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Country Discussion Topics
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Pony help please
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jamo    Posted 06-26-2002 at 09:02:00       [Reply]  [Send Email]
just got my first horse on Saturday and he is a real keeper! Tomorrow I'm going to look at a pony. I think the horse needs a buddy and I have a little one that would love to ride along. How much weight can a 11H pony carry?


Hogman    Posted 06-27-2002 at 08:42:11       [Reply]  [No Email]
All pretty sound advice,I've owned somewhere around 40,50 head of hay burners,large and small.
I would certainly go along with an older Horse. You'd be suprised how quick a little kid can figure out how ta board a big horse.
Should You still look at ponies tho I'd strongly advise stayin away from Shetlands. They are pretty,They are flashy and fiesty BUT They are actualy a cart horse and as ta riddin tha fool things They can get an experienced rider dumped in some realy embaressing and painful manners!
The clincher would be supposin You get a 15 year old pony. It'll make it to at least 25 and in that time the Kid will Have grown way too big. Now Ya got a choice ,keep it as a costly pasture ornament'er sell it. Think about it now rather'n facin it later. FWIW


Saddlebum    Posted 06-26-2002 at 18:13:57       [Reply]  [No Email]
Congratulations on your first horse. You're absolutely right to look for a buddy...equids are herd animals and get lonely and depressed if left alone. They can, in a pinch, buddy with a goat, a cat or other animal, but another equid is best. If you are new to horses, a couple of things I would add to screaminhollow's excellent advice.

Horses can often live well into their late twenties/early thirties. Consider a horse for your child that is in the 15+ age range. Geldings are sometimes more consistently tempered than mares, but sometimes mares have a real affinity for children.

If you do go for a riding pony, look for a larger pony breed, such as a POA or a Welsh. In general, anything under 14.2hh is considered a "pony." A good rule of thumb is not to expect the animal to carry more than 20-25% of its body weight. (You can buy a weight tape for about $3 at the feedstore, to estimate the animal's weight)

Older horses and ponies may need additional care. They will need their teeth floated more often--usually 1-2 times per year, and may need to eat Senior feed. Also be careful not to overfeed a pony; they tend to be easy keepers, and can founder easily, even just on lush grass.

Finally, when you bring your new family member home, for safety's sake, do not put the two animals in together immediately. Let them get to know each other for several days across the safety of a fence. When you do put them together, don't be alarmed if there are minor scuffles and scrapes for a while--they have to establish their pecking order, and only one horse can be the alpha.

Hope this helps a little. Horses are like Lay's Potato Chips. It's hard to stop at one!


screaminghollow    Posted 06-26-2002 at 11:40:26       [Reply]  [Send Email]
depends on the pony. some such as Haflingers are built like draft horses and can carry adults. others are very dainty and can't carry much at all. I saw a Haflinger a few weeks ago that probably weighed a thousand pounds at 12 hands and was being ridden by two small adults. Most ponies at 11 hands can handle 100 lbs.

A word of caution though, because adults can't ride most ponies, very few are actually "kid broke" I've had one out of seven that was actually good with kids. If you want a "kid safe" horse for a younger kid, get an old school horse (lesson horse) something that is glad to be still breathing. Such horses have seen and been through everything and will put up with more from a kid. I bought an old plow horse (16.5 hands) and she is great around my eight year old daughter. My daughter can pull her tail, hug her, hang all over her and the horse seems to like it. It is a little intimidateing for a kid to get up on that big scary horse as opposed to a cute little pony, but personality wise, the big horse is a better deal for a beginner.


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