Well, I had wanted one for a long time, no particular reason other than they are really cute and and low to the ground (I'm short), and "they" claim that they make good mountain ponies. My primary mission for a new addition was actually company for my mare, my princess. So, I got a haffie filly last November. One poster used the term impish....this is a very appropriate description.
I think it depends on the horse and the what the owner is use to. My filly came to me w zero training. I am extremely impressed w how easy she is to train for most things. BUT
, it is as if they bred the "horse" out of them. There are pros and cons to that aspect, depending on your own personal perspective. To be fair, she was kept in a small area w a stall for about a year of her young life (as opposed to open pasture) before I got her, which is a "background" I have never owned before, and never will again. It may also explain some
of her behavior.
Examples of the pros are: she accepted a saddle and blanket the first time as well as any well trained senior I have ever seen. I can put my foot and weight in either stirrup and she will stand there just as calm as any "big horse". Trully amazing. She is to young to actually start under saddle, but I am guessing it won't be a rodeo. I once accidently dropped an empty metal 100 gallon tank that I had turned on its side to clean just feet from her and it made a super loud "bang", she didn't bat an eye and walked over to investigate. The first time she saw an umbrella (I was using in a rain storm), she ran up and tried to eat it. I was amazed. Then again, I am use to youngsters that have been on pasture for their first 1.5 to 2 years and have more horse sense!
So, perhaps that doesn't really impress others...but it impressed me.
She is beyond "mouthy" - sometimes I would just like to hold those little chubby lips closed. She wants to put everything
in her mouth. I made her rope chew toys to help w her milk teeth...she can get every knot other than a blood knot out in no time.
The nice lady I bought her from was afraid of her. That originally puzzled me. I have had my non-horsey DH help me out now and again with her by holding her. He likes her, and is a big guy, so no little haffie is going to "scare" him...but she immediately
starts to act completely different - and they are powerful
behond belief So, true to breed...they can sum someone up very quickly and waste no time taking advantage.
Since she sees everything as something to put in her mouth, and also has no real sense of body language...training to lunge has proven to be a real "joy".
I feed 3 times a day and I like keep it "on schedule". If I am so much as 10 minutes
late...she splashes in the water tank whereby making a "banging noise" to advise me of my tardiness...and sometimes turns it completely over...and stands and/or bangs on it. So, don't be late. And, yep, the tank is now dented.
I don't think she is dense..quite the opposite. But, like I said - I think they bred the horse right out of them. If that is something you want, I think it is a great choice. They grow on you - in spite of their PITA-ness.
I am just telling you - these guys are not "real" horses, they are more like a labrador in a tanks body.