Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Hour and a Half from Town!
I 100% know what you will be and are going through!
We decided a pony was the best route for our daughter, leases are slightly uncommon in my area so we always purchase. But I would look into it in your area.
We bought our daughter a 12hh pony, she's still in my horses if you want to look!
We loved Rosie dearly and mostly gave leadline rides. Our intent was that daughter would learn and then be able to ride her longer as she grew. Our daughter is only 50lbs. soaking wet at 6, so she could have ridden a smaller pony longer. She could help tack and care for Rosie, so that was a bonus, and she could almost mount her alone. Rosie was a doll and was great on the ground so I let my daughter lead her alone but I'm pretty protective and was always by their side.
Another thing to think about is we have much larger bossy horses that would have been dangerous to pasture with a smaller pony. Of course many horses/ponies can be mixed, just not with ours. Rosie went blind in one eye after a year of having her and didn't take it well. So we had to find her a new home. We rehomed her to a family who couldn't pasture their pony with the larger horses and was depressed. Worked out great thank heavens! My daughter was devastated! But we found her a 14 hh. quarter pony that she now loves and she has all but forgotten about Rosie.
As for what would be better size wise, there are pros and cons. It really just depends on the horse/pony. I had a 16.2hh giant of a QH that my kid could handle on her own at 4, he was used as her horse until he died at age 28, hence the pony. I've seen ponies that I wouldn't ride!! So it all depends on the horse. At 4 I hardly think she could handle a spook so you could be looking at years of leadline rides before you turn her loose. But it depends on your daughters abilities and strength. My daughter is 6 and still needing leadline because she lacks the strength to correctly cue a horse. At that age I could handle almost ANY horse!! Sometimes I wished we could have gotten a mini, but I don't regret it now. Cowboy, her new horse is perfect, and we can also use him as a backup horse, our friends can ride him, it's working out really well.
I don't think your daughter will have a hard time moving up to a larger horse, actually when it's time it'll be harder on YOU! She will probably be begging for a larger horse to keep up with you and friends, lessons, etc...
So just some feed for thought! If I were you I would just go shopping. You may find the perfect pony, or a smaller horse that would work. Good Luck! What a lucky little girl and what an awesome mamma you are!
You can get a lot further with a ladder than you can with crutches!! What do you mean what do I mean?
Last edited by FlyGap; 01-18-2012 at 11:29 AM.