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Talk to me about owning/loaning a pony

(13 Posts)
MrsTomHardy Tue 02-Apr-13 12:31:30

Hi all,
Occasional poster on MN but new to this topic.

My 11 yr old DS shares a horse at a DIY livery in Surrey. He is what I consider a novice rider, but he loves it all, the riding, the grooming, the mucking out etc....he has come on leaps and bounds in the last few weeks at this yard with this new share.

If he could he would be there every day, but generally he rides 3/4 times a week. I stay with him as I enjoy watching him ride but I am a bit useless around horses as I have a fear of them but I am getting better the more I'm around them.

My dilemma is do I just keep him sharing this horse, which obv works out cheaper with no responsibility but its not his horse to ride when he wants.....or in 3/4 months time look into getting a pony on full loan at our present yard??
I would pay for him to have a weekly 1 hour lesson on his horse as he still needs that to bring him on.

I understand his want to have his own pony to do with what he wants, but it's a big responsibility and it will be down to me to drive him there/ back etc and obv pay for it all....

My head says one thing, my heart says another......HELP!!!!!

N0tinmylife Tue 02-Apr-13 13:30:22

I think in the situation you describe I'd stick with the share for now, and maybe think about a full loan in a few years when your DS is older, if he is still interested. At 11 he is not old enough to be responsible for a pony, so you would need to be, and from what you have said that is not something you would have the knowledge to do.

Have you thought about having some lessons on a quiet horse to see what all the fuss is about? You never know you might get hooked too!

MrsTomHardy Tue 02-Apr-13 13:39:26

Thanks for the reply.

Yes I am building up to having a lesson...I would love to have confidence around horses and would love to ride but they just scare me.....also if I get hooked too then it's going to cost more grin

Floralnomad Tue 02-Apr-13 14:04:31

If you're at a yard where there are other people that can advise you I would try and get one for a full loan . We got our first horse when I was 12 and my sister was 13 , my parents knew nothing about horses but were keen to help . By the time I was 19 we had 4 altogether and my mum and dad were brilliant with them although they never took up riding . If you've got the time and money go for it .

MrsTomHardy Tue 02-Apr-13 15:06:28

Thanks Flora
Yes there are lots of people at the yard who I'm sure would give advice....there are always people around when we are there.

Money does worry me as im a single patent to 3 boys but I do work and I would hate to get a pony only for it to cost more than I anticipated and then struggle to keep would be tight but for the enjoyment my DS would get out of it I think it would be worth it.

He wants to be able to go to shows etc aswell as just ride in a sandschool...

Lots to think about smile

MrsTomHardy Tue 02-Apr-13 15:20:04

And also would anybody loan us their pony with my DS being a novice??

Booboostoo Tue 02-Apr-13 16:46:28

You need to consider a couple of things if you want a full loan or buy:

1. You need to take stable management lessons because an adult needs to be competent enough to deal with the pony if there are problems, or be able to recognise that the pony is unwell etc.

2. What kind of livery do you want to be paying for? DIY livery is much more economical but you would end up having to do a lot of work, including visits to the yard twice a day, every single day and have to make alternative arrangements for holidays, illness, etc. Part livery (where someone else mucks out, turns out, and looks after the pony aside from riding) is a lot easier as you can skip going to the yard for the odd day, can still have a lie in and have someone experienced give a second opinion on the pony, but it costs a lot more.

3. Farriers, dentists, saddlers, vets, etc. all need to see the pony on a regular basis and this takes a lot of time. Appointments are usually during working hours and on a DIY livery basis you would be expected to attend them.

4. Ponies (and horses) are very injury and illness prone, so expect to have to continue paying for the upkeep of an animal that your DS may not always be able to ride. Also bad weather and short days make it very difficult for kids to ride in the winter unless you had top facilities (which tend to cost more in terms of livery).

5. Ponies on share get ridden by more than one person and are more likely to get more work and stay better behaved. Ponies in private ownership may start to play up if they don't get sufficient exercise.

skinnywitch Tue 02-Apr-13 18:04:56

Hi there - I wouldn't be very happy about loaning a pony of mine to a novice with a parent frightened of horses no matter how supportive the yard.

I'd go so far as to say it's unreasonable of you to try and loan a horse when you are so far from being able to cope by yourselves. Stick with the part loan, get confident, get on a horse and see how you go in a year or two.

MrsTomHardy Tue 02-Apr-13 20:11:49

Thanks for all the advice.

Lots to think about.

I think I'm going to keep things as they are for now and see how we go this year.
Need to listen to my head more than my heart maybe. smile

SlowlorisIncognito Tue 16-Apr-13 10:45:31

I think it is definately more important you learn about stable management than how to ride. 11 is too young to be in sole charge of a pony. You could try doing something like the BHS horse owners certificate, as well as getting hands on experience with DS's share pony. BHS horse owners certificate.

At the very least, you should be confident handling a pony on the ground using a lead rein & head collar, how to put on and take off a rug, catching it in from the feild, able to recognise when it needs shoeing, able to recognise when to call the vet, know about feeding and different types of feed stuff, about worming, vaccinations and passports and how to tack the pony up and groom it and how to muck out a stable. Ideally, you would also understand a bit about things like clipping and rugging.

It would be down to you to do all these things if your DS was unwell, or the pony was being naughty or difficult. At 11, he is probably too young to be in charge of knowing when to call a vet, or what to feed, or when to shoe the pony. You would also have the final say on things like buying new rugs/tack, so you should understand what is appropriate for your pony.

Keeping a pony is pretty expensive, too. The cost is often compared to running another car.

TackedOff Tue 16-Apr-13 11:19:39

keep the share (which sounds perfect) and try and help him as much as you can for a year. You'll learn, sometimes the hard way but you will learn!! Will the sharer not let him take the pony to shows? and how would you get it there if he would?

MrsTomHardy Tue 16-Apr-13 16:51:31

Great advice on here, thank you!

Think for the moment (at least a year) he will continue to share his pony. We can go down as much as we want, he can ride, muck out etc plus he can eventfully do shows as the owner has a trailer.

I too can learn things, I can muck out, I've got braver about putting on/ taking off rugs, I can groom too it's just the other things I need to learn really....

It all looks positive anyway! Thanks!

VitosFleurZ Mon 22-Apr-13 16:05:20

I'd keep a spreadsheet, over the next few months, of exactly what it would have cost you to keep a loan pony. It's a pretty hefty financial commitment.

I don't think 11 is too young to be on sole charge. I got my first at 11 and my parents knew nothing about horses. We weren't even on a yard, so nobody on hand to help! But.... I had spent every spare minute from age 6 at the local stables and I had wangled various ponies for pony club camps and teams. I knew enough to know when something was wrong and to ask for help. So I wld say make sure your son gets to stable management lessons and perhaps ask your share if you can take the pony out. Join the pony club and go along unmounted if not.

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