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"Mature," 4'11", has good hands and a strong seat! What should she do?

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  • "Mature," 4'11", has good hands and a strong seat! What should she do?

    I met a woman yesterday who impressed me greatly for her "almost" perfect pony rider traits. I'd be surprised if she weights 100 pounds, but astride, she does NOT give you any impression of being physically weak. She rode through a decent buck easily--with very long stirrups--and stayed solid as she tried and tried to figure out what a flying change is and the pony just kept cantering and cantering (so she fiddled and fussed and tugged and leaned and kicked and see sawed and yet never lost her seat or caused the pony to even break rhythm, much less his stride).

    But she doesn't know all that much, alas. She's ridden in Germany and France and so has the "frame 'em up" attitude (but she is NOT a dressage rider per se), but the problem with that is that she is almost totally unfamiliar with the hunter jumper scene in this country.

    She wants to hang out a shingle, exercising all types of horses, but I was urging her to learn about the pony hunter world and focus there. I just lost a rider due to the dangers and strains of exercising race horses, too--and I think for someone of a mature age (I'm not sure how old this lady is, but it's not 20s and probably not 30s), who is THAT TINY, exercising anyone's horses is far too risky when you might have something going focusing on ponies.

    So I'm here asking, just hypothetically (but also so, if I hear from her again, I might tell her what the consensus is), if someone like this approached you about exercising your ponies, maybe in exchange for riding some of your better ones to learn more about pony hunters, would you PAY her or only value her "type"in a straight exchange situation?

    In a way, this is also a question about the economy. How much demand is there for an adult pony rider these days--especially one that would need training, but one that would also probably be pretty cheap? Oh! And one who would have no qualms about breaking babies to ride (this is also where I'm thinking, for myself, she'd be valuable--because she is so small and soooo lightweight!). If you'd be interested (no matter where you are--I am just seeking opinions), what would you PAY, if you were willing to pay, per ride?
    Sportponies Unlimited
    Athletic Thoroughbred crosses for the highly motivated, smaller rider.

  • #2
    Send her to VA I know loads of people looking for someone to do smalls.

    ETA: I'd pay $20-30 per ride.

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    • #3
      I agree, I was looking for someone just like that but gave up and decided to go on a diet and do it myself Still would prefer a smaller person though to show horse in unrated schooling show as my legs are too long.

      Comment


      • #4
        A friend of mine is a dressage trainer in the Riverside, CA, area. She is 5' tall and 95 lbs. She rides two warmbloods of mine. She would like to develop a business in riding smalls but there isn't the market here like there is in VA.
        www.oakhollowstable.blogspot.com

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        • #5
          Send her to me! I can't find a good pony rider around here, so I'm stuck doing it myself (don't ask me how I always end up with ponies, I shop for 16h+, and end up with 14.1 or less, and I'm 5'10" lol. At least my feed bill is reasonable?

          http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...f&id=149402250

          http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...4&id=149402250

          With that said, I had a shorter pony clubber come out a few times before she left for college and I was paying her $25/ride. I also have a little girl that rides in exchange for getting to show my ponies, but I still do most of the "schooling".

          I would discuss it with her and see what she's looking for? I'd hate for you to spend a few months and get her to the point that she's ready to show, and then have her leave for a riding job that pays, of course, paying her now isnt' a guarantee that she won't. Maybe discuss her riding for less or for lessons until she's figured out the ropes, and then discuss what she'd like to make per ride?

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            That is, in large part, what I'm a bit worried about: "investing" in her, but then getting no "return."

            Sadly, it's happened a few times w/ the 20-somethings I've tried. Not all, but some.

            Opinions appreciated! Your rates seem quite consistent.
            Sportponies Unlimited
            Athletic Thoroughbred crosses for the highly motivated, smaller rider.

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            • #7
              If she cant do lead changes and cant find the jumps, its no different than putting a kid on - unless you want her to break them and get them going to a point where it is safe enough for a kid.

              I'd rather put a heavier adult on 2 times a week that can get the job done and get off in 20 minutes - school the leads, the jumps.

              Although, again if it is a volume thing, and they are green and just need to get out there and get ridden around then she offers some value, but I think you will outgrow her pretty fast.
              Dina
              www.olddominionsaddlery.com
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              • #8
                Wow, you guys would pay someone who can't figure out a change, "fiddles" and pulls on the pony at the canter $20-30 per ride to get on your ponies? At, 125lbs, a couple of summers ago I started and worked through w/t/c crossrails (2 months) on two ponies for $10 a ride including having to bring them in, groom, tack, bathe, ect. I am a quiet and accomplished rider (who can teach changes), but not a "trainer" by any means (even though I can outride and outteach some 'trainers' )

                So does that just mean you are desperate for a rider vs my area where there are plenty of good riders who can fit on a pony?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by toomanyponies View Post
                  If she cant do lead changes and cant find the jumps, its no different than putting a kid on - unless you want her to break them and get them going to a point where it is safe enough for a kid.

                  I'd rather put a heavier adult on 2 times a week that can get the job done and get off in 20 minutes - school the leads, the jumps.

                  Although, again if it is a volume thing, and they are green and just need to get out there and get ridden around then she offers some value, but I think you will outgrow her pretty fast.
                  I agree
                  I am too tall to ride the ponies regularly but our system is for me to do all the ground work(manners, long lining,clip, load etc) Then back them. After that I schooled them one time a week and then would have my daughter or her riding friends on them for the other days of the week. If the girls were having trouble I could hope on and take over if needed. It worked out really well.
                  Our small pony went to her first show with 3 weeks time U/S She was perfect and even came home with some decent ribbons.
                  After less than 3 months I rode her bridle-less W/T/C and over a few jumps.
                  Plus it was wonderful sharing my passion with my daughter.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by flyracing View Post
                    Wow, you guys would pay someone who can't figure out a change, "fiddles" and pulls on the pony at the canter $20-30 per ride to get on your ponies? At, 125lbs, a couple of summers ago I started and worked through w/t/c crossrails (2 months) on two ponies for $10 a ride including having to bring them in, groom, tack, bathe, ect. I am a quiet and accomplished rider (who can teach changes), but not a "trainer" by any means (even though I can outride and outteach some 'trainers' )

                    So does that just mean you are desperate for a rider vs my area where there are plenty of good riders who can fit on a pony?
                    Desperate. Pretty much. I can't find ANYONE small enough to ride a small small and I'm not putting a kid (under 18) on a green horse. Thats just a huge liability.

                    The way I look at it is her sitting is costing me $$. She needs to work. Even if that means me paying $20-$30 with a free lesson thrown in there when she gets schooled.

                    ETA: I'm 5'9 otherwise I would just school her myself.

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