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  • Help! My Child Wants a pony - Where Do I Start?

Help! My Child Wants a pony - Where Do I Start?

Help! My Child Wants a pony - Where Do I Start?

Help! My Child Wants a Pony - Where Do I Start?

If you are a first time horse owner the best thing is to enlist expert advice! It's a very big step owning your first horse or pony and there is much to learn and much, much more than just learning how to stay on and steer!

A great starting point is to start your child off with riding lessons on a school horse or pony. School horses are usually very quiet and well trained and are perfect for beginner riders. The Instructor will be able to control the pony with a lunge rein or by voice command and this allows your child to concentrate on their riding rather than controlling the pony. Ideally, the riding instructor will also be able to teach you and your child about horsemanship (looking after your pony) as well as teaching your child to ride.

It's best to ask around to find a reputable riding school. When you visit the riding school for the first time you should be looking for ponies that are well groomed, fences that are secure (not tied up with baling twine etc) and paddocks with good pasture. Safety helmets should be used for all pupils.

Caring for a pony of your own is a big job and, not only do you need to learn to ride, but you need to know how to care for your pony and what to do if he is injured. There are regular maintenance requirements for your pony such as worming, having their feet trimmed or having shoes fitted, having their teeth checked, vaccinations etc.

As your child progresses and you have decided to buy a pony of your own, ask your Instructor for advice on purchasing a suitable pony. If you don't have an Instructor see if an experienced friend can help and come along with you. The best way to purchase a first pony is via word of mouth, and the best ponies are often not even advertised for this reason.

If you aren't able to find a pony via word of mouth you can look in Horse Deals known as 'The Bible'   Horse Deals is a print magazine published monthly, and with the move to the digital age, it now has a strong  online presence with new adverts added throughout the month.    Equestrian and Horse Forums are another popular way of searching for horses and ponies for sale.    Facebook and eBay don't allow the sale of animals, though adverts have been known to pop up on Facebook from time to time!

You don't need to start off with a well stocked tack room, though you will need some basic requirements to look after a pony of your own.

Some suggestions are:

Bridle with Reins
Bit (it is best to use the same sort of bit the pony is used to if possible)
Halter with Lead (it is always a good idea to keep a spare on hand)
Basic grooming kit:
  • Body Brush
  • Dandy Brush
  • Curry Comb
  • Grooming Mit
  • Comb
    Hoof Pick
Saddle (including mounts and girth, stirrup leathers and stirrup irons)
Saddle Cloth (a spare is a good idea as they do tend to get very hot and sweaty)
Riding Boots (jodhpur)