First pony advice(13 Posts)
My dd (nearly 7) has been riding for about 18 months, and just absolutely loves it. She loves the riding, but she really loves the stable management stuff too.
All she wants in the world is her own pony!
Now, I definitely can't stretch to her own pony, but I'm wondering about a pony share? Do people often do this with children's ponies?
The main problem I worry about is that I've never been horsey myself, although I'm doing my best to learn now, and feel confident in my ability to learn.
Her riding school don't really have pony shares available, although she can work for free rides when she's ten (her fondest wish!)
Any ideas on how to meet her pony desires until then?
Any number of people will be along with more experience and better advice, but I would suggest if anything leasing a pony from wherever she currently rides. See if they do it, what the rates are and what you would be responsible for. Where I ride the cost is equivalent to two lessons a week, and you wouldn't have all the responsibilities and costs of ownership. You can probably find guidance on-line or horse/pony magazines will do a feature every now and then about all the costs you need to think about and what you need to consider.
Re:sharing it very much depends how much the owner is willing to share and what you would be liable for. The tales I have read on here of adults having second thoughts are on thing, an adult can make a rational decision that it's not working out, bit harder to get out of the deal once your DD has fallen in love with pony in question and told all her friends.
People do pony share. Keeping ponies fit and ridden regularly is hard work if it's only your own kids doing it. I have had a variety of other kids over the years who come and ride a couple of times a week and muck out as payment. I never ask for any money. My current 'other kids' come one mid week evening a week and most weekends for a ride. Their mum does a big muck out of the stables on a weekend and we are all happy with the set up. Ponies are fitter, all kids get to ride when they want. I've got most of my kids by word of mouth, children of friends and the like, but the latest little girl's mum put an advert on the local riders' FB page and I answered it. She'd only intended to find a pony for her daughter but was delighted to find I had another one her son could ride too.
There are lots of little ponies out there that could certainly use a bit more riding than they usually get! FB rider groups is where I would start.
Ooh, backinthebox, that's exactly the sort of thing I'd be looking for! Maybe I'll try fb, now you've given me hope that what I need actually exists.. you're not near me, are you? ;-)
Do you have an instructor that you trust, who knows your child’s ability who you could take to look at any shares. The thing that I think is key is making sure the “match” is right......
But a share is a great idea - if you can find the right match- and it’s at a cost you can cope with. I would think you are going to need a supportive yard, or the owners to be really supportive in helping you to get up to speed - as you will need to do a lot yourself and support your daughter in making sure it works well. That’s the tricky thing- I wouldn’t have a huge amount of time to help if someone shared one of our ponies ...... if I was there I would be more than happy to help - but on a sharers day - I probably wouldn’t be there....
Yes, as Mrslaughan says, the right pony for the right child (and vice versa) is important. My current 2 ponies are both dobbins (but we love them!) that even a beginner would be hard pushed to have a problem with. A previous pony we’ve recently sold needed either a capable rider or a capable leader for a child on a lead rein, I wouldn’t have let him go out with an inexperienced adult. I’m fully ‘kidded up’ atm so couldn’t fit you in even if you were close. But I wouldn’t be put off by inexperience - as long as you have enthusiasm and commitment everyone has to start somewhere, and most people can be taught. The thing I have found with some inexperienced helpers in the past is that they are not quite aware of how much of a commitment a pony is - I’ve had people tell me they don’t want to come in the winter as it gets dark soon after school and will only be able to ride for half an hour midweek son they would rather not come at all until spring comes around again - well, thats part of it all. A pony needs looking after even more if anything in the winter. It’s a good opportunity to get up to speed in grooming and yard skills, and time to get to know a pony. As long as you are aware that it is less fun and harder work when it’s dark and cold, and you are still prepared to muck in, lack of experience will soon be irrelevant! My parents knew nothing at all when we got our first pony. They soon learned.
I don't know the Hickstead area well, but in my area we have a 'Horses and ponies for sale/loan/share' Facebook group which is where I found my latest pony helper. A very quick look brings up Sussex Horse Market, there is a pony advertised on 9th Nov there as being for share, suitable for a child and in the Hickstead area. While it may not be the pony for you, it shows that they are out there. There is nothing to stop you placing your own ad and being very specific about your and your daughter's experience levels.
I've found one! Thank you all for your support.
Now to plan the big Christmas reveal....😆
Just to say thank you to all who gave me advice here... one month on, it's all going really well! The people on the yard are so lovely to my little rider, and super patient with my novice self. She's blossoming at being given the responsibility of being 'in charge' of her own pony. I'm loving seeing her self confidence grow, and the pony''s a cutie too!
Pony looks lovely! Very jealous. glad it's going well. Always nice to have an update, even better with a photo.
What a lovely update! keep enjoying and your daughter will never have a wasted moment when with a pony x
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