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  1. #1
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    Jan. 31, 2003
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    Default Pony Breeders: Hard To Find Pony Starters?

    I am curious. I cannot start them, I am too tall. So one of my clients asked me to teach her how, with her nicely bred Makuba filly. The filly is a large but the client is a small

    Of course I started thinking ahead, to when Yum is ready, and figured I will send him to her, as she is now working on number two and doing great. She has a tremedous amount of experience riding and showing, had just not started any yet.... She has done a fantastic job. So selfishly, I really want her to become a professional pony starter! Is there a career in this for her? She is little enough to ride smalls. Smart enough to ask for help if she needs it. Has all the equipment and a good facility. What say ye pony breeders, should she consided giving up her day job?!
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
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    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  2. #2
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    Apr. 2, 2011
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    Westchester, NY
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    Default

    As as 5'1'' strong ammy, I am curious about the answer to this question as well.



  3. #3
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    Apr. 29, 2006
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    Evansville, Wisconsin
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    Default

    The last time I trained a couple of small rescue ponies, I did tons and tons of ground driving with them, and then ended up getting some of the more experienced kids at the barn to get on them when it came time for them to be ridden. It would have been really nice to have a small adult that could get on them instead, though. I hate doing that sort of thing to kids, even when they're quite good.

    In our case, it was charity work, though, so even if we'd had a small adult that wanted to do the work, it wouldn't have paid. I'd imagine there's quite a bit of demand for good pony starters, especially when we consider how hard it is to find any kind of good young horse starter. Then narrow those candidates down by size, and the list gets even smaller. But like most equestrian endeavors, it's probably not terribly lucrative.
    "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
    -Edward Hoagland



  4. #4
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    Dec. 4, 2007
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    Ontario
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    Default

    I paid for college training ponies (smalls and mediums mostly, I think there were 2 larges)
    Riding the winds of change

    Heeling NRG Aussies
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  5. #5
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    Mar. 28, 2006
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    Default

    Most people under estimate the size of rider that a pony can carry. Most ponies (particularly those with Welsh or other native pony ancestry that have plenty of bone and substance) have no problem carrying adults that while may not be "show ring suitable" size-wise, are perfectly fine to start a pony's training.

    Particularly ponies that are 12.2 and up are perfectly able to comfortably carry an average sized adult rider with no issues, even if the rider's legs hang down longer than what would be considered OK in the show ring. (and if you were showing in the Welsh show ring, you would see plenty of average sized adults on small ponies all the time!)
    Family Partners Welsh Ponies - Home of Section B Welsh stallion *Wedderlie Mardi Gras LOM/AOE http://www.welshponies.com
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  6. #6
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    Nov. 1, 2005
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    Default

    So funny, I was just pondering this myself yesterday. Not that I plan to start breeding ponies any time soon but I was at a show on the weekend with a couple of terribly cute ponies and I started to go "hmmm.." Then I gave my head a shake. Still, I found myself wondering what the pony breeders do about getting their ponies started.
    I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.



  7. #7
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    Apr. 14, 2007
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    Default

    I actually breed my ponies with smallish adults in mind.
    To the question would it be a good profession to get into? I think it would depend on your location. Are there a few pony breeders in her area?
    I start my own, I am 5'8".



  8. #8
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    May. 5, 2009
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    Location: Indiana, but my heart is in Zone II
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    Default

    Ok- good info and insight here! Quite a timely thread as I have a small pony to start (need to stick her...).

    So what is the weight range for a small or med in regards to starting? This is not meant to morph into a rider weight debate!! Just some experiences etc on a weight range. Is 150 too heavy to start a small?


    Thanks.
    Come to the dark side, we have cookies



  9. #9

    Default

    I have a great lady who starts mine. She is 5'6" and about 140lbs, all of it muscle. All goes well until it is time to finesse the jumping on the smalls and mediums. Then her body height really influences the jump.
    So I still have her do 90% of the work, then at that point, one of her students gets the ride.
    She still rides the pony 3xweek to keep it trained, but the kid rides it 2,3x week so it learns to go with a kid ( afterall, these are childrens' mounts).
    Works well for me: most of the ones I have had start this way end up being at Pony Finals, or year end winners.
    BUT it takes me about 1-2 years to get a pony in a recognised show ring.

    If you have someone who can be the starter and the finisher, go for it!



  10. #10
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    Jun. 4, 2002
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    Suffolk, VA
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    My "starter" for my Spanish Mustangs which run from 14 to 14:2 in size generally is 190 lbs and 5'10 or so. She has had no problems starting my little horses but I don't start them before a mid year three year old or early four year old. She recently rode our 6 year old filly she started in the mountains for 2 days of 6 hour rides in a heavy western saddle. The young mare had no problems packing her up and down..and this was at altitude (we are from the coast). Now granted our breed is known for good bone and substance also but I agree with whoever said that people underestimate how big a rider a well built pony can take easily. I'd not hesitate to send more youngsters back to this trainer.

    FWIW, I'm 5'4" and 115 lbs so I'm itty bitty comparatively. When I was offering training for outside horses, I was not getting much interest from the show pony folks. I trained way more horses within our own breed and the odd other breeds like OTTB's, etc...



  11. #11
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    Dec. 13, 1999
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    Greensboro, NC
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rideagoldenpony View Post
    Particularly ponies that are 12.2 and up are perfectly able to comfortably carry an average sized adult rider with no issues, even if the rider's legs hang down longer than what would be considered OK in the show ring.
    yeahbut, ET would have to crank her stirrups up to keep her feet from dragging the ground on a Small
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  12. #12
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    Oct. 19, 2009
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    Default

    Does your friend want to become a professional and lose amateur status (if she has that status)? Let her start a few more ponies and then you could bring it up to her- but we all know horses don't make much money so if she has a good job already...

    But would a pony breaker/starter be something good to have around? Of course! I would think the best thing to do is to offer her services to the pony breeders that want them started and sold. But as others have said, you can do tons of work yourself on the ground if you need to and unless you're 5'11" on a small or weigh 200lbs on a petite pony, a few rides to get them used to a person on their back shouldn't hurt until you pass it on to someone that fits better. I guess some people are afraid they're way too tall or heavy to get on ponies anymore, but I think that stems from seeing tiny kids on ponies, and moving up to the next height division before they even truly outgrow the pony's size. While it isn't hunter show ideal, it's still fine to do at home. I'm 5'5" and while I'm light, I ride my 12.2 pony all the time and he has absolutely no problems. I have to work a little harder to make sure I'm centered on him when we jump (up to 2'9") since he has a short neck, but it still works just fine. When I ride bareback my feet hang to about his knees or so. He can carry someone heavier than me just fine too, I know people around 150lbs or so have been on him and he's fine with it.



  13. #13
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    Jan. 31, 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post
    yeahbut, ET would have to crank her stirrups up to keep her feet from dragging the ground on a Small
    Tee hee, this is so true, I have some seriously long legs...

    We are in North Carolina, RTP area.

    I just thought it was interesting as she is actually child sized. If I were her size I would never ride another horse LOL yes, call me jealous. I also covet her dog

    I think she could bring them thru w/t/c and jumping to the point of making sales videos, she would not look crazy big even on a small, and the ponies would learn to be ridden by a tiny person....

    Just a thought.
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  14. #14
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    Mar. 28, 2006
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by EqTrainer View Post
    Tee hee, this is so true, I have some seriously long legs...
    Yeah... yeah.... yeah....

    Everybody thinks their legs are soooo long....

    This is my 6'6" husband riding my 13.0 1/2 hand pony. I realize that some of you may faint at this sight, but he is very, very thin (I always say about him that he makes a toothpick look like it overindulged ), her ribs are well sprung, she takes up a lot of leg for a guy with a 40" inseam and she had no trouble at all carrying him.
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  15. #15
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    Dec. 4, 2007
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    Ontario
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rideagoldenpony View Post
    Yeah... yeah.... yeah....

    Everybody thinks their legs are soooo long....

    This is my 6'6" husband riding my 13.0 1/2 hand pony. I realize that some of you may faint at this sight, but he is very, very thin (I always say about him that he makes a toothpick look like it overindulged ), her ribs are well sprung, she takes up a lot of leg for a guy with a 40" inseam and she had no trouble at all carrying him.
    What are those, Xtra slim calves?? Gawd that makes me sick..... LOL!

    Great example! It's true, ponies can handle an adult rider very well. When I was in college I weighed just under 160lbs and I was riding ponies on a daily basis.
    Riding the winds of change

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  16. #16
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    Jan. 28, 2002
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    Alberta, Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideagoldenpony View Post
    Yeah... yeah.... yeah....

    Everybody thinks their legs are soooo long....
    I was waiting for rideagoldenpony to post a photo of her husband riding their ponies after EqTrainer said her legs are really long. Ya ain't gonna get longer legs than that! I have found with ponies, that height is often irrelevant. It's how you use your height on a pony that makes the difference.
    www.DaventryEquestrian.com
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  17. #17
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    Apr. 4, 2006
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    An American Living In Ireland
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    I'm really lucky as I've branched out to only starting ponies now. I have a guy down the road who breeds Connemara's so plenty to keep me busy. Only taking one at a time as I have to work as well as keep my 2 riding and care for the other 3. But I'm having a blast. I'm lucky as size wouldn't be an issue. I'm 5ft and weigh 100pds. It's such a nice break for my body too! I'm old and beat up! After riding them I get on Abba and think why do you have to be so big!

    In my 40's now and enjoying my pony phase!

    Terri
    COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

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  18. #18
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    Jun. 7, 2005
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    Charleston, SC
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    I agree with Gretchen in that a pony can carry a decent amount of weight on the flat and not be adversely affected. However, when it is time to start jumping, the weight and size of the rider can cause many difficulties. Especially if the rider is not extremely balanced. Any shift of the rider's weight on a pony is felt and reacted to much more by a pony than by a horse. My young pro rider is 5' tall and weighs about 120lbs. She starts all of our ponies including the smalls, but only jumps the smalls over crossrails and 18" jumps. I have very good kids do the additional jumping as they progress.

    And while a pony CAN carry significant weight, they will NOT move the same as they do with a kid on them so this will be a definite factor in how the pony hacks. Not a big deal maybe in some disciplines, but huge in hunter ponies.

    There is a definitely a need for good kid sized adults to start ponies. We get asked to take ponies in for training all the time and rarely do only because we have a lot of our own to work with. That being said, we have 3 outside ponies coming in to train this month since I sold a few at Pony Finals. I would tell your friend to go for it
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  19. #19
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    May. 12, 2008
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    I recently started working with a woman who breeds welsh ponies. She used to show, but not as much anymore. I do horse training work part time so I am starting one at a time.

    The one I am riding now is 11.1HH 3.5yrs old. He has no problem carrying me, I am 5'2" and about 125lbs now (been on a losing streak as far as that goes).

    I have short legs and a long torso and I still feel like my leg is a bit long on him. I have no idea how I look, though.

    I will also note that I am more careful with how my upper body is positioned, leaning a bit forward on him means a lot more than leaning a bit forward on the 16HH mare I also ride. I do plan to start him over jumps (he goes over poles like a champ so far), but do not plan to do more than crossrails - just enough that he gets the idea. Karen O'Connor said she had a similar problem with Teddy, in that she had to be careful with her upper body over jumps.



  20. #20
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    Nov. 7, 2004
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    Goshen, OH
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    I, too, would love to know what a good pony height/rider weight range is! I weight about 160 - I know the larges are ok with me. Can a medium carry me comfortable? I'm sure it depends on the individual pony, build, etc...



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