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Ponies vs. small horses?

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  • Ponies vs. small horses?

    Well the grandson is doing very well taking lessons and I am thinking about next year and wondered if those that can, will comment on getting a small horse vs. a pony?

    GS will be 8 and is riding both Lita and Bonnie - he takes two lessons a week, one on Bonnie and one on Lita. He loves Bonnie since she is "goey" but likes Lita cause Lita knows her stuff.

    Bonnie now belongs to my boarder who is paying for training. Lita is a gem, but when GS goes beyond walking and trotting, GS will need another horse or pony to ride. I will not ask Lita to do cantering at her age, and so when both the little's who are sharing her outgrow her or go beyond a simple walk and trot on the flat, I promised Lita she would retire to green pastures and be a lazy mare. We do NOT jump Lita, not even over tiny cross rails. Lita is wonderful for beginner beginners and at age 26, she's earned her retirement after the next year of teaching her last beginners - lol.

    Now my question: I am looking on the internet at ponies for sale and at small horses for sale. I am NOT adverse to adopting another "oldie" but goodie that could do cantering. So all those that have some older equines as I simply do believe the older equines that are kid friendly, equally deserve to be considered, if you have a MARE that would work ( I only have mares here, I luv them), contact me. GS is taking dressage lessons and I am suspecting he will want to do some jumping sometime in his future riding (boys - ya know), but what is the difference in a large "pony" and a small horse?

    Is there any difference? As long as said "small" horse is 14.2 - it's considered a pony, right?

    There seems to be a huge difference in pricing between a "large pony" and a small horse.

    I am shopping in advance because I have a trainer that can keep said new addition in condition and because if GS outgrows the w/t during the winter, I will have said "move up" pony here for him. In any event, it pays to be think ahead and to consider the pros and cons of any purchase.

    I am looking for a pony that is older, done dressage and maybe some x-country/hunters. I firmly believe children should learn dressage first, then they can move on to hunters or doing x-c.

    So what say you about looking at small horses vs. large ponies? Other than the price, what is the difference?

  • #2
    The only reason (other than size, ability to groom and tack alone, etc.) to consider a pony over a small horse is if the kid wants to show in pony classes. Both hunters and to a lesser extent, dressage, have classes restricted to junior riders on ponies.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Thanks joiedevie99 - but if a small horse is, say 14.1 hands, couldn't it go in the pony classes? Sorry I am just not familiar with the rules on that. My daughters moved up from wee tiny ponies to horses over a period of years so it was never an issue.

      The GS wants to do dressage in the spring, but I can guarantee you, that he will want to do jumping as well. Which is good...we need more boys in the x-c and hunters, but I don't want to get a horse/pony that can't compete because the next one we get, I hope will be ridden for several years - which is why I am looking at one 14 - 14.2 hands.

      I guess I don't understand?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by sidepasser View Post
        Thanks joiedevie99 - but if a small horse is, say 14.1 hands, couldn't it go in the pony classes? Sorry I am just not familiar with the rules on that. My daughters moved up from wee tiny ponies to horses over a period of years so it was never an issue.

        The GS wants to do dressage in the spring, but I can guarantee you, that he will want to do jumping as well. Which is good...we need more boys in the x-c and hunters, but I don't want to get a horse/pony that can't compete because the next one we get, I hope will be ridden for several years - which is why I am looking at one 14 - 14.2 hands.

        I guess I don't understand?
        I think you're just tripping on terminology. ANYTHING 14.2 and under is a pony, regardless of it's breeding or wether you think it is built more like a "horse" than a "pony." Happy pony hunting!

        Comment


        • #5
          Anything under 14.2hh is considered a pony. Usually, you can get a 14.3hh for significantly cheaper than the 14.1hh version. Unless he plans to show in the pony divisions (fun, but completely unnecessary) I'd probably opt for something just over pony height and get more bang for my buck.

          Comment


          • #6
            Don't have much to add but i skipped ponies altogether. True i was about 13 when i started riding but i started on an old ex roping horse who was 15 or so. But then most western people just start on the old almost retired ranch horse anyways.

            A pro would be that they are slightly bigger then a large pony so you will most likely be able to ride them for longer. But i guess if he's really wanting to show you may have trouble finding appropriate classes but not sure about that either.

            P.
            A Wandering Albertan - NEW Africa travel blog!

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            • #7
              I don't really know what you are saying here but ...

              If you buy a 14.1hh pony then it is a pony and can compete in pony divisions. If you buy a 15hh small horse then it is a horse and won't be able to compete in the pony divisions.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Polydor View Post
                Don't have much to add but i skipped ponies altogether. True i was about 13 when i started riding but i started on an old ex roping horse who was 15 or so. But then most western people just start on the old almost retired ranch horse anyways.

                A pro would be that they are slightly bigger then a large pony so you will most likely be able to ride them for longer. But i guess if he's really wanting to show you may have trouble finding appropriate classes but not sure about that either.

                P.
                I just started riding my first pony and I'm 35 She is a Haflinger and does dressage and jumps. She is bomp proof but has taken advantage of all the lesson kids(ignores them and goes to the nearest food source) so she is mine for now until she is sold. When I am on her she feels very much a horse but she is probally 13.2.
                I would say to not limit yourself to a size but to what will work for your child. Happy horse/pony hunting

                Dawn
                Dawn

                Patience and Consistency are Your Friends

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  People advertise their ponies as "ponies" but horses are advertised as "horses" regardless of height. Just shop on any of the websites and unless you put in the size, most people consider a Quarter Horse a horse, regardless of whether it is 14 hands or 17 hands.

                  That is why I was asking. GS won't need a real "fancy" pony, so I was looking at QHs, Paints, "small" tbs, etc. and have to look at them under horses, not "ponies". Ponies are priced considerably higher than horses that are advertised at the same height.

                  I am not worried about the "pony" divisions as he will be doing dressage shows first, then perhaps some x-c as he is my "wild child" GS..fearless and absolutely in luv with lessons and horses. He had to miss his Monday lesson due to dental visit and he called me to tell me how unhappy he was about it - lol. Out of 7 Grands, I have one that is horse crazy..trust me, I WILL take advantage of that - lol.

                  Thanks, I didn't know if there was something "different" about the way people advertise or not. I am doing better price wise looking at "small" horses than at large ponies.

                  Something folks need to keep in mind when advertising - perhaps put the horse in both categories if it fits!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Also be aware that is not uncommon for people to misjudge/miss-measure their horses Small horses (14.3-15.1) tend to be quite affordable as they don't make the pony cut off and are on the small side for adult riders and older/tall kids.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      No kidding Skipchange - I have looked at 16 hand horses that by miracle of miracles either grew or shrunk in the wash.

                      I was thinking of an older QH/Paint/arabx or TB for him that can't do the high levels anymore and just wants to cart around a beginner but has good ground manners and likes to still compete. Of course whatever I get will retire here and stay here until they pass away so wanted something he could ride until he was nearing his teens. He's tiny, his mom is only 4 ft. 10 inches and he is the smallest little kid I've seen in a while. So nothing too big for him, I was thinking about something in the 14 hand category since he is comfortable on Lita and she is 15 hands.

                      I asked the question because comparable horses on the net, if advertised as a pony, tend to be a couple of thousand dollars more, than a comparable small horse on the net. Comparable meaning age, temparment, child experienced, some show experience and not tottering around on three legs. I don't mind joint injections at that age or some minor vet maintenance, but do not want to get one that is lame or not rideable for much of the time.

                      So am shopping ahead and seeing what is out there and came across this issue and said "what?" is this about? I haven't shopped for a child's horse in over 20 years, so didn't know if things have changed or not.

                      Thanks everyone - and any rescues out there, if you have something that would work, I am always up for adoption.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Regardless of how its advertised or whether it is a Welsh 'pony' or a quarter 'horse' - pony is anything that measures under 14.2 hands. Horse is anything that is over 14.2

                        Unless your child wants to show in a pony restricted class, whether you buy something 14.1 or 14.3 really doesn't matter as long as it works for the kid.

                        If it is fancy and competitive in the hunters with a child, the difference between 14.1 and 14.3 can be $30k+. However, if you aren't looking at fancy hunters, it shouldn't be much different.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          We didn't do so well not finding "snotty ponies" for my daughter when we were shopping. She ended up with a 15H Appy mare. That one sadly went blind from Appy uvetis. The replacement was advertised as a 15H unregistered QH. Given that he is gaited I seriously doubt he is a QH! But it's the one she wanted anyway. She only likes trail riding so it's fine. Everyone that looks at him agrees on "tenesee walker!". He was a couple hundered pounds underweight and his feet were mega long when we got him. As our farrier joked "it looks like he was done every 6 months weather he needed it or not...........". With his toes trimmed back he is way less "gaited" now. We paid less under 1K for him too. Asking price was 1300 but he had some issues (stall weaving and a capped hock) so I neg down on that...but he is riding sound/the cap is cosmetic and he lives out with no weaving most of the time. When he comes in for nasty weather he just has to deal with the stall. Since the QH-Walker critter is built very narrow he is a good kid sized horse at 15H........he takes up very little leg!!
                          Providence Farm
                          http://providencefarmpintos.blogspot.com/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'm short. At my age, it isn't going to change.

                            From a short person's perspective, I think ponies (or pony size beasts, lol) are more fun than something bigger. They feel more "my size" and not to mention the pony breeds are hardier, eat less, and seldom need shoes. They also tend to live longer.

                            My "big ponies" have always been easier keepers and consumed noticeably less feed than my "small horses".

                            Just a few more considerations.
                            Family Partners Welsh Ponies - Home of Section B Welsh stallion *Wedderlie Mardi Gras LOM/AOE http://www.welshponies.com
                            Click here to buy: A Guide To In Hand Showing of Your Welsh Pony

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I think a pony is best for young kids. They are a lot of fun, closer to the ground and I think easier for kids to do things with than the bigger horses. I love our ponies! :-)

                              My daughter's first pony was (is, as we still have her!) 11.2. Brilliant pony who went from being a leading rein pony to competing at State Dressage and beating the Warmbloods, has a great little jump and carted my daughter safely around her first ODEs.

                              When she started to outgrow little Cherry, we looked forever for a 13.2 pony and ended up with the current 14.0 pony. My daughter is 14 and 14 hands is perfect for her. We have a 15.2 Thoroughbred that she is riding in lessons and will move onto, but I am happy we have been able to keep her on the ponies.



                              Here, you rarely see small children on horses. It's sort of a progression through the little ponies to the big ponies and then onto the horses.

                              Comment

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