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Advice please

Discussion in 'Horse Riding and Training' started by DUSTY, Feb 23, 2010.


  1. DUSTY

    DUSTY PetForums Junior

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    About 4 years ago I fell in love with a 14hh fell pony that was owned by a someone who became a good friend.

    He jointly owned the pony with his brother who refused to sell the pony even though he wasn't doing anything with him .

    Now I have the opportunity to have the fell but.......by my reckoning he's now about 9 or 10. I don't know anything about his life before only that for the last 4 years he's been turned out to grass.

    He's friendly and will let me stroke him and groom him but other than that I don't know.

    I had a pony many years ago so the actual looking after one isn't an issue, I know the costs ( the vets made a living from me )and commitment involved and I have my own land.

    My concern is ----is he too old to work with to look at riding him?

    As i'm the wrong side of 40 now I don't bounce as well as I used to so falls will hurt:mad::
     
  2. merlyn26

    merlyn26 PetForums Junior

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    i dont think so - ive got a 9 yo welsh a stallion who i have just started to break in - if you are worried about getting hurt yourself - i would suggest finding someone reputable in your area to break him in or reschool him for you. this way he can be correctly started and your mind can be put at ease.
     
  3. popsec

    popsec PetForums Junior

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    If you are planning to get him into competitions I think he is too old to start through this, if it's just riding then I prefer you see him got ridden by someone experienced several times who can find out any bad behaviours that might be there, don't take the risk of buying him after being away of you those years, check my post, my fall was on a mare that a friend told me she is fine and that he rode her few weeks ago, when i went to try her she was already abused during this time and turned so wild, but we found out that late.

    Buy a horse with a good reputation or one that you tried before over long period.

    Good luck!
     
  4. merlyn26

    merlyn26 PetForums Junior

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    sorry got to disagree that the pony is too old to aim for competitions - i have a mare on lease who admitedly was broken in aged 6, but then did virtually nothing for a couple of years or so and she had her first season under saddle with me last year aged 9 and she was very highly placed at the royal welsh show in both the open class and the hoys qualifier out of 40+ other horses. my next aim after she has had the foal she is hopefully carrying is to teach her to jump - horses and ponies can work well into their 20s so many years ahead of them dont discount them too early!
     
  5. toddy

    toddy PetForums Senior

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    His age would not concern me but Iwould want to know what his history was before I took him on.
    Was he ever broken toride and if so why was he turned away.
    If he had never been broken I would want to know why.
    The most important thing to find out is if he was started and then left as this could have been for many reasons one of which may be he was dangerous or had a bad vice such as bucking,rearing etc.
    If he was simply turned away after being ridden due to lack of rider then I would not be put off by his age at all.
    As Merlyn says ponies can work well intotheir 20's or even 30's so 9 or ten is young.
    Just make sure you ask all the questions before making a decision.
     
  6. DUSTY

    DUSTY PetForums Junior

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    Many thanks for your replies.

    I'm not intending to compete, I just want a decent hack.

    The Fell was apparently broken at about 3 years and bought to use for driving but this never happened and he's been turned out ever since.
     
  7. DUSTY

    DUSTY PetForums Junior

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    Many thanks for your replies and for your support.

    I'm not intending to compete, I just want a decent hack to enjoy riding.....-- next year when I am able to retire (early --- yay thanks to my job ).having experienced the joy of having your own pony as a teens into my 20's.

    I've not ridden for about 10 years and didn't relish the thought of spending more time on the ground rather than in the saddle lol!

    The Fell was apparently broken at about 3 years (has been gelded) and bought to use for driving but this never happened and he's been turned out ever since.

    I'll spend some time with him and see how he reacts to me doing general stuff like leading him in halter etc. If all goes well then I can use the time before I finish work to hopefully bring him on as i'm moving shortly to a place with my own land it'll be easier to get his confidence.
     
  8. Barry G

    Barry G PetForums Junior

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    DUSTY
    Advice please

    "Now I have the opportunity to have the fell but.......by my reckoning he's now about 9 or 10. I don't know anything about his life before only that for the last 4 years he's been turned out to grass."

    There are stars in your eyes - so it might be a good idea to let a horsey acquaintance, who has a horse, look over this chap for you.
    Older horses left out at grass present different problems. Being a Fell he might now be very independent. But there again he might welcome some attention. You are besottedd so let someone else cast an eye over for you.

    "He's friendly and will let me stroke him and groom him but other than that I don't know."
    My bet is that you went up with a carrot and slipped the head collar on when we wasn't looking. Try it again one your own , without the carrot.
    If he lets you catch him, that's a very good sign.

    "I had a pony many years ago so the actual looking after one isn't an issue, I know the costs ( the vets made a living from me )and commitment involved and I have my own land." Once bitten, twice bitten by a bug. Lucky lady.
    Horses are good at eating grass - especially Fells.

    "My concern is ----is he too old to work with to look at riding him?"
    No he is not too old - it is just that he might now be crafty.
    As for your riding him - well do you know how to do it?

    "As i'm the wrong side of 40 now I don't bounce as well as I used to so falls will hurt "
    Are you saying you are in your thirties???
    Falling off hurts at any age - it is just that after 70 you don't heal as quickly.


    If you decide to do this - you will need help. Think about where you will find it. The Fell pony can be delightful - they can be sharp little devils.
    Your success lies in your willingness to learn and the pony's liking for you.

    He has nothing to lose by the sound of it - you - well whats a few bruises between friends??

    First thing to buy: - a riding hat
    second a padded jacket which you feel comfortable in
    third a BHS manual telling you how to do it.

    Then open up an account at the local tack & feed shop.
    B G
     
  9. CreepyKikiKev

    CreepyKikiKev PetForums Newbie

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    the thing you have to ask yourself is am I ready to deal with the consequences if this horse turns out to be soemthing I cant handle?
    Buying from the field is a risky business. It's best left to the professionals IMHO, find out why he was turned around (injury- if so what - what are the chances of full recovery?)

    If 'alll' you want is a hack, there are plenty of hacking sound safe horses his age (not a problem!) older, younger.

    Price also massively influential for simply a hack and also green from field.

    Hope this helps!
     
  10. Melx

    Melx PetForums Member

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    Sorry for the late reply but only just seen thread lol

    No way is 9/10 too old to compete! I have just bought a 16.3tb Mare, 12yo, and I am starting to compete her next year! She also sat in a field for 2 years, couldn't tell you why because I was never told, and other than the occasional hack she lived out 24/7 eating! She was also in a bad way when I got her i.e. underweight and had no muscle at all (she wears a 5'9 rug!!!)

    I looked at her once, sat on her for couple minutes and then bought her because I knew I had to take her home and had a gut feeling it would be a good decision. Turns out it was!!
    Yes, she needed physio and few other bits so did take a bit of time but in 5 months I have now got her up to weight (if not a little fat), muscle buidling up, coat in good condition, riding her 6 days a week, some of which out on hacks (which she is brilliant on may I ad) and she is also now jumping over 3ft while being let loose in the school and has an unbelieveable amount of talent!
    I dont think you can think something through too much, try and find out as much infor as pos but also go with what your gut is telling you.

    Let us know how u get on :thumbup:
     
    #10 Melx, Jul 13, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2010
  11. Barry G

    Barry G PetForums Junior

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    #11 Barry G, Jul 14, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2010
  12. Melx

    Melx PetForums Member

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    I am sorry but I tend to disagree with your post Barry G.
    Asking for some advice online is not a fact of not being capable of looking after a horse. I have owned horses years but still ask advice on here and between people I know because I think it is better to ask than to get it wrong especially with, as you say, a living creature which is highly dependant on ourselves. She should not be critisized for asking advice from fellow horse owners and lovers when as we all know, in the horse world EVERYONE has a difference of opinion. Loads of people made an opinion in my choice of horse but it was my horse, my choice and turns out it was the best choice I ever made.

    I agree that obviously you have an opinion and your opinion is blatantly in the best interest of the horse which is how I think more people should act but I also think that you can never truely understand owning until you do.
    I have found with my horses that each one if soooo different that it makes no difference if you have experience with the previous one's as you will find that you are looking after the new one completely different anyway.

    Dusty... This is your decision so either way I'm sure it will be the right one. Just have lots of people around who have lots of experience so that you always have help if you find he is a bit much at first. Even if he is you will soon get used to it. My moto is that you have to put your worries at the back of your mind when you have no choice but to look after an animal like a horse. You cant just leave him so scared or not he will have to be fed, groomed, mucked out etc so just gotta get on with it! :thumbup:

    Best of luck and let us all know what you decide xx
     
  13. DUSTY

    DUSTY PetForums Junior

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    Thank you so much for all the positive replies.

    BarryG, I appreciate you taking time to reply and assume your tone was not meant to be patronising but having owned a horse for 10 years previously whom I had to reschool from reading books and asking others as I wasn't fortunate enough to be able to go to 'proper lessons' having learnt to ride from the ----that's the head end school of horsemanship I'm well aware of the pitfalls of horse ownership and yes i'm surrounded by others with horses who will support but have no experience of my issue.

    I'll rephrase my question to "IS IS POSSIBLE FOR A TEN YEAR OLD FELL TO BE BROKEN IN "

    As I don't know or have any way of knowing if he has already been broken that was my first consideration.

    I don't want to compete, just have a good hack.

    The day I stop asking questions is the day i'm 6 foot under as in all walks of life that's the only way to improve in whatever you do!
     
  14. Melx

    Melx PetForums Member

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    Dusty, well said. I think there should be more people like you who are considering taking on a horse they know nothing about just to know it has a good home with you.
    I personally think it is much better to rescue than to buy one that doesnt need a home! Since rescuing mine (my first rescue, not a ready made horse) I will only ever rescue from now on because I believe it is so much more rewarding! Everyday I find out something new about my horse and I have had her 5 months now, This is the best bit if you ask me. I neither learnt from "the best" and learnt all that I know from asking other people and if I needed help I always asked and always will, I like to think of this as injury prevention for you and the horse!

    Make sure you keep us updated on what you decide and if you do decide to go ahead, make sure you put lots of pics on here :thumbup:
     
  15. Barry G

    Barry G PetForums Junior

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    Dusty
    Taking the responsibility for rescuing a neglected horse is a very significant committment.
    "Falling in love with Fell pony" is understandable in a young teenage girl. I have found that mature ladies of 40plus are usually more reserved in declaring their affections. However in a sense your words help set the scene to we readers of a post over the internet. Fells can be cute.

    What I have been trying to say - in my aged male speak - is that this project calls for considerable expertise - the sort not always found in books and certainly not in 5 line answers over the internet - even from well wishers.

    Can a mature Fell be taught manners? - in theory yes - but there must be a question mark about whether the animal is too independent. Presumably if you knew more about the pony's early life you would have told the Forum. The early years in a horse's life can be the most influential and you will have difficulty in erasing those memoriies - good and bad - which this pony has experienced. Noone on this forum can make a judgement as to the trainability of a horse without
    getting close to it, touching it and working with it - certainly not a valid judgement for you to have to pay the price over the long term for.

    From my point of view - if you are prepared to give the horse a good home - once you learn what that is -it doesn't matter whether you ever ride the animal, it will be better off with your giving some tender loving care than it will ever be standing out neglected in some field. But the knowledge any long term horse owner and rider has acquired doesn't come easily - it takes years to acquire about not only what to do but what not to do. The big risk with you is that of your become a doting owner and spoiling the animal.
    If it really is cute and crafty it will run rings round you.
    If your land is too lush and you over feed it, then it will get laminitis.
    And just in the handling of a stubborn, ill trained independent moorland pony on the ground you might get hurt. Fells can be tough little devils.

    If you have some local experienced help then maybe go ahead - the pleasure from owning a horse goes way beyond just riding it. But please don't take the creature on and then dump it in a year's time because you can't cope. A pony can live over 30 years.

    Incidentally - few other suggestions:
    Get the pony examined by a well respected horse vet - legs, feet, back, teeth, movement - the works and take careful note of what the vet says.
    Find a local Pilates exercise group - you'll need to be strong round the centre core area - stomach muscles, lower back, thighs - with flexible hamstrings and calves.
    Buy a hard hat and a body protector.
    Cancel all holidays, re-arrange your daily schedule and get ready to spend a fortune on tack.
    And as a mature lady, don't even think of falling off.

    If you really want to join the international horsey club - then do so - just make sure you pick the right horse for you and your circumstances.
     
  16. Melx

    Melx PetForums Member

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    Barry G I think you are way to negative and obviously one for ready made horses!
    Like I said, I bought a horse in March which I knew nothing about and she was the best thing I have ever bought!!
    Just because she hasn't owned horses recently does not mean she doesn't have a clue what she is doing, just means some things may need refreshing in her mind but that comes in no time with dealing with the horse daily!

    Like I have said every horse is different and some more of a task than others but you will never know until you try, so Dusty, go with what you think! You know that you are not stupid like you are being made out to be so do what you think is right!! :thumbup: xx
     
  17. Barry G

    Barry G PetForums Junior

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    Mel who has experience of rescuing horses writes I am being too negative. Dusty writes that I am patronising. Me, well I see too many inexperienced owner /riders getting into serious trouble because they chose the wrong horse at the wrong time in their lives. And hacking out into this modern world is no safe and simple exercise.

    The scenario is exactly as Monty Roberts warns against. His website receives repeated requests for help over the internet but he has now decided as policy never to reply because so often the background information given by the enquirer is either incomplete, inaccurate or generally misleading. He doesn’t actually say that few people like hearing what they don’t want to hear, but he implies it.

    I suspect Dusty has made her decision and I wish her well with her project. But I have a good idea of what she is taking on and I am not sure she does - yet.
     
  18. DUSTY

    DUSTY PetForums Junior

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    Well i'm impressed BarryG is you can read the tea leaves and see what's ahead for me.

    You too had to start somewhere.

    I have owned a horse before having been around horses previously for many years and brought a very green soul on so that he came out with ribbons at every showing and x country event we went to, having learn't from books and talking to people

    Unfortunately you are the sort of person I forgot inhabit shows and equestrian centres, being negative and looking down on others.

    However to everyone else who's taken time to reply, a big thank you.

    I have recently moved house and have met a lovely lady who has two horses and has welcomed my interest in getting back into horses and invited me to ride and help her so I can 'refresh' my memory of the pleaures and pain of horses in readiness for next year when i'm fortunate enough to be able to retire in my late 40's.
     
  19. Melx

    Melx PetForums Member

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    Barry G, is it good to see you can read! There is a difference to giving your opinion and talking down to someone. Dusty has asked for advice, which the rest of us have replied to with courtesy, you have spoken down to her and decided that just because you do not know her she is incapable of bringing on a horse.
    In my opinion, most people that make out they are high and mighty in the horse world tend to do alot worse than those of us who ask and enjoy it. Going it alone can be very difficult including dangerous, you are suggesting that she is in the wrong for asking our opinion's when in fact she is probably doing what most new owners dont do and finding out the facts.

    I personally did not sign up to this forum to have people who talk down to others and think they are better than everyone else commeting horrible suggestive comments just because "thats what Mnty Roberts says".

    People on here will give you there help if you need it, so please have the same respect for others.

    Dusty... Have a great time and start a new post with pictures :) xx
     
  20. DUSTY

    DUSTY PetForums Junior

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    BarryG obviously likes the sound of his own voice.

    I'm stopping this thread now because i'm sure everyone like myself is totally bored with his posts hijacking those with good advice and encouragement.:(

    Again, all my thanks to everyone (else!) who've taken time to give me genuine food for thought.

    Yes it's a big step to get back into the wonderful world of horse ownership but i'm going to enjoy the learning curve which as has been noted by many i've started by asking questions.

    I'm sure my confidence will come as time goes on and i'm ready to go and find my horse

    Lots of things have changed since I had a horse and it's exciting to learn but at the end of the day take all the modern gadgets and gizmos away and a horse is a horse 20 years on and i'm sure love and patience for him or her and the support of people like you will help me do right by him / her. :lol:
     
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