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Project horse

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  • Project horse

    Hey guys I'm new to the forum but there seems to be a lot of respectable users and thought thered be some advice out there.

    I'm looking into buying a project pony but it would be new to me. Ive owned a couple horses that I used for personal use and showed in the hunter/eq ring. I sold my last mare in oct. 2010 because of the economy. At the time I was 16 so a real job (I worked 6 days a week at the barn) and driving wasn't an option for me.

    I now have my own car and a very successful and dependable job. I was thinkin about a project because it will take time but be a good way for me to work my way up to hopefully a horse again that I can use for personal use.

    I'm a very crazy rider, I'll get on anything lol and my skill as a rider though not a trainer, im very capable to be blunt which is why I thought this would be the perfect route for me.My experience ranges from the show ring to young horses, excercising active race horses and everything in between. Id also be continue working with my trainer. Of course I'll have her by my side but I'd love different opinions/advice from you all.

    I'm thinking a pony especially to start out with because I'll be starting at a small budget, young with limited training to make the best profit. Although a little tall (5'5") im tiny, and weigh 110 so I don't have to close out the smaller ponies.A big hunter barn I trained at for years and also worked at offers rough board which would save money for me as well as giving be all of what i need.id have no problem doing rough board as the barn is 5 min from my house and I'm someone who always needs to be doing something. I also have two 11year old sisters who have some riding experience and would be perfect to get younger children experience on the ponys back.As far as the outcome and targetted buyers id be lookin for it would depend on what I end up with but on the end have a pony going around a course effortlessly and good with children.. which is where my sisters come in handy muahahaaa(;

    So there's really no specific question lol! but any advice or direction from those of you who have done this before would be great. As said I have owned horses before so I'm not forgetting all the things such as vet, farrier etc that can be easy cost to forget about.
    Last edited by DreamBignRide; Apr. 2, 2012, 01:08 PM.

  • #2
    Ponies with good potential aren't always cheaper than a horse with good potential. I don't know what you'll be marketing this pony as, but many many buyers want the pony to be proven in some form in the show ring. Even for local schooling-type shows, parents want to know that pony is going to be a packer both at home and at shows. You're 18 now, correct? Most open shows limit showing ponies to juniors (under 18). So even if you're petite enough to train the pony, will your sisters be good enough to show the pony doing what it's best at? Plan for the worst and have money already saved- don't plan on the pony to pay for itself plus profit. And get a vetting before you buy, because if pony has some issue and you purchase without knowing, someone down the road looking to buy it from YOU is going to vet it and find out. And when they decide it's not worth it to buy a pony with issues, you're going to be stuck with it.

    Hope that's helpful advice for you. I currently have a project horse and he's lovely.


    • Original Poster

      Thank you, completely agree I wouldn't go in expecting a ton.. more so just the experience to test my business skills and hope. I would be 18 by the time all this happens and if it does(:

      Plan would be to take the pony to local small shows that arent rated to gain experience and then if not my sisters, another rider to take into a rated show to gain some proven mileage.
      I've bought and sold a couple of my own horses before and very cautious with vetting etc.

      This could be a shot in the dark, I'm obv young and naive haha but sometimes I l like to make mysel believe that everything's atleast worth a shot (;
      I am young but take my riding very serious and love the sport


      • #4
        I believe that ponies can't show with adults in pony-specific divisions, but you could ride a pony in a regular hunter class and not be penalized. The only concern would be whether or not the pony could get the correct strides.

        Just make sure you plan for vetting in your budget. That's potentially the biggest expense.


        • #5
          Originally posted by lachevaline View Post
          I believe that ponies can't show with adults in pony-specific divisions, but you could ride a pony in a regular hunter class and not be penalized. The only concern would be whether or not the pony could get the correct strides.
          It would just be nice to have the pony shown off without setting it up for failure- best way to do that is to put it in a pony division with pony striding in the classes it's suited for, if it's going to be deemed a child's packer ("going effortlessly around courses" per the OP).


          • #6
            The green divisions aren't age restricted, if I'm remembering correctly. If OP is looking to show said project pony herself, she could show it in the greens.
            Trying a life outside of FEI tents and hotel rooms.


            • #7
              All Pony classes are restricted to Juniors, Green too. The only difference for Greens is there is there is no rider age restriction for the size of the Pony as in the Regular Pony divisions like under 12 for Smalls etc. Most local shows follow this as most of their exhibitors want to keep the Ponies for the kids so the 9 year olds in their pretty pigtails don't have to show against adults.

              For the OP, if you go looking for a Pony? PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE make sure it is a Pony and know exactly how tall it stands. A 13.1 3/4 hand Pony is a "top of the line" Medium and will price high. A 13.2 3/4 hand Pony is a tiny Large that must compete on the Large strides and fences and a tough sell.

              Likewise a 14.1 3/4 Large is as good as it gets. At 14.2 3/4 it is NOT a Pony at all and would not be a great project for resale if you were counting on the money for selling it to help get your next one.

              BE CAREFUL on HEIGHT and verify all claims. Try to learn a little more about the Pony divisions as that will help you select and train what you can sell. Don't get stuck unless your sisters want to keep it and you can afford to lose the money for your next project.

              Actually, IMO you would do better with a horse. More to chose from and not so much worry over an inch.
              When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

              The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


              • Original Poster

                Ok thanks all, like said this may not turn out as planned but the money put in won't be nearly as much as I've already put into horses LOL so even if it doesn't go as I would hope, experience was built.

                As far as the showing, I ment local shows as in there is a barn that does unrated BASIC jumper shows for $10 a class where I could give the pony exposure with me on its back, ride the course as a hunter course, build conforbility until time to set the pony in the rated shows with a age appropriate rider.

                I have seen many friends go into a frenzy before a show because of the height so something I already was thinking about.

                Thanks for the insight everyone! it's a lot to keep in mind to make sure it works as hoped. If I do go through with it, it won't be atleast until the fall and even then, the prospect won't be bought until I feel I've found the best one. No rush in things, just fun.


                • #9
                  I do this. It is a money pit. Win a few, lose a lot more. I consider it like gambling, I only spend what I can afford to lose. I aim to sell one and make enough to buy, train and show the next. I'd like to say I do it for the money, but really it is for the love of the ponies. There are a lot of variables involved such as height, size (you can have a pony that is 14.1 3.4 and NOT big bodied, stride, temperament, movement, jump, conformation, show experience, etc.) All I can say is go to the best breeder in your area and start with the nicest young pony you can afford. Have someone that knows what they are doing shop with you. Keep working with a trainer that is knowledgeable about hunter ponies and good at sales.


                  • Original Poster

                    Thank you! what you said sounds like me, apart of me knows I won't get much out of it and when I think about doing it, I think about the experience rather than the money in the end.


                    • #11
                      You've got to be pretty tough to do this successfully. Which is why I still have my project horse, (blemished beyond saleability within months of purchase) now retired and eating happily in my pasture,13 years later...

                      Thank God I don't have to pay board on him.


                      • #12
                        To echo some of the above points: Pay attention to height. When I bought my current project pony I was told she was just under 13.2hh.. turns out, she's just over and if I can't get her measured as a medium when the time comes, I'll be lucky to get half as much as I want to for her.
                        Also, as someone else said, it's a lot like gambling. I got this project pony almost two years ago and haven't even gotten her into the show ring yet because of two separate injuries. The goal was for me to get her into the ring asap, qualify her for finals, and then start her in the regulars. Because of her injuries, I'm now selling her as a kids pony with potential to do the division and no show record in the division ring, and I've aged out of the mediums.
                        Another thing to keep in mind is that a pony with potential will probably cost the same or even more than a horse with potential. You might be better off with a horse. If I were looking for a pony I wouldn't want one that is being ridden by an adult, even if your sister can show it from time to time.

                        However if you do still decide to get a pony and are near/willing to travel to Florida, you may want to get in touch with Sandy Holbrook at Sugarbrook Farm. My mom and I were looking into buying a small green to work with and then give to my little sister and although that didn't end up happening, I spoke to Sandy and she had quite a few ponies that fit the bill nicely and were in our $10k budget.
                        Good luck!
                        "It's hard to wait for something you know might not happen, but it's even harder to give up when you know it's everything you want."
                        Blog | YouTube


                        • #13
                          I have known a couple of talented young riders who were able to do this with a pony and one with a horse-I still think the market for horses is larger but it is your choice and I know that parents really like the pony idea.

                          That said the one thing you will need is a good ground person who can train horses-not riders. I'm not saying a full time trainer just someone who can look at your horse and tell you what is really going on with them. We have many good and great riders in my area but sadly only a couple of trainers, they are not the ones with a ton of students they are riding the babies and problem horses at shows.

                          Good luck and have fun, working hard is the right mind set !