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The tack room

Process of buying

11 replies

MsGee · 13/10/2018 11:53

I am just starting the process of looking for a pony for my DD (10). She currently loans a forward 12.2h but will outgrow him in the next year or two. She currently goes down the stables 4-5 times per week, partly with just me (walking) out on hacks, and partly pony club/lessons/loan hacks. I go down a lot to try to learn but I don't ride and DD knows much more than me!

The yard owner is being very supportive, but I do feel slightly out of my depth. Our budget seems ok (5kish) for what we want and I have been in touch with a couple of people on pony club classifieds but not sure where else to look or what I should be looking out for (and not). I've had a 'gut feeling' about contact with one owner but don't know why, so don't know if I am missing out on a great pony or just being sensible in not pursuing it! Where should I be looking and what should I avoid?

We are in no rush as currently very happy with the current set up, but I realise the process can take quite a while. Any advice much appreciated.

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DrunkenUnicorn · 13/10/2018 22:56

Speak to the DC of your pony club. They will have a wealth of knowledge of local ponies in their club and probably others competing locally.

Many will change hands through word of mouth through pc contacts and never be formally advertised. The fact that she’s not outgrown her current pony is great in that you’ve no need to rush and could wait a while for the right pony to come up.

Whatever you do, don’t over horse her. Smile Children’s confidence is so fragile. I made that mistake with my son and a previous loan pony we had. It put him off jumping for YEARS. When we went to view our pony I ummed and ahhed as I was worried he might not be enough but he’s been fab and has never frightened DS. (Who admittedly is a very cautious, self preservationist!) It’s easier to make a pony more responsive and sharpen them up rather than the other way round. And if you find in a year or two that she wants something whizzier as she’s more confident you will always be able to find a home for a safe steady sort who looks after their jockey.

maxelly · 14/10/2018 22:17

You do have a good budget so hopefully it won't be too hard to find something perfect! Agree with everything Drunken unicorn says about involving the local DC and being very careful about overhorsing her. Lean heavily on your yard owners network as ideally you'd find a pony that is well known on the local circuit but outgrown, these are often not advertised at all or snapped up quickly when they are.

If you are looking at adverts, my main criteria with children's ponies is that I want them to come from a home where they are already doing the job you want them for, so look for a pony which has been being ridden by a child of similar age and experience to your DD and doing all the activities she will be doing. In this day and age there should be plenty of photos and videos available of pony doing said activities and I'd be wary of a seller who is cagey about providing them (once you have established you are a genuine potential buyer). Also for this reason I'd avoid dealers (unless your yard owner knows of one who is very trustworthy) as too often the ponies they have in are fresh from Ireland or similar and lacking experience, and I'd also avoid buying an ex riding school or trekking centre horse. I'd want something aged 8+ and would be open minded about a pony in its teens - they can potentially have some health issues at that age but many go on very happily into their 20s.

Avoid like the plague anything described as strong, fizzy, quirky, spooky or not a novice ride. The last one often catches non horsey parents out because of course your DD is not a novice, but this is advert code for 'nutter' quite often! Good luck!

Japanesejazz · 14/10/2018 22:22

You need something around 14.1, forward, competitive yet safe. So does everyone else! Pony club your best bet, the best outgrowns never need to be advertised and be prepared to spend all of your £5k

MsGee · 29/10/2018 11:42

Thank you everyone for the advice! I did read on my phone but our house has been hit with various sickness bugs lately so didn't get chance to post.

The advice was really helpful, particularly about not over-horsing her. We have now found a pony (suggested by yard owner, and instructor came with us to view) and subject to vetting the sale will be going through. I think DD is slightly overwhelmed with it all (as am I) but we are both looking forward this next step.

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maxelly · 29/10/2018 19:44

Great news! I'm sure they'll be a lovely partnership in no time. Maybe brief your DD about not expecting too much too quickly (e.g. she may have visions of the pony neighing and running across the field to her within the first week or similar based on pony books and be disappointed if it doesn't happen!) and on starting as you mean to go on with establishing a good routine and ground rules from the start!

MsGee · 30/10/2018 19:57

Thank you - that is really good advice which I shared with her! She is sad about moving on from her beloved loan pony (by sad I mean slightly hysterical....) who will always be her first love, but as each day goes she is getting more excited. Vetting later this week and then fingers crossed, she is ours soon after!

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MsGee · 09/12/2018 09:42

Just to update... the pony that we found turned out to have some health issues affecting insurance and resale value and after far too much drama we decided to walk away.

DD was upset but only for 24 hours, so I figured it was probably not the one for her. Two days later a new pony arrived at our current yard who had been brought in to be sold on. He was everything that we were looking for and we both fell in love with him. She has ridden him a couple of times and started to bond with him and I agreed the purchase yesterday, and he will be ours next weekend!

She seems much much more at ease with moving on from her loan pony now, so it definitely feels like the right decision.

Now, I just need to sort out a big shopping list of pony related items... Xmas Grin

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Moanranger · 09/12/2018 14:40

Well done- just goes to show it is worth waiting for the right one! Hope your DD continues to enjoy him!

maxelly · 09/12/2018 20:22

Great news. Hope it works out well this time as you sound like you've had your share of bad luck!

ginauk84 · 11/12/2018 15:22

It was meant to be - congrats!

MsGee · 14/12/2018 11:01

Thank you - all formalised yesterday (had a sleepless night of 'what have i done...') and we are doing the big reveal to DD tmrw....

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