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Buy pony for dd?

(26 Posts)
LocalVelvet Sat 19-Jul-14 21:37:41

Ok, dd has been riding since small,with a gap of a few years. She is now twelve and has been back riding properly for over a year, moving on to small show jumping competitions.

I don't ride, and don't know about horses, although happy to learn to help her.

Because she was so keen we loaned a pony from her riding school. However, this proved to be a bit of a con as the pony was often used by others on her loan days,and was also jumped by others so much that the horse became fed up and was refusinghmm

We complained and quit the loan but kept up lessons there. However, dd was relegated to a big ancient horse that really wasn't able to jump.

I the decided to look for a proper loan, but this has proved impossible round our way.

I had decided that I might possibly consider buying dd a pony. I think a would need full livery to start with owing to my lack of horse care knowledge. By chance, we have the chance to buy a locally known and good pony from someone we know- his rider needs a pony to do massive jumps in national competitions! So has outgrown him.

Would I be mad to consider this? Full livery would be £70 pw and I would insist she continue lessons too.

Would also have to persuade dh, who is very much against it.

Dd struggles a lot socially, and is being assessed as being on the as, but comes into her own when riding. Help!

feekerry Sat 19-Jul-14 22:06:28

are you sure full livery is 70 quid a week??? its more like 150-170 a week round here!!

LocalVelvet Sat 19-Jul-14 22:15:42

No, it really is. Am in the sticks in Scotland. That's actually the best looking most professional and expensive yard!

feekerry Sat 19-Jul-14 22:25:01

okay, well, if loaning is out of the question due to location etc then buying is an option. however, i don't think it automatically means it will keep dd occupied/out of trouble.(not saying thats what you are insinuating) but you could be left with the pony and a large livery bill.
i do agree it sounds like you have little in the way of options tho if your dd really wants to ride and you sound sensible re lessons continuing etc.
i have seen it go both ways tbh. best of luck

feekerry Sat 19-Jul-14 22:27:48

plus if its a decent pony it could be sold on if it all went wrong. you need a decent instructor/horse person on board to guide you to right decisions and ponies etc

LocalVelvet Sat 19-Jul-14 23:13:01

Thanks, yes I am taking advice from horsy friends - and here!

Should say, dd is very well behaved, just finds school/friends/life harder than your average person. And she's actively good at riding and loves horses and horse care.

I would dismiss it as being out with my realm, but want to do the best for her and make sure she gets every chance, as far as I am able.

AdiVic Sun 20-Jul-14 12:40:52

hello - it sounds like you are doing things the right way and have put thought into it. If I was in your position I would buy the pony as you seem to know it well. Has your daughter ever ridden it? Does she get on with it? Full livery at £70 a week (I am sooo jealous) sounds like a good idea. I would meet everyone at the yard first to make sure they are all ok (I think many horse owners have been on livery yards with some awkward folk).

As for her being on the as and finding social situations tricky, I think riding/horse ownership and care is a great way forward. A close pal of mine is also on the as and struggled a huge deal when younger, she got into horses when young and they have been her salvation. She gets on so well with horses, and her knowledge now at the age of 40 is beyond belief. She still rides, works with horses etc. doesn't have much money as the pay isn't great but is one of the happiest people I know. If your DD enjoys riding and finds it a pleasurable and joyous way of life then go for it!

As for DH, is his lack of enthusiasm down to the imagined cost? Fear that he may never see you both as you will be off up the yard, and to shows? I must say, his fears are well founded as horses are time consuming, esp in winter, but it sounds like it's a good idea for your girl.

Keep us posted, fingers crossed you can talk the old grump around;)

LocalVelvet Mon 21-Jul-14 13:26:15

Ok, exciting news! Thanks partly to the advice here,min have decided may not be mad, and have broached this with dh (reasons exactly as you have guessedsmile, plus we are both anxious about an activity that is so much out with our own worlds).

Anyway, he was not nearly as down on the idea as I thought,and we are considering it! He is a nice man.

Dd is going to ride the horse on Thursday...

I am worried it will just be too expensive to buy, as it is a good, competition winning pony who has competed at quite high levels, but we will see? The owner says open to offers.

Adivici, that is really interesting about your friend. A happy life is what I want for dd, and she is always happy when mucking about with horses. And having her own will enable her to relax into it, without the pressures that went with the riding school loan.

Although I will have to swap my flowery dresses for fleeces and wellies and get out in all weathers...! But hopefully will all be worth it.

If we do it. Still a lot to think about and sort out, but trying my best.

Thanks for the advice smile

Booboostoo Tue 22-Jul-14 05:59:16

Full livery at a yard with an experienced YM is the way to go if you are not so sure yourself. You'll surprise yourself with how much you will know within a year!

Some general advice on buying:
- ask a million questions, ideally in front of a third party witness
- see the pony caught, groomed, trotted up, tacked up and ridden by the owner before your DD gets on
- ideally take your DD's instructor with you
- try to do as many things with the pony as possible, this may depend on the owner's good will and how many other people are interested, but if possible try to view twice, ask to take the pony for a hack (don't let the owner walk in front of the pony they are giving it a lead, ask if you can even take it out on a hack on its own, if possible try both road traffic and cantering in an open space), and if the owner is very amenable see if they will let you tag along and ride the pony at a competition.
- get the pony vetted before you buy
- be sensible with what you do when you get the pony home. A competition pony will be used to working in different environments but all ponies get unsettled with moves. Turn out for as long as possible, lunge before riding the first few times, ride in an enclosed arena the first few times and hack out with another sensible horse until you get the measure of the pony.

Keep in mind that you are likely to have other standard expenses including vaccinations, insurance, vet fees insurance, dentist, saddler (not just the initial purchase of tack, but making sure it is well fitted by regular checks), lessons, transport to competitions, competition entries, and in some cases regular physio.

LocalVelvet Tue 29-Jul-14 21:15:47

Update! So, we went to see the horse on a very hot day, horse flies abounding. Dd groomed horse with owners there, tacked up, watched the current rider ride (what a lovely rider) and rode herself. Transitions in a big field, up the hill and then a wee field with jump. Horse bomb proof from said flies and pressure washer coming on, dogs, etc.

More good reports from locals who know are buying him, subject to vetting! Have sorted livery with an intensive getting to know him lesson plan.

Thanks for all the advice, I still feel scared, but really hope this is the start of a whole new world for dd. And me! Have a couple of horsey friends to offer advice too, so have listened to them on the choice of yard.

LocalVelvet Tue 29-Jul-14 21:18:25

Oh, and have got the tack included, it has a well swanky saddle which I couldn't face trying to replace, and bridle and rugs.

Vet insurance and personal liability will be sorted before he goes to yard, and the current owner will drop him there. Dh keen for a horse box, if not a horse grin

3boys3dogshelp Tue 29-Jul-14 21:26:39

Congratulations op! I started riding age 9 and got a pony aged 11. Subsequently both my parents got fed up watching me, learned to ride, got their own horses then eventually their own yard!
As a teenager I was really close to my parents as we always had something to chat about and spent a lot of time together. I just wish I could afford the time and money to ride now.

LocalVelvet Tue 29-Jul-14 21:35:54

Thank you! Am excited and terrified in equal measure...

Am very impressed with your parents...grin

Hope you get riding again.

Madcatgirl Tue 29-Jul-14 22:12:52

Kiss your money goodbye. It's fantastic! grinsmile

Booboostoo Wed 30-Jul-14 08:17:37


If you don't mind me butting in a couple of thoughts that might help with a smooth transition because all horses get a bit unsettled in a new place. Turn him out as much as possible, 24/7 if allowed on your yard, but next to the other horses so that he gets used to them first. Give him24 hours to run around the field before you ride him the first time. When you bring him in the first few times make sure there is at least one other horse on the yard and groom him in the stable. Lunge him before riding him the first few times and keep him in the arena until your DD gets a feel for him. If you can arrange a lesson for her ASAP. She should only hack him in company with other calm horses until she is really well used to him (you can walk with her on hacks but be prepared for this to become a habit and he may then refuse to go out on his own later on - if you do walk out with him try to stay, safely, behind him rather than give him a lead all the time).

Have fun and I hope you don't mind the unsolicited advice!

LocalVelvet Wed 30-Jul-14 08:56:07

All advice welcomegrin Will be useful in discussing the transition with the yard owner. And I really am a novice wanting to learn: there's just sooo much to know! And to know that you don't knowsmile

The yard owner definitely has plans for dd to work her socks off getting to know him and having a good lot of lessons. She is sorting him out with a nice field. There are not too many horses so plenty grazing. He can stay out and I gave checked with his owner that he is happy with that and doesn't have to be in at night.

Good tip about the hacking out, will bear that in mind when the time comes. I think the kids are not allowed to hack out alone, just in case.

Thanks again!

frostyfingers Wed 30-Jul-14 11:02:16

Congratulations, it all sounds very exciting! There are lots of books available but I can highly recommend the Pony Club Manual of Horsemanship for both yourself and DD - it's a mine of sensible information written in plain English.

If there's one around within reasonable distance consider joining the Pony Club too - your DD will learn heaps and have great fun at the same time.

Booboostoo Wed 30-Jul-14 11:16:25

Having a good yard owner to help you out is a massive advantage. It might all seem a bit scary now but you'll be surprised how much knowledge you will have in a year's time and how you'll be able to advise the newbies to the yard!

LocalVelvet Mon 04-Aug-14 21:11:36

Well....we've got him! He passed his vetting with flying colours, and now we are, gulp, horse owners..

There is a pony club actually based at the yard, which is lovely, though dd does struggle quite badly with the social aspects of that,whilst enjoying the fun it provides. But it means there is plenty activity there, and is pretty friendly.

He is settling in, and dd rode him today, with a lesson tomorrow, and riding/lessons each day this week and for a bit. He is a big strong boy(though very pretty��)and she will need to be sure to be boss.

Thanks for all the advice, it is really helpful. Will just keep fingers crossed this works, and helps dd have a happy time.

Booboostoo Tue 05-Aug-14 07:32:27

Well done! I hope you have a fantastic time with him.

PitchSlapped Tue 05-Aug-14 07:37:05

Wow your daughter is very lucky! I hope she geys on well with him

Alreadyaugust Tue 05-Aug-14 07:49:52

Congratulations, your daughter is going to have a wonderful summer with her new horse! What is he, how big and how old?

LocalVelvet Tue 05-Aug-14 08:19:32

Thanks all!

He is small hunter, Connemara cross; about 15hh and ten. Grey, with very light mane and tail.

SlowlorisIncognito Tue 05-Aug-14 17:45:29

Aww he sounds lovely, and a good size/age that she should be able to keep him for some time.

I agree with what others have said Re- joining pony club. It will add to your network of "horsey people" who may be able to help out e.g. if you need to change yards, or are having problems. It also offers (usually) good, cheap instruction and competition, and can be a pathway into a horsey career if that is something your daughter might want.

Could the yard owner (or someone else) give you some lessons in stable management? I think it would be useful for you to be confident at least leading and catching the horse as well as recognizing common problems- as these will be useful to have in an emergency. Also learn about what he eats- this will be useful if you ever move.

If you do buy a horse box, get an experienced person to teach you how to load the pony and preferably travel with you at first- personally, I wouldn't be comfortable with a 12 year old having sole responsibility for loading a pony.

Most of all, though, have fun!

LocalVelvet Tue 05-Aug-14 18:12:44

Gosh, I hope so, crisis of confidence today, all round.

Should've said, she's in the pony club and has been for a while. I this a nice groups, but unfortunately her social difficulties make the kind of camaraderie I would wish for very hard. But it does mean there are some helpful,young riders there for me to ask ��

We managed to catch him from his field, lead him back to stable, groom him and tack him up (that with help!)

I am taking responsibility for him in the yard at the moment until we get to know him better: too much responsibility for dd just yet. So I am having to be Very Bravegrin And hide any doubts.

I am trying to find a bhs course near me too to learn more without having to be constantly asking the yard owner.

Dd's attitude is funny; she doesn't greet these things with the excitement you would expect from a girl her age, which is hard, but am hoping she will knuckle down and really make the most of this opportunity. All very new and different from riding a school pony.

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