Possible buy for a little kid; what to look for?

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Possible buy for a little kid; what to look for?

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    12-11-2009, 11:29 AM
Possible buy for a little kid; what to look for?

My cousin is looking for her four year old daughter a horse again. The last pony her and her husband bought for their daughter turned out to be the total opposite of what we were told. We were told that Pony was kid broke, ridable, and gentle. While the pony likes people, she definitely wasnt kid broke (or broke at all) and ridable, nor was she respectful of people. Since she is now up for sale, my cousins are hunting for another pony for their daughter.

Makenzie is four. She likes horses and loves for me to give her pony rides on my mare and gelding. I have pony rides on her birthday and the last two Halloween parties her parents held, I gave pony rides to the little kids. If she sees me riding by, she comes outside and wants me to come give her a ride or let her pet the horses.

Anyway, her mother is looking for another horse for her. One that is gentle and ridable. Shes found Mini that sounds suitable, and shes going to go look at the Mini later today. Upon her request, Im going with her even though Im sick. My cousin asked me to go because shes going to have her hands full with Makenzie and her other daughter, Madeline (who is just a few months old). Her other reasoning was that I know a lot more about horses than she does and I know what to look for a bit better than she does. Thats true, my cousin doesnt know much about horses at all besides dont walk behind them.
So, heres the stats that I was given on the Mini over the phone.

Name: Dolly
Gender: Mare
Height: 32 or 33 inches
Breed: Miniature Horse
Registered: Unknown
Age: 6
Color: Red and White
Training: The woman who owns the mare has a friend who has a six year old boy who rides the mare. The mare is usually led around with the boy on or put on a lungeline with the boy riding, though a few times hes ridden her alone. Shes good to ride, though the lady never clarified if shes been ridden with a saddle... she only mentioned bareback. The mare leads well, but the woman didnt say if she picked up her hooves or not.
Asking Price: 300$$

My cousin wants me to go with her to really look at the mare and see if shes actually worth it and all. Judge her conformation, look at her hooves, ask the normal questions and a few more, lead her, maybe lunge her, and just overall check her out. I can normally tell if something is majorly out of whack with a horse, but Im not the greatest at conformation... so Im taking my camera and will be getting pictures of the mares confo and hooves to post on here.

Im also going to make sure that the mare is ok with a lot of stuff that little kids do... touch her all over and make sure shes fine, pull on her tail a little and see how she reacts, pat her, tug her mane, play with her mouth and look at her teeth, sharp movements, loud noises, stuff like that...

Is there anything Im missing?
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    12-11-2009, 12:27 PM
The problem with minis is you kind of have to trust them with your kids. They arent broken like a horse would be because most little kids can't really train a mini (dont have the mental or physical ability.) Its not like you or I can get on them and break them or train them cues ourselves. You have to look at temperment and what they can tolerate. They might get poked or proded, they need to be able to be ok with that, any not take off or kick. If possible have the girl ride the horse, while you lead. See how the mini does. Is she going to be riding on her own, in lessons, just on a lead? If she's going to be on her own she needs to have a horse who doesnt just follow a person around. You have to think down the road. After the mini is out grown will she need to be sold? Does she have a permenant home with your cousin (can they afford more then one horse)?
    12-11-2009, 12:48 PM
Their current pony is for sale because she's too 'wild' for them to handle.

My cousin's mum, I think, really just wants a tame pet that her daughters can play with and something that can be led around on a lead.

We are going to see if my cousin will hop on the mare while she's being led. She's just going to be led around on the mare in her yard and stuff like that. When the mini is outgrown, she'll probably be a pet unless my cousin decides she wants a bigger horse... if that happens, there's a person out here who loves mini's and who has about 30-something and would probably jump to buy the mini.
    12-11-2009, 03:30 PM
I would strongly discourage anything to small for an adult to ride. As mentioned in other posts, they lack the discipline because they are never really broke. On top of that many mini's have a "pony attitude" which can be both dangerous and scary for a child. I would suggest a small quarter horse for children to ride. I have had many breeds and dealt with many different types and attitudes of horses. I love my minis but wouldnt suggest them ridden, quarters seem to be in general the quietest, most kid friendly horses I have dealth with.
    12-11-2009, 08:07 PM
Green Broke
Yes I have to agree. I'll be looking for a pony for my granddaughter in the future and one requirement is that it is large enough for me to ride.

A few breeds to look at are the Halfflinger, Gotland, Welsh and yes a small quarter horse would be good. Definitely want something that the adult can ride to correct any issues that might arise. Also, some breeds are known for very calm and tolerant temperaments while others are known to be little stinkers.

Ponies are usually quite hardy, so an older one might also be good to consider. Tested and tried.

Good luck.
    12-11-2009, 09:45 PM
Thanks. We went out and looked at the mare a little while ago. I'm uploading pics right now. A larger horse wouldn't work, because my younger cousin doesn't want a big horse, and they want more of a 'pet'.

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