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  1. #1
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    Aug. 4, 2004
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    Default Sport pony for dressage price range

    A friend is thinking about getting a pony or hony for dressage (she is about 5'2"). She was an experienced H-J rider who took a break than started with dressage lessons a couple of years ago. She has brought along greenies in the past. Limited budget. She says:

    "My biggest desires are a quiet horse - something that does not freak out over little things, a good mover and not very big. It would be great to get a horse that is trained up through a higher level in dressage but unless I want a 20 year old, they are so expensive!"

    Thought I'd see what folks here have to say about what she would have to spend for either a prospect or one with more mileage. Any thoughts?



  2. #2
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    If her biggest desire is really to have something fun and quiet, there's no reason she could not find a 1st-2nd level large pony or "hony" for less than 10k. You can find correct but average moving Halflingers, Cobs, Fjords and various pony crosses all over the place for very reasonable prices.

    Start talking really fancy German Riding Ponies with fabulous gaits and a good temperament and the sky is the limit as far as price...



  3. #3
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    Depending upon your definition of 'good mover' and how much training you want and how much obvious potential there has to be, the options are really all over the map. Mine was under $5k and doing WTC, from a family of dressage and eventing ponies, but she was also a funny height and a curious mix of quiet and sensitive. She is very fun and I'm having a blast with her, getting very decent scores, but she as an individual is not an upper level dressage prospect.

    She just has to figure out what she has to spend, what she wants to do, and then go looking.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket



  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perfect Pony View Post
    , there's no reason she could not find a 1st-2nd level large pony or "hony" for less than 10k.
    I kind of think that would depend on the pony/training/quality of the gaits-- it costs just as much $ and time to raise, train and compete a pony as is does a horse.

    The key to finding a good prospect is to chose something with more "horse-like' gaits and who is a good harmonious match body type wise.


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  5. #5
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    Ponies/honies are not purchased by the inch - and are really no cheaper than their 16.2 hand counterparts. It's a common misconception. They cost the same to raise train and compete - so the sales prices are the same.

    the main issue is this request "It would be great to get a horse that is trained up through a higher level in dressage but unless I want a 20 year old, they are so expensive!"

    Well, umm, yes. All that training isn't achieved for free and certainly isn't given away on a horse in it's prime no matter how tall it is.

    I WISH i could convince my trainer to charge me less per lesson because my pony is shorter.
    Somehow that argument doesn't hold water.
    RoseLane Sporthorses-Westfalen horses and ponies
    Home of Golden State- 2012 Bundeschampion 3yo Pony Stallion
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  6. #6
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    Mar. 11, 2006
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    My biggest desires are a quiet horse - something that does not freak out over little things, a good mover and not very big. It would be great to get a horse that is trained up through a higher level in dressage but unless I want a 20 year old, they are so expensive!"

    Add to that list the winning powerball ticket and a rich sugar daddy and she and I are soul mates

    OK you say she's brought along greenies in the past; but her biggest desire is a quiet horse and a good mover. I get it, I'm 50. I don't really desire to ride every super sensitive uber diva type pony/hony but your friend has already figured out the "rub". If she doesn't want to pay to play she must make her own especially if she wants something that truly has talent. Quality movement means a higher price tag (usually). A higher level of training (usually) means a higher price tag especially if it's still sound. There are bargains to be had and not everyone needs or can ride an uber mover even if it's in a smaller package. To stay within budget means she's going to more than likely have to look at those who are not imported, not necessarily purpose bred though may be from those designated sport lines within "another" breed, go younger and perhaps not backed yet and still kiss a fair amount of toads. .......that's just what we gals from the middle class caste must face.

    Just to keep this in line with some of the other comments and pushing bargain basement shopping aside. Ask your friend if her clothes which are comparable in brand/quality/style to that of a taller friend are significantly cheaper? I'm 5'2" too but whether the breeches I buy are for me or those meant to fit my 5'7" daughter, the price is still the same.
    Ranch of Last Resort
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    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
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    Ponies/honies are not purchased by the inch
    I paid for mine by the pound


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  8. #8
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    Find a horse with a fairly good walk and canter that is quiet. Improve the trot!

    You would be surprised at what can come out of an ''ordinary'' horse/pony/hony when you put the time and effort doing it properly.

    Of course the properly trained, quiet and sound ones are worth their weight in gold.

    I would look at Morgans, Quarter horses, Standardbred, Crosses/Mix...


    4 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
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    Oct. 21, 2003
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    Yes, training is training, but that means nothing. A horse successfully showing locally at Grand Prix that is an Arabian is not going to sell for anywhere near the price of a Warmblood getting the exact same scores at a lower level! It's just the way it is. I know plenty of people that have bought ponies, Arabians, QHs, Morgans, etc showing and getting good scores that paid significantly LESS than a totally average WB with little decent training. It is what it is.

    I know a gal with a cobby Halflinger showing 2nd level locally with scores in the 60s, 1st level with an older ammy owner, who is totally earthbound with shuffling "pony gaits". But he's correct and sweet and safe. He was practically free.

    You just have to figure out your budget and what you really, truly want.


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  10. #10
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    Where the bargains are to be had are mostly going to be in ponies that are on the smaller side and are not ready or suitable for a child. For example, mine is 13.3 5/8 ... not exactly a happening hot size. Two inches taller or one inch shorter and she'd be a pretty expensive (hunter) pony. It's not rational, but there you go.

    A pony that requires an adult ride is similarly a bit less valuable.

    That said, there are some amazing, tremendous, purpose-bred ponies out there (two very successful breeders posting on this thread) and ponies are just a blast to work with. Those ponies are going to bring top dollar and rightly so.

    It's just like any other horse-buying situation: there are diamonds out there, and inexpensive, but the ones already identified with the talent you want will cost what they cost; the sky is the limit.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket



  11. #11
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    If your friend ends up with a pony, don't forget that CDS has special pony awards that are open to adult riders.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket



  12. #12
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    I have a friend who bought a pure Arabian who had competed up to 4th level. He was not big. She was an Arabian person, but didn't show Arabian. She bought him because she wanted to get a USDF medal. Horse was 13 or so, push button, and only cost her either 5 or 8 k (can't remember exactly). Anyhow, because he was an Arabian, he was cheap compared to WBs.
    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
    Thread killer Extraordinaire


    3 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
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    May. 16, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by alibi_18 View Post
    Find a horse with a fairly good walk and canter that is quiet. Improve the trot!

    You would be surprised at what can come out of an ''ordinary'' horse/pony/hony when you put the time and effort doing it properly.

    Of course the properly trained, quiet and sound ones are worth their weight in gold.

    I would look at Morgans, Quarter horses, Standardbred, Crosses/Mix...
    No doubt. If you have a good eye for horseflesh and are able to train yourself to some degree (augmenting that w/lessons or trainer rides when you get stuck) then it shouldn't be hard to find a nice, reasonably priced/minded/gaited animal.

    But you have to be able to tolerate ups and downs in the training process. If you just want "quiet" you may not get it in the first years of training--and so what? Part of the fun is working through training issues, dealing with the highs and lows, etc. You have to have a taste for that, or you really should look at 20 year old instead.

    I'd describe my horse as fancy and good-minded, but he's young and has given me some tough rides. What comes out of working through training issues and miscommunications is a stronger, better partnership. That, to me, is more important than a "quiet" horse.

    That turned into a bit of an off-topic rant--sorry! I'm just saying that your friend may have to tolerate a few "freakouts" if she wants a bargain.
    2007 Welsh Cob C X TB GG Eragon
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    I owned him for fifteen years, but he was his own horse.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
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    Aug. 15, 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by honeylips View Post
    Ponies/honies are not purchased by the inch.
    OK, this should actually be someone's tagline! In general, it is totally true, however... There are certain sizes that often come with a discount - such as 14.3 to 15.1, honie sized. All of a sudden they don't qualify for pony awards and many people just think they are too small. To be honest, the older I get, the more ideal this size becomes

    I sold a honie in this size range a while ago, and am kicking myself, because she was the perfect horse, great mind, best canter you could imagine... She has a wonderful owner, I can't complain, but now her half-sister is almost ready to start (coming 3) and is probably going to just be an inch or two taller, and I may hang on to her if she's anything like her older half-sis...

    You probably won't find too many bargains (as already noted) if you are looking for a GRP. And if you think you are getting a better "brain" just because it is a pony, think again. What you ARE getting is closer to the ground, so if there is an involuntary dismount, it won't be the equivalent of flying out a 2nd story window

    Several people have already mentioned non-WB breeds - Morgans, Arabs, Welsh Cobs (I just watched North Forks Cardi at his GP debut! And there is another cob out here who is showing 4th level w/ great scores). Crosses - of all types - step outside the box and realize there are some nice, safe, sane, decent moving horses of various breeds worthy of the dressage ring. I also know a few people who have ridden Halflingers - haven't seen too many that were fancy movers, but they mostly seem to have good brains.


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  15. #15
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    Just a comment here: if you look at the breeding of the uber expensive German Riding Ponies you will often find pure Welsh or Welsh cross. Also British Riding Pony blood. Ponies, being clever people, can do anything they are asked to turn a hoof to, so long as the rider can do it.


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  16. #16
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    I saw a beautifully bred pure Welsh Section B offered at an extremely good price here in CA--sadly Im not comfortable riding some of the uber refined 'riding' pony types. Just a guess on my part but you could spend anywhere from about $1500-50k. It all really depends on what your goals and budget are. But dont go bargain shopping and expect to dicker on price thats just rude. I know breeders offering quality youngstock right now at rock bottom prices in an effort to get them moved. I know others with ponies that are hugely over priced relative to potential/quality as well. It takes a keen eye to be sure.



  17. #17
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    Mar. 13, 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by MysticOakRanch View Post
    Several people have already mentioned non-WB breeds - Morgans, Arabs, Welsh Cobs (I just watched North Forks Cardi at his GP debut! And there is another cob out here who is showing 4th level w/ great scores). Crosses - of all types - step outside the box and realize there are some nice, safe, sane, decent moving horses of various breeds worthy of the dressage ring. I also know a few people who have ridden Halflingers - haven't seen too many that were fancy movers, but they mostly seem to have good brains.
    I'd agree that size should not really matter (though sometimes it does), and that movement, ability and temperament are paramount. People do tend to think that just because it is a pony or hony, that it should not cost as much as a bigger horse. But, if it has the gaits and talent, there should be no difference.

    Haflingers were one of the breeds mentioned. I just wanted to say that while they are not known here as much in the U.S. as dressage horses, that is starting to change. There are breeders now focusing on movement and athletic ability who are producing some very nice purebred Haflingers with the movement to excel at the upper levels. This is one stallion from out west showing at fourth level this year. (Photos are from last year, when he was shown very successfully at third level last year.)
    http://www.wingspannfarm.com/media/s...n/max10BIG.jpg
    http://www.wingspannfarm.com/media/s...on/max9BIG.jpg

    Hope the links work.

    And a video link to another that showed at least through first level, maybe further. (Video is at liberty, not under saddle, but shows how lofty his movement is.)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xW4QEEIPgU8

    Neither of these horses is connected to me in any way. I'm just really excited that they are out there representing the breed well. Hopefully, my boy will be there in a couple of years.
    Last edited by New Horizons; Apr. 9, 2013 at 06:15 PM.
    Mary/New Horizons Haflinger Sport Horses
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  18. #18
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    ...just thought I'd throw lipizzaners in the ring, along with the haflingers and other non-WB breeds that people have mentioned.

    Honies are my favorite, and are what I specifically went looking for when I was horse shopping!! :-)


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  19. #19

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    I highly recommend she look at a Welsh Cob...



  20. #20
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    while i "get" the draw of the fancy smancy super moving ponies/honies - for those with a limited budget what is the MOST important aspect is that you have a VERY GOOD trainer.

    Any well conformed horse or pony can be trained up the levels - as long as the trainer is good enough. So while it is super fun to have fancy gaits - more importantly is to look for individuals that have good walks and good canters - trots can be made. look for something that is a good learner and a good temperament.

    those are the critical factors. So that said - given this market - honestly - you can find something for free to 50k.

    I am a pony convert so i get the draw - so i suggest to your friend to check to make sure they have access to excellent training, then go look for something that fits the bill! they are out there



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