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FlashGordon
Dec. 14, 2011, 06:33 PM
I grew up doing 4-H, AQHA and huntseat. I don't know much about eventing or pony club.

I've got a young mare that I anticipate keeping forever, but, I like my horses to be well trained and marketable in case for whatever reason they have to move on from me.

She's a Morgan, so an "off" breed for both dressage and hunters. She's not the breed show type of horse, either.

My goal is to make her as well rounded as I can. I think she will make a *superb* kids' horse. I am planning on showing her on the local hunter circuit this next summer, and hitting up some dressage schooling shows.

What makes a good pony club horse? Is there a market for them? What kind of qualities and qualifications are sought after?

Thanks!

RougeEmpire
Dec. 14, 2011, 07:05 PM
A sense of humor and a willingness to forgive a kid for mistakes. Morgans make GREAT PC mounts because they are very even tempered and have a ton of try. There is a good market for any well rounded, well broke, sound horse with some show miles that will not hold mistakes against a young rider.

Blugal
Dec. 14, 2011, 07:23 PM
I always make sure you can ride them bareback in a halter - you know the kids are going to do it!!

They *should*:
-be perfect for trailer loading, tying, picking up feet, tacking up
-not kick
-have a "been there, done that" attitude
-put up with things like Prince Philip games
-behave on a group trail ride

Ideally, have lots of experience jumping, so it's not a green-on-green situation.
Hope that helps!

eponacowgirl
Dec. 14, 2011, 07:30 PM
The ones you have to kick to the fences are priceless!

pheasantknoll
Dec. 14, 2011, 07:30 PM
HI FG:

Thanks for making more sane, wonderful PC horses! Although there are many disciplinces in PC now, the primary discipline is still eventing. BN eventing is 2'7", so she needs to jump, have good dressage, and be a saint on XC. She needs to stand endlessly for brushing, bathing, and braiding, love the trailer, and never wander off when she gets out of her halter!

In my area, there are many PC horses who are Morgans, Haflingers, QH, etc at the lower levels. At upper levels, most have TB or WB cross.

There is always a good market for the lower level eventers if they are REALLY broke. You can check the PC classifieds to see some idea of prices. I think they are pretty reasonable except in area II.

When I am looking for a new horse for my PC'er, I look to other PC families first. For qualifications, get some good show miles on her and a reasonable price. I don't care about pretty, just safe and sane. I also don't care about dressage scores too much if safe and sane.

YMMV,
PKN

FlashGordon
Dec. 14, 2011, 07:36 PM
Thanks guys! What great feedback thus far.

I think she's going to be a super, all-around horse to do pretty much anything at the lower levels. I've just been worried about the fact that she's a Morgan around here it is all QHs and TBs. She's a lovely mover so might make a nice adult ammie dressage mount.

But you are right, there is going to be a market for anything broke, sane, sound and well trained.

I was joking with my friend the other day that I need to send her to a 12 year old for a year so they can do all the crazy things kids do. You know, bareback and costume classes and riding 4 hours at a time etc.

I really have no intention of selling her, but, I do like to always have a plan B and for her, the pony club market seemed like it might be a good one.

KateWooten
Dec. 14, 2011, 07:51 PM
send her to a 12 year old for a year so they can do all the crazy things kids do. You know, bareback and costume classes and riding 4 hours at a time etc.

12 yo... 44 yo... it's all the same :D Don't forget crawling underneath the horse to groom the other side, and carefully untacking and putting up your saddle before dismounting. All useful skills at any age ;)

Lori B
Dec. 14, 2011, 08:08 PM
I haven't done Pony Club, but it seems like patience would be a big plus. There seems to be a TON of hurry up and wait at Pony Club rallies.

How is your girl? Why don't we get more pictures?

(KateWooten, your profile picture is priceless. That pony looks like as much fun as it's possible to have with one's clothes on.)

FlashGordon
Dec. 14, 2011, 08:33 PM
I know I definitely need to post more pics! I stuck some on the Baby/Green Horse thread I started on the Dressage forum, but I'm pretty sure you saw the same ones on FB.

I'll try to get more of her. :) I feel like I'm always in a hurry to get her worked when I am at the barn.... all business.... I need to spend more time hanging out with her and just enjoying her. She's so easy that I don't fuss over her, kwim? I need to.

She is such a gem though.... Yesterday I was stood chatting with my friend, who has been riding her for me, after their work-out. Bella was falling asleep, we were yammering on, and then a big bust of wind came and the huge metal door shook. It was loud, and my friend and I both jumped out of our skin... Bella barely noticed. :) And then she went back to napping.

Duckz
Dec. 14, 2011, 10:27 PM
12 yo... 44 yo... it's all the same :D Don't forget crawling underneath the horse to groom the other side, and carefully untacking and putting up your saddle before dismounting. All useful skills at any age ;)

Heh. I like your style. My coach shudders at what my horse has tolerated when she's not looking ;)

eventmom
Dec. 15, 2011, 09:03 AM
I have two girls in pony club.
I would say there are two things that make a great pc mount
The first would be that this horse is a good fit for its rider, whatever skill level they are.
The second thing that is very important is that it needs to have excellent manners.
These kids are expected to go it ALONE at rallys and such. Manners become very important when you consider you are sending Sally away for the weekend with a bunch of kids and her horse. In this case it is not just about your own kid knowing the tolerance of their mount. You never know what kid is going to be "helping" with grooming and such. The horse needs to be safe in such circumstances. This obviously includes easy trailering, being good away from home, and not being buddy sour AT ALL.

jn4jenny
Dec. 15, 2011, 10:06 AM
Basically what others have said. I'll add that having PC games/gymkhana experience increases the saleability. It's secondary to having a strong eventing resume and good manners, but it helps.

Many of the Pony Club games are things you can expose Bella to early in her training. When Skyler was green, we used to play some of these games (or at least introduce the game concept) to get us through boring walk/trot winters before he was ready to return to canter work.
http://www.games.ponyclub.org/Games%20Play.htm

FlashGordon
Dec. 15, 2011, 11:04 AM
Many of the Pony Club games are things you can expose Bella to early in her training. When Skyler was green, we used to play some of these games (or at least introduce the game concept) to get us through boring walk/trot winters before he was ready to return to canter work.
http://www.games.ponyclub.org/Games%20Play.htm

Oh thanks Jen! We are definitely already bored with the W/T in the indoor. Even ground poles have gotten boring. And going around cones. It's too wet to hack out, I keep hoping the ground will freeze and at least then we can W/T her around the property.

So will definitely check out some of those games! We used to do a lot of game days when I worked at summer camp years ago. (Maybe I should just send her to summer camp... lol.)

flashwhitelock
Dec. 15, 2011, 11:29 AM
Games are a good way to bombproof a horse. I would suggest slowly getting her used to someone reaching over and hanging on one side of her (useful for games and that kid that's falling off hanging on the neck.) I also would suggest getting her used to a flag on a stick swinging along side her. (useful for 3 flag race etc.) Again, it mimics those stupid things that kids do when they have a scarf, jacket etc. Touching their legs with everything is also perfect kid proofing. I can't name a single kid that hasn't pulled a hose against the horse's leg or banged something into them.

One suggestion that my daughter's PC instructor had for practicing games: change to a hackamore so the horse doesn't confuse games behavior with real world. I can attest that all her horses are fabulous games ponies but slow down and go back to full schoolhorse mode as soon as you put a bridle with bit back in their mouth.

Ibex
Dec. 15, 2011, 11:42 AM
Oh FG - I bet Bella would make an AWESOME PC mount. Especially for little Miss FG in a few years :winkgrin:

I third/fourth/fifth the whole gaming thing. It gets really old, even for an adult horse, for them to be startled by stupid things ammies do (drop coat, answer phone, unbalance stupidly while reaching for coat they wanted after all, mounting for weird obstacles because we're not athletic enough to get on from the ground after we got off to retrieve to coat we accidentally dropped on the ground when we missed the jump standard we were trying to hang it on etc etc etc).

eponacowgirl
Dec. 15, 2011, 12:26 PM
FWIW, one of my most fabulous kids horses is a Morgan- Major.

http://a8.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/207526_1893819872891_1463376430_2058706_2518119_n. jpg
http://a1.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/196327_1893776711812_1463376430_2058612_405406_n.j pg
http://a1.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/166169_1797621582411_1295889946_3736359_946481_n.j pg

He has never said "no" to anything we've asked him to do. He just gives and gives and gives. He is sound, sane, barefoot and eats next to nothing. LOVE him. I would clone him 17 times if I could.

Fancy That
Dec. 15, 2011, 01:13 PM
FG - Agree with what many others have said about the qualities needed in a PC mount. And the good news is that Morgans have these qualities in spades!!!

EponaC - OMG, I love that Morgan!!! He epitomizes a good Morgan and reminds me very much of my mare (not looks, but qualities) Your description of him could have been of my mare, exactly.

FG - the other thing, too, is that if she is AMHA reg'd, you have the Morgan Breed Circuit or even just Morgan "Peeps" like me. Morgans tend to be very versatile, extremely sound, can go barefoot, have excellent SANE temperaments and manners, and very easy to manage (easy keepers, very sound, etc) They also have lots of GO - but coupled with a very even-keeled and wise personality. IOW, you can have a go-go-go Morgan, but it will often NOT be spooky or pull any funky stunts. It just may be "fast"

I've had 3 Morgans over the last 20+ years, and prior to Morgans I had OTTBs, Ponies, etc (when I was a Hunter Princess)

I LOVE MY MORGANS. Just expose your mare to everything you can think of, and I'm sure she'd be a great PC mount, a lower-level eventer, lower level dressage, schooling/lower level Hunter/Jumper or anything really!

They make GREAT trail horses and foxhunters too.

Gee - can you tell I love Morgans ;)

My mare goes from riding bareback in a halter on the trail (http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk150/elaineshickman/E_F_on_trail_2.jpg):


To doing an Eventing Derby (http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk150/elaineshickman/Fancy%20Family/F_sj_HD07.jpg):

To a local schooling H/J (flat) (http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk150/elaineshickman/Fancy%20Family/F_canter_huntseat.jpg) and a tiny Hunter Hack class (http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk150/elaineshickman/IMG_0782_big_fronjump.jpg):

And she's GREAT, XC (http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk150/elaineshickman/Lone%20Tree%20Hunter%20Pace%20August%202011/E_Fancy_HP_08_07_11_small.jpg)
And can even gallop (http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk150/elaineshickman/HunterPace_082507.jpg) (well, more like a hand-gallop probably. The TBs leave her in the dust)

And at a schooling Dressage Competition Clinic (http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk150/elaineshickman/PICT0002_crop.jpg):

And this is us at the '06 Western States Horse Expo, in the Morgan Breed Demo (demonstrating Hunt Seat (http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk150/elaineshickman/F_trot_best_right_small.jpg) - yes her mane is down, but I thought she looked more "Morgany" with it down :)

So just keep doing the things you are doing, and expose her to LOTS of variety....I'm sure you'll have lots of demand for her if you ever need to sell. I've had lots of folks wanting to buy my mare :)

Dewey
Dec. 15, 2011, 01:25 PM
eponacowgirl and Fancy That, your horses are adorable!!! Love them both!!

Fancy That
Dec. 15, 2011, 01:30 PM
eponacowgirl and Fancy That, your horses are adorable!!! Love them both!!

Aww....thanks for taking a peek at the Fancy Pics and the compliment :)

FlashGordon
Dec. 15, 2011, 04:07 PM
Oh loved the pics!!

I think that is what I love best, the fact that she is forward but not spooky. I like a horse with a motor, but prefer they have their wits about them! She's definitely very much like that.

I'm kind of lonely here in QH/TB land.... you rarely see anything but. I met an eventing pro a few weeks ago who just bought a lovely property here, she said she has a few clients on Morgans so that kind of inspired me.

leahandpie
Dec. 15, 2011, 04:24 PM
Two of the best horses in my PC growing up were morgans!! one took his rider to her A, the other to her B.

2Below
Dec. 16, 2011, 08:38 AM
Morgans make great PC horses, I had one growing up that I did EVERYTHING with, including skijoring (NOT a PC sport!). THey are nice because they tend to have docile temperaments, are versatile athletes and their gaits are smooth and easy to ride (typically!) and are a great size. PC horses need to be versatile, the clubber may do an eventing rally one weekend, trail ride with buddies the next, attend a polocrosse clinic the next. A quiet, been there, done that temperament is crucial for the D's. THey spend a lot of time tied to trailers standing around, another plus for the air fern Morgan that will happily stand around eating hay. We find that the really good PC horses, stay PC horses. They are outgrown and live with another upcoming PC'er. My Morgan lived with 5 different PC girls. And as PC'ers, they learn safe, solid horsemanship, so you know the horses needs will always come first. THank you for doing your part to make more solid PC horses, there is ALWAYS a need for a safe, appropriate PC horse.

Fancy That
Dec. 16, 2011, 05:00 PM
I love that this has turned into a "Go Morgans!" thread :)

FG - You must be feeling pretty good about your mares' potential to make a great PC mount someday :)

I don't follow you on FB or use it much, so feel free to post pics here, too! ;)

FlashGordon
Dec. 16, 2011, 06:27 PM
I know it is great to see all the Morgan success stories here!

When I bought my mare, I purposely went looking for a "family friendly" horse. I didn't think I'd end up with an unbroke mare, but the breeder assured me she was the one in her herd that she really felt was going to make a kids' horse some day.

So here we are... a few months in, she's been really wonderful. She's not a deadhead, but she's sensible and sane and very predictable.

I was hoping that in 3-4 years she'd be a horse for my kids, who are 5 and 20 months right now. But I like to make sure there's always a back-up plan in case for whatever reason, things don't go as planned. ;) Nice to know that from the sounds of it, she'd probably make a good PC mount, if for some reason I had to lease or sell.

Here's a pic from a recent ride. Not me on her, COTHer MiasPal has very graciously been riding her for me as I've been out of the saddle due to complications from an illness.

http://pets.webshots.com/photo/2401115370104109739TbFAOl

And this was her as a 3 year old

http://pets.webshots.com/photo/2452947870104109739GzkumK

And the day she arrived in August

http://pets.webshots.com/photo/2100842580104109739jpubEt

Lori B
Dec. 16, 2011, 08:16 PM
She's adorable, and I am SO jealous of that tail. ;-)

quietann
Dec. 16, 2011, 11:31 PM
I think these are actually the first photos of her I've seen. What a cutie! Is she a dark liver chestnut, or something else?

(proud owner of a Morgan here, even if mine did not live up to the breed's reputation for soundness, ability to go barefoot, and easy keeping. She's still an awesome horse!)

FlashGordon
Dec. 17, 2011, 09:10 AM
I think these are actually the first photos of her I've seen. What a cutie! Is she a dark liver chestnut, or something else?

(proud owner of a Morgan here, even if mine did not live up to the breed's reputation for soundness, ability to go barefoot, and easy keeping. She's still an awesome horse!)

She's supposedly black, both parents are black, but she's almost like a super dark liver... she has gorgeous red highlights throughout her coat and in her mane and tail.

Quitann yours is a palomino, correct? How long have you had her?

She's the kind of horse I am always happy to see when I walk into the barn, and I'm always smiling when I leave. She's such a trier and just a good-natured little thing!

rebecca yount
Dec. 17, 2011, 09:18 AM
She needs to tie to a trailer all day and just hang out there.

For games, we use ponies that are ALMOST too small for the kids, so they can get on and off easily -- you can teach her games so she'll be more bombproof, but chances are she wouldn't be used much for games--also smaller ponies are quicker through the weave poles, etc.

Fancy That
Dec. 18, 2011, 03:56 PM
OMG, I've never seen her before....she is GORGEOUS!!! Love love love her beautiful thick tail.

She is quite sporty in type :) I was also wondering, like Aeternal, if she was a black-chestnut. But sounds like she is actually black (many blacks can have reddish highlights or fade a little)

I love how that rider is riding her!! So soft and light, which is perfect for starting a baby :) Good for you to find someone with very light hands. Love seeing that drap in the reins, while you are simply teaching her to steer with a direct rein and give to th bit at this point :) I hate seeing 3 year olds being "crammed and jammed" ;)

FlashGordon
Dec. 18, 2011, 08:09 PM
OMG, I've never seen her before....she is GORGEOUS!!! Love love love her beautiful thick tail.

She is quite sporty in type :) I was also wondering, like Aeternal, if she was a black-chestnut. But sounds like she is actually black (many blacks can have reddish highlights or fade a little)

I love how that rider is riding her!! So soft and light, which is perfect for starting a baby :) Good for you to find someone with very light hands. Love seeing that drap in the reins, while you are simply teaching her to steer with a direct rein and give to th bit at this point :) I hate seeing 3 year olds being "crammed and jammed" ;)

I know, right?! MiasPal does a super job riding her. Bella loves her and she's so very quiet and soft. This is the first baby she's ridden, but she has such great instincts and naturally good feel. She's done a wonderful job thus far, I'm lucky to have her doing the riding for me.

Yeah I'm not sure about her color! I can't tell if it is fading or if it is her true color. She's quite black right now, but still has loads of red highlights in her mane.

Thanks for the nice comments. :) She is definitely very sporty, and very athletic. I've loved all the pics of your mare Fancy, I hope mine will be just as versatile someday!

quietann
Dec. 18, 2011, 08:13 PM
She's supposedly black, both parents are black, but she's almost like a super dark liver... she has gorgeous red highlights throughout her coat and in her mane and tail.

Quitann yours is a palomino, correct? How long have you had her?

She's the kind of horse I am always happy to see when I walk into the barn, and I'm always smiling when I leave. She's such a trier and just a good-natured little thing!

She could be a very dark liver chestnut with two black parents. My mare's sire is a dark liver chestnut but not nearly that dark.

And yes, mine is a palomino. She's dark, but every winter has more white hairs so you wouldn't see how dark she is right now. Would have been a fabulous eventer (and was, the little she did) if her conformation and history had not caught up with her. With one or two exceptions, everyone who's met her and watched her go has loved her. She's not quite as personable as yours sounds, but she makes me smile :)

FlashGordon
Dec. 18, 2011, 09:18 PM
She could be a very dark liver chestnut with two black parents. My mare's sire is a dark liver chestnut but not nearly that dark.

And yes, mine is a palomino. She's dark, but every winter has more white hairs so you wouldn't see how dark she is right now. Would have been a fabulous eventer (and was, the little she did) if her conformation and history had not caught up with her. With one or two exceptions, everyone who's met her and watched her go has loved her. She's not quite as personable as yours sounds, but she makes me smile :)

Oh she's personable... but seriously... unlike any horse I've ever owned. I'm not sure if she thinks she is a person, or a dog, or what. :lol: There are days she does things, that just make me go Hmm.......

I want to see pics of your girl, quietann! Don't think I have ever seen any.

I like how this thread is turning into a Morgan cheering section!

betsyk
Dec. 21, 2011, 02:17 PM
What I want to see in a pony club horse for the D's is the kind of horse who looks at the instructor and asks, "which fences?" The instructor can expect that if the kid points him in the right general direction, he's going to ho-hum his way to the jump and get to the other side without incident. That's the kind of horse the D's need to learn on, then they can move up to the more complicated ones.

The best thing you can teach your Morgan is to canter slowly and calmly to the fences. I love Morgans but I don't think I've met one that didn't have a speedy canter and a tendency to rush... not well-received in pony club because it often teaches kids bad habits (in all fairness, the kids' bad habits probably encouraged the behavior!).

Fancy That
Dec. 22, 2011, 03:55 PM
What I want to see in a pony club horse for the D's is the kind of horse who looks at the instructor and asks, "which fences?" The instructor can expect that if the kid points him in the right general direction, he's going to ho-hum his way to the jump and get to the other side without incident. That's the kind of horse the D's need to learn on, then they can move up to the more complicated ones.

The best thing you can teach your Morgan is to canter slowly and calmly to the fences. I love Morgans but I don't think I've met one that didn't have a speedy canter and a tendency to rush... not well-received in pony club because it often teaches kids bad habits (in all fairness, the kids' bad habits probably encouraged the behavior!).

That's a fair assessment of Morgans, given that they are very FORWARD and have lots of GO GO GO. They are VERY sensible, easy to handle, willing.....but I've NEVER met a "slow" Morgan that you have to "kick on" constantly. They are like Energizer Bunnies......so again.....I think that is a fair comment (about Morgans being FAST ;)

I know mine is! And the two I had before her....all of them are fast, fast, fast (but -non spooky and very game!)

FlashGordon
Dec. 22, 2011, 11:04 PM
Yes this mare has NO SPOOK. Like, none. It's amazing!

She is quite forward though. I personally prefer that, but I know for a kid it can be problematic, so we will definitely be working on adjustability.

Lori B
Dec. 23, 2011, 10:52 PM
Even though they are sometimes too forward for timid riders, the Morgans I have ridden are built so that I have always felt securely seated on them -- there's lots of neck in front of you for a smaller horse, which is nice when you're jumping.

goodhors
Dec. 24, 2011, 12:22 AM
As an ex-PC mother, you might want to put a hunting breastplate on her for any Games. Even if kid messes up girthing, or girth gets loose over time, the saddle won't turn all the way over with the hunting breastplate on. Along with knowing an Emergency Dismount, kid has a chance to stay in control, maybe even get back on!

Also gives kid more handholds, if they need them. One class my son did in Games was with a wooden sword picking up a liter bottle. He actually was totally invisible from the left side, only his heel on the top of the horse 14.2H, reaching the bottle laying on the ground! I have the photo!! He was older, bigger, so extra weight on the saddle sideways was a strong pull. He was on a taller horse, made getting bottle a bit difficult to reach. He did get it in one pass, but none of the other tall (over 12H) horses did. Those tiny ponies had a huge advantage. He had practiced that move a lot at home. Breastcollar kept my mind calm, no chance of saddle turning far. He could pull himself back up if need be. Horse was a saint, my old all-around horse. She LIKED Games, could outrun the small ponies stride for stride. Helped that she had run Barrels and Poles in her earlier life, knew how to just flex and not make big bends for weaving.

Only two of the Teams were even ABLE to spear the bottle and pass it along to finish.

I think at the time, there was a rule about rider height and weight, requiring bigger kids to have an animal at least 14.2H. Prevented the 5'10" kid from riding the 9H pony in Games.

Your Morgan sounds like an excellent member of the breed. Being an
all-arounder is a good thing, you will greatly enjoy the benefits over time.