My feed

to access all these features

Discuss horse riding and ownership on our Horse forum.

The tack room

phoning up about a pony tomorrow....

32 replies

ThatVikRinA22 · 21/03/2014 00:01

friend put a link on my fb....palamino gelding, 14hh, 18 years, athritis in one hock so on daily bute but still very active, evening, jumping, dressage out during day, stabled at night in the cold.

he is clearly very much loved childs first pony - if i get him he would be with me for his ever....whenever that may be.
i am very much a learner. i want to learn more, i want to do more cantering and a bit of jumping if he is up for that, and really just joyful meanders out in the countryside. He is getting on a bit but still active so i figure he might like what i have planned....

ive found a livery close by - DIY £40 a week includes bedding and hay.

what else do i need to think about money wise.
he is beautiful. looks in super condition, recent pics of him eventing and in the dressage ring...

now i couldnt take him to those places but im sure he would have a relaxed retirement with some fun thrown in with me.
i cant ride well but i blamme the instructor....wont let me off lunge and just wont take the tiniest risk so looking for new instructor and new yard anyway....

would a palamino of 14hh take a 10 1/2 stone woman?
whadya think?
meant to be arranging to go see him....

so £40 a week livery/hay/straw
presume hard feed on top but he lives out in summer...
shoes? how much££ much - bute? daily?
teeth....what can this cost?

worming and vacs - he is all up to date. hou much to keep him that way?

im doing the sums - i need to ensure i can affford him and can do right by him.

he is only £500 due to his age....

OP posts:
ThatVikRinA22 · 21/03/2014 00:29

are they going to expect a competent rider to part with him? i can do stable management better than riding has been held back terribly - and my confidence eroded.
i used to ride, canter, jump. ive been scared to even trot and be judged....i havent ridden like that for 30 odd years so will need some lessons to get back into it. my current instructor has set me back - she is so risk averse she panics and wont let me off the lunge. im leanring nothing and we spend most of the lesson just gossiping....

but im committed and i want my own pony. i have a stable home to offer and a forever home at that. i would never sell on an elderly pony....i would rather have a pet until that time its not fair for them to carry on....all my animals are for life.

does/would my inexperience put you off? im keen and willing to learn, stable management - no problem. grooming and care - no problem. feed - no problem. i like quality and all my pets get the best of everything.
but im a poor rider. i want to improve. i will continue lessons with the livery yard he is at - i wouldnt even move him. id keep him at his current yard,
would this put you off me? i dont want to ring and waste my time....

OP posts:
Pixel · 21/03/2014 01:34

Ooh lots of questions there! And not all easy to answer as there is a lot of guesswork until you've actually seen and ridden him and spoken to the owners. you've said he's 'active' but what does that mean? If it just means he's still taking part in lots of activities with no problems and enjoying his work that's fine, but if it means he's very forward-going he could dent your confidence very quickly. (If you have a photo of him being ridden have a look at his tack, that will give you a clue). If he's competing I imagine he's quite an energetic ride, not to mention sensitive if he's doing dressage, which could put you off but could be fine if he's got manners. It really depends on his temperament whether he would be good to teach someone who is learning (a schoolmaster) or whether he will be upset by that (some just don't like people fiddling about). You will have to ask the owners which sort he is. The thing is, just because he has been a child's pony doesn't necessarily mean he is an easy ride. He might have been bumbling around looking after his tiny rider but plenty of children and teenagers prefer a pony that bombs around and has a bit of zip since they apparently have no fear! .

I think you should ring up and find out. If the owners are looking for someone with more riding experience they can tell you so you won't be wasting their time. If he is a nice sensible pony then you could be offering just the sort of home they want for him (I love that you have a 'stable' home to offer ha ha). Does the friend who put the link for you actually know the pony and think it could be suitable for you, or has she just seen an ad and passed it on because the price is good?

Booboostoo · 21/03/2014 09:11

If I didn't know that you were a regular poster I would just have assumed this was a troll post.

So what you are saying is that you have never been off the lunge but want to buy a competition pony? In a nutshell, you will die or get very seriously injured.

Butkin · 21/03/2014 09:55

Why have you set your mind on this pony? Doesn't seem ideal for what you want. People put FB links up to people every day but that doesn't necessarily mean they think the animals are suitable for you (just that you may know somebody...).

I would start off by having lots of discussions with his current owner and be honest about your status and aims. Then if you want to progress go for some rides on it to see if you're comfortable on him (he does sound a bit small and goey - more of a teenagers ride).

If you're still keen you must get it vetted. Forget the fact that it's only 500 pounds the expense of owning horses is rarely the purchase price - it is always the keep costs. Therefore you need to know what you're getting yourself into - particularly with that hock issue. Your vet will advise you cost of bute which will not be cheap at all even if the vet wlll let you buy it in bulk. You'll also have to factor In that if he does need bute daily then you'll need to be feeding him something which may not always be convenient.

You also need to be looking at websites (Horsequest etc) to see what else is on the market that may suit you. You'll need to try a few out to make sure you're happy with any purchase.

NigellasDealer · 21/03/2014 10:01

vicar i would not recommend it tbh if you have never been off the lunge.
also if they want £500 for it, ask them to loan it to you, people are literally giving away horses atm, or turning them loose on common land, because they are so damned expensive to keep.
also no offence but it does sound as though you have a general lack of knowledge - have you thought about doing a horse owners cert at a local riding school?
why would the horse need bute?
have you thought about getting some better lessons?
i am sure the perfect horse will come along for you but i am not convinced this is the one.
some ponies that size would have no problem with your weight, others would find it too much.

NigellasDealer · 21/03/2014 10:02

oh right sorry i see why he needs bute.
i would not take a horse on that would have to be kept going with painkillers.

Mitchy1nge · 21/03/2014 10:12

what everyone else has already said really

can't you do some sort of part loan/share thing and have some lessons with a normal riding instructor? there are plenty of peripatetic teachers who will come to any yard

Mitchy1nge · 21/03/2014 10:27

it is a bit unfair to say it's the instructor holding you back, for whatever reason it's your choice to keep going back there rather than exploring the alternatives - this has been going on for ages

Some people might respond to an ad in the tack shop offering to muck out, turn out/bring in whatever in exchange for a bit of riding. Think you might have to put yourself out there a bit, there are private yards everywhere.

Littlebigbum · 21/03/2014 12:18

Vicar I know it seems very exciting but No just No.
The thing about a pony on daily bute is you have to use hard feed, then you need to keep the weight off. It is very sad to watch just hard to do starvation paddocks and it is just yuck. Also vets only put ponies on bute as a last result it is a road to the end.
Do speak to owner and see/ride him but don't get to excited don't take your cheque book.
Still vote for riding hol/ hacks on hols.
14 hands sounds just right and £500 is not that cheap.

Mirage · 21/03/2014 13:07

Personally,I couldn't buy a ridden pony that relied on pain killers to allow it to be ridden,that is just cruel to me.Giving an existing pony bute to keep them comfortable is fine,but knowingly buying a pony that is in pain and expecting to ride it is just shocking!

It is the same age as DD1's [10] pony,and an inch shorter,we got ours on loan because I wouldn't buy a pony that age,[and ours has melanomas],not when people can't give them away.Ours is not a novice ride,he is a lovely calm hack,but jumping he gets very excited and can just tank-now he isn't a competition pony ,so the one you are talking about could be far more excitable/fast/strong than our lovely boy.It has taken DD1,who has ridden for 7 years and is quite competent,a few months to get to the stage where this doesn't bother her,and she sits back and circles him until he calms down.No way would I let a novice ride him though,it would be an accident waiting to happen.

Sorry if it isn't what you want to hear.

bonzo77 · 21/03/2014 14:47

I'd wait a bit. Find a riding school who trusts their horses and get off the lunge. Hack out. Then see if you can get a part loan on a school horse.

The pony you've looked at sounds far off from a child's first pony, more like a second or third. With your current level of expertise and confidence, I think you'd find yourself over horsed and not comfortable. I'd be worried about the long term need for bute. The age and size are not the issue. When the time comes I'd go for a horse that's labelled a "school master / mistress".

Butkin · 21/03/2014 14:59

The more I think about this the more worried about this hock issue. As Mirage says we'd only give Bute as a last resort and on specific veterinary advice. Most times our vet won't even prescribe Bute because it can hide more serious issues ie if a horse is lame it may not be on Bute and this can mean they are ridden when they shouldn't be. Bute is a pain killer for emergencies not a therapy.

ThatVikRinA22 · 21/03/2014 15:32

ok thanks - he is an ex bsja champion - apparently on bute to keep stiffness at bay....? just spoken to horse therapist who knows him - she says he is not a kick along but is very steady and thinks for you...sorts things out if you are not experienced.

not a troll. (thanks)

been told time and again to just go for it on here so conflicting messages. There are 2 women at current instructors yard with own horses who instructor wont allow to hack or come off lunge. She is just completely risk averse.

i would change instructor anyway. I have not been there since october last year. ive just had major surgery so not been anywhere for 10 weeks. am looking for alternative schooling.

i am not intending to kill myself, or any horse i get. I used to ride, canter and jump but not done for years - i felt i would be better just getting my own to do my own thing with - i could practice daily and take lessons from the instructor and therapist i just spoke to who lives on the next yard. (but you need your own horse with her)

will think about it. had reservations about the age of him slightly anyway given that he is 18. The bute thing did put me off but i thought i might just go and look, though apparently there are 2 already going to see him tomorrow.

not sure what to do now. but thanks for the input. I cannot see the problem with getting my own provided i chose a yard with help on hand and continue lessons. What would the problem with this be?

OP posts:
ThatVikRinA22 · 21/03/2014 15:40

and he IS a child's first pony. his current owner is 10.

OP posts:
NigellasDealer · 21/03/2014 15:44

might not be the one for you vicar.
if the child is 10 and the pony is 14hh why are they getting rid?
i do not know what part of the country you are in, but honestly round ere i have been offered several free horses in the last few months.

NigellasDealer · 21/03/2014 15:46

and yes i agree getting your own sounds a great idea if you have the support from the yard in general and lessons.

Butkin · 21/03/2014 15:57

Absolutely think it is a good idea that you get your own horse (or share) but just giving you advice based on what you've told us about this particular animal. Also think it's great that you're considering different yards and options.

Like Nigellas says why would a 10yo be selling a 14 hander? That is big for 10 yo (we've just bought a 13 hander for our 11yo who is above average size). I can't believe a 10yo would be buying a bigger one.

Phenylbutazone (Bute) is an anti-inflammatory given for short term relief of pain or fever. Bit like a human taking Ibuprofen, but not usually recommended for any length of time.

Certainly try this pony out and if you like him perhaps offer to trial him or loan him prior to purchase? Definitely get him independently vetted.

ThatVikRinA22 · 21/03/2014 16:01

sorry she is 14 not 10....just asked. they thought he would csrry me no probs but already 2 going to see him tomorrow. instructor/therapist at yard he is at said 14yr old looks big on him. link was sent by horse owning pal, not just a random ad. I do however have reservations about his age and the hock. why is no one offering me a free pony! !? Sad

OP posts:
FannyPriceless · 21/03/2014 16:06

I totally support you getting your own horse, it's a brilliant idea. :) But I don't think this sounds like the right horse, and I don't think it sounds like you're quite ready yet. Not getting off the lunge worries me.

I bought a horse 6 years ago after a 15 year break. One thing they don't tell you is that there is a real difference between riding at a riding school and riding your own horse at home. I don't know why this is, but things that you are confident doing at a riding school just seem harder at home, and you can so easily lose your confidence very badly, very quickly.

The riding you are currently doing has not prepared you for this. That instructor sounds atrocious. And you will need a much higher level of confidence and competence before bringing a horse home.

If I were you I would write a list of "getting ready for buying a horse" tasks. Getting a new riding school would be at the top of my list! You want to get out there and go for hacks, because that's what you do 90% of the time with your own horse.

It is great you have started thinking about the practical aspects, spurred on by this advertisement. I am actually in the same position so I am thinking about lots of the same issues. A friend has offered me a horse which I have loved for years, I decided I would say yes and started planning for horse ownership again. Now she has changed her mind, but that's probably a good thing as I realise that if I am going to buy one I should probably get something slightly different that would suit me better. But I have also just had major surgery so I have a little while to think about this to get it right.

It really is a buyers market. This particular horse does not sound like a brilliant opportunity. Something more suitable and less problematic will come along. Good luck.

Booboostoo · 21/03/2014 16:35

P.S. the seller is also fibbing, bute is a banned substance and the pony could not be competing on it!

Mitchy1nge · 21/03/2014 16:52

thought maybe pony is on danilon instead but that is probably also banned

sorry if always seem to be unsupportive vicar Flowers

daisy5569 · 21/03/2014 18:29

I agree with most of what others have said really, I would be concerned that the pony is having to have daily pain meds for stiffness. Arthritis will probably only get worse in time.

You say you would like to gain more riding experience and do some jumping? If the arthritis gets worse I wouldn't want to jump the pony also he may not be up to schooling which may restrict what you do if you have lessons on him.

You seem really keen to learn more and be more experienced, and in my opinion this pony may hold you back as once you learn more you will want to do more with him and he may not be up to it.

Good luck whatever you do, but maybe its an idea to look around and try some others before leaping in to buy this boy

ThatVikRinA22 · 21/03/2014 19:07

boo he no ;omger competes -he is now 18! he is an ex champ. (before the bute)

thanks all. ive decided not to go and see him. i dont want to be a "time waster"....ill put my energies into starting lessons at a new school and see how quickly i progress.

OP posts:
lucertola28 · 22/03/2014 00:23

I think you are being vey sensible to wait, I really hope you do get your own lovely horse who is just right for you.

Definitely good you are moving to a different school, you won't know yourself with a good instructor who teaches you so you progress and pushes you just the right amount.

Then maybe, because they will know your riding ability and how you are as a rider, can help you find a good horse, or at least go to viewings.

I got my first horse about 6 months ago, had been back riding just over a year after 10+ year break. My instructor was brilliant and I improved a lot (my position was awful at first and at first could barely get a canter) and then discussed with her getting my own. She was able to advise and go with me to see horses and could see things I did not have experince to notice. It took a few months but finally found right horse for me who is a good allrounder. If I'd been left to my own devices to choose one I probably would have ended up overhorsed unintentionally. He is a lovely boy but can be cheeky and naughty sometimes but I am on a yard with really supportive people and my instructor so can work through issues.

Enjoy your lessons and save what money you can for your own horse in the meantime, the safe, steady, allrounders with good temperments and ideal for a first horse or novice rider aren't usually cheap but are worth their weight in gold. I think once it is over about 8 or 9 it is fine too and I personally would go for something between 8/9 and 12/13 I don't think you have to go for something way older which comes with problems like health more likely to have issues.

Best of luck with everything :)

Booboostoo · 22/03/2014 07:47

That's a very good idea Vicar! Most people need about 2 years' worth of lessons and to be able to ride the most demanding RS horses in the school and on hacks before they are ready for their own. At that stage they are ready for a share or loan or possibly to buy the right horse, but it's still wise to look for a horse that is one step down from the more demanding ones in the RS. It's also worth reconsidering your budget. There are plenty of free horses out there, everyone is struggling at the moment, but a safe, sane and sensible horse for a novice will still hold its value and will still be priced between 2k and 5k depending on age. A decent instructor should be able to come with you to viewings as well and help you find the right horse (expect to see quite a few horses to find the right one).

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.