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unicorngirl9 01-05-2013 02:10 PM

To big or heavy for pony?
 
So, my 11.5 welsh pony and I (looks just like an exmoor) have done quite a bit together now. Eventually, I would love for my 4 younger siblings (age 7 & down) to learn how to ride with her. She's pulled carts, sleds, and lets the kids sit on her back, but has never been "ridden". She's been sat on here and there, but that's as far as it goes. Her and I have really been working out our groundwork these past several weeks. She's getting good, and better at it every day.

However, she is a bit of a naughty pony... I've tried to let my 7 year old brother just sit on her while I stand beside them, and if she knows I'm not holding her face, she'll shake, or spin and throw them... So I was wondering, am I to big to ride her, and help get her broke?

I am small, 5 feet and 115lbs. I'm not getting any bigger. She is , like I said, 11.5 hands, and thick. I haven't taken her wight, and I've heard a mix of a lot of things.... "only 20% of their weight," "but ponies are known to carry more", "but if they're too small", "Ponies were built to carry weight better than a horse." I'm just not sure what to go by?

I've also read the "if they seem uncomfortable, get off..." so.... Any thoughts?

unicorngirl9 01-05-2013 07:39 PM

Also, just measured her weight (girthXgirthXlength/330) she's about 455 lbs.

66Domino 01-05-2013 07:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by unicorngirl9 (Post 1830502)
Also, just measured her weight (girthXgirthXlength/330) she's about 455 lbs.

She's pretty light and although you're no heavy weight I don't think I'd risk it. If you hurt her how does that improve the situation?
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66Domino 01-05-2013 07:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 66Domino (Post 1830512)
She's pretty light and although you're no heavy weight I don't think I'd risk it. If you hurt her how does that improve the situation?
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Perhaps instead of having him sit upright on her, you can take a page from the thoroughbred trainers and have him lie across her back in a round pen or confined area and lead him. It's about more than sitting on them. They have to learn to carry you. Riding them actually throws them off balance a bit and they need to find their center. Take it slow and if she's sweet tempered she will come around.
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Endiku 01-05-2013 07:54 PM

I'm 4'11 and 90 pounds, and I occasionally ride our pony mare who is about that size for a quick tune up, no more than 20-25 minutes at a time. Being that you're 25 pounds heavier than I am though, I'm not quite sure how she'd take to it expecially since you'd likely have to do quite a bit of vigorous riding to get her kid broke. At the same time though, sending her to a trainer isnt really an option because it isnt often that you're going to find a trainer smaller or lighter than you are.

That being said, I think that if you do it slowly and carefully, and give her LOTS of time to bulk up in muscle and be conditioned (get her endurance up lunging w-t-c first slowly, then ride starting at 5-10 minutes walking, 20 minutes walking, 15 walking 5 trotting, etc) and you don't do more than necessary to get her broke when it comes to cantering (and wait until she's very fit) then it might be ok. If possible, breaking her english might work better as well so you arent adding another 20-30 pounds for a saddle. 145 pounds is DEFINITELY way too much for her. Thankfully she's a really hardy breed though and known for their ability to carry small adults. Still, before I actually tell you it would be 'ok' I would like to see a picture of her. If she has an exceptionally long back or has bad legs, I wouldnt risk it.

If it isnt absolutely necessary though, and you have another larger horse for them to ride, do that and just let her be the cart horse that she is ;)

Celeste 01-05-2013 08:00 PM

If you don't ride the pony, then it is unlikely that the kids will ever be safe riding it.

66Domino 01-05-2013 08:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Endiku (Post 1830539)
I'm 4'11 and 90 pounds, and I occasionally ride our pony mare who is about that size for a quick tune up, no more than 20-25 minutes at a time. Being that you're 25 pounds heavier than I am though, I'm not quite sure how she'd take to it expecially since you'd likely have to do quite a bit of vigorous riding to get her kid broke. At the same time though, sending her to a trainer isnt really an option because it isnt often that you're going to find a trainer smaller or lighter than you are.

That being said, I think that if you do it slowly and carefully, and give her LOTS of time to bulk up in muscle and be conditioned (get her endurance up lunging w-t-c first slowly, then ride starting at 5-10 minutes walking, 20 minutes walking, 15 walking 5 trotting, etc) and you don't do more than necessary to get her broke when it comes to cantering (and wait until she's very fit) then it might be ok. If possible, breaking her english might work better as well so you arent adding another 20-30 pounds for a saddle. 145 pounds is DEFINITELY way too much for her. Thankfully she's a really hardy breed though and known for their ability to carry small adults. Still, before I actually tell you it would be 'ok' I would like to see a picture of her. If she has an exceptionally long back or has bad legs, I wouldnt risk it.

If it isnt absolutely necessary though, and you have another larger horse for them to ride, do that and just let her be the cart horse that she is ;)

Great solution!! :)
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alexischristina 01-05-2013 09:11 PM

I don't think I'd risk it, you exceed the 20% rule by quite a bit and while I do agree that you can't go strictly by one guide line, I don't think your pony could ever comfortably carry someone of your weight.

unicorngirl9 01-06-2013 12:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Endiku (Post 1830539)
I'm 4'11 and 90 pounds, and I occasionally ride our pony mare who is about that size for a quick tune up, no more than 20-25 minutes at a time. Being that you're 25 pounds heavier than I am though, I'm not quite sure how she'd take to it expecially since you'd likely have to do quite a bit of vigorous riding to get her kid broke. At the same time though, sending her to a trainer isnt really an option because it isnt often that you're going to find a trainer smaller or lighter than you are.

That being said, I think that if you do it slowly and carefully, and give her LOTS of time to bulk up in muscle and be conditioned (get her endurance up lunging w-t-c first slowly, then ride starting at 5-10 minutes walking, 20 minutes walking, 15 walking 5 trotting, etc) and you don't do more than necessary to get her broke when it comes to cantering (and wait until she's very fit) then it might be ok. If possible, breaking her english might work better as well so you arent adding another 20-30 pounds for a saddle. 145 pounds is DEFINITELY way too much for her. Thankfully she's a really hardy breed though and known for their ability to carry small adults. Still, before I actually tell you it would be 'ok' I would like to see a picture of her. If she has an exceptionally long back or has bad legs, I wouldnt risk it.

If it isnt absolutely necessary though, and you have another larger horse for them to ride, do that and just let her be the cart horse that she is ;)


Thank you, I'd thought about this alot. She is not in "peak" condition or anything, and we are still at the very beginning of just building muscle. She's been a "standing in a stall" pony with her previous owners. I've been walking her up and down hills, and she'll walk with a small saddle strapped to her. (no one on it of course, just for some weight), and pulling her cart and sled. That's where we've started. she hasn't had any endurance training, or other muscle building beyond that.

I had thought of over the course of the next 3-4 months, work her on the hills more, and keep her longing untill she's tired, and then walk it off. Just to get her ready for me to sit on her for a minute, and that's where we start there. Make sure that she is ok with just standing there with me. if after 4 months of muscle building, she's not ok with me sitting on her, then forget it, she'll stay with her cart. (we don't have any other horses at the moment) If she is ok with me, start out 2-3 steps at a time. (unless she tries to take off...) Untill she is ok with walking forward for several steps with me. Then, just go one step at a time from there. If she is showing signs of strugling, I'll not be on her!


I will try to get some good pictures of her, and get them up here. With me standing with her, and such.

alexischristina 01-06-2013 01:06 AM

You need to keep in mind that just because she has built enough muscle to carry you, that does NOT mean she is still fit to carry your weight and will remain sound. You still have to worry about her joints, straining tendons, etc. while your plan seems all well and good, I'm still going to advise you to not ride this pony. If you would like to get her broken under saddle I suggest finding someone who is no heavier than 100lbs, preferably smaller. Her maximum rider should be about 90lbs.


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