OK, went to see a pony today


Active Member
Mar 6, 2007
and I just can't decide how I feel about it. The boy is 15yrs old, unknown breed but native type (looke like an overgrown Dartmoor pony in his colouring to me but I am RUBBISH at breeds) 14.2hh. His advert didn't really say anything particularly amazing about him, just that was bought as a safe hack, have discovered he has a good jump, economical to keep, pretty. Good to clip, dentist, farrier. Hanging cheek snaffle, no martingale.

I called the advert as was fairly local. Lady explained that he's actually her friends horse. The owner bought him after a bad accident, to restore her confidence, which he did in the 4 months she rode him for. He was an ex PC pony and had been recommended him as a safe pony. When she tried him out, they asked the horses she hacked out with to canter off in front while she asked him to stop, which he was fine about.

After 4 months of having him she fell unexpectedly pregnant and didn't want to ride anymore so asked if she could keep him at this lady's small livery yard and get a loaner for him. The owner continued to pay all costs. Then, after having the baby she decided that her priorities had changed and she was no longer interested in riding, and didn't want to keep paying for Toby, so would she signed him over to this yard owner and asked her to find him a home.

The lady gave me the owners number and I had a great chat with her and she told me all sorts of brave things he'd done - how he didn't flinch when they were nearly in a road accident, or when a massive farm vehicle with tracks rather than wheels went passed them so close that it knocked her stirrups, how she'd once had to lead him through her house to put him in the field after riding, etc etc. Only ridden twice in company but was good both times. She did warn me though that he is forward going and that when she'd first got him, she'd been scared thinking he was about to take off - but that he never had. And she swore on her new babies life that he never would, he's just forward going.

So tried him today. Will be brief as I know I'm rambling! :redface: 10 year old rode him in school (who apparently is 'no rider' but Toby is so good). Dog shot out from under fence into school and spooked Toby. He cantered off, then was silly in that place every time round - involving lots of unintentional cantering. Then the older sister got on and jumped him. First time not great, then 2 good ones. Then I got on. Asked them to take jump down! I found him quite difficult to get him to go where I wanted him to go and he really wanted to go back to the gate where the other horse who was previously in the school, now was. Couldn't get him anywhere near corners, then he was still being silly about going down the other long side. I really couldn't get him to do anything I asked and when he kept napping to the gate I couldn't really stop him.

Then went out for a short hack (as was so embarrassed by my awful riding) with the other horse. And he was very good BUT they don't hack on the orads near them as v busy (so he hasn't seen traffic for a year) and they only go round the edges of 2 fields (so very short hack) plus they are only allowed to walk on it as the farmer doesn't want it churned up! Oh and he was forward going - not too bad on the way out but coming home I had to keep stopping for the 16hh horse to catch up -and this was only in walk!

So - do I go back again? But how can I see what he's like on the roads plus I need to know what he's like in trot and canter off road? I do believe they are honest people as the daughter was the groom for the big landowners round here (small world!). Today wasn't overly impressive but the phone call about how amazingly confidence giving he was, was so promising!! Soooo sorry this is soooooooooooooo long!!!


New Member
Jan 20, 2010
Norfolk and good
I would say go back, have another go and see how you feel from there. i would want to w/t/c out on a hack and maybe get some more control in the school. Would it be worth taking your RI with you for a lesson on him ?

Are the roads too busy that you couldnt walk him around if your not happy riding him in busy traffic, wouldnt blame you as i wouldnt a horse that wasnt even mine.


Jul 4, 2009
It sounds to me as if the yard owner may have told you what you wanted to hear:frown: Reading through your post i dont pick up on many positives about todays experience and if you arent bursting to go back then I wouldnt x


Active Member
Mar 19, 2007
Anyone can make a horse sound fab when they're selling it - esp when selling it on behalf of someone else so no comeback - cynical again I know!

Personally, if it were me then I would walk away as there are too many things going on - ie nappying, spooking etc

The right horse is out there for you and am sure you'll find him/her in the end - this horse sounds as though he may end up zapping your confidence rather than adding to it.



New Member
Jul 4, 2010
sunny Suffolk
Gut instinct is worth its weight in gold. Unless you are thinking, yes this is the pony for me, then don't go back. It seems to me that you are in doubt. I know its old but - if in doubt say no.

It might be worth getting your riding up to scratch with a few private lessons, which will get your confidence up as well then you will be able to make a proper judgement of the horse based on the horse and not your riding.

Believe me this comes from personal experience not on any knowledge of how you ride.


Active Member
Mar 6, 2007
Thanks guys. He was a nice boy and my problem is I'm a nervous rider so I doubt that I'll ever feel confident on a horse straight away to walk away wit that "oh he's the one" feeling, will I?

The dog literally shot out from underneath the kickboard of a solid fence all around the school so the pony really couldn't have seen him coming until he nearly ran him over - I thought that was kind of understandable. Am I being too soft? The yard owner was horrified and said he is never usually like that but I do appreciate I am very gullible.

Pointerlady - good idea but I'm actually fine on all the horses at the RS. I know them, I know they are safe, I know I am safe - it's when I get on an unknown horse I fall apart. So no amount of lessons is going to help that.

I did think about taking my instructor with me to give me a lesson in the school there? But most people are saying to walk away so perhaps I shouldn't bother? Its just that speaking to the owner, he sounded so brave and so perfect!! I have to say the yard owner has done much less of a 'sell' on him - freely telling me that they have no one else interested and t ocome as many times as I like as there's no one else waiting in the wings to snap him up.


Active Member
Mar 19, 2007
Does your RI not know of a suitable horse for sale? I will happily get on any RS horse but hated looking for another horse for myself - in the end my RI and Archies (my other horse) back lady both came and told me they knew the perfect horse for me - Rocky. If RI knows you and the horse, then you stand a chance of it being ok as you will believe what she says and wont be so nervous - make sense?

By all means get your RI to come and have a look at this boy if that's what you want to do.


Active Member
Mar 6, 2007
Does your RI not know of a suitable horse for sale?

No sadly not. Other than working at the riding school she tends to mainly teach fairly experienced riders. So, big horses, used to doing a lot more than pootling around. I need a nice kiddies pony that doesn't care what the person on top is doing!! Urgh finding the right horse is such hard work!!


New Member
Nov 13, 2007
Doesn't sound great as a confidence giver. I would personally keep looking. There are lots of true confidence givers out there, I know for certain as we have 2! There must be many more like them. If you settle for anything less, it surely won't do your confidence a lot of good.


New Member
Jul 14, 2007
Haven't read all the replies but having met a few Owners recently, exactly
as you have described here whilst looking for a Horse for a friend of mine, I would be saying 'Thanks for letting me look' and continuing my search:wink:

I have to say this in all honesty, call me an 'old cynic'....:smoke:

IF you had a friend or a good friend of a good friend who was selling a horse
that was 100% as this one has been described you would SNAP HIM UP now wouldn't you...........and thats why Horses of this description rarely come on the market because there is ALWAYS a Buyer, let alone a LOANER they don't really need to be advertised so that rings alarm bells straight away. I always feel more empathy for the Seller that says 'hands up, me and this Horse just don't gel because of A, B and C'

It doesn't matter if he is 5 or 15, its a 'half full/half empty' scenario tbh.

Did she actually find a loaner for this Horse whilst she was Pregnant and if so WHY doesn't the Loaner want to buy, and if this Horse really
is this 'safe' why is nobody else on the Yard interested?

The Older Horses have learnt the 'ways of the world' but along with that
some of them learn every trick in the book, I know, I used to ride one aged 12 and rode him til he was 17 and he dumped me more times than I care to remember:biggrin:

TBH the dog incident was understandable but then he was NAPPING.

Its always difficult to find a Horse that is 100% in every way. But you have to weigh up what is acceptable and what you feel you can cope with and take it from there. You went to see this Horse and thats a good thing, see
as many as you can, that way you get a feel for what is right for you and
had you not gone you would have always been wondering if you 'missed out'.

In this case, I don't think you did:biggrin:
Last edited:


New Member
Jun 1, 2009
Personally after a not so positive experience with my recent loan pony, i wouldn't consider him. If he is spooky on home turf, then i would feel that he could only get worse somewhere new.

Good luck with whatever you decide x
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