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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Super excited about this - a friend of mine who knew I was looking for a buddy for Rusty, who has ulcers from selling my mare last summer, is offering me a part newfoundland pony at a very reasonable price. I trust this friend, and have met the pony. She is a total doll. Friendly, curious, really likes people. I think she'd be a perfect companion for Rusty! He was very bonded with my mare (can you say oedipus complex?) so I think he'll bond with his new friend quickly. This is good because when Harley has to go off-property again, Rusty will have company.

So this girl is maybe 12 hands, still needs to fill out a bit (was somewhat underweight when my friend got her), but newfies are quite sturdy, similar to Icelandics. She'll be turning 4 in the spring. My daughter, about 5'3" and 110 lbs at the very most, would like to work with a pony as a project. This little mare seems perfect for a first horse to start. She's had a saddle on her, but no rider, and is green broke to drive on the long lines (I don't think she's pulled an actual cart yet). When could my daughter start sitting on her back a little bit at a time so she can start working her? Of course we would do a lot of ground work and teach her to lunge. She is really smart and curious, so would also be a great candidate for trick training.

Obviously we wouldn't do anything very serious with her, but wondering if my daughter could at least lightly start her under saddle at a walk, maybe a trot. Since Newfoundland ponies are critically endangered, I'd run a DNA test out of curiosity and register her if it turns out she has enough Newfoundland blood to do so. If not, that's ok too.

Will hold off with the pictures until she is actually in my barn. But they will come when she is here! (IF... I'm supposed to say IF right?)
 

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Oh my gosh that's so exciting! I have no idea when she should start riding, I think they start riding horses at 2 right? So maybe wait till then? I have no idea. But I am interested in keeping track of your progress! When (you're gonna get her lol!) you get her, you need to start a journal for her progress!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm really excited, yes! And this pony mare would turn 4 in April so I'm thinking maybe some light training under saddle? With a lot of ground work, lead work, and enough lunging that she knows how. Would like to continue her driving training (she's green broke to drive), but don't have a harness or a cart, but I do have long lines so we could do some of that as well.

Bringing my daughter over to meet her tomorrow. We'll be making a decision in a few days!
 

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Yeah, that sounds good to me! I've never trained a horse though so..lol!

Yay! I can't wait to hear about it!
 

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Sounds cute and a good project for both of you...
Neither of you are large nor heavyweights if I remember correctly...

I read horses/ponies do not fully mature for at least another 12 - 18 months yet...that's a minimum....
Knowing that I would quit the idea of the lunging even a little so not to stress bones, tendons, ligaments or muscles...
Still growing, filling out and maturing the animals need to learn how to balance themself in straight lines before making them go in smaller circles torquing their body...
Long lining is wonderful and educates too...since most work needs done yet at a walk.
By the time you are ready to do trot and canter work bet the time has flown past and far more a mature animal will you have.
That is my feeling on it....

Can the pony have a rider astride...
Why not at this age?
Not like you are going to pound the animal into the ground as it knows not much...nor is it your way.
So short sessions of walking work astride...go for it.

The "IF" sounds more to me as hook up the trailer, prepare the stall and bring her home...
Yup, I'm an enabler...;)
🐴...
 

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Do a lot of long lining with the pony. She is already familiar with long lining and it will help build a relationship with your daughter for whenever your daughter is ready to get on her back.

Ask the owner what bit they use for long lining vs those times they did put a saddle on the pony. When we long lined my grandfather’s young horses they wore driving bits, because we broke all of them to ride and pull a cart. We used a different bit for riding.

For my part, since I have seen your daughter bareback on Harley & Rusty, when you, your daughter and the pony all feel comfortable with each other I would just get on the pony without a saddle. The pony is plenty old enough to be ridden.

Do some groundwork with a riding bit first. When I trained Sonny, he knew how to whoa, back up, & neck rein, using the reins, as if I were sitting on him, before I ever got on his back. I wasn’t much bigger than your daughter, when I was in my early teens and Sonny was close to 15H so she should be fine using that method:)
 

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She’s plenty old enough to start now, especially since your daughter is so light. I like to start backing them in the stall. Once they establish a trusting relationship she could have you hold the head while she climbs up on a mounting block and leans over her back. Work up to swinging a leg over and just sitting for a minute. Once she can sit on her for a while then you can lead her around for a few steps at a time. No saddle for this part.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks all! Ok, so no lunging (I guess I just meant to teach her what it means when I ask her to do circles around me so that when I want her to lunge, it will be a skill she already knows). But I totally get your point HLG. And this mare was a little too thin when my friend got her, is looking better now but can still stand to fill out some. We won't be in a hurry to do anything until summer. Other than lead and work on manners.

I would not have thought of asking what kind of bit she was in @walkinthewalk - thanks for that! Will find out.

Sounds like I have a lot of research to do, but I think this little mare will be a sound and sane little partner. This is what the Newfoundland ponies are known for - their level-headedness, along with their versatility and sturdiness.
 

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I would start riding her now too, especially since you are lightweights. She would make a great driving pony, which could be very fun. You could pony her out and about quite a bit, if either of your other horses will allow it. That is very good training for trails and such. I hope you get her, and don't delay posting pictures!!
 

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Sounds lovely for you and your daughter - I do hope Pony comes home! My only experience training a young horse was with a 4 year old gelding - we did some light ground work with a long lunge line, walking and having him keep space and then turning in when I gave the signal (a particular combo of pointing, looking, turning my body) and then he would reverse to walk in the other direction. The horse owner had taken a clinic where they recommended that as training for him as a young horse. At that age he was still pretty exuberant and hadn’t learnt much about personal space, so it was a good exercise, I thought.
 

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Also re: riding, it seems to depend on whether the horse is full grown for their breed. My barn owner has said that some horses take longer to mature. Some are ridden at 4 and others she waits till 5 or even 6 just to make sure that they reach their full size (I think). I’m not sure about Newfoundland Ponies (that info should be out there somewhere) but they sure do have a great profile: About the Newfoundland Pony
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Also re: riding, it seems to depend on whether the horse is full grown for their breed. My barn owner has said that some horses take longer to mature. Some are ridden at 4 and others she waits till 5 or even 6 just to make sure that they reach their full size (I think). I’m not sure about Newfoundland Ponies (that info should be out there somewhere) but they sure do have a great profile: About the Newfoundland Pony
Yeah, I tried to find out more about breed maturation, but had no luck. Wondering at what age they are done growing. If we bring her home, I will contact the Newfoundland Pony Society to get a DNA kit and to find out more about what we can do with her at her age.

And yes, that exercise on a long line sounds great. I already have a big goofball who has no concept of personal space. It's all very cute until someone gets hurt. My daughter is working towards her coaching certification and hopes to give lessons to kids soon, so I really want this little mare to learn good manners from day one. It's too easy to let these little ponies get away with things.
 

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I already have a big goofball who has no concept of personal space. It's all very cute until someone gets hurt. My daughter is working towards her coaching certification and hopes to give lessons to kids soon, so I really want this little mare to learn good manners from day one. It's too easy to let these little ponies get away with things.
Ha so cute! Imagine that lessons on the pony. Hope it all comes together. And yes about young horses (and dogs), things can go very awry quite quickly. My sister and hubby tried to give Wyatt (4 year old gelding) carrots without supervision once and it turned into a stampede; they were backed onto the fence calling for help in 2 seconds flat. I’m also trying to teach my neighbour’s daughter to walk my 3 year old perfectly behaved dog around the block, but the little girl is super fond of holding and giving treats which makes my young pup very excited and it takes a lot of intervention to make sure it is a safe experience for both of them.
 

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How exciting!! I think your realistic outlook, especially including wanting to start those good manners right away, already sounds like you will be a great home for her. I know your daughter really has shown her commitment to horses from the posts you've shared.

So, let see here: cute, fluffy, pony mare; taking her training slow and careful to match her age; firm on the ground manners? It's a "heck yes" from me and not at all so I can live vicariously through you! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well, I am now the proud owner of a part Newfoundland pony!

Y'all are such enablers ;)

Took my daughter to see her today and she adored her. This little mare is sweet, curious, completely unafraid, but not too pushy (though we will teach her manners so she doesn't become pushy). Is ok with being touched all over, with having her feet picked. Leads happily. Good, positive energy. In-your-pocket but not nippy. We will bring her home Saturday. You're all just going to have to wait a few more days for photos, hehe. I'd say she's 12hh, but we'll measure her properly when she's here. Could be pushing 13. Still has a lot of filling out to do (she was underweight when my friend got her). We will pretty her up over the summer!

Won't do a PPE because she's dirt cheap and from a good, long-time friend who wants her back if I ever decide to re-sell. But I'll book an apt to have everyone vaccinated and have their teeth done in the next month, so will ask the vet to have a good look at her then. Honestly though, she's just a super fun little project. And Rusty will love her. When we left, she and another horse were mutually grooming each other just like Kodak and Rusty used to do. Harley may be a bit grumpy about having another friend though, so we'll keep them separate at first, then introduce her to Rusty, then Harley. Hoping it won't take more than a few days.

Pics to come on Saturday!
 

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Yay! She sounds amazing! I can't wait for pics;!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Ha so cute! Imagine that lessons on the pony. Hope it all comes together. And yes about young horses (and dogs), things can go very awry quite quickly. My sister and hubby tried to give Wyatt (4 year old gelding) carrots without supervision once and it turned into a stampede; they were backed onto the fence calling for help in 2 seconds flat. I’m also trying to teach my neighbour’s daughter to walk my 3 year old perfectly behaved dog around the block, but the little girl is super fond of holding and giving treats which makes my young pup very excited and it takes a lot of intervention to make sure it is a safe experience for both of them.
Exactly. Which is also why they don't recommend buying an unbroke horse for a kid! Luckily my daughter is now almost 16, and has shown herself to be a competent horse person. She's even taught Harley a lot, and is excited to do some work with this new girl! Of course I'll supervise everything and will do lots of ground work with her as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
How fun! I can say my daughter loved working with her new horse - my daughter was a tad bit older when she got her new mare but the past couple of years they have blossomed together and it has been wonderful to watch Congratulations!
She's hoping to start her next competitive dressage horse, but I think it's too soon for that - and so does she, actually. The next few years will be busy ones for her. This little pony should be enough to teach her a little something about starting, and we won't hesitate to get help if we need it. I know a local trainer who is tiny, and starts ponies for kids. But I think between the two of us, we can figure it out. And really, she's probably a little green broke to saddle, but we'll be starting her as if she knows nothing.
 
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