View Full Version : What sort of horse??
8th Jul 2000, 02:09 PM
Those of you who heard me harp on and on about Dan, probably think this post is obscene! (Don't have heart failure Mike, I don't mean THAT kind of obscene!) To be looking at other horses a week after losing my Dan.I don't think I'll lose the skills he taught me, but I'm afraid of losing the confidence he gave me, if I don't carry on fairly soon.I go to the RDA once a week and ride their horses,as it's a bit of a hike taking Dan EVERY week, but on Fridays every week,I would take him 2 miles down the road for my dressage lesson.It's funny, my dressage instructor had been mentioning only a few weeks ago, that depite Dan being a little honey,his stiffness was making dressage quite hard for me,and it was hard work for him, and basically that I was getting better at it than HE was.But she was very diplomatic, and didn't say I needed a more capable horse, because she knew I worshipped him.She was wonderful on Friday and let me ride her old dressage horse.(An honour, I believe), a 22 year old 14.3 Conemara called Dolly, and oh....what comfort..I just floated!ANYWAY...back to the thread...Although I don't have the enthusiasm to actually start making phonecalls, and looking at horses just yet,perhaps some of you could help point me in the direction of a TYPE of horse?? All opinions will be considered with care and respect.I'm 5ft 1" short.Ahem...I'll say it quietly.....11 1/2 stone in weight.My instructor thinks that I would look well 'over-horsed' at anything over 15 HDS.And 13.2 HDS makes me look just teetering on the edge of silly.Because of my problems with my hips, I can't stretch my legs around anything horrendously cobby.It wouldn't matter if it were a bit cobby, but I struggle with some of the 15.2 coloured feathered cobs they put me on at the RDA, I end up riding too short,and therefore not very deep, which makes it all the more likely that I will bounce off at the canter!! The horse will be used mostly for hacking, but looking to the future,I'm becoming fairly respectable at Dressage, I'd like an animal that I wouldn't feel a complete twit riding into a dressage arena,at Regional level. I don't mind him/her being smaller than other people's (I really don't want a 16 HD warmblood),but I'd like one that I can look decent on.Hitherto, I've had dumpy, native, elderly ponies,bless their little hearts, and I've had so much from them, and if I could keep two ponies, I'd have one of each,but I can't have two,so I shall have to try to compromise.Also is £1500 realistic? I shan't need a new saddle,only (maybe) a bridle.I shall have my own purpose-built saddle modified and re-fitted.Also, any members,in Cheshire North or Mid=Wales,please e-mail me if you know of anything suitable in the area.At the end of the day, safety has to be the main issue,particularly in heavy traffic (as in heavy agricultural...not heavy as in lots of!)He/She must stand at a block without hesitation.But this is mainly a look at what kind of a horse at this stage though.Thankyou
8th Jul 2000, 02:44 PM
Unfortunately I cannot help with your choice of horse, but I would just like to say that I do not think it is 'obscene' that you are already thinking of looking for another horse. It is probably the best thing you can do, and although you will never stop loving or forgetting Dan, I am sure you will learn to love another.
Good luck with your new horse (whatever kind you decide)
Keep us intouch
8th Jul 2000, 03:19 PM
A native cross T.B. might be suitable.
I think you are doing the right thing by looking now, don't leave it too long, it may take a while to find a new pony.
Although there seem to be a lot for sale at the moment.
I would have thought you have a good budget for a suitable
Hope mother and baby are doing o.k.
8th Jul 2000, 05:42 PM
Have you thought about a Highland? It would laugh at your weight, (so do I, unfortunately - I weighed myself recently and have decided not to ride my poor wee TB till I loose at least a stone)and any I have tried have not been too wide in front. Price would be about right too. Glad you are able to think along these lines now, but don't be too hasty - its all to easy to fall for something when you are feeling vulnerable and live to regret it! Take care.
8th Jul 2000, 06:10 PM
E-mail me and I'll try to get you a go on an Icelandic in your area. They are small, fairly narrow with the added bonus of the gaits.
I'm 5 feet 7 and 14 stones. They have no trouble with my weight or height.
Fjords are good too, so long as they are not allowed to get too fat.
But if I were you and open to any breed or cross, I'd just look around see what's on offer, you may find you fall in love with the most unlikely chap. You'll know when it happens.
As for being worried about what other people think about your looking for a new horse, I wouldn't worry. I have been in your situation, there are no rules, do what ever you feel necessary.
Good luck, your next tutor is out there waiting for you, somewhere.
8th Jul 2000, 06:51 PM
This is not a useful answer to your question I'm afraid, but I wanted to say it's great to know you're thinking about who to ride now. After reading your posts when Dan got sick, and everyone's responses, I realised that most of our aches and pains and grouches are pretty unimportant. Getting on with things in the best way we can is what matters. I haven't lost a close animal friend, but people, yes. I'm sure it's the same. You'll still be thinking and talking about Dan every day - he won't be forgotten.
8th Jul 2000, 08:57 PM
Hi gwenllian i do not think it is too soon after dan, i went to veiw horses before my Tango had to be put to sleep, i like yourself are a disabled rider, Rhumatiod very badly in all my joints. I had to make the decesion to have him put to sleep and then knowing that, before my confidence withered away had to start looking ,and all the time we were waiting for the day to come when i had found something to actually go ahead and do it.The pony turned out to be completley unsuitable his owner told a pack of lies, but i sold him and was honest about what he was. I then had a little break and decided to go and try again, and i now have a four year old mare have owned her for about two months and i love her to bits, not a suitable pony you wuold think for a disabled rider like myself, but she is so good she has the temperment of an older pony, bomb proof in traffic, and i took her to a local show four weeks after she came home with me and got a third in the height class.
So don't think its too soon,dan gave you the confidence to be able to ride and that will stay with you for the rest of your days, so happy hunting it can be fun again.
9th Jul 2000, 12:30 PM
I agree with everyone else - I also don't think it's too soon for you to be thinking about another partner. You know how you got on with Dan and also that your instructor felt that he was a little stiff for your dressage. You know how Dan felt so you have to look at all the likely prospects in your area and go and try them. I agree with Wally - go and see horses with open eyes.
Lots of luck and let us all know how you get on. We're all rooting for you!!
10th Jul 2000, 02:38 AM
Have you thought about some of the slighter built gaited horses? Saddlebreds, Standardbreds, or National Show Horses would probably all work well, as they are pretty narrow in build. A lot of TB's are also narrow. I would not worry too much about the breed, or even if they are registered, because horses vary so much even within one breed registry that you never really know what to expect until you go see. And I don't think it is too soon to start looking for another horse. The new horse will never replace Dan, but at the same time you do have to move on. Good luck,
10th Jul 2000, 07:15 AM
A Connemara or Connemara cross? Or perhaps one of the modern less chunky Irish Draughts or an Irish Draught cross Thoroughbred (they come in a range of heights and you'd probably find one around 15 hh). (Not that I'm obsessed with Irish horses but they do seem to breed good horses with a brain). You might also find a Trakehner or Trakehner cross that fits the bill. There's a gorgeous mare at Carrie's yard - about 15.2 hh but neat and compact without being chunky - she's part Hanoverian, part Irish Draught and part Thoroughbred - but it works!
Go out with an open-mind - you'll know when you've found the right horse for you.
10th Jul 2000, 09:28 PM
I think you're absolutely right to be looking for a horse, Gwenllian, although I can tell you it's not easy when you've been used to a beloved horse. The new horses don't understand you, and the saddles don't fit ... What I'm doing is going to see anything that seems possible, and gradually building up a picture of what I need. I'm quite a lot heavier than you, although only an inch or so taller, so I'm limited to the cobby types. Round here there are a lot of Welsh section Ds; I don't know about Icelandic - I don't know if you can do dressage on them, perhaps Wally will say.
I'm sure a horse will find you soon. I admire your courage, and wish you the best of luck.
10th Jul 2000, 11:17 PM
I think it's a great thing you're thinking about getting another horse, because Dan's big gift to you was confidence, and it would be terrible to waste that. But, for your own sake, I think you should perhaps take it quite slowly, just because my experience of grief is that it is wierd and can switch about suddenley. I hope you don't think it is impertinent of me to say this; it may well be just me, but after the few bereavements I have experienced I had very unpredictable emotions.
Will you let us all know how you are getting on with the search? I say this entirely selfishly, because I feel I could get a lot of pleasure out of a vicarious horse-hunt! It is likely to be many years before I can afford a horse of my own, but I still sometimes buy Freeads and circle all the possible ones for fun. Also, I hope the foal is well.
12th Jul 2000, 07:18 AM
I think what your doing is very brave.
A great little breed is a Conamara (I think someone else suggested it)
They are beautiful little horses, smart, and will try their best for you.
I'm sure you would be able to do anything on these ponies, I learnt to ride on one and now I'm always on the look out for others.
Their soooo friendly.
You probably know since you rode your instructers
good luck, I hope you find the perfect horse
my love sue
12th Jul 2000, 06:03 PM
I just had a thought as to safety: how about an ex policehorse? There's no other horse around that's more bombproof than that. I just don't know if you can get them under 16hh
But they are not expensive horses, and are extremely well schooled.
What do you think?
12th Jul 2000, 09:43 PM
Looking back over this thread, Gwenllian, I can see your horse quite clearly now: 14.3 or 15.hh, light to middleweight, well schooled with good paces and bomb-proof in traffic. It could be any of the breeds or crosses that people have suggested, except perhaps for the Icelandic, or it could be none of them ... Good luck! You will keep us posted, won't you ...
13th Jul 2000, 02:58 PM
Well, if you liked the conamara then maybe you should look for one of those. They are nice little horses and aren't very tall (actually more a pony but...). One of my freinds has one and she loves him!! He is great with dressage but can also jump like a deer!!!
14th Jul 2000, 07:30 PM
Thankyou all of you for your replies.Well,today, I took delivery of a Connemara gelding (can I even spell it?) on loan, which I am free to buy at the end of the three months ,if I so desire.He is 14.3HDS, and is a golden dunn in colour, with black legs, mane and tail.I've shied away from the idea of a dealer in the past, but my husband's cattle dealer told us of this one.He has extended me the same benefits that he allows the RDA when he finds horses for them(i.e the trial time) because I am a member.Paddy is registered (he's the gelding, not the dealer!) and SO FAR,SO GOOD. I think a bit of caution and suspicion never did anyone any harm, and I certainly intend to let my head rule.Paddy is eight years old,has been used a lot for hacking, by a private owner, and has done dressage at Intermediate level with the same owner.He will also pop a jump or two,but I don't think he'll be doing that with me, and my instructor doesn't think he particularly seemed to enjoy it either, but she said he really put his heart into the dressage, and tried his best to please her.He is so comfy; his trot requires so little effort on my part,which is also good for him, because my instructor says I'm landing much more softly at rising trot on him. Just hope the canter is as smooth.He doesn't dish or brush,I was thrilled to bits watching him.He doesn't come cheap but IF he's the horse he seems to be,then I shall be well pleased.Strangely enough,I feel very calm.Dan has taught me what it is I want in a horse, and that it is out there somewhere.I'm listening both to my instructor at the RDA and my dressage instructor, because they both know me in different ways.I feel very relaxed and objective, and I feel that perhaps in three months,I might have an idea as to whether or not I can build a bond with this horse.Building the bond takes far longer that three months, but I feel that I might have a general idea as to whether or not I can take to Paddy.I never realised how essential the bond was until I had Dan.I've laso had the experience of owning a horse whom I LIKED butwith whom I DIDn't have a bond and the two experiences were incomparable.You just HAVE to gel for it to work.So, slowly does it, and we shall see.All I can say at this point is,he seems to be what I asked for.
14th Jul 2000, 07:36 PM
Dear Gwenllian, this is excellent news. Lets hope you have found the right one, he certainly sounds lovely. I would always be biased for a golden dun as my first horse was that colour, as genuine as they come. On the practical side, they are easy to keep looking beautiful too, easy clean models! No doubt we will hear how you progress.......
14th Jul 2000, 08:23 PM
Congratulations. He sounds delightful. What else would a Connemara be called but Paddy! I hope he doesn't have too many! I agree with you that bond is everything. It is the reason to weather the bad times, and makes the good that much better. good luck and keep us posted
14th Jul 2000, 08:32 PM
Brilliant! You couldnt do better, great all-rounders and characters, if you decide to jump, I don't believe there is a Connemara that doesn't love it when they get the hang of it! Hope this is the one for you, Good luck.
14th Jul 2000, 09:46 PM
Hi. I think Paddy sounds brilliant. I hope it goes OK, and you develop that bond!
15th Jul 2000, 08:10 AM
I would say the ideal horse for you would be something about 14hh to 14.2hh lightweight cob. New forrest ponies are a nice sort of size too not too wide depending on how fat you let them get that is! Or a welsh! I am 5ft5 and 13stone and I ride a 14.2hh middleweight cob called Giz and although he is cobby he is a nice rounded shape rather than square! The best would be to just go out and try lots you are short so you shouldnt have a problem finding something as they have a lot of small cobs on the market at the moment!
Well then email me if you want and I wish you luck in your endeavour to find a pony!
15th Jul 2000, 08:13 AM
Congrats on the connie didnt read the message right!
15th Jul 2000, 09:04 AM
Congratulations on the new arrival.
Hope you and Paddy will gel quickly, he sounds lovely. Hope you are feeling better too.
15th Jul 2000, 02:07 PM
Many,Many thanks everybody! Losing Dan was and still is so hard, but it would have been much harder without all of you.It's so difficult when those closest to you are totally unhorsey.My Mum and Dad, who never wanted me to ride in the first place, and my husband whom I love to bits,but who sees a horse as a farm animal which must be fed,watered, sheltered, and vaccinated, but... LOVED??? GO 'WAY! Even my few horsey friends tend to be a bit patronising because I've hitherto always had elderly,plods to ride.Paddy is positively gleaming with health,so much so that I could almost count an acquaintance's fillings when she saw him this morning!Guess who was loving evey minute of it??She, by the way was the same one whose lights I wanted to knock out for her unfeeling, hurtful comment when Dan had his first seizure a few weeks ago(See post-Dan is Sick!!)However, I just acted very calm and collected. My instructor was with me hacking out for my first proper time, and when this girl commented that I must have paid a packet for him, my instructor fed her a sidelong glance and said that a bombproof elderly pony had got me up to my present level but when you became THIS good, it was necessary to get yourself a good trained dressage horse in order to continue to improve! Her mouth dropped open! I was ready to burst,I'm not THAT good...I hope she never sees me at dressage! I think Dan would have had a giggle too!But honestly,folks, this site has given me so much comfort the last few weeks,Thank you each and everyone of you.Paddy isn't quite still at the block, but my instructor is having him next week to do some work on it,because he will have to, if I'm to keep him.That I am quite adamant about howevermuch I like him.I played that game once before and it brought nothing but misery.So....watch this space!!
15th Jul 2000, 06:40 PM
Well done you, so pleased to hear all is going well.
We have, what I'm told is, a conemara. (nothing in writing) He is a real star, If yours is anythig like ours you will have a winner.
15th Jul 2000, 09:34 PM
I've been reading up on clicker training recently - see http://www.crisny.org/users/kurlanda/sample%20chapter.html
(sorry it's so long!) It might help with the training to stand still - and lots more. It really works. Hope this is some help.
15th Jul 2000, 11:09 PM
Wonderful news, Gwenllian. That sort - 14.3 and well-schooled - is really hard to find (I've been looking for one just like him for weeks). Enjoy him!
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