New lead-rein pony search begins...

lindsay1993

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Daughter, who is 4, is wanting to do more now & current pony just isn't up to it for various reasons, mainly that she is incredibly sharp and can be very spooky.

Current pony was sourced for us by someone else so this is my first time looking for a pony. It's a slightly complicated situation as although my daughter will be riding the pony & I will be doing everything else, I won't be having anything to do with cost/loan agreements etc and the pony will be living 1/4 mile away with the lady who is going to be responsible for cost/loan agreement etc. I will be paying for feed & feet but not liable for any medical fees. Strange situation, but it works for us as said lady needs a companion for her old horse and is more than happy to pay for the pony & any vets fees as long as pony is looked after & enjoyed by us.

I am looking for a loan only and so far everything I have came across for loan is either old, fat and laminitic, barely backed or far too big!

Local pony club DC is on the lookout for us, as are a few other friends.

Been looking for a while now and I am starting to feel a bit disheartened. I have enquired about ponies that sound great, only to find that they have only been sat on once in a field by a 1 year old child , one that is too nervous to allow men near, one that has sarcoids above its eyes but they can't be seen as it has a long mane.

I'm quite open when looking at horses for myself, but feel that lead-rein ponies are an even bigger minefield.

What should I realistically expect from a lead-rein pony??

:):)
 
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At least you are being realistic! I had a Shetland advertised saying that he had been sat on a dozen times by an adult in walk and trot and had never been anywhere near a kid. Every single person that messaged about him asked if he would be suitable for their tiny tots to do lead rein/first ridden etc. On. They clearly don't think things through! Needless to say the pony is still with me!
 

be positive

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You will be unlikely to find a good LR pony on loan that is not older or possibly fat with the potential or history of being laminitic, it is these ponies that people will keep ownership of and loan rather than sell, otherwise most will be sold on, often for a high price to fund the next pony.
I would get an older pony as a first pony over a young one any day, yes you may get a few age related issues but if you are not buying if things get too serious they can go back, the whole purpose of the owners remaining in control, you get a pony that has experience, is safe to use for a couple of years, free of charge which can be returned when it has done it's job.
I had a pony here that was loaned out numerous times over his lifetime, he was in his last loan home from 26 until he was pts at 36, by then he was fully retired but he had been ridden, done PC camp and hunted into his 30's with only cushings being treated when he was 32, he was tough, sound and a wonderful schoolmaster.
 

lindsay1993

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I don't really mind an old pony at all. Current pony is late twenties and came to us as a 'perfect, ideal confidence giver'. Turns out she's a little monster. No manners at all, hadn't seen traffic, bucks when excited, rears in the stable if she doesn't want to do something, spooks at everything, terrified of any grooming product or water near her, had undiagnosed cushings alongside laminitis, terrible feet and scared my daughter on occasion. All-round she was totally unsuitable for what we wanted at the time. She has improved dramatically with proper care and handling but I don't feel like I 100% trust her with my daughter on board.

I guess I'm worrying that these ponies described as suitable for lead-rein may well not be? Although this is mostly likely to be brought on by the experience we've had with current pony.

I have just heard that there is a pony very local to us that is older and has bags of experience. It has been loaned by several local families and done the rounds at pony club but current loaners child has outgrown it!! Fingers crossed!
 

MagicMelon

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I had never looked at lead-rein ponies until December when I was looking for my 3.5yr old. I didnt really care what it looked like, didnt want anything old purely because I've lost 2 ponies to cushings and I didnt want to be anywhere near that happening again anytime soon. I ended up with a 5yo... wouldnt have expected such a young pony to be so good though - I was drawn to her willingness and the very important factor that when spooked she just stops, she doesn't over-react or leap about which is exactly what I didnt want with a small person onboard. So Id say take the pony for a walk down the road etc. and she how it responds to things. Ours is very green still but because she is so level headed its not an issue, my son will be on the lead for some time so she only has to walk, trot and jump x-poles which she does beautifully. I'll have to get her brought on to go off-lead eventually but meantime she's been brilliant. So although a young / green pony is not what you would tend to look at, dont discount them... its all in the temperament in my opinion. Good luck!
 

Limbo1

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Hi it is possible, we have 2 ponies on loan. One found through NFED and one preloved I think. Both are lead rein ponies but one is first ridden too. She is fab but was advertised as a companion/lead rein as she is 22 and stiff in back legs. But she is perfect, so forgiving, very well schooled etc. She is a bit bolshy in hand and makes grumpy faces sometimes. Her stiffness just means she needs to live out, be warmed up well and not go out doing lots of jumping. Well this is all fine and my daughters idea of jumping is trotting a pole! The other pony is more of a challenge and did nearly go back (he was the one who daughter lost confidence on) but he is more chilled these days and my son does not care if he is naughty. Can be nappy off lead rein and has had the odd issue with teeth! But my 6 year old uses his growly voice gives him a kick/smack with the whip and off we go.


We did have to see a lot of non-starters to get there, I also had the complication of a child with loss of confidence, we saw some she refused to get on, several she got on and got straight off!

It has taught me that you need to match the child to the pony, nervy little girls need trustworthy old timers while gun-ho fearless little boys like cheeky fun ponies! Or so it goes in our house. Good luck. Try pony club web pages - individual ones for all the local ones, FB groups (there is one for leadrein), local horsey groups etc. Also wanted adds - I put one and NFED and got lots of response.
 

Nappy Croc

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Is being old and currently fat an issue in a loan pony for a 4yo? Ditto sarcoids? It's a loan not a purchase? How long is your child likely to be on a lead rein pony? 2 yearsish? Our old and at times fat first ponies have been on loan to dozens of children giving them their first few years of fun! They're invaluable and like gold dust these oldies that have been to junior camp for the last 20 years on the go!
 

Jericho

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They are definitely out there but you have to spend a lot of time and effort sorting the chaff from the wheat, asking lots of questions, talking to lots of people and watching lots of videos of ponies!!
 

lindsay1993

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Is being old and currently fat an issue in a loan pony for a 4yo? Ditto sarcoids? It's a loan not a purchase? How long is your child likely to be on a lead rein pony? 2 yearsish? Our old and at times fat first ponies have been on loan to dozens of children giving them their first few years of fun! They're invaluable and like gold dust these oldies that have been to junior camp for the last 20 years on the go!

Being old and fat isn't a deal breaker at all. It's more in mind that there may be underlying issues such as cushings/ems. Having seen my own pony die from complications due to cushings disease and current pony also having many health issues due to undiagnosed cushings, it makes me more wary. It's a horrible thing to see a pony deteriorate and I'm not sure I want to deal with another that may have health issues. If an elderly pony that may be a little chunky comes along that is otherwise well then I would snap it up without a second thought!
 

Dubsie

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They are out there! We have one, but the reverse problem - can't find anyone wants him on loan locally, even if it is just for the summer. OK he's old and lacks teeth one side but I'd pay for the dentist, and is 13.2 (most want smaller but he stands still at the mounting block), but he has a heart of gold and will let any child groom him, or make a fuss of him, he's very patient. Ridden you can do lead rein but I think the child is better not on the lead rein with him - you can pop any child on and the default if not told to go or are hesitant is to slow or to stop, which is great for just off the lead rein, however he's more than capable of being 4th man at mounted games if you want to go fast (and ask him to) he does, complete with flying changes plus he's not scared of equipment so has been everything Fancy Dress from an ambulance to Batmobile (before our time)!
 

honetpot

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Hi it is possible, we have 2 ponies on loan. One found through NFED and one preloved I think. Both are lead rein ponies but one is first ridden too. She is fab but was advertised as a companion/lead rein as she is 22 and stiff in back legs. But she is perfect, so forgiving, very well schooled etc. She is a bit bolshy in hand and makes grumpy faces sometimes. Her stiffness just means she needs to live out, be warmed up well and not go out doing lots of jumping. Well this is all fine and my daughters idea of jumping is trotting a pole! The other pony is more of a challenge and did nearly go back (he was the one who daughter lost confidence on) but he is more chilled these days and my son does not care if he is naughty. Can be nappy off lead rein and has had the odd issue with teeth! But my 6 year old uses his growly voice gives him a kick/smack with the whip and off we go.


We did have to see a lot of non-starters to get there, I also had the complication of a child with loss of confidence, we saw some she refused to get on, several she got on and got straight off!

It has taught me that you need to match the child to the pony, nervy little girls need trustworthy old timers while gun-ho fearless little boys like cheeky fun ponies! Or so it goes in our house. Good luck. Try pony club web pages - individual ones for all the local ones, FB groups (there is one for leadrein), local horsey groups etc. Also wanted adds - I put one and NFED and got lots of response.

All of this in spades.
The temperament of the pony is the biggest thing, if you can find a four year old with a basic quite temperament, or perhaps an old brood mare that has perhaps been shown and seen a bit of life LR they are a bit like a walking sofa for a small child. I would then spend some money if you think its good enough to do FR have it schooled professionally.
 

lindsay1993

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All of this in spades.
The temperament of the pony is the biggest thing, if you can find a four year old with a basic quite temperament, or perhaps an old brood mare that has perhaps been shown and seen a bit of life LR they are a bit like a walking sofa for a small child. I would then spend some money if you think its good enough to do FR have it schooled professionally.


That sounds like a good idea. I could easily do the schooling myself, it's just that I fear I'm too heavy for the little ponies 11hh-12.hh. I'm 10 1/2 stone and although many have said little natives can carry that sort of weight, it does worry me.
 

Limbo1

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That sounds like a good idea. I could easily do the schooling myself, it's just that I fear I'm too heavy for the little ponies 11hh-12.hh. I'm 10 1/2 stone and although many have said little natives can carry that sort of weight, it does worry me.

I ride our 12.2 welsh (the young one) and am a good stone heavier than you. He is not keen but it is handy if he is being a little bit of a Sh#t.
 
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That sounds like a good idea. I could easily do the schooling myself, it's just that I fear I'm too heavy for the little ponies 11hh-12.hh. I'm 10 1/2 stone and although many have said little natives can carry that sort of weight, it does worry me.

For 20 mins a day you will be fine on a wee critter!
 

lindsay1993

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For 20 mins a day you will be fine on a wee critter!

That's made me feel a bit better. Maybe I shouldn't be discounting some of the younger & less experienced ponies? My boyfriend can ride and is only about 9 stone, so I suppose he could also come in useful. He has ridden our current pony, she's 11.2hh and walked a little way then just refused to move!! I guess she's just used to tiny tots on her. I have seen a few on local add pages with people riding them who look far heavier than me.
 

rowan666

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where are you? I have an 11.2 LR for loan hes a good doer but NOT a lami risk, all history known and loves kids only trouble is he MUST live out, he will not settle in a stable or being in the field alone or very heavy/fast traffic other than that hes fabulous lol
 

lindsay1993

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where are you? I have an 11.2 LR for loan hes a good doer but NOT a lami risk, all history known and loves kids only trouble is he MUST live out, he will not settle in a stable or being in the field alone or very heavy/fast traffic other than that hes fabulous lol

I'm in North Northumberland. We have ideal facilities for 24/7 turn-out. To be honest that would suit us better, as all our other ponies have lived out!
 
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