BalesOfHay Thu 10-Jan-13 11:53:52

They don't hack out as they concentrate on dressage, and the road past the yard is a bit fast for novice riders. However, I won't buy anything I've not seen in traffic (and cantering in open fields in a group) as we hack a lot, so I'm going to ask them for suggestions on that one. We're not in any rush, but at least if we have a look we'll answer the horse or pony question. Am also going to ring about a 15.2 on Horsemart, we need to try lots of horses, I think

Butkin Thu 10-Jan-13 13:43:17

50 - have a chat with your daughter to find out exactly what she hopes to achieve. If she is going to compete at, say, show jumping or working hunter then there will be strict height requirements for the different classes.

It is an awkward step going from ponies to horses and you don't want to find that she is in a no-mans land whereby she is the right age for a class but the animal is too big.

Get her to look at the society's rule books and work out what classes she wants to do and then see the height restrictions.

We've some friends with lovely Working Hunter Ponies but if they don't "measure in" it is a nightmare because if you're too big for one class but very much on the small size for the next one up then that's a disadvantage.

horseylady Thu 10-Jan-13 21:10:02

Butkin - on the whp I have seen some VERY large 14hh ponies (taller than my full up 14hh welsh) And 15hh that are the same size as my 15.2!!!

I agree with what everyone says ESP about the hacking!!

Butkin Thu 10-Jan-13 23:11:48

Horseylady if she wants to affilliate then she'd need an official height certificate.

Children not yet 14 (ie OPs) could ride in classes for ponies up to 13hh without taking on older children.
Not yet 17 can ride up to 14hhh
Not yet 20 can ride up to 15hh
Not yet 25 can ride up to 15.2hh

Therefore if she bought a 15.2hh animal she'd be jumping significantly bigger tracks against much older (intermediate) young adults. Maybe she won't want to take it this seriously but just something for OP to consider.

Butkin Thu 10-Jan-13 23:14:15

Sorry I should say these would be BSPS WHP classes. We don't do eventing so don't know if they have height rules.

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