Hi all, this thread is long overdue but I really haven't had a moment to post! Sorry about its length, I would really appreciate it if you could read it all!
For those of you who don't know I'll try to (as quickly as possible!) get you up to speed! Basically, I put an Ad up on 2 free advertising sites looking for a "mother/daughter share, medium weight/heavy weight cob 100% bombproof and novice ride" for loan/loan with view to buy on the hope I'd find something perfect for my Mum who keeps humming and harring over wanting something to ride instead of being just my personal stablehand! I didn't think I'd get anything, I had my ad up for ages before I got contacted by Holly's owner 2 years ago. But to my surprise I got a phonecall 2 weeks ago from a lovely lady who was quite upset as she didn't know what to do with her gorgeous 15 year old 15.1hh Welsh D (possible cross) gelding and was planning on going in the army. The full update of that is in this thread: http://www.equine-world.co.uk/horse-...ad.php?t=30299
I arranged to go and see him, and at what seemed like the early hours of the morning (but was actually only 8 o clock) me and my Mum drove across the city on the hope he'd be stocky and perfect (my worries about him were posted in the back end of this thread: http://www.equine-world.co.uk/horse-...ad.php?t=26863 ). When we got there I was more than impressed - he is soooo handsome in the flesh!
He is a tad stockier in real life too and has "a leg at each corner" (I think thats the right saying?). I brought him in from the field myself, which was alien enough to me as I had to take a headcollar... Holly's catching antics mean she ALWAYS has a headcollar on. He was fine, had a look of "who the hell are you?" which would, in Holly's case, cause her to run away... but no he still came and stood perfectly still! I took him to his stable, he just stood like a doll in his stable whilst I took off his rug. His owner got his tack out of her car and we brushed him.
I took a good look at him and there are no obvious problems I could see! I had worried about his hock... it was a problem the owner had made me aware of before coming, she said it was an "old injury." I was expecting A LOT worse, but on seeing it it seems totally fine. It's his left hock, and all it is is its slightly "larger" than his right. I say larger because on saying it was swollen would suggest there's still something hurting, but the injury itself happened 10 years ago according to the owner and she's had him 5 years and its not stopped her ODE and basically doing everything with him. I gave it a good touch up and prodded it and Pugsley stood like a doll without a care in the world about it. My Mum, bless her, said she couldn't even notice the difference.
Anyway we tacked him up (which again he stood perfect for ) and I was really happy to see he didn't have a martingale or anything of the like - just a saddle and a plain bridle. His bit was a hanging cheek, french link snaffle, do you think this should cause concern? I wasn't at all phased by it, just curious of opinion. I also saw another bridle in the owners car that had a full cheek snaffle with copper roller mouthpiece, but this again didn't concern me... the owner is lovely and I think she very much bought Pugsley everything she felt he needed including cool bits.
Sadly, his yard is closing down to be used as storage, so there was lots of commotion about the yard with people packing away so the owner suggested we go for a quick hack to the other yard and ride in their school as the people on the yard will only distract her and may pass silly, nosey comments later. The location of his yard is amazing, its on the land of an old lion park and so the yard is on a kind of "complex" and there are 2 other yards on the same land all enclosed by one massive gate and fence set up.
His owner rode him first on the hack there, and after I decided that he was okay in walk I got on him and rode him to the other yard. He was perfect considering he'd not been ridden in over a month. Quite forward but it was very fresh outside and, as I said, he's not been regularly ridden. All he did was walk like he was on a mission... my mum struggled to keep up! It was funny because I felt myself staring, looking out for spooky things as I would have to with Holly, but with Pugs he was not phased by any of the scary bags or the new yard we went to. If I'd rode Holly to a new yard alone we would have had spinning and the like so it was quite reassuring to know my Mum or sister would never have to deal with that with Pugs. When we got to the new yard (which was teeny but cute!) I jumped off and let his owner back on him. She rode him in the school which she said Pugs had never been in before in his life and, surprise surprise, he was a little star! He took a while to "settle", and by settle I mean to go round, but thats not a concern of mine in regards to him being my Mum and sister's ride.
I looked out for any problems and couldn't see any! His owner mentioned that he tends to "skip" with his injured hock, but all I could see is that he was slightly short on the back but nothing that would suggest lameness or any issues. She mentioned that she used to get lessons off an eventer who said that it really doesn't cause him a problem, so it was good to know other people had commented on it. I took some video's of her riding him, plus a couple (well a lot ) of pictures... tell me your opinion on his action!
So then I got on him. I can't believe how MASSIVE 15 odd hands feels, but I can't deny that it felt great. He's very sturdy and it sadly brought a huge feeling that I'm slowly crushing Holly, but I've tried to keep that to the back of my mind. It was -5 degrees outside, my fingers were frozen on the reins, and the actual school surface was frozen and hard. Pugsley did great considering. My legs were all over, and my riding was generally bad - I'm not used to having so much horse beneath me (all you people with tall horses are laughing aren't you?!). He went great, he was responsive off the leg but not so much so that you hesitated with any contact. He was very easy to stop too. He was hard to steer but thats only because I couldn't handle his size very well! I had a walk, trot and canter on both reins and he was FABULOUS My mum took a small video of me (apologise in advance for the rubbish riding and the geordie accents!):
I rode him back to his yard, and although he was a tad more forward heading home, it wasn't anything that was scary or worrying. We passed a horse wagon on the way, which his owner said Pugs is terrified of. So I expected a HUGE Holly spook as I passed and what did I get? Him giving it a "wide birth" and walking sideways from it. Thats all! His owner was apologising over and over but I really couldn't see the problem with that spook! I actually nearly laughed at Pugs, Holly would show him what a spook is!
We untacked him and I was able to let him out in the field. He has one field friend (because the rest have, sadly, left) and she was going a tad nuts running around the place, I expected Pugs to show some sort of reaction but he didn't at all, just waited for me to undo his headcollar and he plodded off to munch some grass. So happy with him!!!
So yes, on the whole, Pugs is GREAT. I asked what she fed him and she said she feeds him one feed of speedibeet plus some supplement for his joints but he's not been on that supplement all winter and she's not seen a difference in him. He's fed on Haylage (sp?) sadly, which is only sad because Holly gets hay and he'd be more than welcome to munch on some of my hay for free, but Haylage is provided by my yard as well so its not a HUGE problem. She feeds him on haylage because he coughs loads with hay, I asked her if she had tried soaked hay and she said no, so that could be an option. He's shoed only on the front, which is brill as thats the same as Holly and it works well for her. He's perfect to clip, shoe and catch etc and up to date with his vaccinations. The owner talked to us the whole time and answered all our questions honestly and in detail and at the end of our visit nearly started crying when we asked her about selling Pugsley. She's really attached to him and kept stressing that she wants him to find a permanent loving home. She said that the loan contract would stress that he'd have to be in our care long-term because of her army commitments, but we (my mum included) were fine with that as my Mum said later, even if she doesn't take to riding my sisters are keen and I'm always there to ride and look after him as its no longer a phase with me. However, my Mum was totally smitten by him! So much for him being "boring" and "not having fluffy feet".
We told her we would let her know this week if we want to go ahead, so yes its all very, very exciting!
Our only problem is, is that there is NO space on our yard (as far as we are aware) so unless we can be squeezed in as a field livery, our committment to him may have to be put on hold. We did tell her this and she said she'd look for a new yard to keep him whilst we waited for a space (provided we weren't waiting MONTHS). So thats a bit... scary/unnerving, as my Mum is really keen, as am I and the owner and I got on so, so well that I think she's taken a shine to us too. She's told her friends that she thinks she's found the right people (in regards to us) and hasn't even started advertising him! So that is encouraging!
I hadn't asked her about insurance, although I know I can't take over the insurance as I'm not his legal owner, but I decided I'd discuss this after we've talked to our YO. We are popping round tomorrow to beg her for a space on the yard, which is exciting in itself as it means, in fact, the family are getting another horse! I can't quite believe it myself, as I've not even owned my own horse a year and that itself was a MASSIVE thing for me. I still get a bit emotional about Holly sometimes
My Mum was fab about him, and his owner, bless her, even made a point of saying to my mum "Pugsley was ridden and owned by someone your build before I had him" which was such a cute way of putting it. She said she'd have no problem at all with my Mum riding him, although my Mum is still cautious and so am I. My Dad (who didn't see him but tentatively watched the videos and looked at the pictures) really liked him, he said "he looks like a thoroughbred" My Mum said that she can't "let me pay for all of him" so we've agreed they'll make some sort of contribution to him, after all he is their horse. However we don't want to discuss it for too long until we've spoken to our YO, as we don't want to get our hopes too high. So pleasssssse cross everything!
Anyway, what do you guys think of little Pugs? Here are pictures from his owner and the ones I took when she was riding. The owner apologised for his clip, her clippers went blunt halfway and she wasn't intending on clipping him anyway! She only clipped him because she had thought of loaning him to a riding for the disabled establishment, so he would have needed a clip as he's VERY hairy otherwise. Also, she's about 5ft 11 so she makes him look like a total midget! Pugs literally is faultless and exactly what we are looking for. I even walked under his belly and pulled on his tail and he didn't flinch or move at all - I was making sure he was child proof! So yes, I'm soooo happy! But a tad nervous too! I hope things go our way I really do!
Thanks for reading and I apologise in advance, its taken me ages to write this and its like a novel! All opinions welcome and wanted! Thanks guys!
Last edited by CautionToTheWind; 11th February 2012 at 09:59 PM.
I REALLY REALLY like him! I think he could do the world of wonders for all your family riding wise Would be perfect for your sisters and your mum with his sane attitude but also could be enough for you if you ever want to take him places. Definitely think I could see your sisters taking him in a couple of in-hand classes (or ridden a bit later on) when you take Holly to shows. Good luck with the YO and I hope you get a space for him.
I love the sound of him. He sounds perfect, my only reservation would be that hock, and the "skip". Bit you could get your vet to have a look over him and make sure they don't think its going to be a problem. Good luck though in every other way he sounds perfect!!
Thanks for your nice comments guys , he really is lovely!
Clippi - it was the owner who mentioned him "skipping", when i rode him I didn't notice it and when she.rode him I saw nothing. I was able to keep him in canter on both reins for a lap and a half without needing to use my leg to encourage him, so I don't think she meant that kind of skipping as he didn't struggle with corners or maintaining his rhythm. I think she just meant he was a bit short behind, as he didn't seem to track up exactly. I shall get the vet to look at it I think just for peace of mind
He looks absolutely perfect although I was expecting your mum to have a sit on him on a lead rein or something? I know she's lacking in confidence but she should at least sit on him in the school and see how he feels.
he seems lovely,but for me personally there is a one big thing you've missed out! if your mum and sisters are to ride him, its all well and good you trying him and finding him good,its another for a horse to have someone who doesn't know how to ride he may act up with them. In my opinion i wouldn't take him on till your mum has ridden him even if you only have her on a lead rein, he may be a horse who tries it on with someone who can't ride.
Please also remember that having another horse is a major responsibility and you have to bear in mind that the novelty may wear off with your mum and sisters and you will end up with 2 ned's to look after.
I don't want to sound mean at all and i hope it doesn't come across that way as im just thinking of your best interests.
there are many websites that have the questions you should be asking before buying/loaning a horse/pony just google it.
I hope the get gives you the answers you want, and the YO finds you a place!! He is lovely looking and sounds as though he is just the rock you need, and if your mum really liked him then hopefully she will find he is the inspiration she needs, especially if she takes on looking after him straight away.