Hold my hand and tell me this is the right decision!(30 Posts)
I was just wondering if I can run this by you.
We are currently pony hunting at the moment for a confidence giving mum/son share. My son is ten and very slight but very tall- just under 5'2 at the moment. We have had a 14.2 pony on loan over the past nine months, but we have decided to move on as sometimes he can get very whizzy and over excited, particularly when jumping and his confidence is just crumbling.
So we were on the hunt for a safe, sensible confidence giver that he could relax and have fun on. To do all PC activities, local level jumping/showing etc, lots of hacking and generally having fun mucking about with a young boy.
So we found perfect pony on paper. 14.2 coloured cob, been active member of PC for 2 years, done rallies, camps, clinics, beach rides, hacking and generally played with by a young teenage girl. Being sold as she wants to affiliate and he is an allrounder jumping a max of 85cm.
I spoke to the DC of the PC and their instructor for references and spoke to them at length about who we were and what we wanted in our pony and what they had seen him do etc. Both said he was a really sensible sort who tried hard, but approached things in a calm manner. Both said he sounded a really good match.
So we went to go to see him. He was lovely. Not normally my type of pony at all if you had asked in my head what I had in mind when we started searching a few weeks ago. Long mane and feathers etc, and quite heavy set. But he was wonderful He was so friendly. He was a real sweetie. He was happy to be caught, led in sensibly and happily by my son. Let him brush him all over and stood nicely, no issue doing his belly etc (liable to get kicked by current pony unless you're careful!) Tacked him up beautifully, stood quietly, no issues.
His owner rode him in the school and he went round beautifully. She warmed him up for a bit, then asked for him to work in a more rounded outline, which he did happily. Popped him over several jumps about 70/80cm.
I got on. He was so so different to current pony. It was very odd, not in a bad way, just so different. Much wider, but i felt much better on him. I always worry that i look a bit big on current pony as a size 12 5'4 mum. He took a bit of leg to get going, but once he had gone up a gear in each transition you didn't need to keep your leg on so much. I worked him in all three paces on each rein and popped a jump. It was lovely because he kept the same rhythm before and after the jump, I felt safe on him. Our current pony clocks the jump and then almost feels like he locks into it and gets much stronger on the approach- and when out after the jump too. However, i couldn't get him to stay in a consistent outline, we would get it for 1/4 of the length of the school then I would loose it. I am not a particularly great rider. I have been riding since a child, but did a lot of happy hacking in my youth and just had fun rather than concentrating on how we were going. I still have lessons a few times a month... so in theory i should be able to get to grips with this, right? I would like to have a lot more lessons and then maybe be able to go out and do the odd low level local dressage test. (I am able to get our current pony going quite nicely in the school - so long as there are no jumps around!!)
Then my son got on him. It was a bit of a change for him, and at first he struggled to get upwards transistions. He rode him for about 15 minutes and after the first 5 or so, he seemed to get him a bit more and was then ok. There was a bit of pony club kicking to get the canter transition for example. Do you think this matters? I am looking for something safe and sensible and not likely to tank off, unlike our current pony, i just want to make sure i don't go too far the other way, i guess! His owner didn't find any of his transitions an issue, and had him going round beautifully from the tiniest nudge. Do you think this would just be a case of getting used to each other? He jumped a mini course with him. He said he loved it as he felt safe on him, that he wasn't going anywhere of his own accord, it was because he had been asked. He jumped him from trot and canter, which is a big deal because we have had control issues when we have had speed on our pony. He got left behind on about 50% of the jumps, which he doesn't normally do. Do you think that is just a case of getting used to the feel of a different pony, and seeing the different striding?
We then took him out on a little hack around the block. On grass/open space and on the roads. We saw regular car traffic and a big yellow bus. He didn't bat an eye.
We got back and they had a cuddle together and his owner was showing my son all his funny tricks he could do. He was a really lovely, genuine and kind pony. I felt that i could trust my son with him, on the yard and in his stable, doing all the usual things with him without having to hover over his shoulder protectively.
I told the family last night that we really like him and subject to a vetting we would like to proceed. I think I am just having a "my god, am i doing the right thing" moment this morning. Think it was made worse by the fact that he is so far away- and 8 hour round trip, except with bad traffic yesterday it was 10.5 hours. So we weren't able to take anyone with us, or have a second viewing. The only things that are tiny doubts are, is he going to be a bit too lazy in the school for my son- but then the other part of me says, actually a bit lazy is good, we have been too far the other way and he got scared. My son could still do things with him, it was his first time riding him, it will just take a little while for him to be able to get the best out of the pony. And the other thing, although i think i have answered it myself already, was if i found it more challenging asking him to soften and round for me... but actually if he is doing it happily for his current owner- and doing exactly what i want to do with him with her, ie low level dressage tests- surely with time and lessons we will be able to do the same together.
I felt safe on him. I felt that i would be happy hacking him alone, and in company during the week in the winter when its too dark after school. I felt that i wasn't too big on him. I felt happy pottering over a few jumps in the school. i had seen lots of photos of him at pc camp having great fun at XC, in a snaffle, which is something i would love to do, but no chance with current pony as we would have no breaks whatsoever.
My son thought he was wonderful. He was friendly and cuddly and easy for him to handle. He seemed happy and agreeable to all usual things he would do on the ground with him. I felt watching them that he would be safe to handle him by himself ( supervised from a distance of course). He didn't seem too worried that he struggled to get him going a bit in the school and he enjoyed jumping him. He was having a big chat with the owner about the halloween jumping he wanted to do at PC next month and how he wanted to do the fancy dress and was coming up with ideas. She got all excited and started showing him her xmas dressing up outfit that he had worn (poor pony was lit up like a xmas tree with bauble and lights, bells and tinsel ). My son normally gets so nervous about events as sometimes current pony gets very overexcited and silly.
Writing this down, he sounds like a bit of a treasure doesn't he? i think I am being a bit silly. It is just a huge decision.. so mums netters, please can i have your thoughts.
Yay, so glad to hear he is as good as he sounded! Long may it continue.
I'm so glad you bought him, he sounds fabulous!
So jealous . He sounds like a real treasure , and they're worth their weight in gold .
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