Ideas on pony type/hh for 2 nearly 5yr olds?(23 Posts)
Hi, looking for advice for pony type/size for nearly 5yr old twins, one a very very keen rider the other still building initial confidence.
We have lambs currently but have decided when this years go we will source a pony for the nippers in that stable/field from next spring ideally.
I kniw shetland can be fiesty/stubborn/opinionated so maybe somethibf other that is more placid, steady, bombproof..? Any advice gratefully received!
Also what sort of height should we aim for.. we initially thght rhe smaller the better but im guessing we'd want until 1or the other outgrow?
Welsh section A, as small as possible but temperament is absolutely critical. You don’t want to put them off 😏
Shetland. All the way.
We learned on a Shetland, in fact I think we taught each other. He was bombproof. We used to make go-karts for him to tow along, pretend we were stunt riders and took the 'riding without a saddle or bridle like Black Beauty' a little too literally...
Yes he was stubborn at times, and cheeky, but we loved him for 30 years
I agree with Welsh Section A. Gorgeous little things, and generally sweet temperament. They can be as small as 11hh I believe, which I would think is as big as you'd want for 5 year old.
I have got a delightful Shetland - defies the stereotypes- I think because she has always been treated like an equine.
9.5 hands, bought when DD was two. Have you got other horses at home?
I had a welsh section A from from when I was 3 till 11 years old. She was 11.2hh. She was only 3 when I got her so only just broken, I'd suggest getting something a little older 5+, thats nice and quiet to build confidence. Have you got any friends with horses that can keep an eye out for you? I find all the good ones are sold through word of mouth.
I would suggest not getting any fixed idea about breed/height/age of pony. The thing that matters above all else is that it has a lovely temperament/manners. Make the most of your local contacts, get recommendations etc. Good luck with your search!
Might be worth connecting with your local Pony Club. Although they can be very, very sought after, there are often first ponies that are passed from family to family and will have a solid CV behind them so you know what you're getting.
Thx all, we rent the other stables/fields out to horse owners & ive asked both ladies to keep an ear out for anything suitable. So our pony would be in adjacent fields to them but not in their fields directly. Im guessinf word of mouth is going to be best to get complete break down of character/traits etc. Its just despite im out of practice witb horses.. remember the basics from having one as a child on the farm, Chance's stable used to be my now kitchen but
Ive no immediate trusted contacts who are in the horsey world!
Welsh Section A would be our recommendation. Not a fan of Shetlands at all and I think Dartmoors - although lovely ponies - are better as 2nd ponies.
You'd be looking at something from 11.2 to 12 hands..
At that age you'd be going for a pony which goes well on the leading rein but ideally has scope and enthusiasm (not all have!) to go off the lead rein when they are ready..
Ignore height and breed and go for something whose CV you know, older first ridden ponies are usually passed round loan homes teaching many children and that's what you want to keep an ear out for. Ignore flashy looks and go for safe and scruffy! Ask your local PC DC to keep an ear out.
Going to agree with everyone who says go for a nice personality and good temperament rather than a particular breed. I love my Welsh As and my sister loves her Shetlands, but in all honesty we just have nice ponies and would be happy with them whatever breed they were.
I would stick with 11.2-12hh though, don't go any bigger. At the age your's are you will need to be able to run beside them and possibly hold them while they learn to trot and do little jumps, and the bigger a pony is the more difficult holding on to the child becomes and the bigger a pony's stride will be i.e. you will have to run very much faster!
My kids are 10 and 7, and both are tall and slim for their age. The younger is very happy with an 11.2hh and will be for another year or two yet. The older is just being prised reluctantly off a 12hh as her legs are practically dragging along the ground - she is in no way too heavy for the pony though and if I were feeling mean to the child I could have kept her on him for another year!
Width is just as important as height in the tinies. You don't want something so wide they have to ride while doing the splits.
Your local pony club can probably direct you to suitable ponies.
Width - depends on the child. My older one couldn't cope with the narrow little Welsh b I got her, said she felt too wobbly on him. She much prefers a solid flat backed barrel of a pony. You can't tell what is too wide or too narrow till they are on though.
I learned to ride on a little 12hh Highland. Absolute madam on the ground, but very safe!
My little girl started off with a 10hh Shetland when she was 4. Despite his height being perfect he was so round and his little legs were so short that in hindsight he was actually very difficult for her to ride. I also think that sometimes the really tiny ponies have not actually been properly backed or worked correctly so it's difficult to teach your kids how to ride them 'properly' as the pony doesn't really understand what they should be doing. We ended up loaning my little girl a 13.1hh New Forest for a few months and found that her riding came on in leaps and bounds so we took the plunge earlier this year and bought a 14.1 for us to both share. She has just turned 6 and although she is obviously quite small on him she rides him brilliantly and is very confident and happy. I think that as long as the pony is safe and sane then it doesn't really matter how big it is. Good luck!
Urm do you have horses already? May I just point out that horses are herd animals and should not ever be kept on their own. They should always be able to see, hear and ideally touch another horse. Anything less is not providing them with appropriate care. Other species including donkeys do not make adequate company.
Mine started on a very small Shetland , who was lovely but prone to illness and then moved on to a 11.1hh Dartmoor x and I think the x is some kind of Tasmanian devil . She was quite unfit when we got her although was being ridden by children but as soon as we got her a bit fitter she found a right attitude . She threw my very competent 6yo ( had been riding from 18months ) over a fence out of the sandschool partially degloving his hand/ arm , dislocated my elbow and terrorised my smaller child on a lead rein . Both my dc decided riding wasn't for them and she's been retired for 18 yrs . I would join a good local pony club and see if you can get something suitable through word of mouth , even if it's on loan .
I don't think the breed matters, I think that knowing where the pony comes from is far more important. Get in with the local pony club people and find a family growing out of their 'first' pony. Whilst breeds do have characteristics, each pony is an individual and we could all say buy a New Forest/Welsh A/Highland/Shetland/Dartmoor & that particular one will be possessed by the devil!
If you buy locally, then you are more likely to get a sensible description, as local folk know that they'll keep bumping into you and will be less likely to want a reputation for having sold you a monster. You'll also get recommendations for local farriers, tack shops, feed sales etc.
If I were you I would look at getting a loan of a pony for now. Doesn't matter what breed. But buying something to suit 5 year olds can be tricky because A. They might decide they aren't that interested and B. When the pony is outgrown you either end up selling it on and having lots of tears or keeping it forevermore and having a very expensive field ornament.
Loan ponies for small dcs are common. The good ones go from 1 child to another and either retire with one of their dcs or go back to their owners.
I did buy for dd. And ended up keeping 2 small ponies because I am shit at selling. Have still got one which ds has inherited but we had the other pts this summer due to health and age issues. She ended up costing more in vets bills for the last 12 months of her life than both the other (younger) ponies have ever cost. Which I don't mind but wouldn't do it again.
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