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Pony Shopping woes

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  • Pony Shopping woes

    I'm so frustrated with pony shopping right now. My six year old daughter has a pony that we've been leasing and the lease ends this month. We wanted to buy the pony she's been leasing and were willing to pay the asking price, but the pony didn't pass the PPE and the owner is unwilling to negotiate a fair price for him. That leaves us shopping the pony market.

    We have looked at several and tried 2. Both ponies were advertised as beginner friendly, bomb proof, lesson ponies who are great with children. My daughter got on both of them and ended up on the ground both times. The first pony took off in the indoor galloping around and my daughter (who is only a walk trot student) fell off, hit the wall and cracked her riding helmet. The second pony we kept on a lunge line (smart move) and that one tried to take off but couldn't….daughter still fell off….and was stepped on several times. My little girl is fine….but she's now afraid to ride.

    Here's my vent. What is wrong with some people that they would misrepresent their ponies like that. To prioritize getting a pony sold over the safety and well being of a little girl. If you say it's beginner friendly and bomb proof….make sure it really is. To me….bomb proof means it would take an atomic explosion to get the pony to even think about spooking.

  • #2
    I agree that people should be upfront, particularly about hroses/ponies for children, HOWEVER, I am seriously wondering WHY you don't buy the pony you are leasing. If the pony is a "saint" and the PPE turned up something that doesnt affect his ability or can easily be maintained, then you should buy it. I have a student that was in need of a good pon y, when one came up for sale in our area. This pony I knew VERY well, he probably taught nearly every child in the area how to ride and show! He is now 22 years old, has pretty bad hocks, but she will finsih out her first short stirrup year on him this year and then pass him on as a walk/trot pony to her younger sister. When this pony came up for sale I RAN to buy him!!!! Price wasn't a question, although it was quite reasonable, but it didn't matter he is IRREPLACEABLE. I say really examine the PPE results and discuss thoroughly with the vet. If you are looking at something maintainable, and the pony is something your daughter trusts, buy him. You will spend a large sum running around looking at ponies that are not what they are supposed to be and very possibly have your daughter hurt in the process. At this point, she has become afraid. Probably the only confidence booster she will have is the pony she is used to. Now obviously I don't know all the details of the PPE findings, or the price of the pony. But What I am trying to say is, what is the "value" os a safe, reliable mount for your child. Remember, you can buy a horse today with a clean PPE, and tomorrow that horse can be dead lame!
    www.shawneeacres.net

    Comment


    • #3
      I think Shawnee is right. It's rare that something, some little thing doesn't show up in a PPE. She's been with this pony, has had no problem with this pony, and can rebuild her confidence with this pony. Sometimes price isn't negotiable, but when they are worth their weight in gold the price doesn't matter.
      "IT'S NOT THE MOUNTAIN WE CONQUER, BUT OURSELVES." SIR EDMUND HILLARYMember of the "Someone Special To Me Serves In The Military" Clique

      Comment


      • #4
        I agree with Shawnee completely.

        I just wanted to add for the safetly of your daughter, PLEASE have a trainer hop on the pony first when you try out them out. Even a small teenager would be good, naughty ponys are just as (or more) dangerous than a naughty horse. They should not be treated any differently no matter how they are portrayed in their ads.
        “It's about the horse and that's it.” - GM

        !! is the new .

        Comment


        • #5
          Not to start a train wreck, but... are you shopping with the help of a good trainer?

          A large part of the trainer's role in shopping is knowing who is truthful in their descriptions of animals for sale, and who will say anything to try to get one sold.

          As you've discovered, the say anything types are out there- a good trainer can help you avoid them.

          Good luck in your search!

          Comment


          • #6
            If you'd lease him again for a year

            and you thought he was worth the money before the PPE, then as long as it is something that hasn't bothered him so far, and can be maintained, I'd probably buy him. A bombproof, clean ppe pony that's doing well with the little ones is $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$. By the time they're made like the one you're daughter's been riding, if they are perfect, the average mortal can't begin to afford it. You are buying your daughter's life insurance policy, because when she goes in that arena, that pony is the one keeping her little noggin safe.
            And I bet she loves the darn thing. Sorry mom, write the check.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Thanks for all of your responses. I do have a wonderful trainer, but she's been horse showing the last two weeks and I've been coordinating the pony shopping through a broker who knows my trainer. My trainer and I have come to the conclusion that ANYTHING we look at from here on in will have another child get on it before my daughter does.

              I was serious about buying this pony and spent a lot of money for the PPE which showed several things. Navicular changes, sesamoiditis, and problems with the pony's right hock. The pony is 12 yr old and he's off when he trots. Has been since the day we got him. When he canters, he swaps out behind because he's uncomfortable. The pony has done nothing but walk trot for the last 6 months and he's still unsound. I just can't pay 15K for a pony that may or may not be rideable in a year. I know that he's not the only quiet pony out there for sale. I just can't seem to find the right quiet pony.....yet.

              Comment


              • #8
                Wow, that sounds really sucky for your young daughter.

                I agree with Shawnee that if the current pony is within your price range, you might want to look twice at the PPEs. It is going to be very difficult to find a pony quiet and bombproof enough for a walk-trot kid that is going to vet 100%, because most of them have been around the block quite a few times. A lot of times those ponies are worth their weight in gold even with a few issues, and they are not easy to find.

                As for trying ponies, I am assuming that you have done this before, and that you know the basic precautions. Just in case you don't, to reiterate:

                --Before the child gets on, you need to see the pony go under saddle with another rider, preferably a child. Ask said rider to demonstrate a few things such as giving the pony a big kick, getting a little floppy, losing her reins, etc. Make them *show* you that the pony is bombproof before you put your kid up there. An unbalanced walk-trot kid should only be put on a strange pony under the most controlled of circumstances, and it's better to be over-cautious.

                --The kid's trainer (not sure if you have one or if it's you) should be using connections to find ponies who they KNOW have already done this job safely before. The pony needs to be tested out in a variety of circumstances and conditions before you can really know whether it will be safe. A little kid won't be able to handle any problems, so you don't want to deal with an unknown.

                I'm sorry that so far you've been duped and your kid has gotten scared. Some people may be flat out lying about their ponies; others might be deluded about their animal, or not understand just how bombproof you need them to be. I wonder if any lesson barns might like to lease something out or sell due to the economy?

                I'm also not really sure why a w/t kid needs to be buying something instead of riding schoolies, but that's your own business and I'm sure there are reasons. I DO think that this horse shopping needs to be done differently, for the sake of the kid.

                ****Just read the OP's last post, and I must say that with those PPE results and price tag, the original pony does sound a bit on the expensive side.
                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                "I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream." --Vincent Van Gogh

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by lonewolf View Post
                  ****Just read the OP's last post, and I must say that with those PPE results and price tag, the original pony does sound a bit on the expensive side.
                  Yeah, that's what I thought too.

                  The question is.....how much is a reasonable price for a quiet pony? I don't care if it's a fancy show pony or a 10 mover. I just want sane and sensible and I'd be happy with old like Shawnee's pony.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Busymummy View Post
                    Thanks for all of your responses. I do have a wonderful trainer, but she's been horse showing the last two weeks and I've been coordinating the pony shopping through a broker who knows my trainer. My trainer and I have come to the conclusion that ANYTHING we look at from here on in will have another child get on it before my daughter does.

                    I was serious about buying this pony and spent a lot of money for the PPE which showed several things. Navicular changes, sesamoiditis, and problems with the pony's right hock. The pony is 12 yr old and he's off when he trots. Has been since the day we got him. When he canters, he swaps out behind because he's uncomfortable. The pony has done nothing but walk trot for the last 6 months and he's still unsound. I just can't pay 15K for a pony that may or may not be rideable in a year. I know that he's not the only quiet pony out there for sale. I just can't seem to find the right quiet pony.....yet.
                    Ok that gives us a bit more info. What I would want to know is has ANY maintainance been tried on the pony to make him better or not. If no, then I would negotiate witht he owner to continue leasing and try a few things and see if that brings the pony to soundness. If yes, then it is a good move to pass on him. If he is truly unsound, the $15K is rather a bit much!

                    Now I do a good bit of marketing and often market horses/ponies like you are looking for. Whenever ANYONE coems to try a pony with a smaller/novice level child, someone ALWAYS rides the pony first (actually on ALL sale horses I have a rider here to ride the horse first). Then, I put the child on the pony (if tha parent/trainer still thinks it may be a match after seeing it go) IN THE ROUND PEN, where I have control over the situation. If everything goes well there, we go to the large arena (and my ring is LARGE, 240 x 150) so I really don't want to turn a kid that is a walk/trotter loose in that large of an area without first seeing them ride in small area. I URGE YOU to put off the pony purchasing process until your trainer can actively participate!
                    www.shawneeacres.net

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Busymummy View Post
                      Yeah, that's what I thought too.

                      The question is.....how much is a reasonable price for a quiet pony? I don't care if it's a fancy show pony or a 10 mover. I just want sane and sensible and I'd be happy with old like Shawnee's pony.

                      Even old, this pony cost a reasonable amount, but not an UNREASONABLE amount. He goes and wins for the kid in local circuits and "C" rated shows here in NC. The pony ABSOLUTELY loves to show, he has such a gleam in his eye when he is showing, and noone can believe he is 22. However, he began not swapping behind (he has autochanges) and nearly ran away with the kid at a show earlier this spring. I immediately told the Mom GET THE VET OUT and we injected his hocks, plus put him on adequan and he is back to his perfect self! Injections can do a LOT to prolong the usefullness and more imporatantly make these older packers (or even not so old) happy and comfortable
                      www.shawneeacres.net

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        wow, that's real awful it is so hard to find a great child pony, they're needles in the haystack. my barn got very lucky with their best pony, hershey--he was my first pony (leased him) and wow what a great little guy. he is the best packer. he gets stiff and sore sometimes, but he is priceless. his old owners grew out of him at some point and literally just left him there years ago, along with a nice saddle, blankets, all sorts of stuff. It's funny, they couldve gotten tons of money for him. he's such a good little pony. but my barn would probably also never sell him---most trainers/barns, when they get ahold of a pony like that, they generally wont let him go, because they are so hard to find. that being said, when you do find one, they can sometimes be pricey, even if theyre not fancy little show ponies, just because they're so safe and hard to find. (i mean, we're not talking 50K here, but its not like you will pay 4k for one either, usually.)

                        i wouldve suggested just buying the pony anyway, but after reading your other post, it does sound like it's too big a risk to spend 15K on. little girls grow very attached, very fast. if a day comes in a year when he suddenly cant be ridden, your little girl will be absolutely devastated, and probably even more so if that pony is owned by her (will it make that much of a difference? no, not if she still rides it, but if she has her own pony by that hypothetical time, she will not be as attached anymore, and it will be easier for her to cope) however, are there any options for making the horse more comfortable? maybe he just needs some injections, or supplements, etc.

                        absolutely have other kids hop on a pony before your daughter tries them! also, dont look online -- you wont find many ads for a true bombproof little girl's pony online. try going by word of mouth, local things, especially through trainer's connections. try looking at local lesson barns, i find it's easier to find an old bombproof lesson pony in a lesson place. but remember, it's okay if there is a horse that's a little bit off--most of these bombproof ponies thatll be good for your daughter will not be 100% sound. granted, you want them to be sound enough that they can trot over an x rail and stuff, it just needs to be something that wont wreck the horse in a year.
                        (|--Sarah--|)

                        Blitz <3 & Leap of Faith <3

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Sounds like you have a really good pony that your daughter knows and trusts. When My son and daughter were 5, 6 yrs. old, they each had the 18 and 20 year old small ponies that marched around, never won a hack but was honest enough to give them confidence and teach them to ride 8 jumps safely and properly. These ponies would have never passed any vetting, I'm sure but were so valuable on many other levels. (climbing all over them in the barn, taking for walks, playing in the sand with, etc.)

                          Maybe you can renew your lease another year until your child is ready for the next step. Best of luck!!:


                          http://www.arborhillfarmllc.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by arbor hill View Post
                            Maybe you can renew your lease another year until your child is ready for the next step. Best of luck!!:
                            I agree. Don't forget children grow. Often very quickly and randomly. Unless you have the means to carry the pony indefinitely after your child outgrows it, you *will* eventually have to resell your pony and those issues on the PPE will not disappear.

                            It's a buyer's market. Take advantage of it, take your time and find something perfect. There are packers out there, especially if you are willing to lease. Look for ponies specifically advertised as short stirrup and children's pony hunters. Those are often the true packers. In the regular pony divisions, there are always some younger ones and tough rides that the 'pony pro' kids win on, but that would be too hard for a beginner. An aged children's pony/ss pony sounds like the best route. Good luck!
                            Bigeq.com First in Hunter/Jumper Sales Online

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              WOW. I have had FOUR bombproof kidsafe ponies for the kids. And I sold all of them for WAY less than your unsound w/t pony.

                              They are NOT so rare! Mine were:

                              A welsh-lookalike (no papers) saint of a pony, adorable, large gelding, was perfect for LL thru SS but would not hold up past SS - sold him for $1500 to a small child looking for the first pony

                              A pinto-welsh cross, awesome "small large" good thru Pre-Childrens but needed more show miles, VERY safe, NO issues and only 7 years old! $5500 (yeah I gave her away...sniff)

                              A saintly Welsh-Shetland medium, best for LL & Minis, a little reluctant to canter but would canter...packed the tots $2000

                              A gorgeous paint-welsh medium w/ extensive show exp - perfect for LL thru Pre-Childrens,point & shoot, 10+ trot , lead changes rusty $7500

                              They ARE out there! All my ponies were on the open market and a couple of them had no calls or serious buyers for at least a month or so, before finding a new home.

                              A lady at my barn just got one for FREE for leadline and Mini - 12.3 shetland type.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Hang in there. You will find the right pony. Last summer I and another barn mom were shopping for move up ponies. We both had real money to spend and thought it would be relatively easy as in go to a farm, try all the ponies and pick the cutest one because they would all be quality (again, we had real money). We were sadly mistaken and looked at a bunch of not nice ponies for over 9 months. Because our trainer clearly told the other trainers what we were looking for and what our daughters were capable of, we honestly believed we would see appropriate ponies. It is amazing what people will not tell you or try to cover up. I expected this with horse shopping (I've done my fair share of this too) but for little kids I really thought people might be more honest. Wrong again.

                                Out there somewhere is a pony for your daughter in your price range. It may wear you out physically and emotionally looking for it, but you will find it. Try to resist settling for "good enough" because you think you can't make one more trip, waste one more day, or see one more sad look on your daughter's face. Pony shopping is not for the weak or faint of heart! I know you can do it!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  You would think that people would be honest, as it would not waste their time or the shopper's time. I guess they think that you will come and your daughter will find something she is in "love with" and just has to have. You might ask your trainer to ask about having people send you a video first. I would assume your trainer can tell them what you are looking for though. If I were a trainer, I would want good matches for my clients, as they would be representing "me." Plus, I would not want something that would scare my client, etc. Maybe I am in the minority. I know that it is harder to find small ponies, as there aren't as many kids out there that are able to train small ponies.

                                  I would seriously consider leasing a medium that could go from short stirrup to meduim ponies with your daughter. She would have a "partner" that she could get to know and not have to give it up in a year. Just a thought...... Keep looking. Go to shows and see what is available. Also, after pony finals at the end of the summer there will be more ponies available. (The prices will probably be up then too.) You will find the right one! Good luck!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    WOW. What kind of "trainer" puts a horse to work who isn't sound and is uncomfortable?? Not to mention allows their client's 6 year old WALK/TROT rider get on a pony or horse without having someone more advanced ride it!? Sorry but I'd rethink this "trainer" of yours.

                                    As for ponies. Try looking through your local Pony Clubs. Typically the ponies there are "been there done that" types as well as being pretty saintly. (Not ALL but most.) They may not be fancy A circuit ponies but they do their job and do it well.

                                    Good luck.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Wow! Too bad for your daughter but it might make her a tough little rider in the end I am a very nervous rider and have had some bad experiences trying out horses and I can say your idea is a good one: ALWAYS have someone ride the horse/pony first.

                                      Good luck to you guys!!

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by TeQuiero View Post
                                        WOW. What kind of "trainer" puts a horse to work who isn't sound and is uncomfortable?? Not to mention allows their client's 6 year old WALK/TROT rider get on a pony or horse without having someone more advanced ride it!? Sorry but I'd rethink this "trainer" of yours.

                                        As for ponies. Try looking through your local Pony Clubs. Typically the ponies there are "been there done that" types as well as being pretty saintly. (Not ALL but most.) They may not be fancy A circuit ponies but they do their job and do it well.

                                        Good luck.
                                        Problem is absolutely not the trainer. The trainer has been away horse showing and I've been looking at ponies with a "broker" who occasionally works with my trainer. The problem IS that we have believed that the sellers of these ponies were honest when they said beginner safe / bomb proof.

                                        The pony my daughter is currently riding is safe and quiet, but is off and the PPE reflected some problems with him. Owner wouldn't come down on the price regardless of what the PPE said and I can't justify 15K on a pony who's soundness is questionable and I don't know how much longer he'll be able to carry a rider on his back. As of right now....he's off.....but he's not unhappy nor is he uncomfortable.

                                        I am not looking for a fancy show pony. I don't care if the pony is ugly or cute. I wouldn't care if the pony was purple with orange polka dots so long as it is quiet and safe and sound. What I do care about is that there are people out there misrepresenting their ponies in order to get them sold without a single care of how it would affect the safety or well being of the pony's little beginner rider.

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