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First part loan- so excited but advice needed

15 replies

bravelittletiger · 23/03/2023 09:27

I've found my perfect part loan pony. She's 14, on a small private yard with an arena. She's 14.2hh and the cutest little fell pony. I had a go on her the other evening and she was fun but not too forward. Her owners were the loveliest people too and seem so flexible and easy to get on with.

I'm beyond excited although I am slightly nervous as I am a novice and she is on DIY so it will mean a big step up for my horse care.

Aside from getting over excited thinking about all the pony cuddles I'm going to get and lovely evening hacks I can do...what can I do to prepare for my first part loan? The owners have said they will be around to show me the ropes so I won't be totally on my own.

OP posts:
Pleasedontdothat · 23/03/2023 09:37

Get lessons on her - as many as you can afford - it’s much easier to sort out any problems as they come up rather than waiting for a small problem to become a big one. And get high viz for when you’re out hacking. And have fun 😊

bravelittletiger · 23/03/2023 10:11

Pleasedontdothat · 23/03/2023 09:37

Get lessons on her - as many as you can afford - it’s much easier to sort out any problems as they come up rather than waiting for a small problem to become a big one. And get high viz for when you’re out hacking. And have fun 😊

That's a good idea thank you. I have lessons at the moment at a riding school. I've absolutely loved my lessons there and she's been a brilliant teacher but I'm guessing it's going to be more valuable for me to have lessons on my loan pony than continue there?

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Pleasedontdothat · 23/03/2023 10:18

If you’ve got time and can afford it then it wouldn’t do any harm to continue at the riding school - riding lots of different horses is really beneficial to your riding. But I’d say the priority, especially at the start of the loan, is to get lessons on the loan pony.

Lastqueenofscotland2 · 23/03/2023 10:26

If you can afford it lessons at the school and on the pony!

bravelittletiger · 23/03/2023 10:50

Oh great ok that's good news. I might just be able to afford it if I reduce my riding school lessons to maybe once a month. I think time will be an issue too as it's already going to be a juggle seeing the new pony with kids and job but I'll try and make it work. I am honestly so excited! I can't believe i get to cuddle the same soft nose and improve all my riding and horse man ship skills. I feel so lucky! I'm also now fantasising about the odd day ride or beach ride with my new cutie pony.

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liveforsummer · 23/03/2023 16:54

Definitely lessons on your new lovely pony. Although it's quiet it will probably be a different kettle of fish to the riding school ponies. We see this a lot as there are a few ponies with sharers on our yard and often they feel like beginners again when they first start to ride these after coming out of a riding school. Ime freelance instructors are at a different level than your average school instructor too. Have the odd lesson if you can at the school to vary the horses you are riding but it's very valuable to have lessons on your regular pony too and I'd prioritise that! Yes to hi viz for the road - we are fans as you can see 😆. Sounds like you've really landed on your feet with the owners so just ask if you're unsure however small it might seem. Saves anything going wrong. Get rider's insurance too.

First part loan- so excited but advice needed
liveforsummer · 23/03/2023 17:00

Are you the poster that was considering buying a few months ago but decided to try a share first in the end?

stockpilingallthecheese · 23/03/2023 17:03

3rd party liability insurance - I have It through BHS. Also get to know people at the yard so you have riding and hacking buddies. Get to know how owner likes things done, and take good care of their possessions especially their tack. I'm sure you would, but honestly some sharers are so careless with leaving stuff out so it goes missing or putting tack back dirty etc. Most importantly though always be reliable - show up when you're supposed to, and have loads of fun!!

bravelittletiger · 23/03/2023 20:25

liveforsummer · 23/03/2023 17:00

Are you the poster that was considering buying a few months ago but decided to try a share first in the end?

I am indeed!! I took the sensible advice and also came to my senses and have been focusing on improving my riding etc but now feel ready for a part loan! I'm beyond excited I can't wait for all our adventures together!

OP posts:
bravelittletiger · 23/03/2023 20:29

liveforsummer · 23/03/2023 16:54

Definitely lessons on your new lovely pony. Although it's quiet it will probably be a different kettle of fish to the riding school ponies. We see this a lot as there are a few ponies with sharers on our yard and often they feel like beginners again when they first start to ride these after coming out of a riding school. Ime freelance instructors are at a different level than your average school instructor too. Have the odd lesson if you can at the school to vary the horses you are riding but it's very valuable to have lessons on your regular pony too and I'd prioritise that! Yes to hi viz for the road - we are fans as you can see 😆. Sounds like you've really landed on your feet with the owners so just ask if you're unsure however small it might seem. Saves anything going wrong. Get rider's insurance too.

Aww love the pony and the pink high viz!

I know what you mean definitely- even though she's a gentle sort she definitely felt more cheeky than the riding school ponies I'm used to! I'm going to try and find an instructor who can come down and help us get to know each other.

OP posts:
bravelittletiger · 23/03/2023 20:32

stockpilingallthecheese · 23/03/2023 17:03

3rd party liability insurance - I have It through BHS. Also get to know people at the yard so you have riding and hacking buddies. Get to know how owner likes things done, and take good care of their possessions especially their tack. I'm sure you would, but honestly some sharers are so careless with leaving stuff out so it goes missing or putting tack back dirty etc. Most importantly though always be reliable - show up when you're supposed to, and have loads of fun!!

Good advice thank you. It's a tiny private yard so there will only be a few others around but I'm hoping someone will be keen to hack out with me. The owners have said they will show me all the ropes and I did say I was keen to let them show me how they do things and they basically said they weren't precious about it so I can do things my way too. To be honest though im such a newbie to it all im keen for them to show me the way they do it.

OP posts:
bravelittletiger · 23/03/2023 20:32

P.s I've actually already got the BHS gold membership and insurance 👍☺️

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LikeAnOldFriend · 24/03/2023 08:22

Congratulations! Flowers I've had my Fell pony 23 years and he's such a character. Your new girl sounds lovely, enjoy getting to know her! Grin

twistyizzy · 24/03/2023 08:42

As well as riding lessons I would get stable management lessons from a BHS instructor.
Are you confident identifying horse ailments and can you do basic first aid eg dressing a wound whilst waiting for a vet? Can you identify colic and how to prevent it? Can you spot health + illness signs in a horse?
Do you understand how to tie a haynet safely and a quick release knot for tying up a horse?
Can you fit tack correctly and know how to clean it?
Do you know the signs of a healthy foot and how to keep it healthy?
As an owner I would want my sharer to be able to understand all of the above. That would be more important than riding ability to be honest.

maxelly · 28/03/2023 14:05

The best advice I can give you along with what you've already had is what I was taught as a youngster and have lived by to this day - find a strong routine and stick to it as rigidly as you can - I don't just mean 'go to the yard every day at 4pm' (although it's nice if sharers are consistent in that way) but more that you have an itemised list/method of how you work with your horse/pony that never changes - so mine goes something like, arrive on yard, put my bag down, put on riding hat and gloves, fetch headcollar/leadrope from store room, go to stable, greet horse, put on headcollar, lead horse out, tie up on yard, fetch skipping out equipment, skip out stable... and so on and so on. It sounds silly to write it out like that and of course I don't have to consciously think about it anymore as it's so ingrained but the benefit of doing things in the same order and same way always are (a) if you have a fixed list of jobs you are less likely to forget to do things whether big and important like picking out his feet to make sure there's no stones before a ride or small but annoying if you don't do like putting kit back where you found it (b) this is the way to keep yourself and people around you safe, a lot of safety things like always checking your tack over and making sure everything is done up and not flapping before you get on have to get drilled in as habits because 99.9% of the time they are 'pointless' ie your girth isn't worn away and about to snap, a loose horse isn't about to charge at you through that field gate you carelessly left ajar to turn around to pick something up or whatever - but you'll regret not doing it the one time you didn't check/close the door/tighten your girth, so you need to get yourself to the point where you're doing these things mechanically almost. (c) if you always interact with your horse in similar ways, e.g. on first coming into their stable you approach quietly, speak to them softly and give them a little pat before immediately putting headcollar on, this will be both reassuring to the horse and also give you a chance to notice quickly if there's something unusual in their demeanour. I know as soon as I walk into his stable if there's something 'off' with my boy as he's nearly always in the same corner chomping hay and will always prick his ears and look up at me as I come in so if he's huddled at the back not interacting or pins his ears back at me, something is off (on the other hand some horses are always grumpy when you first come into their space, that's normal for them, you just have to get to know them as individuals), whereas if half the time I'm plugged into my phone or chatting to someone else or if I sometimes rustle food at him and sometimes creep up on him silently, how he reacts would naturally be different each time and I wouldn't notice as quickly how he is that day.... Routine is boring but everything with horses!

The other thing I'd say is if anything seems not right even if you can't explain exactly what, if he just 'feels' wrong or looks wrong or you aren't comfortable for any reason, stop what you are doing, get him and you to somewhere safe e.g. lead home if out hacking or back into his stable, and seek help. Ideally from his owner or the yard manager or member of staff, but if not then any experienced horse person so one of the other owners will usually be happy to help. Again even after 50 years riding and owning horses there's still things that flummox or worry me, sometimes they turn out to be nothing at all and I feel a bit of a naa-naa for asking but far more often I'm glad I did. It would be great to do some reading on the various ailments and injuries horses can have so you can spot early if something 's up but actually the advice usually boils down to 'call the vet' anyway and that would be for the owner to do not you, as would things like changes to his rugging, clipping, feeding, tack arrangements anyway so really your judgement call is only ever whether this is something his owner needs to know about, and in the early days I'd always err on the side of 'yes' even if it seems trivial (my boy is on long-term loan to me and in the first week I had him I called up his owner a bit worried because he wouldn't stop itching his forehead, I was worried he'd developed sweet itch or mites or something but she laughed at me and said he was just itching because, well, he wants to itch, he's an itchy horse, always has been always will be, but I'm still glad I checked!

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