Buying a Pony - The Importance of Not Over Horsing a Young Rider


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It is every young rider’s dream to have a pony of their own. In buying a pony, you can set that rider up for success. But if you choose the wrong pony from the many ponies for sale, you can quickly destroy the rider’s confidence, and may even put them in physical danger. Over-horsing a young rider can be a debilitating mistake; here are some things to consider when looking at a pony for sale.

Why Over-Horsing Is a Bad Idea

There are many ponies for sale, and if you look long enough, there will be a perfect match for every young rider. However, it may be tempting to “challenge” the rider by purchasing a pony who is a bit more advanced than the level at which the rider is currently going. This can be a horrible mistake.

While you do not want to buy a pony who will take a rider back a step in their riding level, buying a pony who is too much for a rider to handle can make the situation much worse. Riders who are over-horsed may feel nervous, frustrated, and even like they’re in danger. They may find that the fun of riding quickly vanishes, and some riders wish to stop riding altogether. In truly bad situations riders can be injured and seriously frightened, setting them back months or years in their riding.

The Natural Temperaments of ponies for sale Before you even consider going to visit and try a pony for sale, make sure that the pony’s temperament is a match for the child’s riding skills. If a young rider is just starting out, they will need a pony who is calm and very obedient. Strong-willed ponies with little experience will be a poor match for a new rider who can easily be dominated by a pony who wants to take advantage.

Additionally, take a look at the pony’s energy level. Is the pony competing in speed events every weekend, or does he carry around lesson students? If a pony naturally has a high energy level, you would do best to pass him up for a more level-headed pony. Unless the young rider is highly skilled and already experienced in handling energetic horses, pairing him or her with an energetic pony will likely make the rides unpleasant for them both.
Vices and Behaviors of the Pony for Sale

Ask if the pony has any vices, especially those which occur under saddle like bolting, bucking, spooking, taking the bit in its teeth, running out in front of fences, and trying to rub the rider off on the arena fence. These behaviors are undesirable in any mount for a young rider, and a pony with such behaviors can quickly intimidate, scare, and even injure a young rider.

Also take a look at the tack that the pony is going in. Is he wearing a harsh bit to help keep him under control? What about a tight martingale to keep him from flinging his head? The pony’s equipment can give you another indication of what he is like under saddle.

When looking at ponies for sale, spend the time to make sure that the pony you buy will not over-horse the young rider. If a rider is over-horsed, then you may find yourself selling a pony very soon after your purchase.

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