Problems with a Lesson Pony

LMK17

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Yes, and that's THE reason I'm considering the purchase. We've only been with this barn for a bit over a month, and we've met & ridden 4 of their lesson horses. All 4 have been wonderfully well mannered. I don't have safety concerns about any of their lesson animals. I think any of them would make fine beginner horses for us.

One big concern, though, is what we'd have to pay for such well trained animals. :confused:
 

thistlebloom

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When you get into horses you will realize that the purchase price may be the least of your expenses. Whether you pay a little or pay a lot. It's the only one time cost involved.
The cheapest horse I have ever purchased is a $25 dollar mare that has cost me thousands in extra fencing, more tack, added farrier costs, routine vet care, more in my annual hay purchase, etc. But it was all voluntary and I'd do it again. She's a last chancer BLM mustang that had run out of options. I love her to bits. Also it was a gamble.

You'll want to have a vet check of course. If the vet happens to be familiar with these particular horses I would ask for their opinion of their behavior and health history. Same with the farrier.

Congratulations on finding an excellent trainer. I agree with Promises' comment on the trainer coming to you. I don't remember how many kids you have taking lessons, but if you are doing three or four lessons I think many trainers would consider it.

Sounds like you have some exciting decisions to make!
 

LMK17

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When you get into horses you will realize that the purchase price may be the least of your expenses. Whether you pay a little or pay a lot. It's the only one time cost involved.

You'll want to have a vet check of course. If the vet happens to be familiar with these particular horses I would ask for their opinion of their behavior and health history. Same with the farrier.

Congratulations on finding an excellent trainer. I agree with Promises' comment on the trainer coming to you. I don't remember how many kids you have taking lessons, but if you are doing three or four lessons I think many trainers would consider it.

Sounds like you have some exciting decisions to make!
True about all the additional costs you mentioned. Still, I think the purchase price will be a considerable hurdle. We have a pretty decent set up already. It’s not fancy, but we’ve got good fences, a small barn, and decent pastures. The barn could stand to be cleaned out a bit so that I can annex more space (right now it’s part animal housing and part storage), and I might consider adding an additional hotwire at the top of our fences, but I anticipate that getting our facilities ready for horses would be more a time investment than a monetary one. Also, most years we cut more hay than our cattle can eat through in a winter. (Last year we donated several excess bales to a horse rescue, lest they just rot in storage.) I definitely realize we’re going to be spending money to maintain any horses who live here, but barring a surprise vet bill or something, I’m thinking it’s going to be on the order of hundreds of dollars spread out over months compared to the thousands I’m expecting to pay in a lump sum to purchase a critter. I guess time will tell.

I was planning to use our vet for any pre-purchase exams. And to get copies of previous vet records for the animals that I can peruse myself + bring to our vet. Because we already have livestock, we have a vet that I’m quite fond of and whose opinion I’ve come to trust.

We have 3 people taking lessons. It might be worth a trainer’s time, I suppose, to come to us. However, we don’t have an arena nor jumps set up. Is it worthwhile to travel to where we’d have those available? We could set something up here, but our pastures are mainly for the cattle. We *might* have an area where we could build a small riding ring/arena, but I’d have to think on that a bit.

And yes, big decisions! 😁 Not really the timing I was thinking of, and losing the barn that we like so well really stinks, but it could be a good opportunity for us.

Why not ask?
I intend to! I only know the barn owner in passing. It’s our trainer that I‘m far more friendly with. The trainer was the one who approached me about possibly purchasing some horses, and she says she’ll speak to the owner about it. That was just a few days ago. I’m waiting for the trainer to talk to the owner and then to get back to me about possibilities. Naturally, I’ll negotiate with the owner directly if it comes to that, but I’m just sitting tight in the meanwhile. I’m sure they all have PLENTY to think about and work out at the moment, and I’m in no real hurry. 🙂
 

thistlebloom

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It sounds like you have a really good handle on the situation. Growing your own hay is wonderful! Being so experienced with livestock gives you a real advantage also.
If you've been doing arena work and jumps it would probably be easier to just haul in to a training barn, and then eventually get yourself something set up at home for practicing.
I will tell you that you will love having your horses in your own backyard where you can go out and hang with them anytime you want. I'm excited for you!
 

LMK17

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Thanks! I’m excited, too! But I’m also fairly content with the current set up at our place. I’m just telling myself that if it’s meant to be, we’ll get a couple of these guys. If it’s not, well, there will always other horses for sale if and when the time is right. 😊

And yes! Having our own hay is amazing! The previous owners of our place, I think, had planned to get rich selling organic, grass fed beef, and they really invested a lot in the pastures and infrastructure. I don’t think their finances panned out quite the way they had hoped, but we were really blessed to get this place. The timing and everything just came together perfectly, and since our aim is more family self-sufficiency than profit, this place suits us perfectly. We keep a low stocking density— really about half of what we could run— which allows us to let half the pasture rest most of the spring so that we can get a single hay cutting in the summer and still have plenty of grass for the animals + to go to seed and sustain the pastures. It’s a beautiful thing. 😍 We got 20 big round bales this past year. Our winter is basically half over, and we still have 14 bales left.👍
 

Baymule

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My name is Baymule and I am addicted to horses. I have 4, two are retired at 30 and 32 years of age. The other two came out of slaughter pens. They were a gamble, but I took the risk with my husbands full cooperation and blessing. Riding feeds my soul, renews my spirit and gives me a freedom that I could never experience otherwise. I fondly call them a hole in my pocket that I dump money in. LOL I adore them.
 

LMK17

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Talked to the owner and our trainer today, and we have 2 good candidates to potentially bring over here. 🙂

One is a gelding, 20 yrs old. Has seen it all and done it all. Showed, worked cattle, gives lessons. Extremely kid-safe. Both kids and I have ridden him in lessons. Older but definitely not done. He does need grain to keep in condition but healthy and sound. $700. The other is a gelding pony, 8 yrs old. Not recommended for the kids, but they’d be able to grow into him. He’s safe but a bit stubborn. My 7 year old helped groom him and got to love on him a bit, and he was polite with her. I hadn’t ridden him before today. He challenged me as a rider, as I had to be pretty “on” with my cues, but he was fun to ride! (And I kind of like the idea of not having to share “my” pony with the kids. :plbb) Healthy, barefoot. $2000. I asked for vet records on them, and the owner wants to see our place before any agreements, but it seems like we’re moving in a good direction.

I do think I’d like to purchase insurance policies on them if we buy them. What sort of policy would you all recommend for a couple of family pleasure horses?

Also, I’m curious what you all think of barbed wire for a horse pasture. It seems like an extremely polarizing subject among horse people! We have 20 acres fenced in a mix of field fence and barbed wire. All of it is lined with 2 strands of electric. We use electrified poly rope to construct crossfences. I do want to make an effort to keep any horses away from the barbed strands, and I have some ideas how to do that. On the other hand, though, lots of people around here have horses behind barbed wire. Just curious where you all stand.

Anything else you all think I should consider?
 

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