Top Tips for Picking a Pony
This is your child and as every parent knows we all want to make our child’s first experience on a pony a happy one. It is so important to build confidence into these first few years. There is time enough for bombing about and simply having fun, falling off and being put back on are all part of the learning process but if your child is scared then you wont be buying a second pony let alone be trailing her around to shows and buying her her first competition pony in the future.
- When you are looking for a pony for sale the first top tip would be DON’T TAKE YOUR CHILD WITH YOU. Otherwise in no time at all the heart will be ruling the head and you may have made an awful mistake.
- Make a short list of possibilities and then go and visit them, preferably with someone who is very experienced and able to judge the suitability of a pony for your child, before taking your child to see the very best of your short list.
- The pony must be 100% quiet at all times, safe from the ground and when being ridden.
- Make sure you see the pony being led by a child to asses the relationship.
- Watch a child riding on and off the lead rein.
- If possible watch an experienced rider on the pony to asses its way of going.
- Make sure the pony is comfortable to sit on. Wide but not too wide.
- Make sure the pony is a good size. Not too big and not too small, although small is definitely preferable to too big.
- Find out if the pony suffers from conditions like sweet itch and laminitis. These need not necessarily preclude a sale (or loan) but they need managing, so make sure you know what this involves.
- Think about what is going to happen to the pony when your child has grown out of it.
That aside those top ten tips what other considerations do you need in order to make the right decision?
Even though you may have had a wonderful experience with your own first pony, you have probably come across many people who have been bitten, kicked, or ones with “runaway pony” stories. Most of these people either no longer ride, or are reluctant to ride because of the bad experiences they had as a child.
Finding a trainer for your pony and for your child: Whilst experienced trainers who are small enough to ride your childs first pony are thinner on the ground than others it is worth taking the time to find the right trainer. As your child progresses from his first pony or even onto his third and starts competing then it is important that your instructor can help with schooling and correcting any issues that arise with the pony.
Children are generally small and inexperienced and need someone to help keep everything on the straight and narrow. One way to do this is to ensure that the pony has enough exercise and is schooled regularly.
Enjoy your child’s delight in their first pony and I hope that this venture into the world of horses is a positive one.