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This is a discussion on *Ponies* within the Horse Breeds forums, part of the Horse Breeds, Breeding, and Genetics category
  • Megaprone

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    10-22-2009, 12:17 PM

I have never owned a pony before but my 3 year old daughter wants one so I have been looking into that for her christmas present.I found a beautiful little buckskin paint through a friend but the only thing that worried me was she couldent be in a grass pasture because she founders easy, the lady said that was normal in ponies.i was wondering is this normal?
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    10-22-2009, 12:28 PM
Um... foundering is something I wouldn't say is normal. Sounds more of an excuse for you to buy the pony then anything. I personally wouldn't buy any horse that has a history of foundering... just to much of a health risk thingy going on there. And if this is going to be your first horse… I would be buying one free of any health issues. Founding isn’t something to be taken light heartedly.

I would be looking for an older (nothing younger then 8 years personally), well broke pony that has a good attitude. Yes, people do say ponies have a stubborn attitude. But really it depends on the training and how they are treated. And yes, there are really nice ones out there.

Another thing is, I wouldn't be buying a 3 year old a horse. It isn't like a dog or a cat or a fish. I would wait until she at least 6 years old so she can understand the concept of owning a horse and taking care of it. Trust me... the buying fee for any horse is nothing compared for what you have to pay month after month.
    10-22-2009, 12:34 PM
Green Broke
I don't think that is common in ponies at all!! There about about 5 of them at my barn, including mine, and they have never foundered. I think that is just an excuse so you'll buy the pony.

And everything RedRoan has stated is completely truw!! I would buy her an older horse too. Ponies have..'personalities' and they know how to use them.
    10-22-2009, 12:40 PM
It is not uncommon in ponies but should never be looked on as normal. I would stay away from one who founders easy.

Now, 3 years old is a bit young to start riding. I think most trainers will not take students younger then 6 or 7. If you just want a pony for your daughter to look at and pet under your supervision. Your daughter could ride the pony, if you want to lead her around on him with a proper fitting helmet, then getting her lessons as soon as she is big enough would be needed, so that she can learn to ride the pony properly.

Now that being said, I know that as a parent you want to get your daughter what she wants, but it maybe better for her riding to not get her a pony right away. It sounds backwards I know, but if you just get her lessons and she learns to ride a large variety of horses, maybe even leases some then she will be a better rider over all.
    10-22-2009, 12:46 PM
Yep, all ponies are prone to it.
Not as much so if they've never foundered/had laminitis.
It's common in smaller ponies, but horses get it too.
Restricted grazing is a must for Spring and Summer grazing, Autumn and Winter not so much.

Weird, all ponies here are mega prone to it =/
The only pony I've had that hasn't had it is Squeak, even then she had it really lightly and it was gone within a month.
    10-22-2009, 12:47 PM
My daughter has actually been riding before she could walk, I have 2 quarter horses that I have had for 9 years so she is use to horse I just wanted her something her size that I could lead her around on or pull behind my horse when iam riding, I definitely wont be turning her loose by herself just yet eventhough she thinks she is ready! Lol. I didint think fondering was normal eventhough I have had 2 people tell me that it was.Thanks for the input,
    10-22-2009, 01:03 PM
Green Broke
We got our girls a pony seven years ago when our oldest was 4. If I were to do it all over again, I would have gotten them a geriatric, deadbroke horse instead of a pony. I started out with a pony as a child and thought my kids would enjoy the same experience, but they became turned off to riding through frustration of dealing with the pony "attitude" so many display. We ended up selling him this spring because he just sat idle in the pasture for the past year.

That was just my experience, though, and if you're able to find a real gem of a pony that's great! But like the others said, pass on the founder-prone one. Good luck!
    10-22-2009, 01:15 PM
I would look into a welsh, smaller arab, or arab X. Some might freak out here about an arab, but I think they are the best childrens horses, not all but allot. I think three is a great age to start. Of course with supervision. I can't wait to start Christina in two years.
    10-22-2009, 01:23 PM
I was hoping there would be pictures of ponies :(
    10-22-2009, 01:26 PM
If you want one that doesn't founder, don't get a Welsh.
As someone who talks from owning one currently, worked at a Mountain Pony stud and own sevral welsh x's.
I once left Sparkle (Welsh x) out for 3 hours more than I should of, she was out for no more than 2 hours a day. She foundered and was never able to ridden again after it got so bad.

Try a hardy breed like a Haflinger or some kind of Cob.

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