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Choosing a first ridden pony

(48 Posts)
annieapple7 Mon 22-Jul-13 14:42:44

Hi tack roomers
DD is 6 but very tall for her age - more like aged 8 in terms of height. She is having weekly riding lessons and can walk and trot independently (on placid riding school ponies of course) and canter on the lead rein. I am thinking about buying her a pony and have started looking at the adverts online. My budget is £1000, although many of the suitable ponies advertised all cost a fortune. I'd like an all rounder that she could take to pony club and will last us for many years as we never sell our horses! But I am out of the loop in terms of competitions...if later on we did want to go to some shows, is it still the case that 12.2hhs must be ridden by under 11s and so on? A lot of the first ponies at 11.2 and under and they won't be big enough for her. I saw a nice 13hh pony but wondered if that would preclude her in competitions later on. Any advice appreciated.

Lovesswimming Mon 26-Aug-13 10:26:09

Brill!!! Well done and I hope you have great times with him! My saint of a pony bucked my eldest daughter off last week!! But we have just sold another mare who was the lead mare and I think she was unsettled, she been a saint again ever since!
Love to see a piccy if u put one on :-)

Booboostoo Mon 26-Aug-13 08:06:19

Great, glad it all worked out!

Littlebigbum Sun 25-Aug-13 22:03:16


annieapple7 Sun 25-Aug-13 21:33:12

Update: we have bought a pony!
He is a 7 year old 12.3hh skewbald gelding. We went to look at the two I linked to. The grey was beautiful but a bit too sharp for DD at her stage. The palomino bucked her off in canter! She wasn't hurt but I am glad she fell off because it was her first time and I wondered if she would want to ride again!
We then went to see this pony. He is quiet, calm, steady, although very responsive to the leg. He is in a snaffle, was not bothered by busy traffic, and DD rode him off lead rein in the field in walk and trot. We picked him up Thursday. He loaded straight away and is easy to catch.
Thank you for all your advice. I hope I have made the right decision but my gut feeling is that he is the right choice for us. Will post a pic on my profile.

Butkin Wed 14-Aug-13 05:09:13

Depends on initial price, how competitive it is for a similar pony and if they really need to sell on (ie on market for a long time, got the new pony already etc).

We would search the internet for similar ponies until we found one that was cheaper and use that as our guide.

If we can't get the price dropped you could try to negotiate on tack etc. Remember if they are sizing up (as usual in ponies) then they have to sell the old saddle and bridle anyway so you may get a discount for the saving in hassle. Similarly look at the rugs to see if they can get thrown in for the price.

Lovesswimming Tue 13-Aug-13 17:09:45

If I asked for £1k I'd expect £850 minimum to be honest but if I had a fair bit of interest I'd hold out for it all esp if a good 1st pony if its £3k I'd make a cheeky offer as that's harder to achieve. If the pony is right for u I wouldn't haggle over £100 or so

annieapple7 Tue 13-Aug-13 11:47:01

Thanks both for that good advice. I suppose a week's trial is not always perfect anyway as the pony would likely to be unsettled to begin with. How much do you think vendors are prepared to drop the price when they advertise as 'price negotiable' or 'ono'?

Butkin Tue 13-Aug-13 04:18:07

When we buy ponies we never commit in front of the vendors. We drive home and talk to DD about what they were like, calmly between ourselves. DD would never say anything negative in front of them but would to us in private.

Then, if we decide to buy, we ring up and offer what we think it is worth - often less than the asking price and see what sort of reaction we get. We usually meet somewhere in the middle but it depends on how much we like the pony, what the demand is and we usually know what the going price is for our type of pony.

If expensive (over 3,000 pounds) we vet - 2 part with blood tests - and we have also asked for a height certificate to be included in the price (but this is for showing where they are vital).

We offer to send a deposit but usually we just go back within a week of passing the vet and just pick up and pay the agreed price in full in cash.

We've never done a trial period. We know what we like and rely on DD's experience when riding them - both in the school and hacking - to see if they are OK.

Lovesswimming Mon 12-Aug-13 22:54:03

I'd ask for a trail period, put a deposit down until vetted/collected and make an offer. It's likely if u get a trial period u might pay for the pony with a contract that u can return it and details of when returning would not be acceptable (the seller is taking a risk as well) but many sellers will just say no as it can end in tears for either party. If u put down a deposit then have it written down on what circumstances you would get your deposit back (failed vetting?) and in what circumstances you wouldn't (if u change your mind). Last pony I bought (the 1st ridden we still have) I put a deposit down, checked the price which I thought was reasonable so I didn't haggle. Had her vetted the next day, got my trailer and picked her up straight after it. But my daughter did try her on a busy yard and in a huge storm so I was quite convinced she was what we wanted smile sorry if that's no help, I suppose I'm saying it does no harm to ask, for you to realise they have a risk as well and always write agreements down. Everyone is different and if they say no it doesn't mean they are hiding anything. I'll stop waffling now!

annieapple7 Mon 12-Aug-13 22:01:02

I certainly want to avoid that! Glad you've found something more suitable, Mirage.
I have always bought from people I know before. If we do find the right pony, Should I ask for a trial period? Should I leave a deposit before collecting the pony? How much haggling over price is usual?

Mirage Mon 12-Aug-13 21:57:43

It's easily done Saggy.grin

I was joking to DH yesterday that ponies aren't like buying new clothes,hiding them in the wardrobe and pretending they aren't new and you've had them forever,you can't hide them in the paddock and say 'This old thing? I've had it for years'.

More's the pity! grin

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Mon 12-Aug-13 21:06:34

Ahem... I just don't get people like that... blush
It sounds like he fulfilled his purpose and its now time to move on.

Mirage Mon 12-Aug-13 19:15:13

Actually,if I could,I'd keep him,he is the sweetest most affectionate little thing ever.But I know what I'm like,I'd end up like one of those mad old ladies with loads of cats,but with loads of ponies instead.grin

Mirage Mon 12-Aug-13 19:11:28

Yes,it all happened a bit unexpectedly really.I was looking on Preloved for jump cups and spotted a 13.3 Connemara PC pony.I rang up and went to see him on Tuesday,DD1 rode him with the biggest smile on her face and I was amazed,dpony is such a hard act to follow and the last time she tried a pony,last Feb,she cried and refused to canter or jump.This time she got the pony going beautifully and jumped in the school,then hacked him out.

His owners had several people to see him,but rang us back afterwards saying that they think we are the right family for him,they also rang our instructor to sound her out about us and DD1's capability.He seems like a bigger,more forward version of dpony,which is what I'd hoped for but didn't think we'd find.We are loaning him and all being well,should last both DDs some years.

I asked DD1 who she'd rather ride,Brandy or dpony,and she said dpony.Much as she loves Brandy,he is a bit of a nerve racking ride.Yesterday he did one jump in the minimus,decided that was that,and headed out of the ring.We ended up running around with him,and I could hear people gasping at the size of his jump.I'll try and post a photo,but it was a miracle DD2 stayed on.grin She was charging around the warm up ring,over the jumps,before her SJ class,and the little monkey decided to spook on landing and chucked her off.She decided to do the SJ on dpony and got a far better round on her than DD1 did.

I've spoken to B's owner and she thinks we are doing the right thing.As she says,it is meant to be fun,and,a lot of the time,with him,it isn't.She has had him 6 months now and ridden him almost every day,so we will all miss him.

Booboostoo Mon 12-Aug-13 18:52:01

Sorry to hear that Mirage, I remember your posts on your search. For what it's worth I think you are making the right decision. I don't think children learn that much from constantly falling off and being carted off. Aside from the risk of every single accident getting serious, they only lose their confidence overall. A steady pony that will teach her the ropes is a much better teacher.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Mon 12-Aug-13 18:28:37

Oh no Mirage! I'm sorry to hear that. But it's a good reflection on dd2 and her skill and confidence that she rides him when others couldn't, and that she gets back on. Will dd1 be moving up a pony now?

mrslaughan Mon 12-Aug-13 18:23:24

Oh mirage - I am sorry it hasn't worked out.

Mirage Mon 12-Aug-13 15:41:44

Just to add to what the others have said.We have a 7 year old on loan,who was only broken last year.He didn't put a foot wrong for the first 4 months,until he got fit,then he became very sharp and spooky.We knew this might happen as his owner was very honest about how green he was,but it has stopped DD2 doing stuff she could have done on a steadier pony.I wouldn't trust him on a x country course for example.

She has done amazingly well with him,he hadn't even jumped properly before we had him,or hacked out.None of the other mums at PC say their children could ride him,too sharp,too fast and too big a jump,and she has been on the ground or run away with countless times,but she keeps getting back on.However,we have decided enough is enough before she breaks something or loses confidence,and he will be going back to his owner next month,and DD2 will ride her sister's beloved,steady,dpony.

For a 6 year old child,I'd want an old,been there and done it pony,time enough for the whizzy show stoppers when they are older and stronger.It isn't pleasant watching your child disappearing over the horizon or picking them up after they've been thrown.

Booboostoo Mon 12-Aug-13 14:08:20

If it is a bevel bit it increases poll pressure which is consistent with thinking that a pony with that neck would have a tendecy to tank off. It's not the end of the world, but it's not dressage legal and it wouldn't be my first choice for a pony for a 6 year old child.

Lovesswimming Mon 12-Aug-13 08:15:23

The grey sounds like the pony we had that had not long been broken in, she had been schooled very well and had won in the ridden show ring for one season. We still had the green issues, she hasn't seen poles, was very spooky out hacking and became sharp when she was fit. Though the grey may not be the same just be aware of it. The bit (Wilkie or shires beveled) we use, it gives a bit more than a snaffle. Many people use them with ponies, if your children are still beginners and the pony u get is not strong then go for a snaffle. It wouldn't worry me to view a pony in that bit

Pixel Sun 11-Aug-13 23:15:03

I zoomed in on the bit, still not clear but looks to me like this so nothing dreadful I don't think.

annieapple7 Sun 11-Aug-13 21:19:37

I spoke to the lady whose daughter rides the grey 8yo ..he is still with his breeder and was shown in hand apparently. They started him last year because they want to sell him to make room
For younger ponies coming through. The good thing with him is that everything has been done right with him and he has had no bad experiences or bad habits.
I hadn't noticed the bit on the palomino will look again!
Planning to view them next week.
Have always bought from people I know previously so help, what's the procedure for haggling over price, deposits, trial periods these days?

Lovesswimming Tue 06-Aug-13 20:55:36

Oops lol, I was saying we 1st got a pony that was 8 that we thought was a good age, turned out she had only been broken in a year, (she had been showed abd had a foal 1st) as she got fitter she got sharper and she was more spooky. Just so u are aware, she seemed perfect at 1st but wasn't once she'd lost weight! We still have her but she isn't the 1st ridden pony my daughter rides.

Lovesswimming Tue 06-Aug-13 20:51:49

We had a 7 year old p

Booboostoo Tue 06-Aug-13 18:57:03

Was the pony you are going to see only broken last year? Why is that? I don't mean to be negative, but that would make me weary. A year is not a long time for a pony to gain experience and your DD is very, very young so she really needs a 'been there done that' type of pony. The photos on the advert show a much older child riding the pony, so make sure he is suitable for a small, lightweight and inexperienced child. Why do you want a PC pony? For me that means a competition pony which requires a more experienced rider. I'd be looking for a LR/FR pony which is truly good off the lead rein.

Personally I wouldn't go see this pony. You need a pony that has already helped 2-3 children learn to ride and has been passed on from family to family because he is truly brilliant at his job.

The palomino looks more promising with the younger child on board, but what kind of bit is that? He also has quite a heavy set neck and your DD may find it difficult to stop him.

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