1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Thinking about a pony for a Christmas present

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Western Chick, Dec 12, 2008.

  1. Western Chick

    Western Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    191
    2
    131
    Apr 17, 2008
    Western MN
    Okay, so I know it sounds like a fairy tale story. It's the Christmas present I always wanted but never got. I found someone near us who has a pony for sale and I'm thinking about getting him for my four-year-old DD.

    The pony is a 13 YO, 9.2 h gelding. He's been used with kids, riding and driving. He seems very sound. We haven't gone to look at him yet but maybe this evening...

    Our family is not new to livestock. We have cattle and goats, in-laws have horses but I don't trust those horses with my kids. DD loves the goats and does very well with them. Lately the kids have been trying to ride the goats calling themselves "mutton busters" That's what gave the the clue that this might be a good idea.

    I've never owned a horse before...I leave that to my father-in-law. I know the upkeep can be costly, I'm prepared for that. Is there anything in particular I should know about ponies?
     
  2. RickiHupp

    RickiHupp Chillin' With My Peeps

    832
    0
    139
    Sep 24, 2008
    Newark, Ohio
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    I am ALL for that!!

    We actually bought a 6 month old Mini for my daughter...she is going to LOOOVVVEEEE it!!!

    I hope you get it!!![​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Jenlyn9483

    Jenlyn9483 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, FL
    Toooo CuTE! I always wanted a mini horse for him son through his 4-8 or 9 yr old years..Maybe we will be somewhere where there is room by then. His Granparents have horses but I want a mini for him.
     
  4. CountryMom

    CountryMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    985
    5
    141
    Jun 21, 2008
    South Texas
    My oldest DD has decided to break and train every little pony she can get her hands on. So far we are on number 5 and they are turning out beautiful. I am all for a pony for a little one, but I know that there are swindlers out there.

    My best advice is this...
    Get your FIL or someone who knows horses to go with you. Don't listen to excuses about bad behavior from the pony. Most ponies get rough treatment because they are too small for adults to break and train them properly. So they get a bad rap when the do wrong. Just don't get one that is all jumpy or nervous. You just don't want to be talked into a basket case. I saw a very cut pony go for $500 and it actually dumped the ladies 5 yr old daughter when she rode him bareback.

    My second advise is get someone to teach your DD how to ride and handle that pony. Because of a pony's size it is a valuable teacher for a child. A good pony can be a confidence booster and a love for the rest of their lives. A few lessons from a fellow horseman or trainer can save you a lot of heartache. You can also look into local area shows for minis and shetlands. Some areas like ours has a non rated club that puts on a few shows a year so children can learn how to show and handle a pony.

    If you do get one, I hope it is a gem like the ones we have. I know they can be spit fires, but they really love our kiddos and have a big heart when it comes to them.
     
  5. NewChickenMom

    NewChickenMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    418
    2
    131
    May 16, 2008
    Omaha, NE
    NO GRAIN!! no matter how much the pony begs!!

    also, be careful if you'll be putting the pony on grass pasture, ponies can founder quicker than you can blink

    like everyone else has said, be sure this pony is BOMBproof. if its for a young child that hasn't ridden before, you need something extrememly quiet and gentle.

    my best advice, act like a crazy person around the pony. no joke, jump around, make loud noises, make crazy movements. then gauge ponies reaction. kids are crazy animals [​IMG] and they make a lot of strange noises and movements to a pony. my niece has done all sorts of wild things around and to the horses: walk underneath, run up and smack them on the butt, hang on their tail, dragged a muck bucket out into the pasture and hopped on the pony bareback with no halter or bridle. kids dont know horses/ponies can be dangerous, make sure your pony can handle kids.

    as for feeding, ponies are usually easy, just grass hay, water, salt and mineral block
     
  6. scrappyroo

    scrappyroo Out Of The Brooder

    45
    0
    22
    Jan 18, 2007
    Binghamton, New York
    Ponies no matter how well trained can be very stubborn and difficult at times which can really turn a kid off to horses if your not careful. I recommend either a welsh type pony or a small horse. They won't outgrow it and are way more easy to handle if trained. Just my 2cents. But kids will love anything you get them. Good luck [​IMG]
     
  7. Western Chick

    Western Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    191
    2
    131
    Apr 17, 2008
    Western MN
    Great info, keep it coming! [​IMG]

    A more specific question...Can the pony live with my Boer goats?

    I have them housed in a converted dairy barn with access to outside. The pony would be with the bucks. They're fed free-choice hay and loose mineral (loose goat mineral, free-choice via PVC feeder) plus whatever grain they can sneak from the does who are fed on the other side of the feeder. I don't think that would be an issue for the pony unless he has a long, skinny tongue. [​IMG]
     
  8. Dandelion007

    Dandelion007 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 7, 2008
    Durant, OK
    It all depends on the pony. My parents got me a shetland pony when I was in the 1st grade. She was the best pony. She lived to be over 25 years old. A child could ride her and she'd never buck and would be the slowest and quietest pony ever. She'd be the perfect angel. If an adult got on her, that pony would act wild. She'd run fast and be all over. Almost like a split personality. But she was the best. I have so many wonderful memories of her. The last 10 - 15 years of her life nobody rode her but she earned that. She just ran with the horses, goats & llamas. I credit her with teaching me how to ride.

    My advice is meet the pony. If you can see the pony in action with a child, that would be the best way to know how it acts with children.

    They don't take much. Grass, water, shelter & some feed. The right pony will give your children so much in return.

    And yes, to directly answer your question about goats. They can run with goats.
     
  9. CountryMom

    CountryMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    985
    5
    141
    Jun 21, 2008
    South Texas
    See I am partial to Shetlands, but also like the Minis. My husband would not allow me to buy the kids a Welch because of a couple when he was young that were meaner than ..... you can imagine. So I think it depends on the pony and not the breed. The bigger ones can be ridden longer by children, but the little ones do great as cart ponies also. Here is a pic of my oldest coming back from the pastures on our gelding named Desi she trained. He is a 4 yr old shetland and a very refined show pony. And then a pic of my other daughter on our POA/Shetland cross Mare named Princess. That mare has the biggest heart. She is 5 yrs old, again trained by my oldest, and as you can tell now broke to death.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    If your child is going to be scared of a pony it is going to be scared of a horse as well. Horse or pony it takes one that likes children and is gentle.

    We do grain our ponies, but they are VERY active and riden a LOT.
     
  10. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

    6,923
    24
    271
    Feb 11, 2008
    Waterloo, Nebraska
    Remember that ponies are herd animals. It will need a companion. If you can't get two ponies, try a goat. Ponies can have an attitude and be stubborn. Make sure your daughter is taught by a responsible horse person how to ride, care for and handle the pony. Ponies are not "just little horses" when it comes to riding and feeding. They are prone to things like founder if over fed. Often, even a nice lush green pasture in the spring or summer can be too much for them. Get a good horse vet to do a prepurchase exam. Even if the pony is super cheap or free, a prepurchase exam is money well spent. I would also make sure that the pony is good with kids. Don't just take somebody's word for it. There are lots of nasty ponies out there. Have your daughter ride it, or watch other kids of a similar age ride it.

    Just so you know, I am a pony person. Even as an adult, I ride one. You can see my lovely 13.3H tall Haflinger, Dolli, in my avatar. Also, keep in mind that small ponies are outgrown very quickly, and then you will have a lovely pasture ornament that will often live to be 40 years old. It is a long term commitment.

    edited because I didn't proofread
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2008

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by