Pony For Daughter--Update Page 8. Great First Year Together

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by michickenwrangler, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. michickenwrangler

    michickenwrangler To Finish Is To Win

    Jun 8, 2008
    NE Michigan
    It's time!


    Time to start the search for a large pony/small horse for DD.

    DD is 6 yrs old, been on horses since she's been a few months old but really riding since she was 3. She's done leadline and a walk only dressage test. She wants to do trail riding and "the stuff you do, Mom" ie competitive trail.

    I'm looking for large pony/small horse easy keeper as stable owner will give me a break if it doesn't eat a lot. [​IMG]

    I've got leads on 2 Haflingers and a Haflinger/Appy cross that are all 16-17 yrs old and kid safe. These are all grapvine horses at this point, although one is posted on CL and it sounds like kids outgrew the large pony.

    I'm 5'2" and I want it to be large enough so that I can ride it and work with it if I need to., so 13+ hands. When I start looking, trainer/stable owner will be going with me.

    DD doesn't know yet. So, at what point SHOULD I start letting her try out horses/ponies?

    DD on friend's horse doing dressage leadline. Yes, they had to do a pattern. I tripped over H and almost fell out of the ring.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2011
  2. greeneggsandham

    greeneggsandham Songster

    Mar 10, 2008
    Haffies are great mounts. Can easily care an adult, yet be gentle enough to take care a little rider. If you find some good prospects I would take your daughter with you and the trainer. That way you can see how they mesh. My 16.3 gelding loves children and is very cautious when one is on his back. Heck he's cautious with a dead beginner adult too.
  3. RiverOtter

    RiverOtter Songster

    Nov 4, 2009
    I am 5'2 (and a HALF!) and I can get on a 12HH pony. I wouldn't ride one all day, but for a quick training session, not a problem.

    Your DD is very young. Kudos to you on having the trainer go with you to look!. Ideally, you want the horse turned loose when you get there, and see it caught, groomed, tacked and ridden - all by the owner's child if possible as presumably that's who's been handling the horse. <warning! I have met "sharky" ponies who can be ridden by a child once you can get the kid on it's back - from the ground they might just kill the kid. See it groomed and led!!!>
    If you get there and the horse is already tacked up, explain that you want to see it caught and that they please untack it and turn it loose and catch it for you. Yes you'll feel awkward - but better that then to buy a hard to handle pony.
    Ideally your trainer will "be the bad guy" for you.

    Do NOT bring your child!

    Once you tell a 6 yo they are getting a pony, every pony they meet is the pony and there will be tears. Oceans of them. Arrange to get the pony on trial. Pay what you have to, get it in writing that this is a 2 week trial and they will take the pony back (minus whatever fee from the purchase price you agree on).
    Tell DD that you're going to have lessons on this pony for a while. If it all goes beautifully, at the end of the 2 week trial say, "Guess what, we're buying Pony for you!" If not, then it's "You learned well with that pony, lets try doing lessons on a different pony for a week or 2"

    That way your little one avoids the emotional roller coaster. Buying a pony is stressful enough for Mom! Let your 6 yo have a happy surprise that the new pony at the barn that she's really enjoyed lessons on is to be her very own from now on.
  4. JustAChickenLittle&More

    JustAChickenLittle&More Songster

    Nov 25, 2010
    Honestly, from the wife of a super trainer who has seen many accidents after people sold ponies and horses as "kid safe", "bombproof".....Whenever you go to see a prospective pony/horse, the current owner should ride that horse first, not in a ring, but outside the ring, and preferably off the property. Then and only then should you mount up and do the same (even if your trainer rides that horse after the owner does, you need to ride as well. After all, the trainer knows how to handle things if something should go wrong. You want to be able to handle the horse/pony as well).
    After the current owner, trainer, and yourself ride the prospect and find it acceptable, then your daughter needs to ride that pony with everyone present, to make sure he will behave for her as well. So I guess my answer is that your daughter needs to be the one to fit to the pony, therefore she needs to go with you to look at prospects. Just remind her you are going to "look at prospect" and if you don't think that specific pony is good/safe for her, you will not buy it just because it is pretty. If she shows any intimidation riding that specific pony. Call it a "No" and look elsewhere. Good luck.
  5. JustAChickenLittle&More

    JustAChickenLittle&More Songster

    Nov 25, 2010
    You can add Riverotters suggestions to my answer as well.
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Truthfully I'd try to steer you AWAY from a Haflinger or anything of that sort.

    First, because many can be rather um bullheaded when they want to go somewhere and even harder for a 6 yr old to argue with than yer average pony; and second because it is REALLY hard for a little kid to learn to ride when their legs are stuck straight out to the sides on a wide mount.

    Something more normally "horse-shaped" (i.e kids legs can hang down around the animal's sides to a reasonable degree) is a LOT more correctly educational.

    IMO the big thing is for the animal to be not only extremely bombproof but also to just plain *like* kids.

    As I think others have said, I'd also recommend you do not even consider putting your daughter on a pony til you have seen it ridden (preferably badly [​IMG]) by another kid of approximately the same size. (They do not necessarily behave the same for kids as for adults -- and that can go *either* way, LOL). If you do not have a friend of the family willing to cooperate this may eliminate some horses simply because the seller cannot produce a demonstration-rider kid... but, c'est la vie, most kids are too breakable at that age (both mind and body) to be tossing 'em onto unknown-quantity horses just on the strength of the seller's anecdotes.

    My final suggestion would be that for simplicity's sake, especially since this is a first pony, it may be best to proceed on the assumption that whatEVER pony you come up with, your daughter will love it. Thus, any meeting of ponies and test-riding to be done will merely be a final check that she 'clicks' well enough to not have trouble handling him... as opposed to 'do you like this one'. Have not actually pony-shopped for my own kids yet, but have seen a lot of this in other people and the more you can avoid it the better IMO.

    JMHO, good luck, have fun,

  7. txredneckmedic

    txredneckmedic Songster

    Apr 20, 2009
    I personally would stay as far away from ponys as I can. I would look for a retired ranch horse or similar. My 7yo daughter rides my horse who is 16 hands and bout 17 years old. She also rides and trots by herself. My wife is 4'11 and can get on him by herself.
  8. michickenwrangler

    michickenwrangler To Finish Is To Win

    Jun 8, 2008
    NE Michigan
    My plan was to NOT bring DD. She and I have talked about getting her a horse/pony for awhile so she knows the idea is in my mind. She will also ride my horse for 1/2 hr-plus without getting bored.

    I've emailed on one and corresponded with the woman. It's a roan Haflinger/Appy cross, ridden at the Holly Recreation Area quite a bit. Owners also have goats and draft horses. I need to call on the others.

    Again, small + easy keeper = cheaper board so ideally I would like to find that.

    I know a lot of the "tricks" for buying like showing up early, getting horses from pasture, tacking up, watchine other people ride first. I always look at horses twice before I buy them so if I like the horse on first look-see, then DD can try out pony on second. All the horses I've bought for my and DH's purposes have all been fairly high strung project horses so trainer is going with me since she has more experience with children/amateur mounts. Also have 2 "backup friends" who can go if needed although they have less experience horse buying.

    I'll keep everyone updated.
  9. QH Girl

    QH Girl Chirping

    Jun 27, 2010
    Baton Rouge
    My DD started riding an old arabian we had when she was 5. When I decided she was going to stick with it I bought her a 24 year old kids' retired QH that kept her safe for 6 years, until she decided she's rather be a cheerleader than a cowgirl [​IMG]

    I love horses, have trained, ridden, shown QH for years. I bought a hackney pony in a moment of weakness at an auction, worst horse decision I've ever made. She would charge you from across the pasture just because, and regularly left pony bites on my horses' rumps. I gave her away, but I would have thrown her on the BBQ pit if we did that sort of thing down here.

    Evil, evil pony. Cute, but evil!
  10. welsummerchicks

    welsummerchicks Songster

    Jul 26, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2011

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