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Novice riders and loaning a pony

12 replies

tametortie · 30/04/2011 18:20

This is purely for information but am wondering what the set up is with loaning a pony?

My 8 year old DD has just started lessons and LOVES it and I am thinking of having some lessons too. The very obvious conversation of " mum can I have a pony?" has come up a few times already Smile and the answer has to be no- we do not have the funds or time to own a pony but someone I know loans a pony and it's hers to ride 2-3 times a week. She pays a small fee towards stabling and she mucks it out as well.

Is it really that simple?? Do people loan out to beginners or small children?? Or am I in cloud cuckoo land?? Sounds too good to be true [ hmm]

OP posts:
careergirl · 30/04/2011 19:53

Some riding schools have this arrangement. Effectively its more a lease than a loan and while you get the pony for a certain time during the week other children will be riding at other times.
Loaning is like owning and the pony is "yours" full on. At your child's age unfortunately the responsiblity and expense for the poy will fall to you
I think she needs more lessons, more time as so often children start off a hobby and gradually lose interest as time goes on.
The lease agreement may be an idea as she gets a bit more experience.

jade80 · 30/04/2011 20:04

Lots of people have ponies they don't want to part with totally,but that need a rider. Can be all sorts of reasons- waiting for a younger sibling to be old enough to take the ride, a teenager busy with exams. Also some yards do leases as mentioned. I've got a pony I don't have a rider for, but don't want to part with him, so he's on loan until they have outgrown him or I need him back. Good for them and good for me- he's fussed over, ridden and out winning at shows rather than being bored doing nothing.

tametortie · 30/04/2011 21:00

So do the people loaning the horse out keep him/her at their stables? And you are just able to visit the horse on pre arranged days?

My friend pays £20 a week and goes to the stables where her horse is, has 2 nights a week riding him and one day at the weekend but she has to muck him out on this day as well- does this sound like a typical loaning arrangement?

It sounds like a really good arrangement but DD will definitely be having lots more lessons and I may have a few as well. I really just wanted an idea of what options were available for the future. She loves the lessons she is having already and she is very good at it, but am well aware- kids get bored!!!!

OP posts:
Mousesmummy · 01/05/2011 01:11

My dd had lessons for 3 years to begin with. After that we had a 'lease' at her riding school. We paid a fixed fee per month and we could 'book' the pony out for up to 3 hours a day, every day. If we wanted to muck out, groom, ride etc during those hours we could. If we didn't want to go for a couple of days or more we didn't have to. In reality we could spend longer than 3 hours there but only if the pony wasn't being used for lessons then. It worked out perfectly for us as dd got the opportunity to be involved with ponies far more than just having a lesson once a week, we got her her own grooming kit etc etc but ultimately none of the actual responsibility for the pony.
After a year like this when we knew dd was committed and passionate we loaned a pony. So for this we paid no money for the pony but took over all the day to day care of the pony. She moved from Lancashire to Cheshire (we had to get stables, transport etc) Apart from the insurance which the loaner kept up we took over all financial responsibility for the pony too. Basically we didn't get pony's passport!
Then after a 3 month trial period to ensure both we, loaner and pony were happy we bought her.

This has worked out very well for us as it ensured dd and I were both committed to it and could actually find the time to take on such a big responsibility. Baby steps and all that . . .

If I were you I would try to find a similar lease situation to begin with as it meant for us that there was always someone knowledgeable to hand to ask endless questions to Smile Our stables were great and very supportive of dd as they knew she had been there for years having lessons.

Good luck whatever you do

PaulaMummyKnowsBest · 01/05/2011 14:07

my DD had only been riding for about a year before we decided to get her a pony on full loan.

They are at a show right now (I had to leave early to pick up my DS2).

My dd loves the pony to pieces and is comeing on so well. She rides 3 - 4 times a week but obviously has to go to the pony everyday to look after hr, feed her, check her over etc.

I say go for it!

The only downside is (if you're like me), is that I now want a horse for me too

Saggyoldclothcatpuss · 03/05/2011 11:10

Do what we did, and what your friend is doing. Find a pony locally who will stay at it's current home. The owner will give you support, teach you how to look after the pony, and you will get the experience you need to go it alone. My friend is lovely, a trained instructor as well. She has taught us tonnes. Even how to barefoot trim my own pony! I've learned basic equine first aid, plenty about feeding, and also pasture management. DD has helped her break youngsters, school, and done amazing things.
Her philosophy is to keep the loan at her place until horse and rider have bonded and know each other inside out, then sell and/or move out if they want to. That way, the pony only changes rider or home, not both at once, and the rider learns all they need to know.
My advice is find something similar and join up! Confused

Saggyoldclothcatpuss · 03/05/2011 11:13

P.s. We started with my friend on a £20 per week for a couple of visits basis, we now have 3 ponies and a foal due! Grin

tametortie · 03/05/2011 19:11

Sounds ideal, have had a look out for horses in the local area, just to get an idea of what is about and they all say no novice riders Sad Seems like a common theme.

Will just have to have lots of lessons so we are not novices anymore!!!!


OP posts:
Saggyoldclothcatpuss · 03/05/2011 22:24

How about placing your own add for a share. You could specify that you want to learn.

sprinkles77 · 11/05/2011 15:06

I did a share. Horse was on full livery in the week, and DIY at weekend. I had 2 week days and one weekend day where I mucked out, made feeds etc. I could have used a freelance instructor for lessons if I'd wanted. If you're both riding, consider a pony you can both ride, a fairly cobby pony of 13 hh may be good for both of you if you are reasonably light (I'm 5 ft 2 and 9 stone and used to ride a quite light built 13hh pony). Please get a contract signed though, with days and times agreed, responsibilities and costs. Also make sure you have appropriate insurance.

Mirage · 11/05/2011 20:37

We are looking for a loan pony ATM.We've only seen one so far,and sadly someone else got in first,but the dds being novices wasn't a problem.What did impress the loaners was,being a Pony Club member.That way they were reassured that the dds had gotten the right training in horse care ect.We don't have a pony yet,so the dds are members through their riding school and do pony days there as well as lessons.

Good luck finding a loan pony.I've rung every horsy person I know and put up wanted signs on equestrian store noticeboards over the past few days.

Booboostoo · 12/05/2011 21:36

There are two main options, but for both you should cover yourself by having a written agreement with the owner stating exactly what you are responsible for and what you can do with the horse including a notice period for returning the horse (the BHS has very good sample agreements which you can adjust to your needs), and you should consider rider's insurance and make sure the horse has at least third party liability insurance (insurance for vets fees is highly advisable):

Share: you basically share the horse with one or more other people, usually one of which is the owner. Some owners expect a financial contribution, others are happy with allowing you to ride in exchange for mucking out, and other stable duties. It is a good idea to clarify exactly how often you can ride the pony and on which days. The advantages of sharing is that you don't have to take full, every day responsibility for a pony and you have other people exercising it as well. The disadvantages are that you have to share and can't do your own thing when you want to.

Loan: you take full responsibility for the pony and its costs. This may be at the owner's yard or you may be allowed to move the pony to a yard of your choice. The advantage of loaning over buying is that you can return the pony is it proves unsuitable, is outgrown or your daughter is no longer interested. The disadvantage is that the owner can take the pony back at any time which can be heartbreaking and you may also have spent a lot of time and money improving the pony only to lose it.

The main things to look out for with both sharing and loaning are:

  • most owners will expect you to cope on your own. They may help you out initially but they will usually expect you to muck out, handle, exercise, etc. on your own. This is a tough ask for the novice rider and when it comes to young children most of the work will need to be done by their parents. You may well find you need to take stable lessons yourself.
  • more importantly your daughter will have to ride the pony unsupervised and outside a RS environment. With a novice rider this can lead to quite a lot of problems, so make sure she is quite experienced before you go down this route (2-3 years of regular riding and stable lessons).
  • you will be expected to look after the pony all year round, even when it's too wet, too cold or too dark to ride. You will also have to look after the pony at times when it can't be ridden when it's sick or lame, etc., although of course you can terminate the share/loan.
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