View Full Version : Are Genuine Ponies a Myth!!

25-01-08, 03:51 PM
For the last 3 months I have been in search of a genuine, well behaved, bombproof 1st pony for my 8 yo daughter. I have money in my pocket for the right pony, but all I have come across so far are - too old, too hot, too ill-mannered, and too dangerous. Are genuine ponies really a myth!! Can anyone help?

25-01-08, 03:54 PM
no!! there are a few special ones out there!!

Hope you find the right one soon =(

25-01-08, 04:02 PM
No, not a myth

We have a lovely Shetland mare, goes gently and nicely under saddle and harness, jumps, x-country, sporting, trail (40k+), in traffic etc

She is a lovely safe pony, but people seem to want a miniature TB not a woolster grey Shetland :-)

She has taught my two and a couple of outsiders kids to ride, even to the extent that she does not canter if the kids aren't balanced enough. A couple of strides and if they cannot balance she comes back to a steady trot and then back to a walk if they still can't get there.

She babysits all the foals here.

They do exist, though even a smaller horse is an option too for an eight year old. Older steady horses that she can get years of experience and confidence from are great too.

Good luck in your search.

25-01-08, 04:12 PM
My daughter is fairly tall and I am looking for a pony between 13.2hh and 14hh. If there is anyone out there that has the "perfect pony" for sale/loan, please please please reply. Many Thanks!

25-01-08, 04:22 PM
Personally the perfect pony is never too old, too small, too tall, not the right colour, not the right breed etc....

the pony we bought for our daughter was old in a lot of peoples eyes, but the joy and experience she is getting from this pony is immeasurable.

She was 16yr when we bought her and is now rising 18yrs, 12.3hh but still with lots to give and probably able to give it well into her 20's.

Our daughter is tall and will need something bigger in a year or so, but for now I would rather have her undermounted (which she is not) than sitting on something that I don't feel comfortable with her safety on.

Yep they are out there, not cheap and not a lot available, but keep looking you will find it I am sure.


25-01-08, 05:05 PM
They are very few and far between for sure and unfortunatly a lot of people out there are very unscrupulous about selling ponies, even when its for a child. I think the older the better.I have learnt the hard way and should have known better. I made exactly the same mistake as my parents made with me. My number one tip is GET IT ON TRIAL. Call the pony club and get references.

Our first successful pony took me a year to find. Before that, first mistake I made, I fell for the 'young but its really really quiet' thinking ok, I can work with this, it will be fun for me as well to bring it on etc etc. It came from a well know hackie. It was a welsh filly, won a lot in hand and going quietly under saddle. Was being moved on because too many ponies in the yard etc etc. Well completely my fault, but it just about wrecked my 6 year old's confidence and we didn't do the youngster any favours either. (Its currently on loan to a boy.)

So back to square one. Next pony was an 11.1 hh really really plain welshie, 16 years old, state champion sporting pony. Nearly didn't buy it because she was SOOOOOO plain and SOOOOOO unfriendly. Touch her on the head and she tossed her head crossly. Been in the same family all its life and taught 4 kids to ride and a few kids in the district. Had been belted up and down by twin boys doing games until they were 12 year sold. Thanks gawd I bought that pony. I paid $6000 for it and it was the best money I have ever spent. It was the only pony my child got on and didn't want to get off." Safe as houses, and restored the 6 year olds confidence.

6 year old became an 8 year old who wants to hack. So looking for child's first show pony. Took me 9 months to find, had two complete disasters in between. One a cheapie from the country, that was turned over by a hackie in 3 months. She didn't know it was a complete psycho, previous owner lied and lied. We went on what the hackie (a friend) said, it was quiet as quiet, and it was when we tried it. SHOULD HAVE HAD IT ON TRIAL. It went beserko if seperated from another horse or worse still its paddock mate. We nearly sent it to the knackers but she took it back at a 50% cut in price. It reared and bolted with us to be with other horses.

Final choice after 9 months of hunting and talking to every hackie in Australia cost as much as my husbands car. We wanted 12 hands, welshie type, schoolmaster, Royal qualifier. So we got a top top pony. Today it bucked my child off for no apparent reason apart from it was feeling naughty and felt like dumping her. Its a pony, its naughty, in the right hands it behaves itself, with a child like 95 % of ponies can and will, bung it on. With us it HAS behaved itself, until today. Who knows what tomorrow brings.

More advice.... I was gazumped several times buying ponies, because we won't buy a pony without seeing it, riding it, vet checking it and getting references. I was furioous at the time, about to get on planes etc, kids all excited etc etc. If an owner wants to sell sight unseen and NOT wait for us to fly there, ride it, is unwilling to trial it, then don't bother. I don't have much respect for someone willing to sell a child's pony sight unseen rather than wait for a family to visit and ride it.

Word of mouth and through the pony club is great for schoolmasters. I used to believe the best ponies were never advertised until we bought the 11.1 hh beginners pony. No one locally was prepared to pay $6000 for a 16 year old pony. I wasn't really either, but it was advertised in Horse deals and was local. Not many are ever local! For me what price my child's safety, the best money I ever spent.

25-01-08, 05:28 PM
Keep looking as they are definitely out there. I purchased our dream pony sight unseen for my 8 yo in August. (we are 1800km away) Owner emailed me a video of a jump lesson and it looked like what I wanted. It was advertised on the net and for quite a few weeks. I hesitated because I thought it was too cheap (2k) for what they said. I cannot fault him and my daughter is having a ball. He is 12 and is registered Welsh B so we can even take him to a show if we like. Not only is he the best behaved pony (not too slow and not too fast) but he so pretty. So yes there are perfect ponies and they are not always the most expensive.

26-01-08, 12:42 AM
I have the perfect child's pony - Welsh A - 11.2 hh 8 years and pretty but I cannot sell her as I love her too much and she is my horse's paddock mate. Has had hundreds of kids on her and now she is able to be ridden again (she foaled in September), I advertised for a local child to take her to PC so she can get back to it. She loves kids and loves being ridden. Main problem is all the head rubs after a ride. Hasn't been jumped much so has a bit to learn. Knows voice commands and is very obedient. A bit stubborn about getting on a float last weekend after a spell of 18 months and a brand new float as it maybe has the 'wrong smells'. I might put some manure in there next time. Her nature is gentle and bombproof as the worst (for her) is when I walk her down the highway and a semi trailer flashes past a few feet from us and then she will pull out on the rope which I keep so she cannot pull out far and look alarmed but I just put my arm around her. Never put a hoof wrong with a child on her back but then she adores being ridden. Has never had a bad experience. Perfect mum and adores her 4 month old foal.

He is for sale ... but only to a family that I can trust and if he does not sell for months or a year or more, I don't care. He is adorable and like his mum, very trusting. Let's me walk up to him and rub his belly if he lying down. Likes me to sit with him when he has his dinner :-) Not nervous about being rubbed anywhere (head, ears, belly) as I have done it every day since he was born as I have always sat with him and played with him or stroked him beside his mum while she had her dinner and she has never been worried about me or my horse near him. Particularly loves kids - I think it is the eye level - and will trot up for a pat if they come into his paddock. He is 4 months old, pale grey with a white blaze and four black points and some creamy markings around his eyes. Is going to be gelded at end March and then slowly weaned. Am going to float him and his mum down to Pony Club in two weeks - he loves to watch his mum and my horse being tacked up and ridden. Easy as to put a lead rope on him although he is not walking to command yet but I can restrain him while kids are riding his mum and he will walk happily on the lead with me if we are going back to his mum or following mum. A saddle cloth - not a problem and walked around with it on as if "well if this is what my mum has, I will too". Not cheeky as he has a very bossy 'aunty' - my pally quarter horse who keeps him at the bottom of the pecking order as his mum is too soft. He has been with aunty as well as mum since he was 8 weeks old. Photos of him on www.kookaburrahill.com.au/lochie.html But I will be very distrustful of people who might do the wrong thing by this sweetest of angels and I am going to have to be convinced by someone to sell him, the earliest in a few months time. He has the biggest black eyes and comes if you call his name. Shows a lovely trot movement. Coped with a visiting new dog yesterday although it was behind a fence near where he was eating. Tries to make friends with my dog who is nervous. I love little Lochie!

26-01-08, 01:36 AM
Hi Pedro, they are out there but are few and far between. I have 2 beautiful Australian Ponies that I bought as 3 & 4 year old (1999)for my then 5, 6 & 8yo girls and broke 1 of the golden rules, never buy green horses for green kids. I took a chance and fortunately it paid off.

Our little bay pony 12.3 is now 10yo and he is just the best. 12yo girl campained him last season and he has been accepted for his classes at the Royal. It has taken a long time only because I fell pregnant again and my Dad passed away who was my right hand when it came to the horses.

Normally either Welsh ponies (I learnt to ride on one) or Aussie ponies have the temperament for beginner ponies.

Keep looking 3 months is not long enough you will find one when you least expect it.


26-01-08, 01:44 AM
Join the Cue- Sad isn't it we have been looking for months, I am almost ready to give up on it, but my young miss won't let me.
We just want a good honest pony between 12-14 hh, probably lean towards the smaller end of the scale, that our daughter can have a little independence. Age is not an issue to us, soundness is.

Our daughter has been taught to care for and handle horses since birth, she rides our qh but I would like something smaller for her. A few years ago she was given a cancerous, foundered pony, that she has nursed back to health, she takes this little mare everywhere with her, spends hours grooming her and loving her, rugging and feeding, but unfortunately she cannot ride this beloved pony as the pony has suffered too much in the past with her feet, we feel it is not fair to ride her.

So yes I will put my hand up for a decent pony, open on age and looks, was wanting a mare, but now open on sex (no stallions).
The pony will be given a very loving owner, on a horse stud with experienced caring horse people. If the pony is aged we are quite happy to give it a permanent retirement home. Please somebody help find us a pony.



26-01-08, 02:30 AM
There is no myth but we have many a genuine pony/horse they have all carried three children successfully and safely. Money does not make the horses our most "bombproof" cost a meer $250. She was old,to hot (from the 2 tonne of hair she'd grow), ill mannered no but demanded the respect of the child aboard. She went on to teach two children a lot younger than mine to ride before she went to the green pastures in the sky. Never a tear from any child that rode her and never an accident.
Three months isn't that long for the right horse belive me. I also have seen many a quiet horse turn bad in the wrong hands and many a not so perfect animal become brilliant with correct handling and understanding.
Try the local pony club great source for ponies for sale and people will have seen there behaviour worts and all.

26-01-08, 02:45 AM
absolutly. pony clubs are your best place to ask, so many never to be solds end up available due to family moving or other things.

we have some that would suit but all are borrowed by the local kids and murder would ensue if i thought of selling one sorry.

26-01-08, 02:45 AM
Well i have several brilliant ponies, mostly found in sales and knackeries. The biggest thing is that everyone wants a perfect pony, i have found some of my best ponies to be real mongrels when i first got them.
They just need to be sorted out a bit, and worked out a little, and ridden lots.
However i realise that most ppl cant take the chances on ponies like these, you do need to have a little rider to sort them out first.
Danny... what can i say he went around with his nose higher than his ears, now goes around on the bit, side pass etc
Smokey ... was always brilliant kids having first rides usually end up cantering first ride.
Timmy... been in the family 35 years he is 37 slowing down but still brilliant... a little hard mouthed for kids to stop with two reins but stops beautifully with one rein stop. Is like smokey too good to be true.
Angel.. pigroot, kick at other horses, walk over the top of you... now sweet kind and easy going, a little foreward for a true beginner
Shadow... purchased as a yearling colt, kick and bite, now 5 ridden by bigger beginners jumps unbeleivable, going out on a month trial soon to a six year old.
Mostly these ponies were worked with a slant on ground work first, seems most of them had always been handled by kids and were able to do what they liked.
None of them were overly "jumpy" when i started with them (the exception to that rule was baileys now sold as a second pony and going great)
I dont think "jumpy" ponies ever make good kids ponies... just my slant on the whole deal... oh and i do buy the dealers rejects as most times its time these guys need... dealer likes them to arrive this week and be gone next week, where as im happy to keep them for ages if needs be... dont sell many rarely advertise the good ones they sell themselves....

26-01-08, 02:48 AM
ho yes and how you treat that pony can make it change from angel to monster or from monster to angel.

seen it so many times. reward when they are good and dont spare the stick when they are naughty.

one of ours decided bucking was fun. a cut with the crop for every buck and the game wasnt such fun after all.

ok took a week to get the message but never bucked again in her remaining 25 years. made it to 28
was still teaching kids until 26

maybe time for another of Bill Laws rules.

"If you truely love your pony. Love him all you like but never spoil him, You teach him manners. A well mannered pony has the chance of a good home for life. A bad mannered pony will go from home to home until he ends up where you headed him, the doggers.

The choice is yours".

Sadly Bill wasnt totally right, I've rescued some amazing ponies and horses from the doggers who have ended up there through no fault of their own.

but you can still do your best.

although having said that i do believe some horses and people just are not temprementally suited to each other.

seen it too often, horses are not cars, react equally to everyone they dont, they have favourites just like you

26-01-08, 02:58 AM
I have a friend that has two adorable ponies that she will sell one day if they go to the right home. One is probably too hot for you but the other is the most pretty little paint. I am not up on pony sizes but about 14hh?. I have seen her ride and jump him and he is very genuine and honest with no dirt in him but the only reason I am letting you know is if you were interested and are nearby she would happily let you come and ride him and maybe even trial him? Its no drama if your not interested as she is having loads of fun on him and wasn’t looking to sell him until the right home came up. let me know if you might be interested. he is young though so if you were after a been there, done that he would not suit. If you are after a very genuine, honest pony to go on with he might suit. She is looking to eneter him in a few one day events this season.

26-01-08, 03:04 AM
I have p.m'd you jessica

26-01-08, 03:30 AM
NO good ponies are definately not a myth!!

Had a beautiful little shetland gelding 10hh which I had previously bought for my older daughter. He only cost me $400 with saddle and was about 10 when I got him. My older Daughter who was 8 at the time was really too big for him so only rode him for about a year. So on the hunt for another one.

Finally found a mare 13.3hh not that old and really not the ideal second pony, but definitely taught my daughter to ride she was only $1500. A little young, 5yrs, but she rode her for 2 years. Daughter needed something a little faster, so hunting again.

About the time I bought 'rosie' a friend buys a unbroken 2yr from the dogger yard. Breaks him in but doesn't get a lot of riding, she suggests I might like him. Didn't like him, was too awkward. Left him in the paddock and tried him again as a 3.5yo. Nice. Daughter tries him. Loves him. So by now she's 12 and horse is just 4. Not sure about the whole thing, but let go and see how it went.

3 years later daughter is 15 and horse is 7 and she would never part with him in a pink fit.

2nd daughter started out on shetland from age 3yo. He was sooo safe on the ground that she used to go catch him all by herself at age 4. Basically taught her to ride. She rode him til she was 6. Tried a couple of different ponies because she was starting to get to big for him, but ended up riding him for another year.

Then a lovely saddle pony that used to go to our PC came up for sale.
Never seen him do a thing wrong. So thought lets go look. He was hugely overweight, was 14.1hh and 12yo. Hadn't been ridden in a year, and previous owner was a 15yo girl!!

Didn't really know what to think. asked a few questions to some other PC members and they thought he'd be a good buy.

So $2000 later I had this tiny 7yo riding this huge looking pony. Thought what the hell have I done. But 2 years on things are going great. Very safe and they have a great understanding.

Went a little haywire for a couple of months, just after EI started, he started pigrooting, finally got the chiropractor out and things settled down again.

So Keep looking!!! Don't know what I'll do when my 9yo decides he's too slow!!! LOL!!

26-01-08, 05:22 AM
Like magpie said - I too have had trials and tribulations finding Mr Right but we did and my 7 yr old daughter has been independent and ready for shows for 6 months now. We searched endlessly and found him, did our homework and snapped him up sight unseen. He is a corker - a cried yesterday when miss cantered full circles for the first time - she was smiles from ear to ear and each time she got too high in the saddle he came back to the trot and rebalanced her.

They're around - maybe more on market when ei situation clears.
PS: Once you find one who has come from experienced and honest home, keep in contact as another may arise - we are looking at another pony from same family as I can trust them and vice versa.

26-01-08, 05:30 AM
They are out there - but are hard to find for sure, be patient and yes if looks arn't as important you will have more luck.

The first horse my parents brought was a green part arab,she was for me and my sister to ride, my sister lasted a couple of rides before loosing confident on green mare. i did ok on her but never pushed it just kept doing what we were both happy with. Meanwhile my sister has gone through 3 other ponies trying to find one quiet enough for her. It took a loan of a 28 yr old galloway for her to gain her confidene back on.
I then found a little pony that had done the pony club thing was very quiet but wasn't suitable for dressage which i wanted to get into. She could jump anything but could not get her to round up into any sort of frame, just liked having her head was set in her ways. my sister then feel inlove with her after she saw how good and how much fun i had on her so i passed her on.
I then got a galloway that i could start doing more dressage and jumping on - he was lovely so quiet and would do anything you wanted but extremly ugly! My sister then moved onto him rather quickly!
I had got more advanced so moved onto ex racehorses and young ones and havn't looked back!

Be patient it may take a few to try but you will find one.

26-01-08, 06:17 AM
They're out there, but you have to be quick! I sold my daughter's pony without advertising and about 48 hours after I had decided to sell. I mentioned to my daughter's instructor that he was ready to move on, got a phone call that night from a mother of one of her pupils and had a check in my hand a day later.

Inquire with EVERYONE horsey, instructors, pony clubs, saddlers, etc etc. I placed a wanted ad when looking for the hack and received some good replies and met some lovely people too.

26-01-08, 06:27 AM
Pedro, be patient! I’m sure something will turn up. Have you thought of leasing? (Just another idea, with options at the end that are less permanent, which is good from many aspects).

IMO you’re best off to borrow / lease a first pony (in my area they just get swapped from one loving home to the next as they are so reliable, and they have great lives being smothered with love and attention by keen, horse-loving newbies! (And some of these are good jumping ponies etc that really take the kids on further).

Whatever you do, and I’m sure you will, as your initial post indicated a genuine search for a reliable pony, I sincerely hope that you encourage the riding aspect and ‘horsemanship’ aspect with your daughter (rather than ribbon-chasing – it’s an end in itself, and of little/no value!). I’ve seen so many po-faced (or worse) kids sad or sulking because they didn’t win a ribbon! It’s tragic.

I really believe that kids learn to ride (properly) by doing the hard yards at home, at PC, and if you’re really lucky, with a good instructor. THEN you think about showing. And THEN you keep it in perspective, ie; a good performance is the aim, a ribbon is a bonus. I just say this because I think the expectation for many kids is tragic these days. No ribbon = disaster. How sad it is! And I’ve seen many ‘nice’ kids suddenly do this awful transformation to sulking/crying because they didn’t win a ribbon. I’d be SO embarrassed if that was my kid! They ‘learn’ what you teach, though! Parental expectations are a big driver, aren’t they? Ponies should be fun! Riding should be fun, and skill building!

I hope you find a genuine good pony that your daughter can love and trust and clock up many hours on 'bashing around at home', and most of all have FUN with, because that’s the basis of real skill development. Don’t overlook the older ponies, they have SO much to offer! That’s why I suggest lease or ‘borrow’ if you can!

Please take this in spirit intended! So much of a child’s expectations come from the ‘first’ pony! I just see so many big expectations go pear-shaped, because these days everyone wants INSTANT success!

Sorry for rant! Good vibes your way that a ‘gem’ turns up, but be patient! Don’t risk a ‘greenie’ – it can be disastrous depending on the ability and resilience of the rider. It can be real confidence – crusher as others have indicated!

Have you tried an ad in your local paper?


A Vertue
26-01-08, 08:17 AM
I'm 22 now but I had the best pony eva! My parents bought her for me when I was 8 - she was 14 hands and my feet didn't get past her belly. She cost my dad $400 and was 19 but she took me from complete beginner to eventing pony club champs and to the royal show. She was very manky and skinny when we got her but it is amazing what the right feed, advice and a pair of clippers will do! She was still going strong the last year I rode her, then i grew too big. I still own her to this day and lease her to a lovely lady who gives lessons to small kids. Don't give up - the right pony can make or break you. Without her I wouldn't still be a rider.

26-01-08, 09:08 AM
I teach young children to ride for a living.

Five weeks ago I bought a 7 year old WM pony mare from a family locally.

The day after she arrived here I used her in a week long riding camp for beginners. She has not put a foot wrong from the moment she got onto the float.

I have 7 of the most gorgeous ponies ever. All are bombproof and willing.

They DO exist - you just have to search for them.

Suggest local pony club parents, local classifieds and local saddlery and produce store owners.

Also put wanted ad in local paper.

Good luck.

26-01-08, 10:25 AM
I would have to say, just put the word out. We have the world's most pworth-her-weight in gold school pony here, 13.2hh and 20yo and we have had her for three years. She isn't for sale, she isn't mine, she is on permanent loan till death do us part cos her owner won't sell her. She is just the sweetest little old lady ever, teaches all my weeny pupils to rise trot on the lunge and to go round the arena on their own with none of the pesky habits some of the visiting small ponies have, like trying to nick under the gate and stealing the reins.
We have also sold at least four ponies that fit your description, the last one this week and off to Qld where it will be handed down again and again, as will the other two. The last one wasn't even advertised, it was bought by someone who missed the second one. The second one was sold to someone who missed the one before!
So just ask around ... for example I know of three horses for lease at the moment (not for you), an old ex Royal pony, a cute galloway working elementary and a great 16.3hh pony club eventer, and they will find new homes probably by word of mouth!
Put your feelers out everywhere you can ...

26-01-08, 01:09 PM
I have a broodmare that would probably make a great kids pony but no-one will give her a go because she hasn't been ridden in a while, when she was in work she was a star, had done shows/pc etc, I have her full performance record. She's quiet in every way to handle and is a real sweety, she was only retired to broodmare because of her breeding and not soundness issues or anything like that. I recently offered her to someone for free because I've stopped breeding and she's going to waste but they turned her down because she's out of work. I can't bring her back into work because I'm pregnant and she's too little for me anyway (12hh).. So there you go, I've got a great little pony that I can't even give away!!

26-01-08, 03:05 PM
My daughter has had the experience of a 30+ yo pony on loan and was totally reliable and safe, but now she would like to go to pony club and the pony just doesn't cope well with been flogged around all day. My daughter is a soft, timid rider and we are looking for a younger version of the above. I thought she was ready for a "2nd" pony that was more responsive to the leg, etc. but after a couple of rides on a pony like this, she lost a lot of confidence. It is obviously a very fine line between "old plod" and the "next step up".

27-01-08, 03:46 AM
Sanduco I have pm'd you

28-01-08, 05:55 AM
It really is a fine line Pedro and i totally understand the issues with moving onto the second pony. I think once you find the right pony like we have you then have to be incredibly patient. It really doesn't matter how long it takes to get their confidence but too many pushy parents demand too much of their kids and then they lose confidence. I keep putting my daughter back on the schoolmaster, let her mess around again to remind her she can do it. Then back on the second pony for a lesson, learning first about control, being able to stop with one rein, lots of trotting to walk and back again. Round the cones, bending etc. But its extremely hard and I do think going back to your original post that genuine ponies are VERY hard to find, but better to undermount, under size any day....even if she grows out of that pony in a year, its another year of confidence and growing, with more strength in those little muscles of your child.

28-01-08, 12:54 PM
IMHO there are plenty of genuine ponies out there. Problem is people who have them know what they are worth and in lot of cases people who are looking dont.

My favourite is when someone says,

"I want to but a pony for my kid."

"How much do you want to spend" I ask

"Oh, no more than $500" I quite often hear.

To which I normally answer, "Dont think much of your kid, do you!"

Good ponies are worth there weight in gold and more often than not get moved around for good money through word of mouth between knowledgable families. These ponies become part of the family and as such, families are very fussy about where their members go.