Shetlands or Welsh ponies
Are either of these breeds good for trail riding with kids? I want to buy my 6 year old a pony and teach him how to ride.
My wife and I like to trail ride but we would each have a smaller kid behind us already so I need something to lead (for now) for my son.
Definitely have to have one that is gentle and not spooky, it is hard to control a horse behind you on a lead rope from another horse. Any ideas?
Depends on the individual pony really. Each one is different.
Well first I have to say Welsh are one of my absolute favorites :) I have two who are half welsh. And I'm about to own a shetland as well.
But really, forget breed. Find a suitable pony or horse, and ignore breed and color. Training and disposition are much more important :)
I would go for a shetland. I know they can be a bit bratty at times, but we have a little paint shetland who is about a million years old and about 10.2 hands and he is the most reliable, sweet little pony ever! Welshes are more of show ponies, while shetlands are good for pleasure.
Breed doesn't matter as much as the individual horse's personality. Don't turn a horse down sight-unseen because he's of a breed you haven't considered; I mean, I would turn down a TB for example for a young child with almost no exceptions, but there are jems of breeds not famous for being childs' mounts. Quarter ponies, minis, Welshes, Shetlands are all known for being good kids' horses. I wouldn't lean towards a particular breed, just make your judgements based on the individual pony.
Well, there is definitely a lot more to horses than I could ever know. I am thankful for everyone's input here on this forum. I just have to start looking now for a good pony for my son then!
Personally, I sort of have a vendetta against shetland. Every one I have known has been downright mean spirited. I ADORE Welsh's. HOWEVER. These are only my opinions and I'm sure there are some great shetlands and some mean welsh's out there.
The best pony I ever rode as a child was actually an undersized QH. Personally for trail I would probably go for an undersized QH or other breed....and your kids also won't outgrow it as fast.
But don't forget, there are also a lot of very reliable, older horses out there that may be more suitable for a kids tag along trail horse than a pony....Just keep your feelers out,
I have a half-Welsh yearling, and I am in love with him. He's extremely calm, bold, and curious. I don't know if it is just him or his breed's traits, but a trainer did tell me that Welsh ponies are known for their bravery.
Another great pony breed is a Pony of the Americas (POA). I've never met a POA that I haven't liked. They come in a few different sizes, from very small to practically horse size, and the medium to big ones are definitely sturdy enough to be ridden extensively by adults so that you can be sure that it was really trained, not just ridden around by a small child like a Shetland might have been.
Another plus to them, is that the ones I've spent time around were almost Arab like (that's the only breed I can think of that is known for it's devotion to one person, no prejudice in this statement) in their devotion to their person. They seemed to meet one person that they clicked with and remember that person for the next forever. One did that to me and he would ignore EVERYONE around him, no matter what, to get my attention and focus on me, even if I was half the barn away. He would stand there, surrounded by people brushing him, with his head and neck craned so that he could watch me, where ever I was. He could have cared less about the people around him, it was all about where his "Mom" was. I could imagine that being an excellent trait for a kids pony, where the pony adored the heck out of the child.
They're a good all around breed and evidently there are a lot of breed shows around that I've heard are generally very family oriented, if your child ever became interested in showing. :)
Also, I've heard of Shetlands being evil and I haven't been around more than about 3 of them but I've never met an evil one. I'm sure they could be evil though, I've heard enough evil pony stories to not discount them. :lol: But, there's an exception to every rule!
Anyway, giant post over! Good luck in your search!
Oh i forgot about POAs....I have never met one that wasn't the absolute sweetest thing! And they usually have nice, big sure footed feet too!!
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