What age does anyone recommend buying a pony

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I am knowledgeable and ready for a pony, but obviously it’s the cost and time which is troubling me. I also want a horse which is challenging but not too spicy with no vices. Does anybody have any ideas for breeds? And what age does everybody recommend but buying a pony?
 

laura_nash

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Do you mean age of human or age of pony? I think for either it depends on so much no-one can really recommend anything without a lot more background.
 

be positive

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Age is not really relevant as circumstances are so variable, experienced parents may buy a pony for a baby to sit on or keep their oldie for the next generation.
It is far more important that you can a) afford to buy, pay routine and unexpected bills b) have time to spend with it without the rest of whatever is going on in your life suffering.
If you do buy your first try to find one that suits your needs/ ability now, not one that will be challenging as there are enough challenges without starting off with issues that you may not find easy to deal with, it does not have to be boring or ancient but do not go out looking for a 'project'
 
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Well I have a lot of experience and I am at the stage where I am perfect heigh just about to start growing out of 12.2 loan pony. And at the stage where I am persuading my parents to buy me a horse.
 
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It depends on so many things. If your parents are not horsey but are willing to pay for you to keep a pony on a livery yard with plenty of adult help and tuition (including probably exercising and/or schooling the pony for you a couple of times a week) then any age really.

But if you're going to be expected to do most of the handling yourself, then I'd say more like 14. And I would still want you to be having weekly lessons.

Buying a pony as a kid is a minefield. If you buy something perfect for right now then you might have to deal with the heartache of selling fairly quickly once it's outgrown (in size or ability). But if you buy something "to grow into" then that's often a total disaster which ends up putting you off riding forever (and still ends up being sold on pretty sharpish!)

If you can find a part loan or a "share" then that can be a fantastic introduction to pony owning 🙂
 
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It depends on so many things. If your parents are not horsey but are willing to pay for you to keep a pony on a livery yard with plenty of adult help and tuition (including probably exercising and/or schooling the pony for you a couple of times a week) then any age really.

But if you're going to be expected to do most of the handling yourself, then I'd say more like 14. And I would still want you to be having weekly lessons.

Buying a pony as a kid is a minefield. If you buy something perfect for right now then you might have to deal with the heartache of selling fairly quickly once it's outgrown (in size or ability). But if you buy something "to grow into" then that's often a total disaster which ends up putting you off riding forever (and still ends up being sold on pretty sharpish!)

If you can find a part loan or a "share" then that can be a fantastic introduction to pony owning 🙂

Thanks this was good advice. I’d say I’m likely to get one soon but this sound similar to what would my situation is now
 
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Well I have a lot of experience and I am at the stage where I am perfect heigh just about to start growing out of 12.2 loan pony. And at the stage where I am persuading my parents to buy me a horse.
Just seen this update. Horses are so different from ponies. You definitely do not want to make the commitment to BUYING something that you don't actually know much about.

If your current loan has worked out well, and if your parents are happy with the expense, then I would firstly look for as many rides on as many different larger ponies/horses as you can this summer, and then start looking for a "next size up" loan.

I'm sorry that this isn't what you want to hear! But think of it this way- if you DO persuade your parents to buy a horse right now, and if it DOES turn out to be a disaster (and a quick look through this forum of fully grown adults will tell you that it often is a disaster!) then they'll probably never consider buying another horse ever again!
 
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Just seen this update. Horses are so different from ponies. You definitely do not want to make the commitment to BUYING something that you don't actually know much about.

If your current loan has worked out well, and if your parents are happy with the expense, then I would firstly look for as many rides on as many different larger ponies/horses as you can this summer, and then start looking for a "next size up" loan.

I'm sorry that this isn't what you want to hear! But think of it this way- if you DO persuade your parents to buy a horse right now, and if it DOES turn out to be a disaster (and a quick look through this forum of fully grown adults will tell you that it often is a disaster!) then they'll probably never consider buying another horse ever again!

Anhhh oops, I still meant pony’s.
 
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How old are you op? You sound really young. Life can get very busy as you get into the upper teens - GCSEs, then a levels, and uni or an apprenticeship after that - which all makes the work of owning much harder, unless you have horsey parents who are willing to help you out, bearing in mind you will quite likely need to work part time to afford an equine. It may be both easier, cheaper and more practical to loan or share until you are older.
 

Ambers Echo

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I am glad you are asking the question. Kids and ponies is a bit of an issue of mine as there were a LOT of kids on my old yard - some really conscientious and others who had no idea what they were doing and their horses and ponies really did suffer. Not through unkindness or lack of care/effort but just through ignorance and unhorsey parenrs not helping.

There are 3 elements to focus on: Money, Time, Experienced help

1) Money
The cheapest part of a pony can be the initial purchase price. I have known kids be bought a cheap pony who they can't afford to look after properly. They figured out a base-line livery/forage/bedding price which they could afford but there were ALWAYS extras which they couldn't. Fine if mum and dad step in, Not so fine if not. I have known a horse losing weight who needed hard feed the child could not afford, a pony who was lame but the child could not afford the vet and a strangles outbreak that required all the horses to be blood tested and sometimes scoped which a child could not manage either. In one instance a pony was removed from a child's care. Other times, liveries or YO stepped in but you cannot expect that. You need a contingency fund for vet, dentist, farrier/trimmer, box rest (more bedding), feed, breakages etc etc etc

So you either need a part-time job to pay for what the pony might need or parents who understand the costs and will support you. It is not fair on horses to have them and not be able to pay for their care. And once a pony is lame or ill, you can't sell on either. It's not really fair on the child either as it's an awful positon to be in. So if you don't have money coming in yourself, then make sure your parents are properly on board with it.

2) Time
Not just time in summer at grass, but in winter or on box rest. What are the facilities like? Can you get any help with turnout/field checks/bring in? Again some kids I know walked up before and after school come rain or shine all year round. And others left horses in filthy boxes till 4 because they ran out of time before needing to get to school. Or messaged the yard every single day for help. People do help each other but not every day. Other liveries get annoyed and stop offering to do the same pony day after day for free. This goes back to money too - if you lack time can you afford to pay for assistance?

3) Experienced help
For any persons first horse, they will need experienced help on hand. Can you tell if a horse is lame? Do you know when a vet is needed if a horse is a little off colour? What can wait, what needs a vet in the next few days and what is an absolute emergency? Whether your tack fits (more or less)? When a horse is too fat or too thin? What to feed and how to adjust for various issues? Can you put on a poultice? Or treat minor wounds? Or deal with mud fever? Probably not. Nor could I! But until you learn those things you really need someone who you can ask. I was horrifed at my first chipmunk horse and would have called the vet if my YO had not been able to tell me they were harmless grass glands.

So think it all through very carefully. And if all the issues can be managed - enjoy pony shopping and good luck!
 

Julia0803

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I think AE’s post is absolutely spot on.

It really struck a cord with me. We took on a loan ‘pony’ two years ago. He had a teenage owner who obviously loved him very much but fell short on points 1 and 2. (In fact if I didn’t know that AE is nowhere near local I would think she was talking about this situation!) He was a very large warmblood and looked like a rescue case when we took him on.

I don’t really blame her- I can’t forgive her parents, or the yard owner who didn’t call them and tell them to step up.

She was working part time as well as doing exams/school to try and pay for him. It might have been ok with a good doer... she was short on time as working whenever she could to pay for him... and then had no time so was always trying to call in favours/pay for assistance.

Ultimately it was the horse who suffered (and I know she was very upset at the situation too). She had bitten off more than she could chew, she loved him and obviously never intended to get in such a muddle.
 

laura_nash

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. I mean the age of the human.
I got my first at age 12 and I was probably less experienced than you as I'd not loaned. I was very lucky that my totally non-horsey parents were happy and able to pay for full livery for the first year, then assisted livery. Also she (the pony) was an experienced hack leader from a RS and I was able to accompany hacks on her for the RS I liveried at in return for weekly lessons. I suspect 12 year olds are not allowed to accompany paid hacks these days.

My daughter got her first age 3. I have my horse at home and needed a companion for him so I was happy to do all the work and her involvement was optional. We call it her pony, but she's my pony really for practical purposes.

ETA: I think AE sums it up really. You need the money, time and experienced help. Or more money to cover the lack of time and pay for the help!
 
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rabatsa

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Ambers Echo has said the main things. Also of importance is the maturity of the child. Some 13 year olds are way more mature than some 16 year olds. This is not an outward maturity but a mental one.
 

fredflop

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If your wanting your parents to buy you one, and assuming they will be the ones footing the bill, you need to make it crystal clear to them about additional costs.

my parents would never have bought me a horse, but if they did, I would have been stuffed with extra costs.

my mother is exceptionally mean with money. I’d have probably have got away with money for vaccinations, and farrier, but that would have been it. Saddle fit checks, physio, dentist costs would have all lead to arguments about having to pay for it all.
 

windand rain

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14 if you dont have supportive knowledgable parents. You need £1000 a year + livery + emergencies + lessons + competitions. You need at least an hour 7 days a week at both ends of every day that is 365 days of the year. You need as much knowledgable help as if you had never ridden at all and you need to fear the worst and hope for the best. It can be a heartbreaking hobby although a brilliant one when all goes well. Sharing and loaning are a way into ownership but then gain it might not be easy to get either
 

Ambers Echo

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I think AE’s post is absolutely spot on.

It really struck a cord with me. We took on a loan ‘pony’ two years ago. He had a teenage owner who obviously loved him very much but fell short on points 1 and 2. (In fact if I didn’t know that AE is nowhere near local I would think she was talking about this situation!) He was a very large warmblood and looked like a rescue case when we took him on.

I don’t really blame her- I can’t forgive her parents, or the yard owner who didn’t call them and tell them to step up.

She was working part time as well as doing exams/school to try and pay for him. It might have been ok with a good doer... she was short on time as working whenever she could to pay for him... and then had no time so was always trying to call in favours/pay for assistance.

Ultimately it was the horse who suffered (and I know she was very upset at the situation too). She had bitten off more than she could chew, she loved him and obviously never intended to get in such a muddle.
I find it hard to forgive parents too! The case of the horse who was losing weight, the poor kid did eventually get a vet out who said the horse needed various 'tonics' some blood stuff, feed etc etc. (I never really understood the details but it had some liver and/or blood problem). But none of that was possible. Every time she asked parents for money they got angry with her. She gave the horse up in the end to another livery.
 

Wishfilly

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Is your loan a full loan? Do you take all responsibility for the pony at the moment and do your parents pay for everything including insurance? And can you independently get yourself to the yard, rain or shine?

I think it is really tricky to put an age on these things- personally, for an under 18/under 16 I think there needs to be an acknowledgement it is really the parent's pony and the child just looks after it day to day (part of the reason my parents would never buy me my own!). If you are younger than this and your parents are not really up for ownership, then it may be you have to stick to loans.

I also agree with Chinchilla's point about GCSEs, A-levels, social life and maybe going to uni- these things may seem a long way off now, but it's likely they will all happen within the lifetime of any horse/pony that you buy...
 
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