Bratty Pony Attitude – 2013

January 2, 2013

Last weekend I went and tried another pony.   A modern build Haflinger, with the sport pony build, she was the perfect height had a cute lightly dished face.  The owners were friendly, and the teenage daughter rode her around at the walk/trot for me.  The pony was a bit snippety, pinning her ears and kicking out a few times.  I asked for the girl to canter her and the pony tried to buck her off.

At this point I was still curious, but was not impressed with the pony’s attitude.  But since I had made the drive, I wanted to give the pony a full evaluation.  We went ahead and swapped saddles, so I could ride in my own English saddle instead of the western saddle the teenage girl rode her in.

The pony continued her unpleasant attitude while I rode her, pinning her ears and bucking when asked to trot.  The owners instructed me to ride with an extremely loose rein, and said she was unhappy with contact.  I am not sure how to ride any looser than I was.  I kept letting more and more go until I had loops in my reins, and no contact what so ever.  The pony did not neck rein, so my ability to steer was nil with the lack of contact.

The owners informed me that the pony had belonged to a family with children who had let the pony get away with everything, creating a virtual monster, verging on unsafe in the hands of her previous owners.  Which is why they had purchased her.  This was quite obvious as the pony had a very bratty attitude.  And although with some additional work in experienced hands the pony has potential to make for a wonderful ride, she does not have the eager to work attitude I am looking for in my next pony.

So I passed.  Again.


Still on the Hunt – 2012

December 26, 2012

This past Sunday I tried another pony.  Buddy, a 13.1h, 10year old grullo paint gelding.  It was about a 2 1/2 hour drive, through pretty small town Virginia, and I arrived timely and hopeful.

Buddy was just being brought in from the field and tied up.  I immediately approved of his size.  Truly 13.1 with a thick build, Buddy fit my criteria.  His owner was extremely friendly, and I enjoyed talking to her about his past and reason for selling.  I feel like she was very honest, and told me that Buddy had originally come through the Amish, but had been used as a hunter lesson and show pony for the past two years, but is very adverse to jumping.  His teeth checked out, and he politely picked up his feet and stood placidly to be brushed and tacked.

His owner hopped on first, and put Buddy through his paces for me.  I noticed straight away that Buddy was very slow and plodding, typical of a lesson pony.  He took a few funny steps at the trot, but I am unsure if he was preparing to pick up a canter or stepped on something.  When he jogged out he looked just fine.

I climbed on Buddy, who stood nicely for mounting.  He plodded along with me as well.   He politely picked up a walk, trot and canter, on nothing other than voice command, and pulled up with the slightest signal, but each gate was performed at the slowest possible speed.  I asked Buddy to move out, and he did, reluctantly.  It was a contradiction of his usual riding requirements, and he did step out slightly, he did so very unhappily.

I brought along some games equipment, and trotted and cantered through flag movements with ease.  I also picked and placed a ball off of and onto a cone with perfect success.

I discussed my concern of his lack of speed with his owner and she offered for me to ride around some barrels outside of the riding ring.  So I gave it a try.  Buddy cantered a barrel turn with ease and experience, and I decided to push for more.  So coming out of another barrel turn I gave Buddy a big kick, landing on the flank.  He let out a few big bucks, nearly unseating me.  I lost both irons, and grabbed mane.  He zagged a few times and then took off, around the outside of the ring toward a small herd of field mates.  Once I had my seat back, I pulled up, and Buddy instantly put on the breaks and dropped back to a plodding walk.

I decided to think about it for a day or two.  I asked myself, could he be ready to compete by spring.  Yes.  Do I see him as the pony I want?  No.  Essentially it was his attitude that turned me off.  He did what was asked of him, but he was not happy to do it.  He did not show that heart I am looking for.  I don’t want a pony that will play games or be ridden because he has to.  I want a pony that *wants* to be ridden.

So the hunt continues.  ho hum.


Do You Want to Sell Your Pony or Not? – 2012

About two weeks ago I saw a craigslist pony for sale ad that appeared to meet all of my criteria.

A stocky gelding, that is the exact height I want, English/western, sounds like he is ready to go and he fits into my meager price range.

I followed the ad’s instructions and sent a text message inquiring about the pony’s age and location.  The age comes back as 8/9 and he is two hours away.  So I text back asking if I can call that afternoon.  “yes” is the response.

After work I give a ring and leave a voicemail.

Over the rest of the week I try another voicemail and another text.

No response.

So I figure they sold the pony and are just too inconsiderate to reply “sold” to my text.  Those 4 letters, so hard to text.

This Monday I see the ad renewed on craigslist.

What the… ok, a little irked now.

So I call back, I send another text and I reply to the craigslist post via email.

At this point, I already have red flags circling this pony, but I really want to know what the deal is.

Of course, there is no response.  So I try making a call at lunch time, and to my surprise, I get an answer.

Well, specifically, I hear the phone pick up and someone yelling to someone else for a minute while I say hello a few times. Then she comes on the phone and the whack-job alarm officially goes off.
During our very brief conversation she changes the ponies age from 9 to 7 and then to 6 years old.  She is sure if he is 13.2, and after asking twice, no she has not actually measured him, but she is “good at guessing”.  She insists he is not a kids pony, “he has too much spunk”.  I explain I am an adult and shopping for myself.  She continues with how great he is, he jumps, he trail rides, he goes English and western, and would make a great show pony for a kid.  I ask if he neck reins, “well I don’t know.  I haven’t ridden him”.

K, so what do you mean by, he goes western??? He carries a western saddle?

Then she mentions his “only vice”, which is that she can’t catch him.  Everyone else can, but she can’t.  “Which is the only reason he is not kid safe.  He is too hard to catch”.

Yeah, ok.

Next she says I can come try him out.  I say, “Would next Wednesday afternoon work for you?” and she says “I guess I can try and find someone to meet you this Friday morning, maybe.” I am literally making an ‘WTF’ face at my phone, but tell her I am busy until next week.  Then she tells me that she has had him for sale for a whopping two weeks and, get this, NO one has come to see him.  So she is taking him to an auction this weekend in Pennsylvania.  I roll my eyes and tell her, “well never mind then.  I wanted to come see him last weekend but you didn’t return my calls so I guess this just won’t work out.”

Then she says “well we might no sale him if we don’t get what we want.”  And that  I can “give her a ring next week”.  Yeah, cause calling her for the past two weeks was so effective.  Then she comes in with “I can find you a different pony.  I can work for you.”

It was all I could do to politely end the conversation with a “No Thank you”.

I mean really, how is she supposed to sell the pony if she doesn’t answer her phone or return calls?

And the pony shopping continues…

***If you click on this image of the ad, it gets big enough to actually read!

Awesome For Sale Ad Photos – 2012

Pony shopping continues.  I currently have four ponies I am following up on.

I am hoping to go see one or two of them this weekend and maybe go to the small monthly Orange horse auction.  Which will be a total long shot but fun.

While looking at ads, I have noticed the lack of some sellers ability to provide helpful photos.  Not everyone is a photographer, and not everyone has an eye for what a buyer might be looking for specifically in a horse.  I get that, and have become accustomed to the bad angles and super closeups of rumps and heads and images with the legs cut off.

One of the oddities that gets me is when someone posts multiple photos all of the horse from the same side and angle.  They are virtually the same photo.  Very helpful.

But I am still annoyed by the tiny little thumb nail photos taken on older cell phones.  They get even smaller when you open them up.

The horse that is far off in the distance in a field, usually in a mixed herd is another of my favorites.  Or the ever so helpful horse with it’s head turned the other way.

Here are some of the bad shots I ran across yesterday in my search.

The horse on the left is the one for sale.

Certainly not the worst photo, but couldn’t they get one in focus?

The classic mixed herd photo. Super helpful.

I actually like this photo, but not for pony shopping.


very helpful angle

The ant on the horizon, awesome.


The 12.5hh Ad Anomaly – 2012

I am currently fully invested in a pony shopping endeavor.  I am looking for a pony that fits my very specific criteria.  The pony needs to be 13.1-13.3hh, with a solid build, a gelding, level headed ,etc.  And to make the search just that much more challenging, I am searching in the oh so exclusive $500 range.



Luckily the market is in my favor being a bad economy and going into fall and hay feeding season.

Most people buy ponies for kids, and want them already finished and ready to safely pack their kid around.   But I prefer a pony that is green broke, and that has either ‘needs miles’ or the tag line ‘finish your own way’ in its ad.  This means the pony won’t come with issues that need to be retrained (hopefully) and I can finish its training to my own preferences.

So with all these advantages on my side, I am fully submerged in the adventures of pony shopping.

One of the ad quirks I see frequently when shopping in the next to free price range is the pony listed as 12.5hh.  Say what?

Does the seller think that a hand is 6 inches?  So does that mean the pony is really closer to 19hh? nah, not possible.  Did someone else tell the person that their pony is 12.5hh?  Was the seller told the pony was 12.3hh and they forgot and knew it was 12 something so they figure 12.5 sounds good?

errrrrrrrrr, thats the sound of my mental breaks screeching to a complete halt.

I am searching for a very specific size that only gives me a 3 inch range in height.  If the seller doesn’t see a problem with listing a pony for sale that is 12.5hh, then clearly, there is no way they are going to be able to properly measure a pony and accurately tell me if said pony fits into my 3 inch height range.

No pony is 12.5hh.

Image clipped from a craigslist ad





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