Can a serious competition pony become a hack?

ladywiththebaby

Active Member
Mar 6, 2007
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Cambridge
I've recently taken on a loan pony as my first horse. I was after a safe, sensible hack. I had been looking since March but really struggled to find anything at all, not just what I was after but just nothing was coming up at all.

Anyway, a lady from pony club called me asking me to come and look at her pony to see if I'd be interested. Been ridden by her daughter from 12 - 15 yrs old (although I only started riding as an adult so I'd consider a serious pony club child to be a better, more experienced, more fearless rider than me). The mum also hacked her out regularly - alone and in company. Had been a good competition pony before they bought her 4 years ago. The people that had her as a comp. pony wanted a quieter life for her when they sold her as her joints were showing a bit of wear and tear. So her current owners took her hunting, hacking and took her to PC but they now want an even quieter life for her as she had an episode of mild arthritis in January.

So I have her as a hacking and occasional sponsored rides kind of ride. I took her out for a hack when I tried her out and she was good but since bringing her home we had a load of tack stolen and so now can't ride. I only rode her twice (walk and trot only) before the break in and by the time we've replaced everything it'll be 3 weeks since she was last ridden.

BUT I have just discovered that this pony has won over £1000 BSJA, won at Pony of the Year Show, was in Horse and Hound for winning a Blue Chip qualifier, and won at lots of other championships.

She also went round the open Pony Club eventing championships being one of the smallest ponies with one of the youngest riders.

This freaks me out a bit. Have I completely overhorsed myself or is it completely irrelevant what she has done in the past? It was at least 4 or 5 years ago that she competed. :redface:

I'm also a bit worried as to whether she'll go mental after a 3 week break, I have no access to a school and I'm not allowed to lunge as the field is too soft :(
 

eml

Moderator
Apr 29, 2002
12,796
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Leicestershire
www.ivanhoeequestrian.net
What the pony has done in the past is irrelevent you are providing what it needs now which is a quieter life. I bought a similar horse who had evented internationally for my daughters first horse off ponies and apart from warning us to be careful if taking him to PC cross country clinics or hunting we found him a delightful schoolmaster (after several years we did take him hunting and found out why we had been told not to...but that's another story)

We also have had a number of retired SJ ponies and horses in our RS and find them very easy. One of the great things about older ponies is they don't go silly after a layoff.
 

eventerbabe

Well-Known Member
Dec 16, 2004
15,065
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i think what you've got to remember is those achievements were when the pony was younger. If she's joint issues and arthritis then i'm sure she's absolutely happy being a hack. My old loan was a successful BSJA pony and ex-stallion at stud. He was patient as a saint and no bother after time off :)
 

TEmily

New Member
Oct 14, 2008
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Sheffield South Yorkshire
Not all successful horses are lunatics! Quite the opposite, i think if they've been properly started and well schooled in the past they are much more amenable to being ridden intermittently/asked to do something different. She's been around, seen all sorts of sights and sounds so will be more level-headed in a spooky situation too.

My yo's horses aren't hacked: they're backed, schooled and taken out to do BSJA. They only leave the yard on foot in their later years when the'yre not doing as much competing, and not one of them has a problem with traffic etc - I've taken two on their first EVER hack and neither batted an eyelid! A life of competition can give that 'been there, done that' attitude.

Well done, by the way, for giving an older pony a great life in later years - if only all ex-competiton horses had such a good retirement.
 
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