View Full Version : What pony for a 5 year old?

30-01-08, 02:00 AM
Hi guys, I am considering buying a pony for my daughter. She is nearly five and about to start lessons. What sort of pony would you buy for your kids? (No offense to people who like shetlands, but I have had bad experiences with them, so none of them please). I know I might sound like a cheap skate and might be wanting the impossible, but is it possible to pick up a good kids pony for less than a grand? I appreciate the input. Thanks.

30-01-08, 02:09 AM
I would go for a welshie. You can always find good bargains, but if you can find a old welshie that has been around for a while and done a bit of everything I think that would be suitable!

30-01-08, 02:14 AM
Welshies, particularly the little Section A ones (Welsh Mountain Pony) and Section B (slightly taller). Section C is a pony more of cob type and is also lovely, Section D are the cob types and may be too big for a 5 year old.

The Section A ponies make beautiful lead line ponies.

I love the Welshies for children - pretty, tough, friendly, go all day, jump willingly, just the perfect family child's pony.

I also love the Australian Stud Book Ponies that are based on Welsh breeding.

30-01-08, 02:15 AM
I would be looking for an aged pony that has been around, educate, etc, and not too tall, I have learned from past experience that a fall for the littlies from the bigger ponies can well put them off riding.
I hear you don't like shetties, but in all honesty I would look around for an educated shettie, they are the most wonderful kids ponies, 2 of my three started on shetties and were treated to the best of ponies, we made the mistake of selling our daughters shet before we had purchased her her next pony and since we have been unable to find the ideal next pony for her, I so wish I had kept her shettie longer, he was a gem of a pony.
Before we got our first shetland for our son I was anti Shetland as I had only met little devils, but there are some truely gret shetlands out there, and I am so glad that we got them for our kids.
Our first shetland died about 10 years ago now, it took my 5 years to even be able to put another horse in his stable, and still I can cry for the loss of him, we loved him so much.
Other than shetties, Australian ponies and welshies come in the smaller height range and have lovely temperaments so these could be worth investigating.
Our daughter (8 last weekend)has just moved onto her second horse she is now riding an aged educated QH mare, and having the time of her life. So for now our search for a bigger pony is on hold, once she is out riding the lovely old lady she has at present we will then start looking for her 3rd mount

Good luck you will need lots of patience finding the right start out mount, but it is worth finding the right one,as after all these will set your child up for life and could be the make or break pony!


30-01-08, 02:35 AM
A quiet one!

It doesnít matter what breed as long as it is quiet and reliable. For under 1k you arenít looking for anything too flash so donít worry about the breed just ensure that the pony is safe, in good health and reliable.

If she is only about to start lessons it might be an idea to hold off buying one just yet and just have lessons for the time being. That way you can take your time buying one, your instructor may know of one that will be suitable and by the time you do buy one your daughter should have some of the basics.

Good luck.

30-01-08, 02:55 AM
I'd probably stick to the lessons for a while - you may find she loses interest and then you've wasted a grand!

In regards to breeds, there are good and bad ponies in every breed, and for less than a grand I doubt you'd get a purebred pony anyway. Just look for something that's a bit older (late teens or early 20s is good) and has been around the traps with kids before. Young ponies are a definite no-no, even if they seem really quiet they just don't have the knowledge to get the rider out of trouble like an older one can!

30-01-08, 03:56 AM
We just leased a mini pony yesterday. I was NOT looking for a mini!
But this pony was just too good to look past. People who have these real gems often don't wish to sell them.
This pony is very very quiet. She is also broken to harness, so the kids have the dual pleasure of being able to drive her in the cart as well.
I was actually looking to buy a Welsh A!

30-01-08, 04:34 AM
What a beautiful pony. Do you know where I can get one? :) . If you lease a horse can you do pony club with it. I live in Ulladulla on the NSW south cost so if any of you know any one who has a pony to lease can you let me know. Thanks. I think I'd rather lease one to start off with and maybe buy it if my daughter likes it.

30-01-08, 04:42 AM
Yes you can take a lease horse to pony club but you will have to complete the PCA NSW horse lease form first.

Check with your local pony club as they may be able to help you with finding a pony.

Just curious, are you horse savvy at all?

30-01-08, 04:52 AM
Horse savvy, no not really I could use all the help I can get. My daughter and I are both going to have lessons. We are both horse (well I love anything with fur) mad. I had an earlier post regarding selecting gear for a standardbred which I was considering adopting from the NSW standardbred association, however a few friends of mine have horses and have advised me against it as they think that standardbreds are not good horses for beginners. What do other readers think? I am open to suggestions/opinions others have. We are going to buy a horse later in the year when all the bans are lifted. I want to get the right horse as I tend to get attached to animals very quickly and would probably keep it even if it wasn't right for me.

30-01-08, 05:04 AM
Standies are the best horses for beginners as is known by all. What your friends were trying to say is that an off the track unbroken standie from a rescue is not any kind of horse for a beginner.

Most people have given you breed advice, but like someone said, breed is irrelevant in your price category. They're basically all just paddock ponies anyhow.
With regards to price, unless you are very, very lucky and buy a horse off a friend or some unbeleiveably nice person basically gives the horse to you, about $2,000 is where your search for a kids pony realistically starts. Factor in gear, agistment, clothes, saddlery etc too. There are many good articles on the web, just type in 'buying first horse' or 'looking after horses' and you'll get good info.

I think you and and your daughter need about a solid year of lessons, then if you still like it, and once you have some idea (which you'll never really have until you get your own) the time, committment, $$$ effort, care and dedication that it takes to own one, then look into buying.

Leases are ok but people are very particular about where they go and most people want thier horse in a horsey home.
You could always volunteer with a rescue also to gain experience.

30-01-08, 05:05 AM
Ok well, I would be getting lessons for both of you first before you even start to think about looking for a horse for either of you. Then at least you both will have some basics begin with. Even the best beginner pony can turn into a rat if the people have no idea what they are doing.

When you do get lessons ask your instructor to help you out with looking for a horse. A good instructor should be able to help you pick a horse that will suit you or your daughter and as I said previously may even have one that is suitable.

Remember when buying a horse always get a second opinion.

Iím not sure why someone said standardbreds arenít good for beginners, Iíve know plenty of friends who started out on standardbreds even if they only paced they were very friendly and honest horses but dont worry about the breed.

Really, donít worry about the breed. Look for temperament. As long as the horse is good for you then thatís all that matters.

30-01-08, 05:58 AM
My OH pushed for the kids to have little horses when they were little and I was not keen on the pony idea.

However, we bought the loveliest Shetland mare and she has been a treasure, worth her weight in gold.

The kids from 3 could lead her and catch her, brush her all over, clean her feet, load her on the trailer etc. The size match was perfect.

Being little cold bloods they tend to have a good steady temperement and tolerate a lot of poor handling and/or being pushed around, sadly often the case for little horses. This is how they get the nasty rep, after years of being man handled and tormented.

She does 40-50km trail rides with the big hroses and she comes home still trotting away merrily. She took to PC easily, including eventing and SJ beautifully, though did knock down the mail bag in the postmans race first time beacuse it looked like a chaff bag :-) she has blown many preconceptions about shetlands out of the water.

She no longer has a child of her own as my youngest is a very lanky 10yr. He still drives her in harness but no one rides her now, she is 16yrs old and still has years in her.

She is also cheeky and fun.

As already said, don't look for a breed look for a nature and reliability. Size can be a bonus with a pony the kids can do the all handling safely with.

Have fun looking, and good on for having the lessons - HAVE FUN!

30-01-08, 07:19 AM
Standies are brilliant! Great temperaments, I've never met a bad one.

As toerhs have said, temperament is the most important, and I would seriously recommend an older horse for both you and your daughter. They need to know what they are about, and be a good teacher. You need a horse that will forgive mistakes, and understand what you want if you don't quite ask properly. A young horse, no matter how quiet, cannot do this because they do not know anything themselves. Young horses also tend to become frustrated if they don't understand and quickly become sour. I have family who made this mistake, against all advice, and they now bear the scars (both physical and financial) to prove it. Don't want to scare you off but it needs to be said.

I would suggest sticking with the lessons, do some volunteer work at RDA or a riding school so that you can learn the horse care side of things before getting one. A lot of people don't realise just how much work goes into a horse. Also do your sums thoroughly - in these dry times feed is VERY expensive, and one small paddock mishap can send your vet bills skyrocketing. Proper horse care is a HUGE commitment, very time consuming and can be expensive. It is also very rewarding if you put the effort in!

I had a business until recently advising people on these exact topics, so please feel free to email me on smsarge@bigpond.net.au if you would like any help! Depending where you are I may be able to put you in touch with some good places to learn hands-on.

30-01-08, 10:56 AM
I think you would have to be be very lucky to be able to find a safe, sound and genuine childs first pony for less than a grand. A general rule of thumb told to me by Stuart Tinney... the childs age + the ponies age should = more than twenty. I would try joining a ponyclub as an unmounted rider and putting the word out for a lease or loaner, all the old bombproofs, never to be sold, will come out of the paddock once they have assessed you and your level of committment.

30-01-08, 01:53 PM
Ditto Lea_Owens.


31-01-08, 12:45 AM
I'd be waiting at least 12 months and have a budget of $2-5k for that pony.

Good luck

31-01-08, 06:11 AM
I have to say there is a bit of luck involved when finding the right pony especially when you have limited funds.

I agree, I wouldnt worry about breed too much, we were GIVEN a shetland before Xmas, I hadnt planned on my daughter owning a pony until she had learnt to ride (she is 6). This pony has been fantastic, he has a couple of little quirks but doesnt have any vices that would make him unsafe. He is 18 years old.

I would try telling as many horsey people as you know as someone might know of someone that has the perfect pony going to waste in their paddock, an oldie would be better.


Oh yeah and as for standies for a beginner, yes maybe one thats been there and done that but not one off the track. Sure there are exceptions to the rule but that goes for every breed.
Hey and Im a standy lover through and through, mine helped me find my confidence again.

All the best with your search, be patient and you may end up with the perfect pony.


31-01-08, 06:28 AM
Like a lot of others have said - dont discount the Shettie straight off.. Some a great.

As another has said - join the local PC - you would be surprised at what could 'come up' once people get to know you...

I dont think your budget is unrealistic - you can defintely get a good pony for that - its just it probabaly wont be drop dead gorgeous, and will have a bit of age about it..

I agree with Stuart Tinneys old rule - kids age + ponys age = over twenty... So you want something over the age of 15...

We have a couple at our PC that have never been sold, but just done the rounds of quite a few families.. once they have done their job they get passed on...
One is in his mid thirties and doing just great - after 10 years he is back with his owner for a bit of a spell - just waiting for another kid.. and another is in its twenties and teaching the daughter of its owner to ride!

I hope you find your perfect pony..


31-01-08, 06:40 AM
Thanks for all the advice guys. I think we'll stick to the lessons for now. I have organised with the insturctor to give us some lessons on how to care for a horse as well as the basics of how to catch, saddle, groom the horse etc. As for my budget, I don't care how glamorous the horse/pony is as long as it is nice and safe and quiet. If anyone knows of a horse/pony going to waste in my area (south coast NSW) could they let me know. Thanks again for all the help. Also N/H if anyone knows of any good remedies for eczema could you let me know as my 18 month old son has severe eczema and I have tried everything.

31-01-08, 07:26 AM
I use a cream called Dermaveen on my daughter's eczema - works a treat. It's a natural remedy you get from Amcal.