First pony

CharlottePrebble

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Jul 31, 2021
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Hi I'm looking at buying my 2 girls their first pony, I had ponies as a child but haven't owned one in years. I've been looking at local diy livery and it feels so expensive. We will not make use of a school/ walker/ xc course so feels like a waste. On the flip side I'm finding it impossible to find basic grass livery!

What does everyone do with a child's pony? Or is this something that's only possible when you own your own land?

Someone help me out 😢
 

chunky monkey

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May 2, 2007
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How old are the girls. Have they ridden at all. If they are complete beginners riding then you need really the safety of a riding school minimum. You could walk them out on a lead rein but if they are inexperienced riders you really cant take them on busy roads. You might get away with walking out with them on country lanes.
If you dont want a school then you need to look for grass livery which has a flat area thats big enough to fence an area off to act like a school, so you could have an instructor come and give lessons maybe. Remember a grass field used for schooling and riding round will cut up easily so dont use for regular grazing, just schooling and in winter you may not be able to ride in at all if its a clay field.
Best option is really to find a yard that has a school. It doesnt have to be anything fancy but a good surface will facilitate riding all year round. If its got floodlits so you can ride in winter with the dark nights its a huge plus.
 
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Doodle92

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Apr 6, 2021
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If you are having to ride after school then you really need an arena with flood lights. If not you are stuck with weekends only most of the winter. I’m not sure how old your girls are and if they are beginners or more established but I think either way a set up with other children around and an instructor is needed. Some riding schools may also offer a part share arrangement or indeed some private owners may have a horse to share which will let you dip your toe in before buying your own. Apologies if your girls are already good riders and experience is there.
 
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Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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Asking at tack shops and feed shops might get you on the trail of more basic livery yards, many smaller places rarely advertise. I wouldn’t rule out needing a school, kids love to jump and play about with other kids on their ponies and a school will definitely make winter after school riding much easier.
 
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Mary Poppins

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Oct 10, 2004
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If you are looking at the cost of DIY livery and feel it is expensive, I would question if you have considered how much money a pony will cost to keep. I have owned my horse for 10 years and I would hate to add up how much money I have spent on him. They literally eat through money and on top of livery you need to factor in hay, feed, farrier, worming, tack, tack checks, teeth, vaccinations, physio, lessons, rugs, riding equipment etc. And then the vets fees! Believe me, horses get ill and it can all go horribly wrong very quickly. You can choose to take out insurance or pay the vets fees. To give you an idea, in the last 10 years I have spent about £5,000 in insurance premiums. I have claimed about £16,000 in vet bills and in addition paid for £3,000 which hasn’t been covered by insurance. I have a pending claim for about £2,000 for an emergency rush to hospital which I hope will be paid. I don’t want to put you off, but just make the point that keeping horses cost lots of money.
 

carthorse

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@Mary Poppins this is so true, When trying to work out if you can keep a horse I'm inclined to say think of every cost you can and at the very least double it. Once you've bought them and had them a while never ever ever try to add up what you've actually spent!
 

Huggy

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Nov 11, 2018
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Livery can be found cheap(ish), but you have to downgrade your expectations. If you can find solely a field to rent (No shelter or facilities) you might be allowed to have a storage shed and mobile field shelter. I say might, because there are planning laws about sheds and shelters, and of course you'd need owners permission too. There s quite a lot of that round my way - people buy a bit of land and divide it up to rent out as grass livery. However, I agree with all the posters on here - your daughters would miss out in lessons and schooling etc, unless you can trailer there. The ad below is pretty reasonable for what's on offer - my friend pays more than that for field only. Screenshot_20210802-110653_Samsung Internet.jpg
 

PePo

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Jun 4, 2014
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I pay £170 pcm for DIY livery on a yard that's not mega fancy (but lovely), if that helps at all? I'm in the SE of England for reference.
 
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Jane&Ziggy

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I pay £108 per month per horse (£217 for 2 horses) or £25 per week per horse for my grass livery, which is without any facilities whatsoever except water but is right opposite my house. In Surrey that is a steal.
 

Huggy

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I'm going to whisper this - I pay £24 a month, grass livery, but stable use for tacking up etc. I pay for hay, half down the middle with YO, who i now count as a friend. Direct access to New Forest. 5 minutes from home. It's what I paid 27 years ago when I first came. In fairness, I contribute quite a bit in terms of what I do about the yard, but that said, I'm very, very lucky with what I have.
 
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Jessey

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I'm going to whisper this - I pay £24 a month, grass livery, but stable use for tacking up etc. I pay for hay, half down the middle with YO, who i now count as a friend. Direct access to New Forest. 5 minutes from home. It's what I paid 27 years ago when I first came. In fairness, I contribute quite a bit in terms of what I do about the yard, but that said, I'm very, very lucky with what I have.
That’s seriously cheap!
£25-35 a week is the norm for DIY around here (mid East Anglia), any less and you’re doing all the stable, fence, field maintenance at your own cost on top of what you’re paying each week.
 
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Huggy

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That’s seriously cheap!
£25-35 a week is the norm for DIY around here (mid East Anglia), any less and you’re doing all the stable, fence, field maintenance at your own cost on top of what you’re paying each week.
There s only the 2 of us there now. It's a bit run down and tatty, but the grazing is amazing (8 acres!) and I hope I pull my weight about the place. As I say, I know how lucky I am, and I'm in for a shock if I ever have to move Hogan.
 
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