Tag Archives: first

Buying a pony? – 5 top tips for pony poppits


Off the lead rein? This next stage is so important.

You need a pony who is rock solid and has experience under his belt…. millage on the clock.

A landmark Study asked children ‘Would you rather play simply for fun, or would you prefer to win?’…. 95% said FUN

So your child has outgrown her first pony, and possibly a second, and has been riding off the lead rein, independently and happily and has shown no signs of reluctance to play with the pony nor to ride it, then he or she may be ready to take the next step.

1. Ask about his background, he is likely to have had two or even three owners, can his history be traced?

2. You need your child to practice, practice and practice more, so don’t be swayed by looks or tempted into buying a young pony “with Potential” at this stage.

3. This next pony will be giving your child the confidence to ride independently, start jumping small jumps, do gymkanas or perhaps even go to Pony Club Camp or at least pony club training sessions and perhaps even progress to grassroots competitions.

4. Most of all though this pony is to have as much fun on as it is possible to fit in!

5. Look for a pony who fits well, try not to be tempted to look at this next purchase as “something your child can grow into” remember confidence comes from feeling safe and being adventurous comes from …feeling safe.

So pick experience, temperament and size as your priorities with pony Number two.

There are a few school-masters advertised on Horse Scouts Ponies for Sale pages, which do sound like wonderful ponies., but as a second pony perhaps

Morwyn Bronze Calypso – Burnham on Crouch, Essex for £2,850 does stands out. His advertisement say he is a fun, safe, well bred registered Welsh Sec B Gelding with so much potential. He would ideally suit a second competition pony, but is also a confidence giver and would be safe for novice. He is jumping comfortably (and winning) at 2.6 but can clear 3.6 at “chase me charlie”. He has never been lame or sorry, no laminitis or sweet itch. Teeth and vaccinations are up to date. I have owned this pony for 7years and had him professionally backed 4 years ago and he has been in constant work ever since. He has sadly been outgrown and needs to find a new rider. Calypso will sell with his entire wardrobe.







Please note that by recommending a purchaser look at advertisements on the Horse Scout site Horse Scout nor its agents can be held liable or responsible for the suitability or not of any pony registered on its for sale pages.

11 Top Tips – Focus list for buying your horse


You know what you want….So keep focused when buying your horse.

You’ve made a decision and you are going to buy a horse.  My advice? …Make a shopping list first.

List everything that you want your horse to be, his minimum level of experience, how you are going to fit on him and what you want to do with him.  You can make it more detailed with specifics like age, breed, build, bone etc but promise yourself that if you write it down then you will stick to it.  So put a lot of thought into this preparatory step before even pressing a horses for sale link!

Shopping list sorted and your ready to start looking so here is a handy focus list for you to help keep you on track.

  1. Decide what type of horse you are after and stick to it. It’s all too easy to get carried away when you’re looking for a horse, so If you are after a schoolmaster don’t come home with a recently broken 3 year old!
  2. Ask yourself will this horse do the job I want him for?  “Could I see this horse in the arena, x country, hunting all day etc ?” It really helps to keep a clear picture of what you are looking for.  It is so easy to get side tracked and buy on impulse based on nothing more than the colour of a horses coat.
  3. Keep a constant eye on the market – The good ones tend to get snapped up very quickly, in the past I’ve seen them on Horse Scout in the morning and sold be lunchtime!
  4. Be prepared to take your time finding a horse – sometimes it can be a lengthy and tedious process, if the first horse isn’t right it might be the second, fifth or tenth!  And always try a horse twice – you will pick up on things at a second visit that you missed the first time around
  5. Make a list of questions and make sure you get an answer to every one before hanging up.  Let the seller talk, often as you chat you can pick up things that are not written in the ad.  E.g. “Is he quiet in the stable?” “Oh yes, burble on a bit…” followed by “of course if you wave your arms around he can throw up his head” no this might describe the horse exactly or it could be a way of saying you have to be very quiet around the horse as it spooks easily in its stable.  Bear this in mind when you visit the horse.  Don’t go mad but just see what the seller means.
  6. Ask direct questions about vices etc like weaving or windsucking, cold back etc by specifically asking the question. Technically a seller is oblisged to come clean but if he hesitates or changes the subject be wary. If this happens go aware to the visit if you still want to go ahead, this will save you time and money in the long run. Ask for a video of the horse inaction, this can be a great way of telling whether a horse is worth the time and cost of fuel of a viewing.
  7. Don’t waste peoples time If you arrive and immediately know the horse is not for you then don’t be afraid to say so, the seller should appreciate your honesty and this way you won’t be wasting your time either.  It can be difficult to be blunt but better for all concerned in the long run.  You may well make friends with the seller but they are not, at this point, your friend and will not mind your honesty.
  8. If you can then video the horse – you can watch it again and again which will help you make a decision and similarly, take someone with you that knows your riding – it can be so worthwhile to have another ‘pair of eyes’ to assess the horse
  9. Ask questions, questions and more questions! Buying a horse is a huge decision and you need to know everything you can about the horse before you commit to buying it. If the seller is genuine they will be able to answer all of them!
  10. Sleep on it.  The seller is keen to make a sale but you must be certain that this is the right horse for you.  After all you will have a huge time, money and resources tied up in your equine partner so make sure you are making a decision based on all the things that are on your shopping list and not on an impulse.
  11. Having made a decision it is advisable to get a vet check, but keep it appropriate you don’t need a 5* vetting if you are not expecting to seriously compete on your horse.  However, your vet will be able to advise you if you tell him what you want to use the horse for.

Don’t go off track, pick the perfect horse for you.  Good luck with your search and let us know how you get on.

Top Tips for Buying your First Horse


You’ve made up your mind,  you are going to buy a horse…

You know what your looking for; well roughly!  You are trying not to think of the cold winter rainy evenings and are focusing on the sunny balmy summer rides. You have sat down and done your sums and you have a budget and a sum you can ring fence every month to keep him and a savings account to pay into for emergencies and all those things you never thought that you would ever need.

Importantly you have worked out what size, shape, sex, ability, colour, age, confirmation, temperament, your budget and where you are going to look……yes! You have to know these things before you set out….well not the colour obviously because if you are thinking straight that is right sown at the bottom of your list –  NO? If it happens to be in your top three cross it out.  I promise colour is the least important thing on your shopping list, that and its name; although how many white socks it has and if it has a blaze can be important considerations-more on that later.

Where do I start? Top Technical Tips

Tipping the Scales – What size?

Lets work out roughly what size horse you are looking for –

  1. Add up the total weight of the horse, rider, and tack. Our eg: Horse (15.2 allrounder at 400 kg) + rider (Jo average 5’.4” and 70KG) + tack= 507kg (convert to lbs=1188lbs)
  2. Measure the circumference of the cannon bone midway between the knee and fetlock. Our example: 7.5 inches
  3. Divide the total weight by the circumference. Our example: 1188 / 7.5 = 158.4
  4. Divide the result by two. Our example: 158.4 / 2 = 79.2


You know exactly how tall you are and how much you weigh (methinks!) Here’s an average horse weight chart

Height (hh) Weight Range (kg)
9-9.3 – Shetland 200- 240
10-10.3 240-280
12 – 12.3 200-300
13-13.3 230-370
14-14.3 290-390
15-15.1 360-550
15.2-153 400-510
16-16.1 470-550
16.2-16.3 490-650
17.2-17.3 640-900
17.2-17.3 – Shire 850-950

…but…..and there is always a but! Some breeds have denser bones e.g. Arabs and Icelandic and New Forest Ponies which means they are able to carry heavier weights than others of a similar height and build.

Horses can be separated by build (height weight ratio) into light, middle and heavy weight and in the case of show horses “small” as well. This is not meant to be an indication of their present dieting regime but describes their build, and confusingly, this is relative to their breed types in most cases.  So, for instance, a light weight hunter (usually a ¾ or 7/8th Thoroughbred) is a well built, elegant horse of around 16-16.2hh capable of carrying around 12st.7lbs (177lbs/80kgs) including all tack and a bone size of around 8 inches. A middleweight hunter may be around 16.2hh, so slightly taller and have a deeper girth and a heavier build with a bone size of around 9 inches.

New Forest Pony breed guide says that a new forest is capable of carrying a stone for every hand and Shetlands are capable of an even greater height weight ratio.  However, if you are tall riding a small pony is not always very comfortable or elegant.

I think the point I am making is that TOP TIP One is buy a horse to make you happy and TOP TIP TWO is buy a horse that fits.  More pointers In TOP TIP THREE.



Choosing the right horse for you, buying a horse for the first time


Horse Scout’s top tips:
Horse Scout strongly advises that you stick to your itinerary: the choices you make should be guided by the person helping, managing, training you — and not influenced by the seller.

Age: This is a common conundrum… the novice rider needs an animal to have been backed and in regular work for at least a couple of years. Purchasing a 5-year-old with little time under saddle may be problematic, as horses will grow and change in temperament. As a rule of thumb, horses decrease in value after 11 years; age starts from January each year. Therefore buying a 10-year-old in December will leave you with an 11-year-old horse in January.
Budget: If the animal seems too good to be true, it probably is! Unless you have a personal connection to the seller, there may be a veterinary issue, which is not being disclosed, or there could be a lack of suitability of the horse for required purpose.
Type: Consider what you want your horse to do and view potential horses accordingly. If you want a quiet schoolmaster, don’t be tempted to view a young feisty thoroughbred. If you want something to hunt, don’t be impressed by something with flashy movement that probably won’t stand up to running on unlevel ground.
Breed: Avoid full blood thoroughbreds as a first horse unless the animal has references and history already suited to your needs. Mixed-blood ‘colder’ breeding will lend to an easier/less sharp temperament. After all, you would not purchase a Ferrari as your child’s first car!
Size: Horses can grow until they are 8 years old and breed will dictate the chance of the horse having a late growth spurt. Seek advice from a vet/professional when buying a youngster.
Sex: Consider where the animal will be kept. Some yards have a gelding-only policy. Always ask when a gelding has been gelded if young, as it may still have stallion tendencies!
History: If you’re looking to compete, buy an animal with a competition history. The animal’s experience will help to keep you confident eg if you are embarking upon a show jumping horse, buy a horse with a BSJA record, NOT just on a ticket.
Research: Keep looking at Horse Scout frequently. A good horse will go quickly. Horse Scout adverts get rated for the amount of information given – if it hasn’t got five stars find out why and ask appropriate questions.
Trial: If you arrive at the venue and immediately know the horse is not for you, say so. You’ll only be wasting the owner’s time and yours. Visit the horse more than once, as this may unveil character flaws or you might merely have missed something on your first visit. See the horse ridden before you get on, watch the horse jump before you jump, and hack alone and in company if hacking is important to your requirements. Video the visit so that you can watch it at home with someone whose opinion you trust and ask as many questions as possible.
Vetting: Confirm that the seller is happy to have the horse vetted, and possibly x-rayed before you book a visit. However, weigh up what level of vetting you need. If the horse is just for hacking, a three-star vetting may be enough.
Horse Scout believes there is a home for every horse.

Best of luck – the Horse Scout Team!