Underhorsing my daughter with new pony

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28 December 2020
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My daughter is 9 and has been riding 2 years, she’s had a share pony for a year (11.2h speedy cheeky typical pony, used to tank off and my daughter loved bombing round, racing here friend) She has outgrown the share so I’ve been looking for something to buy (for hacking, low level shows, starting PC and progressing). Daughter is very much a novice who can W/T/C, deal with pony napping/cheekiness, is only jumping small jumps.

I’ve found a kind, calm 14hh and have made an offer subject to vetting (took a knowledgeable friend with us to ride it too and give 2nd opinion). Daughter felt really confident on this pony when we tried her (despite being bigger than she was used to) and we both had a great feeling about her (she’s hacked her, jumped a cross pole, schooled etc). Here’s the but...this pony is a proper steady eddy, quite slow, laid back (more likely to walk over a jump than bomb off) and is no speed demon, doesn’t have loads of scope (neither does my daughter yet) but seems to be so willing.

As a parent this is an ideal pony, nice and easy and no drama (assuming pony is as nice as it seems) ☺️ Will my daughter soon get bored of a slow pony once her confidence grows? She loved going fast on her share pony but 11hh is much smaller than 14hh. My thinking is it’s better to under horse than over horse isn’t it but not sure if I’m massively under horsing. The pony suits where my daughter is at now (but for how long...) I doubt we’ll be able to part with a pony once we’re attached!! Am I doing the right thing? Thanks
ETA pony isn’t very fit and lacking muscle so we’re going to work on long lining, lunging, ground work, walk poles etc, I’m also hoping this pony may perk up as it gets fitter
 

mini-eventer

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16 March 2010
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It's a lot easier to perk a horse up with fitness feeding and weight loss and schooling. Than it is to repair damaged confidence. I would snap the pony up. As your daughter improves so will her ability to school the horse to move off the leg better.

Do you ride your self? Could you pop on from time to time to keep him tuned up?
 

Upthecreek

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If the pony has a willing attitude and a nice temperament I would buy it. Calm and steady is brilliant in a pony like this for a child your daughter’s age and experience and she will learn the right buttons to press to get her to be more whizzy in time. This will probably happen anyway as the pony gets fitter. However I would not buy a calm and steady pony that is nappy and stuffy with a bad attitude to work because that is no fun.
 
Joined
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It's a lot easier to perk a horse up with fitness feeding and weight loss and schooling. Than it is to repair damaged confidence. I would snap the pony up. As your daughter improves so will her ability to school the horse to move off the leg better.

Do you ride your self? Could you pop on from time to time to keep him tuned up?
Thanks that’s reassuring. Yes I ride and have my own horse but sadly I’m too heavy for this pony I think. I’ve got a light friend who will come and sit on as needed
 
Joined
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If the pony has a willing attitude and a nice temperament I would buy it. Calm and steady is brilliant in a pony like this for a child your daughter’s age and experience and she will learn the right buttons to press to get her to be more whizzy in time. This will probably happen anyway as the pony gets fitter. However I would not buy a calm and steady pony that is nappy and stuffy with a bad attitude to work because that is no fun.
Thank you. Yes that’s a good perspective, it seems very willing just lacks spark 😂
 

Winters100

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14h sounds quite big for a 9 year old, would she not be better on something smaller? The pony sounds suitable in temperament, but if course if only ridden by a child s/he may learn evasions that your daughter is not strong enough to manage. At 9 years old surely something 13h or smaller would fit?
 
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14h sounds quite big for a 9 year old, would she not be better on something smaller? The pony sounds suitable in temperament, but if course if only ridden by a child s/he may learn evasions that your daughter is not strong enough to manage. At 9 years old surely something 13h or smaller would fit?
She’s quite tall for her age and looks a good size on this pony (I wonder if the seller hasn’t measured properly and it’s closer to 13.2)
 

Sam_J

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I bought what I thought was going to be 'a bit of a dobbin' for my daughter to regain her confidence. Like you, I was concerned that she would start to get bored with the pony eventually. That pony was the best she ever had and upped her game as my daughter's confidence and ability grew. The pony was sadly outgrown after three fabulous years doing everything from mounted games to beach rides to show jumping and cross country. She was never whizzy or fizzy but she was calm, willing and wanted to please and if I could have stretched her legs I would have kept her!
 
Joined
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I bought what I thought was going to be 'a bit of a dobbin' for my daughter to regain her confidence. Like you, I was concerned that she would start to get bored with the pony eventually. That pony was the best she ever had and upped her game as my daughter's confidence and ability grew. The pony was sadly outgrown after three fabulous years doing everything from mounted games to beach rides to show jumping and cross country. She was never whizzy or fizzy but she was calm, willing and wanted to please and if I could have stretched her legs I would have kept her!
Oh How lovely! That pony sounds amazing. I hope this one turns out to be like that :)
 

honetpot

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When my youngest daughter was eight she was riding a 14.2, it had been bought for her sister who was eleven, but he was so steady, that she went straight from a 11.2, to a 14.2 cross cob. He was like a stove, if the older child took him out he would turn up did XC, hunted, but he was quite happy to amble about with a smaller child or a novice rider. They are very rare, and if you find one, do anything to get it. I was lucky, I bought him from a friend, and although no pony is perfect, he could be the devil to load and had separation anxiety, he would look after any rider.
 
Joined
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When my youngest daughter was eight she was riding a 14.2, it had been bought for her sister who was eleven, but he was so steady, that she went straight from a 11.2, to a 14.2 cross cob. He was like a stove, if the older child took him out he would turn up did XC, hunted, but he was quite happy to amble about with a smaller child or a novice rider. They are very rare, and if you find one, do anything to get it. I was lucky, I bought him from a friend, and although no pony is perfect, he could be the devil to load and had separation anxiety, he would look after any rider.
He sounds lovely
 

Julia0803

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11 January 2012
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I had the same worry when we bought our 14.2 cob for my almost 10 year old son and I to share. He’d had a confidence knock on a whizzy pony and was ok on the flat, but a wreck to jump. I ummed and ahhed on the drive home from viewing but decided that worst case scenario we found him too steady in 6m we could always sell on to another PC home.

Like other posters above, it was the best decision ever. He is happy to potter with a small person on novice… but stepped up when my sons confidence grew. They did all PC activities, DR teams, camp. Hacking for miles. Sponsored rides, I took him hunting. Dabbled in dressage and won some UA championships.

We still have him 8 years later. He is worth his rather substantial weight in gold.

Buy the pony!
 
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Sadly the pony failed the vetting today for being 1/10 lame on a front and 3/10 on a hind. It’s not massively lame (and is quite unfit, needs to build muscle) but I’m not sure I want to take the risk. Vet also said pony seems too quiet on the ground
 
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