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Who - if anyone - rides your horse while you are pregnant?

(9 Posts)
Southwestwhippet Sat 15-Aug-09 09:13:37

I'm going to keep riding as long as I feel safe but my pony is sharp and can spook/whip round so there is going to come a point where I don't feel my balance is up to it.

I really don't want to give him the winter off because he is a fattie Haflinger and I need to try and keep the weight off him. Apart from anything else, fat ponies are an afront to my eyes wink. Plus we are at a real break through with his training where I can hack him on a long rein and he has start to stretch into a true outline in the school.. I don't want to lose all my hard work.

I'm thinking of finding someone to ride him for me but being a small, fat sharp pony, I don't know how easy this will be. He is also a S.O.B. to catch if he doesn't know you and I am a bit possessive of how he is ridden - I don't like people riding off the hand because it makes him tanky so I would need a good rider with a balanced independant seat... and these are not very easy to find these days.

What did you guys do when you had to stop riding? I'm just tossing ideas around at the moment so any contributions welcome.


ohnelly Sat 15-Aug-09 19:30:07

Hi are there any colleges in your area you could loan him to for students to ride? You could say you dont want beginners on him obviously. I worked on a yard where we trained BHS students and had a few horses while owners where pregnant. It probably isnt Ideal for you but may be better than giving him the time off completely. What bit does he go in? You could have something different for them if your worried about them pulling his mouth & put a martingale or something on him?

horseymum Tue 18-Aug-09 20:32:24

Put up an ad in a tack shop? Ask around at local Pony Clubs? There might be a mum with a field who could take him for a few months who would enjoy having their own project to work on. I wouldn't say there are no riders up to a pony like that, I would enjoy something like that to ride as while I am not a fan of spooky, flighty thoroughbreds I am well up to coping with spiritedness/naughtiness in a pony or cob type and would enjoy schooling something that had a bit of potential. It might be good to build up a relationship with someone who might want to help you after the birth as well as the time just seems to disappear. There are probably lots of mums around who would love to have a horse for a while without the full-on commitment. (I do not have the time myself, but someone with kids at school or similar??)I am guessing a college might not take something spooky as they are all pretty risk-averse now. I was lucky that my horse was on working livery anyway, so she just got an extra person to give her a bit of tlc. I actually enjoyed watching others ride my horse, i was quite used to it anyway though, and was quite proud when she went well for them.

skihorse Wed 19-Aug-09 10:24:59

Haffies may be short but they're built like warriors!

I sold my Haffie a couple of years ago and although he was only 13.3hh he was built like a tank and my 5'10" leggy pal looked "fine" on him and he took a 54" girth! He could carry 16 stone easily.

Don't underestimate who you can put on him just because he's "short".

Southwestwhippet Wed 19-Aug-09 12:10:11

thanks, I know he'll take the weight... he's not like a regular haffie though. Most of the ones I've come across (my old boss used to import them) are very tough, strong minded, independant ponies. Mine on the other hand is a sensitive little mummy's boy who only wants to please, but panics if he thinks he is getting it wrong. He's not a 'stocky' as some haffie's either. I'm 5'6 and he's 14hh but he easily takes up my leg though.

I guess I am just being fussy, I'm a riding instructor and I see a lot of people who 'think' they can ride but actually just grip with the knee and balance off the horse's mouth (sorry this sounds bitchy, but it is part of the job). I guess it has made me paranoid that most riders are like this which is totally stupid grin

He has got a lot of potential, he has gorgeous paces and a fab jump - he is just trixsy. If someone wanted to SJ/XC him they would have an amazing time! Contacting the pony club is a good idea, I can see a confident young rider having great fun on him.

skihorse Wed 19-Aug-09 12:53:22

No, I don't think it's bitchy - I think it's a change in society where every muppet out there thinks they're brilliant at everything. sigh

I think the Pony Club is a great idea because of course they'll be supervised - no hanging off the mouth allowed there! Teenagers don't cry when they fall off and seem to have gritty determination.

My haffie was a little bastard - I love riding him but couldn't deal with him on the ground. I was the evil lady who took him away from his mummy and less than a week after I had him he put me on the floor and stamped on me! shock I never turned my back on him again - and yet to ride he was a dream. I sold him to a riding school where he was assigned two little girls to look after him. I'd warned the owner that he could be a little shit but I moved my other horse there as livery and I'd see the girls wondering off down the road leading him in a headcollar and he'd just lope along behind them. Yet the minute I approached he'd bare his teeth... He did not like me little furry yellow monsta!

skihorse Wed 19-Aug-09 12:55:02

I meant to add - he was a cracking little jumper too and SO honest - he would never, ever refuse or duck out the side. A little horror for bucking though and got all my friends off... once we were cantering up the ski slopes (in summer obviously) and he bucked my best friend off... she broke her wrist coming off and at the same time the little git trod on his bridle and broke it. So there I was, 2 horses - one with no bridle, a mile from home, on a hill, with a wailing girl. hmm

Southwestwhippet Fri 21-Aug-09 22:36:44

LOL Skihorse - your Haffie sounds very familiar. They can be little S.O.Bs. I knew one in the riding school and he was incredibly tallented, would work in a beautiful outline, lateral work etc... but put a novice on him and he would trot round innocent as you please, wait until he was at the opposite end of the school, look the instructor straight in the eye, turn into the middle and calmly and professionally dump his rider over his shoulder. I swear he would then start laughing. grin I remember one day teaching a ride and hearing hysterical laughter from behind me. Turned round to see that he had trotted past my coat, which was hung up on the side of the school, grabbed it in his teeth and was waving it up and down like a flag as he carried on round.

He was also vile to handle, only staff were allowed to do anything with him on the ground. In fact, we had two or three haffies that only staff were allowed to handle.

This said, my Haffie is something of an exception to the breed as he is a total pansy and far too nervy to be bolshy. He has also never bucked [faints in shock]. He is the first Haffie I've ever met who doesn't buck LOL.

What sort of horse do you have now?

skihorse Sat 22-Aug-09 08:31:04

I hadn't known that they had reputations for being "difficult"!

I have a warmblood now - well actually I had her before the haffie - but I lost my confidence riding and I bought the haffie because I knew that whatever he threw at me I'd be able to handle. I got my confidence back and so he served his purpose.

Apparently he's really good with beginners and children. It's people who know what they're doing he'll take the piss with. I nearly burst with pride the first time I saw someone take a dressage test with him and he didn't buck haha!

He's proved very valuable in the riding school because he's strong enough to put adults on - but not freakily tall - so anyone who's a little bit nervous feels "safe". He's also utterly bombproof on a hack which is great AND they use him for "my first jumping lesson". Bless the little shit. wink

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