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confused which is best for her ?!

(47 Posts)
OnePlanOnHouzz Sat 27-Feb-16 08:46:40

Hi everyone - I'm usually on the DIY thread - horses are a total unknown to me - but I'm here to ask you kind peeps for advice as my daughter has been offered a choice of two loan ponies and I'm not sure which is best or what we should be asking the owners ?!?!

My daughters riding history : She's been riding at a stable 5 miles away for about 4 / 5 years - she's nearly 15 and the pony she was riding the last year at the yard was 16h boy and she did jumping and hacking on him .
She's also been helping at another stables about 8 miles away with two ponies and lots of little Shetlands . She's horse mad and spends all her weekends with the horses and wants one of her own that's within walking distance of home instead of me driving her...

We have a field and stables with horses in our village and are hoping to keep a horse there after Easter/start of summer ... We have two choices at the moment :

Been offered a 4 year old 14.3h Welsh cob section d on loan who'd need to be moved from his existing home to our local field and stables. He's got to go for schooling first as he's not been ridden much all year... will be on loan with owner paying for jabs once a year ( we don't really know the owner but met her once and she seems lovely ) he's had four previous owners ?! And is currently out in field all the time with a couple of other horses.


She's been offered unlimited use of a 4 year old thoroughbred who will need to be broken but has a lovely nature comes when called been good with the farrier etc since he was 1. We saw him being born and know the owner and he's in our local field and stables already. The owner ( a friend of the family ) wants to ride him occasionally ( maybe once a month at most and probably while DD is at school anyway) but otherwise my daughter can do what ever with him.

So both are young .
Ones in the field already and knows the other horses and other riders etc
The other isn't.
One we know is good natured and intelligent.
The other we've seen for 30mins and he came when called but didn't stand still much but seems to have a lovely nature.

I really don't know what we should do! Or what I /we should be asking .

An interpretation, in my non horsey language is she's been offered a pre owned rally mini to off road in and have a laugh in.

Or a new brand new Mercedes to have fun on ?!

Is that about right ?!? That's how my daughter explained it to me !

Nb. Financially we have set aside funds for insurances .. shoes / pedicures ?!? ( that's the wrong word !). Food etc and have gone into that so know we have that covered ...

Thank you so much anyone who's happy to post a comment ! thanks

Gabilan Sat 27-Feb-16 08:57:35

Unless she's really very experienced, I wouldn't have either. At 4 they're both very young. If I had to choose I'd say the Welsh. But both those breeds can be hot although in different ways.

Does she have an instructor who can help you?

OnePlanOnHouzz Sat 27-Feb-16 09:24:51

No - sadly the stables she was with are very insular and we got the impression ( rightly or wrongly ) that they weren't that interested in much. (Except collect the fees ! ) we did ask to buy the horse she'd been loaning there, but they said he's not for sale - subsequently heard they sold him to someone else about a month ago !

The other stable with the Shetlands is run by a young lady more as a hobby she has her hands full so didn't like to ask as she always looks busy !

OnePlanOnHouzz Sat 27-Feb-16 09:26:15

Maybe I should look for an independent instructor ?!?!

Gabilan Sat 27-Feb-16 14:50:06

Have you tried your local Pony Club? They should have an experienced instructor who can help. They may also know of a good all round PC horse/ pony your DD could have a lot of fun with.

It might work with the 4 year olds but I wouldn't generally put an inexperienced pony with a first time owner.

OnePlanOnHouzz Sun 28-Feb-16 13:28:34

Thanks for your comments and ideas - I'm going to see if I can find an independent who can help and advice through pony club ! Fingers crossed we can find a good horse /pony that suits her better ! thanks

Floralnomad Sun 28-Feb-16 22:24:07

I agree with pp , neither of these very young horses sound suitable ,particularly as you are not 'horsey' and are therefore reliant on your daughters limited experience . It is very different going from riding lessons / helping out at stables to having full management and responsibility for your own horse .

britnay Mon 29-Feb-16 10:53:23

Agree with the others, neither sound suitable tbh. She certainly needs to ride it before taking it on loan. It sounds like the place where you want to keep it is just stables and paddocks, which means that she will only be able to hack. This will limit her riding considerably in the winter time. She also needs to make sure that the horse that she takes on will be 100% in traffic, so an unbacked tb would just not be right. I think that she'd be best suited to a yard which has a floodlit school and a lot of experienced liveries. Preferably an instructor on site too.

Which brings me to my next point. You say that you have money aside for insurance, shoes food... Could I be nosy and ask how much you have aside and how you came by these figures?
Have you included the actual cost of livery, the cost of services if she can't see to the horse, worm egg counts, worming, vet callouts, vaccinations, annual tooth rasping, annual back check, saddle fitting and checking, food supplements, bedding, stable yard equipment, rugs, tack, extra yard/riding clothes, lessons, registration for pony/riding club, competition entries, hire of arenas (if your yard doesn't have one), hire of trailer if you need to transport said horse (and having a suitable vehicle to pull it)...?

For example. I keep my pony at home, so have no livery feeds. he is a welshie, lives out all year round (no rugs!), doesn't wear shoes and doesn't need hard feed. We grow grow our own hay/straw. I don't compete, but have free use of local arenas and can hack to local venue.
I'm not riding at the moment due to having 2 small children, so don't need back/saddle check, lessons, registration etc.
He is very very cheap to run, and still costs me about £600-700 per year for 4xworm egg counts and associated worming, teeth rasp, annual vaccination and vet callout (all on same day and whenever vet can fit me in, so they charge less for the callout), 7xhoof trims and insurance.

britnay Mon 29-Feb-16 11:42:48

Sorry, I don't mean to sound patronizing, but horses are expensive and its better to over-budget than under-budget! Loaning is financially pretty much the same as buying, minus the initial outlay of buying the animal.

Have you thought about doing something like this course on basic horse knowledge. Suitable for new owners and non-horsey parents.

You would be most welcome on the horse and hound forum . It has a huge amount of experienced horse people who would be able to provide you with a lot of advice. There are also regional boards where you may well just find someone nearby with a suitable horse to loan.

OnePlanOnHouzz Mon 29-Feb-16 15:09:29

Hi Britnay ! Thank you for all that brill info and the links ! DH has gone through costings with a colleague who's wife runs a stables - we've budgeted in £1500 a year. And we were going to buy - so have put aside funds for that - but these two loan ponies came up so we though they may be worth considering ...

OnePlanOnHouzz Mon 29-Feb-16 15:18:19

We have a defender and can borrow friends horse box for initial transport - yes it's paddocks and stables on a large country estate . Lots of lanes around rather than mad busy roads. but that said - I see your point about horse needs to be road confident ! I am totally green when it comes to horses so value your comments - thank you all ! thanks

Floralnomad Mon 29-Feb-16 15:20:36

I don't think I've ever kept a horse for £1500 a year and I've had horses for over 30 yrs , unless you have free livery and grazing that figure seems very unrealistic - half of that could easily go on shoes alone , if you need a new rug you could easily spend over £100 , even if insured an excess for a vet will be £75+ .

AnnaBegins Mon 29-Feb-16 16:11:21

Ooh neither, not sure I'd want either of those and I've been riding 20 years! A Welsh cob (nice and hardy) a bit older and better schooled would be a good bet (4 owners in 4 years means stay away really!) I ride for a very experienced guy who would take on either of your options for fun and bring them on, when I ride the current 4 year old he's got she is still rather green, unbalanced, and really needs showing what to do, so it's not just an enjoyable ride iyswim. Also if she wants to jump, a 4yr old may not have done much yet so she'd be starting from scratch which is hard without support, horses need teaching too. I ride a 7 yr old tb cross who is coming along nicely but we're still working on jumping and it's not me doing the training as I haven't the experience!

britnay Mon 29-Feb-16 18:53:09

I'm afraid £1500 just doesn't sound like enough to keep a horse on.

here and here are a couple of threads where people say how much they spend on their horses each year. It might give you a more realistic idea of costs. Obviously these things vary considerably depending on which part of the country that you live in and you loan horse's requirements.

Gabilan Mon 29-Feb-16 19:24:41

I started to add up how much I spent on my first horse. I stopped when I realised this is why I'm still renting instead of having bought a house shock

OnePlanOnHouzz Mon 29-Feb-16 21:17:58

Rethink time me thinks !!! Thank you all for putting me straight !! blush
Slightly embarrassing that I was so out with my figures !! I did think there would be the odd extra cost to cover - but really thought we'd gone through it thoroughly - will ask DH to go through stuff again with his colleague !

britnay Tue 01-Mar-16 07:12:11

No problem smile I hope that we have been helpful and given you food for thought.
Certainly pop along to H&H forum if you want any further advice. You could probably get a lot more information as to which areas you can save money and which you can't! smile Novicey parents welcome ;)

IsItTimeForGinYet Tue 01-Mar-16 07:26:28

To give you an idea of costs...I spend £80 every 5-6 weeks on shoes - roughly £700 a year. Livery can range from nothing to £175 a week. Plus food, hay, bedding and that's only for starters.

My horse was kicked in the field by another and the vets fees are currently around £1.5k. I have insurance but that is another cost to factor in...


And when you do decide to get a horse do find someone you can trust to help. Both horses you mentioned could be fine but neither have done anything and will require consistent, knowledgeable training.

Good luck OP! They are worth it but do bring their fair share of ups and downs.

OhShutUpThomas Tue 01-Mar-16 07:44:52

Neither. Absolutely, no way, absolutely not, ever.

(I am a qualified instructor with over 20 years experience btw smile)

I have very often had parents come to me for advice on similar things. Usually the horse/pony is young, just broken, unbroken, or older but had loads of time off. Basically, it's a way for unscrupulous people to get their horses 'schooled' for free.
It NEVER ends well.

Wait and buy something suitable. Find an independent instructor/experienced person who will come and look at prospective purchases with you. You probably want something no younger than 8/9. I wouldn't set an upper age limit really.

£1500 doesn't seem much. What are the livery costs?

My horses cost me around £500 a year each but they live on our own land and don't require stabling or any extra feed - it's just feet trimmed, insurance, 2 workers a year, dentist once and a few bales of hay for if they're in for anything.

Where in the country are you? What's your budget to buy? And how big is your daughter?

OnePlanOnHouzz Tue 01-Mar-16 08:00:42

We have been told £15 a week for the paddock and if we want stables £25 a week. I guess if that's low that's why my figures added up to about £1500 a year - spoke to DH last night and he said they worked out all the bits with a contingency of an extra £500 a year - so he'd actually considered £2000 a year - we were paying £125 a month for a 'loan horse' at the stables and shoes on top but every weekend they used the 'loan horse' as a school horse - so DD didn't actually end up riding him all weekend as we'd thought - we were basically paying them to let her clean their yard !!! That's when we were told it would be same price to own / properly loan our own !

She's almost 15 and about 5'6" and rates herself as an intermediate rider ... We are in Dorset and we're looking to either loan or buy spending up to £2k on a horse

shamonts Tue 01-Mar-16 10:17:28

Oh god, neither!! TBs are hard to keep and Welsh Ds are really spooky nappy buggers (I love them and have a welsh d x though grin)

You will need transport if you keep it at home - at 15 they like riding with friends. Does the livery yard have a sand school as if you live near me in Dorset our land is solid clay and unridable in during the winter.

shamonts Tue 01-Mar-16 10:23:27

Our first pony was a complete plod that my dd grew out of within a year. He was BRILLIANT as he let us learn all about looking after a pony (400 x million times more stressful than the actual riding bit which is easy in comparison).

I spend nothing on field and stables. Approx 70 a month insurance each. 70 a month on shoes each. at the moment I am getting through a bale of hay a day between three (we don't have enough grass) a bale of hay is 4 so thats approx 10 a week for one horse. Then there's rugs, kit, tack, riding clothes back protector etc etc pony club memberships, entry for competitions.

BAsically it costs a small fortune.

Floralnomad Tue 01-Mar-16 10:26:15

Well you would need to pay for the stable all year because you may need it for weather/ illness / shows the next day etc , so £25 per week is £1300 per year so plus shoes that's your £2000 and I'm assuming the stabling doesn't include hay/ shavings/ straw so that's extra ,insurance must be £30 per month ( I've no idea our pony isn't insured) . Horses that are in work do need feed and hay at least through the Autumn / winter although I've little experience keeping anything that lives out all year as we have always stabled at night all year .I would say a minimum amount to budget would be £50 per week for anyone who doesn't own their own land and hope that you have some left at the end of the year .

nagsandovalballs Tue 01-Mar-16 11:24:36

I've been riding for 28 yrs and Compete at a high level. I avoid breaking in at all costs because even with all my experience, it is a long, often dangerous road to take and if you get it wrong you will screw the horse up long term. I do take just broken four year olds but I am, I have to say, a very good (ex pro) rider - and it is a long old road teaching babies to jump and school correctly. You need oodles of experience about developing straightness, connectivity/contact, working from the hind and across the back, developing their coordination and athleticism. You also need access to facilities for young horses, at least a school, which means the cost of more expensive livery or hiring a school regularly, which you wouldn't if you had an older, established native breed or similar, who you could just bomb around on in the field.

It also costs between £4k-10k to keep a horse per year, depending on ltype of livery, bedding, farriery, insurance, feed, tack, competitions, vet costs (annual jabs, worming etc - plus injuries and illness).

OnePlanOnHouzz Tue 01-Mar-16 13:42:45

Omg ! £4K to £10k ! That's indulging a teenager a bit too much !! Yes I love her to bits - but that's just not happening - I don't even spend that on my own hobbies ! No wonder people loan ponies to others !! shock

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