Am I making a mistake with a Pony instead of a Horse - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 31 Old 08-17-2015, 04:53 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
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Trooper is an Arabian/Appaloosa. He's 14.3 hands, so only 2 inches taller. The vet estimated his weight at 835, so he's no tank. A couple of weeks ago, a guy came out and went riding with us. He's 6'3" tall, and he and Trooper got along fine. I'm 5'8", and I've ridden Trooper many times. I also rode Lilly a number of times before we sold her. 14.2, probably 775 tops - slender pure Arabian - she had no problems with me. That is for trail riding, so if you compete you may have a different need.

Bandit is 15 hands, but so slender that it feels like there is no horse there (see my avatar). I'm guessing 800 lbs, tops. He doesn't have a problem with me, or me with him:

Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
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post #12 of 31 Old 08-17-2015, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by kmacht View Post
If there was a way to post a picture I would.
There is! When you write a reply, click on the "go advanced" button underneath the text box.

Once you go advanced you will see a little paperclip icon:


Click on that and "browse" your computer for a picture. Choose the picture and hit "upload". Once it's uploaded you can close out of the pop-out box. When you want to insert the picture, click on the arrow next to the paperclip and choose the picture you want to insert.
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post #13 of 31 Old 08-17-2015, 06:13 PM
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Location: CT USA an English transplant
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This is a question in 2 parts
At age 8 I had a 12.2 pony and moved up through 13.2 and then 14.2 and once out of British pony classes I moved on to horses. They were sold when I outgrew them, it was just how things were done and I dealt with it.
Maybe because I'm British I prefer to see children on ponies and a 14.1 should see her well into her teens and some
I don't think this particular pony is probably suitable for her. We used to buy and sell ponies as well as my son's competing on ponies and the type of pony that's going to suit a child of her age and cope with some competing, trail rides, maybe Pony Club etc should walk on your yard and settle down from Day One not get itself stressed out over little things or be anti-social
You describe it as a British Riding pony - Is that her 'type' or do you just mean she was trained to ride "English'?
The actual British Riding Pony - the sort seen in UK Show Rings - is a mix of native breed (Section B welsh & Connemara are the most common) with TB and Arabian, they don't always make the calmest beginner ponies
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post #14 of 31 Old 08-17-2015, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by kmacht View Post
Wow. I wasn't expecting this quick of a response with such great advice. To answer a few questions, my wife is not a large woman. She is around 5'2 and 120 lbs. I'm 5'10 and 195 so we don't expect my daughter to end up 6+ feet but you just never really know. As far as the amount of riding each week it has been at least 4 of 5 days a week during the summer but will probably slow down to 3 or 4 once school starts and winter starts to set in. For lessons she would be doing at least one day a week with the instructor and this horse and at least one other day a week with the instructor with one of the instructorís horses. The instructor lives less than 10 minutes down the road so bringing the horse over there for extra work during the week is also a possibility.

As for the size and conformation of the pony it is on the tall size at 14.1 but it is not very round or overly muscular looking. There is another horse at the place we are keeping him that is right around the same height but is much stockier if that makes sense. If there was a way to post a picture I would.

The general consensus so far seems to be that I shouldnít be too concerned that it is only 14.1 hands and a pony rather than a 15 hand horse. As far as the temperament I do understand that it will take some time for him to get used to the new environment. The only issue is that place we bought from only has a 3 week trial so we have about a week and a half before needing to invest more money in the horse to start the vetting process. I'm hoping we can see what we need to see to make a better decision by then.

Keith, I didn't understand where you were keeping the horse, but if your daughter will see him more often at the riding instructor's place, maybe you could board him there for awhile. It might give her more confidence with his nonchalant attitude if she is able to work with him around other experienced horse folks . . . and as she feels more secure with handling him, then, you can move him home, and she will be the "constant," in his life . . . and even though he'll have to readjust to being at the house, he will have gotten more used to your daughter, so may choose to bond with her more strongly if she is the person he recognizes in both environments. I guess there are pros and cons of both horse-keeping situations.

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post #15 of 31 Old 08-17-2015, 09:27 PM
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I think there can be something wonderfully confidence building for a child with regards to having a pony that is "their size" and therefore easier to do all the unmounted care and prep work without requiring lots of adult help. For this reason, I prefer to see children mounted on safe and well trained ponies than horses if at all possible.

I think you may need to reevaluate the expectation that the horse you buy now will be suitable for your daughter for the next ten years. Even if she doesn't outgrow the horse/pony you purchase for her now size wise, she may very well outgrow its abilities as she becomes a more experience and bolder rider.

But I'm biased as I'm a pony lover. I'm pretty close in size to your wife and am an adult who owns two ponies!
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post #16 of 31 Old 08-17-2015, 09:45 PM
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There are a few things that I would consider.

First I think the height isn't going to be an issue or the age in itself. I'd be judging the pony on its merits as a 7 year old could be calm and quiet and an 18 year old could be way too excitable.

The thing is that getting a horse that develops with your kid and is still great 5 years later is hard. The horse that an 8 year old needs is often radically to a 12 year olds second horse. As kids grow their interests and skills develop and often the horse they start with isn't the horse they want a few years later. I know it was that way for me, I got a great little horse when I was 10 and two years later I had mastered him, riding wasn't challenging anymore, I couldn't really progress with specific learning and I couldnt move into competition.

If we'd kept him riding wouldn't have been as fun anymore. For me, and for a lot of riders, riding wasn't just about a little fun, it was about progressing and facing challenges and getting better. As a family we had never re homed a dog or cat, pets were ours for lives but horses aren't pets. They're different.

If I were buying a horse for an eight year old I would be asking around at pony club and such and looking for one of those ponies that has carted around kids for years. They're all over the place and are often leased out or sold around. The ones that have been known for years and shown they are reliable and trustworthy. Then in a couple of years when your kid has really developed into a strong rider with clear direction buy a more advanced and purpose specific horse.
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post #17 of 31 Old 08-18-2015, 03:53 AM
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I agree with Jaydee, being British I find it quite worrying to see small children on horses. Here she would be riding 12.2 for her age group.

It seems that the most worrying thing was the way he spooked out of the shelter - was there another horse in there that could have made a face at him and he moved away fast?

If he was imported from the UK he will have a passport which will state his breeding.
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post #18 of 31 Old 08-18-2015, 07:49 AM
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As for the bolting out of the run in, he could have been stung by bees. The shelter should be checked to see if that is the case. If not, the pony could just need time to adjust.

As for bonding with a 'standoffish' horse, it can happen. My little Arab really doesn't have a buddy in his herd. He hangs off by himself to graze or nap, and is not at all interested in mares. He is a gelding's only time he really interacts with another horse is when he is trying to engage in play. However, he comes when called, is not at all barn/buddy sour, and we trail ride alone all the time without him being spooky.

A standoffish horse has some pluses!
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post #19 of 31 Old 08-18-2015, 09:59 AM
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I won't comment too much on this specific horse's suitability, but more on the possibility of outgrowing in both size and ability.

First is the size. A pony of this size (and even smaller) is IMO not too short at all for your wife... and definitely not your daughter at her age. Unless either one gains a very significant amount of weight over the pony's lifetime I wouldn't worry about either one being too heavy for the pony either. If your daughter does wind up being close to your height she may end up looking somewhat tall for the horse, but unless you're showing it's really not that much of a concern. I'm 5'3, and I bought my first horse when I was 15. We were looking in the 14.2-16hh size range as I wasn't too comfortable with large horses at the time and we weren't sure that I wasn't going to grow another couple of inches. Turns out I didn't, so when I start looking for another horse I'll be likely looking at 14hh and up.

Back when we were in high school a friend of mine who is very tall, long legged, and thin (5'10 or so and about 120 lbs) rode a 13.2hh pony. She was definitely not too heavy for the pony, but looked funny on her. People always gave her a hard time, but she enjoyed riding that little mare. She eventually did need to upgrade to a larger horse (a 17hh TB in her case) but still owns that pony and has been long-term leasing her out to a lesson program. The pony simply wasn't going to work out for her when she wanted to get into showing jumpers, but she was absolutely fine for playing around.

I guess the summation of all of that is that unless your daughter ends up being fairly heavy she probably won't be too big for the pony. However, she may wind up being too tall for the "ideal" pair in the show ring. Whether or not that's important to her is something I can't say, and in all honesty I'm not sure that's something you can predict when she's 8 years old.

Now, perhaps more important, is outgrowing the pony ability wise. There's a LOT that goes into that. In five years or so your small, timid little 8 year old may well have grown and matured into a bold young teenager that is looking to get really involved in competition. Will the pony (or horse, size isn't necessarily the issue here) still be the appropriate mount for her when that time comes? To some people that won't matter too much. They'll be just as happy to come out and play with their ponies as ever, while some may be looking for more than their horse can offer. Of course, that's a really hard thing to judge in an 8 year old! Which brings you to such questions as... would you be willing to sell the horse if your daughter outgrows it? It sounds like you aren't so willing in that department. What about leasing it out to an individual or lesson program? Could you afford to buy your daughter a second horse and perhaps keep the pony for your wife to ride? It's a wonderful option, but only if you have the funds to do so. Or would leasing a horse for the time being be a better option for your daughter to get more involved in horses while waiting to see what she really wants/needs in a horse? Lots of things to consider...
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post #20 of 31 Old 08-18-2015, 01:36 PM
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It's quite likely that she will outgrow anything she has now that's a steady eddie beginner type (though not sure this pony is!!), that's something you always have to face when buying a pony or horse for a newbie
But having one that's sensible and biddable for an 8 year old to feel confident and learn with at this stage is far more important than having a pony she can go up a notch with when she's 15 (or whatever age) because a big scare or a let down now could mean her not even wanting to be riding later on in her life.
My 12.2 was responsive and jumped well enough to be competitive but you couldn't find anything that would spook him, he didn't have a bad bone in his body or any inclination to ever challenge me.
A 14.1 pony to an 8yr old is probably like giving a beginner adult something that's 17 hands - can be very intimidating if they don't play by the rules!!
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