Verrrry Basic Questions.

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So, my youngest has been doing lessons for two years, she’s 11 and keen. Trainer says she’s doing well and has a nice way with the horses, she’s a real animal lover anyway.

As you’d expect she’s love her own pony at home, we live on a farm so space isn’t an issue as such.

I’ve said we can consider it in time but probably not for another two years lessons and basic exams done. She is good to help with calves etc about tue farm.

We’re to date a non horse family and there hasn’t been a horse here on the farm in maybe 60 years.

I’ve some basic questions to get my head around for a start.

Is it ok to keep a pony on its own?

Is 10*12 enough for a stable for a medium pony?

Over winter when it would be stabled how much daily exercise would it need, would being led be enough or would it need to be ridden.

Any other advice would be appreciated.
 
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To answer in brief;

No, equines like company. However, some manage with other livestock for company, but not many. The flip side is that ponies can become pair bonded unless you manage them.

Yes a 10 x 12 is fine overnight or day for up to 14hh

Exercise will depend on how much she wants to ride much at weekends, many cope with just being out in field 24/ or at least all day - and then hacking or a lesson at weekends, usually in mornings so any sweat is well dried off before nightfall.

Pony phase can last forever, or till boys come on the scene.... worth looking at getting a pony on loan to start with and possibly a friend too. Good luck!
 

Theocat

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It's lovely to hear she is doing so well and that you are supporting her. Unfortunately, keeping a pony is going to be a bit more involved than you are probably hoping!

You definitely shouldn't try to keep one on its own. They can get very stressed, and behaviour can deteriorate. Nor is it a good idea to keep just two, because they can get very bonded which becomes an absolute nightmare when you try to do anything with them separately. Personally I would never want less than three.

Depending on the size of a pony, you might be fine with a 10 x 12 stable, but it is going to need turnout every day in the winter (or live out 24 hours). If turnout isn't possible, you're looking at two exercise sessions a day, every day, morning and evening, which is going to be impossible if you don't have access to some sort of surface with lighting, and even then it will be exhausting.

Finally, even with another two years of learning, keeping one at home without expert support will be extremely fraught and your daughter is unlikely to enjoy it.

I suggest you keep an eye out for a part loan or a share two or three days a week (ask your instructor if they can keep an ear open). When and if you do decide to take the plunge, I would strongly recommend planning to keep it on livery for at least the first few months as a minimum.

Your daughter won't have a clue how much she doesn't know - no one does, and it is a shock to the system when you first buy, even if you have decades of experience! Keep on with lessons, and if she can help at her riding school as much as possible it will really help.
 

Sandstone1

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Horses and ponies really need company of there own kind. 10 x 12 should be ok for a pony but 12x 12 is more usual.
Its better for them to be turned out during the day if not 24/7. You need to be aware of lamnitis and the need to restrict grazing.
 

Cortez

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Oh gosh, where to start? If you are a farmer with livestock you are well aware of the basic needs of every herbivore, but horses are MUCH more complicated than cattle or sheep. Your specific questions have been answered above, but there are also so many other things to consider, like farrier, worming (different to cattle), dentist, saddlery, transport to lessons/competitions, different grazing, forage and fencing regimes and so on.
 

twiggy2

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Horses generally do much better with plenty of company from their own kind.
Stable size is fine but horses fair better (as does the rider) if they are out as much as possible.
Most farm grazing is far too rich for horses, fertilised grazing can be a nightmare and the fair much better on rough poor quality grazing.
In 2 years your daughter will still be so young and being on a livery yard with other youngsters will add so much to her experience of horse owning.
I would look at a part loan for 3 or 4 days a week on a friendly livery yard.
 
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Great stuff guys.
I’ve pushed out the decision two years deliberately to ensure this isn’t a phase but in fairness if anything she’s getting more and more interested as time goes on.

Keeping a pony 30minutes away isn’t an option. If this is something we can do at home it might be an option but not keeping it at stables far away.

I’ll be back with some more “please educate me” questions 😐
 

Pearlsasinger

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You don't have to buy more than one pony yourselves, you could offer a stable + grazing to someone else for up to 2 more horses, if you can provide some suitable unimproved grazing.
My first horse wasn't kept on a livery yard, he was kept on a farm with the daughter's pony in an unimproved field on a dairy farm, with a stable which my Dad renovated by the arm house. Sister and I shared the gelding and Dad was almost always available to help with the hard physical work.
Livery yards can be a nightmare, so I would avoid like the plague, you and your daughter will need to read up on what horses need but common sense and experience of keeping other livestock goes a long way and of course, the horse would be ultimately your responsibility as daughter is still a child.
 
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You don't have to buy more than one pony yourselves, you could offer a stable + grazing to someone else for up to 2 more horses, if you can provide some suitable unimproved grazing.
My first horse wasn't kept on a livery yard, he was kept on a farm with the daughter's pony in an unimproved field on a dairy farm, with a stable which my Dad renovated by the arm house. Sister and I shared the gelding and Dad was almost always available to help with the hard physical work.
Livery yards can be a nightmare, so I would avoid like the plague, you and your daughter will need to read up on what horses need but common sense and experience of keeping other livestock goes a long way and of course, the horse would be ultimately your responsibility as daughter is still a child.
That’s an option in hadn’t thought of, thanks.

The stables does exams in horsecare so I’ve set that as a basic requirement.

She’s also been buying and consuming books from national trust shops.
Cheers
 

splashgirl45

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although you have said keeping a pony 30 mins away is not an option, i would say for a child to have a pony at home with no one to ride with is not the best solution. when i first moved my horse to land i rented i found it very daunting even though i had owned him for 7 years, i was lucky and shared with 2 friends but i dont think i would have been happy on my own... your daughter would have so much more fun if she was at a yard with other people and there would always been someone to ask if she wasnt sure what to do or if the pony wasnt well.....
 

SusieT

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In winter you are best to still do daily turnout - so allow enough land for this.
I'd suggest keeping pony at riding school to begin with to get over teething problems, then move to staying at home - but either get a companion or offer livery to someone else
 
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although you have said keeping a pony 30 mins away is not an option, i would say for a child to have a pony at home with no one to ride with is not the best solution. when i first moved my horse to land i rented i found it very daunting even though i had owned him for 7 years, i was lucky and shared with 2 friends but i dont think i would have been happy on my own... your daughter would have so much more fun if she was at a yard with other people and there would always been someone to ask if she wasnt sure what to do or if the pony wasnt well.....
There aren’t yards like that anywhere near us.
The stables she goes to does lessons at don’t have people about, horses are cared for by the owners. It’s kids coming and going doing lessons, and then week long camps learning the care.
 
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Brian, if you do keep at home then the 1st thing to do would be to join daughter to Pony Club. They have tuition and activities as well as competitions in school holidays, she will get to meet other pony owners, ride in groups of same ability and learn. They have their own tests for riders to work towards which are recognised all over.
This does mean transporting pony to and fro tho. Pony Club is also usually a good place to get advice on pony buying or loaning, she will also get insurance cover for activities by being a member.

Keep on with the questions, you'll get a lot of advice here, tho some will be likely be unwarranted 😂
 

Gloi

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Although you aren't horsey it would be a good idea to buy yourself some books on horse care and have a good read in the time before your daughter is ready to get her own pony. You'll then be in a better position to help her.
 
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Brian, if you do keep at home then the 1st thing to do would be to join daughter to Pony Club. They have tuition and activities as well as competitions in school holidays, she will get to meet other pony owners, ride in groups of same ability and learn. They have their own tests for riders to work towards which are recognised all over.
This does mean transporting pony to and fro tho. Pony Club is also usually a good place to get advice on pony buying or loaning, she will also get insurance cover for activities by being a member.

Keep on with the questions, you'll get a lot of advice here, tho some will be likely be unwarranted 😂
Where she goes does those things, she hacks regular enough, camps when the they are on and weekly lessons.
They train towards the recognised exams.
 

splashgirl45

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could she share a pony at the place that she rides? that would ease you all in gently and she could get the feeling of having her own without the total responsibility. and the cost......second what FF said, pony club is a good idea as she would be with others of similar age and make new horsey friends as well as learn lots...
 
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Where she goes does those things, she hacks regular enough, camps when the they are on and weekly lessons.
They train towards the recognised exams.
Where in the country are you, roughly? The reason I mentioned PC is the friendship she will get with other children who also own their own ponies :)
 

JFTD-WS

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Where she goes does those things, she hacks regular enough, camps when the they are on and weekly lessons.
They train towards the recognised exams.
When you've got the (hypothetical) pony - will you still take her there for lessons on the pony? If not, you should definitely look for a PC branch to join and go to their training rallies.

Even if she learns everything she can about horse care and riding over the next 2 years, there will still be lots more to learn once she has the pony. Particularly learning how to ride it. Ongoing support, lessons and company will be essential for her.
 
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When you've got the (hypothetical) pony - will you still take her there for lessons on the pony? If not, you should definitely look for a PC branch to join and go to their training rallies.

Even if she learns everything she can about horse care and riding over the next 2 years, there will still be lots more to learn once she has the pony. Particularly learning how to ride it. Ongoing support, lessons and company will be essential for her.
Yes the plan would be to continue lessons and progress through a few exams.
 
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In winter you are best to still do daily turnout - so allow enough land for this.
I'd suggest keeping pony at riding school to begin with to get over teething problems, then move to staying at home - but either get a companion or offer livery to someone else
sounds like really sensible advice
 

milliepops

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You don't have to buy more than one pony yourselves, you could offer a stable + grazing to someone else for up to 2 more horses, if you can provide some suitable unimproved grazing.
My first horse wasn't kept on a livery yard, he was kept on a farm with the daughter's pony in an unimproved field on a dairy farm, with a stable which my Dad renovated by the arm house. Sister and I shared the gelding and Dad was almost always available to help with the hard physical work.
this was my experience of horse ownership as a child too. A friend lived on a mixed farm a short walk away, and I kept my pony with hers. Mine lived in a little shed, hers had an old stable with a cobbled floor. They were turned out together daily. I second the suggestion of Pony Club when you get the pony, we went together and it was a good way to continue learning. If you had a similar arrangement then the owners of the other pony might be prepared to share the travelling. Most pony clubs aren't at a fixed base but hold rallies in various locations so some may be closer.
 

9tails

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45 minutes travel each way once a fortnight or once a month is well worth it for the experience your daughter will get. They also do camps that are a great experience for most kids. Don't think that you can buy a pony and that's it, daughter will bimble about on it and all will be well. She'll want to do showing, lessons and clinics at the very least, especially if she's alone at home without the stimulation of others with the same interest.
 
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45 minutes travel each way once a fortnight or once a month is well worth it for the experience your daughter will get. They also do camps that are a great experience for most kids. Don't think that you can buy a pony and that's it, daughter will bimble about on it and all will be well. She'll want to do showing, lessons and clinics at the very least, especially if she's alone at home without the stimulation of others with the same interest.
That’s a fair point to be fair and I’ll look into the closest Pony Club meets.
We had always planned to keep up lessons, camps and of course any relevant exams. The lady she rides with is a BHS accredited coach.

Completing some exams is a prerequisite I’ve set her before we consider anything further.
 
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