i need help :(

about 5 months ago, i had a project pony that i worked with for about 6 months. there was a immediate bond and i was one of the only ones able to ride her. i didn’t own her, i just rode her for my trainer. she eventually sold to a little girl who wasn’t the best fit. she moved 5 hours away so i’m never going to see her again. according to her owners (who don’t know much about horses) she has frequent bucking fits and they want to sell her asap. they bought her for 3200, and want to sell her for 3200. i straight up told her she’s not going to get nearly that much because she’s barely been a walk trot pony. i’ve been talking to the owner and she said she would sell her to me for 2000. i need help convincing my parents or thinking of plans to buy her. ANY advice would be amazing. she is my dream pony and i’m scared that her owners are going to sell her to another rider who doesn’t know SQUAT, which then sells her to a auction, which then she goes to a kill auction. it’s worst case scenario, but i don’t think that’s fair to her. she’s an amazing pony and it’s my dream to see her again and work with her. so again, any advice/ideas on how to get my parents to help me buy her? i’m horrible at math so here’s some major cost factors:

board: $375/month
farrier: $40
shots: $160 (i think?)

i have all my own tack. she is barefoot, i have another horse who is pretty spoiled so i pretty much have 2 of everything 😂 (halters, brushes, sprays, things like that.) again, any advice is worthy. thank you so much!

I would advise you do your homework and list out the costs and plan to pay for everything. Add supplements, training/lessons, insurance, equipment and tack, any regular medication or maintenance, PLEASE have money on hand for emergency vet bills. Blankets for the winter (depending on your location), any any supplemental costs your trainer includes when working with a boarder (charges for lunging, holding for vet/farrier, mane pulling, grooming, etc).

If you search this forum or even google “horse ownership cost” there’s quite a lot more than the $500 or so a month you have listed. It is a big responsibility but rewarding if you and your family can make it work!


First, do you have your own transportation to the barn, if you became a pony owner? Or do you still depend on others?

Are your parents currently paying for your riding? (Lessons, etc.) How does the monthly cost of a pony compare with your lessons?

My advice is to get together a sort of presentation for your parents that shows both the pros and the cons, with the balance on the pros. Not just costs, but the practical aspects of care year-round, and how the pony will help you grow as a person. Keep in mind that your education must come first and be sure to address that. Remember the long-term future as well as the immediate situation. As you get older and possibly outgrow this pony, as well as moving forward with your education, and perhaps other interests as well, perhaps going away to college, what becomes of the pony? Could she serve as a lesson pony, or be leased? That kind of thing.

Don’t assume the worst future for this pony if she doesn’t go to you. If she’s a nice pony with potential, she just needs to find people in that market. You might even help arrange some interest from someone you do think is well qualified to give her good long-term care. I know you hope to have her, but if you know that it is unlikely that your parents will acquire her, then consider the best thing you can do for her that doesn’t involve her coming back to you.

If it helps you worry less, know that ponies are too small to profitably go to the kill pens. Whatever happens, that’s not where she will go.

You are very kind to care about this pony and want the best for her. I hope you’ll feel reassured that she’ll find a good place and a future. In the future, you may be looking forward to other, larger, and equally deserving horses. I wish we could each provide the perfect life for each hose that we come to care about during our years with horses, but most of us aren’t financially able to do that for them. They manage anyway! :slight_smile:

Good luck to you and to the pony, however this turns out! :slight_smile:


thank you so much! at the moment, i am dependent on my parents for driving, but i already own another horse and they drop me off for a few hours every other day so i would have time to ride another pony. i will be driving in a few months so transportation isn’t a huge issue. as for lessons, i would be planning to sell her after a year or so of working with her. it would only be in-barn or a few miles away, and if they were to ever sell her, they must tell me so i would buy her back. my trainer lets me do free lessons, and let’s me jump around whenever i would like (when she’s there of course) because i help work at the barn.

1 Like

As someone who has essentially impulse leased with intent to by her horse very recently (and has zero regrets he’s the greatest part of my life) depending on where you live, it costs a lot more than that monthly for a horse, even more when you first purchase them because you don’t have any of their stuff (think halter, saddle pads, boots, polos, blankets, sheets, saddle, girth, bridle, bit, standing wraps, fly spray, shampoo, conditioner, etc).

What does board include? Does it include lessons? Blanketing? Food? Turn out? Bedding? Use of basic supplies (fly spray, brushes etc)? Who cleans the stalls? You or someone else? What other surprise fees are there? (Ex. My boarding facility charges extra during the summer for the use of extra water and extra fans, and a fee for the grooms who blanket the horses, turn them out and put them on the euro walker etc)

Also, horses need their teeth floated, their feet done, shots, and have stupid accidents because horses. (Not an accident but my horse enjoys splashing water out of his automatic waterer so his bedding is wet and then standing in the puddle, and therefore is prone to thrush- so factor in that expensive little bottle of preventative thrush buster)

Is the pony shod? If so it’ll probably be more than $40 a cycle and if that’s really the price I need the number of your farrier 😂

Also a lot of barns I’ve found have a policy where your horse / pony needs to be insured, which is another fee.

If you can financially support the pony (or your parents are willing to chip in) and you have the time to care for the pony, sounds great! You love her, go for it.

But, owning a pony or horse is a lot different than taking a few lessons a week (I personally live in constant fear of when my trainer, her assistant or the barn manager call or text me- I always assume the worst even though usually they’re just sending me pictures of my palomino being a cute nerd or confirming a lesson time / letting me know what ring we’ll be in / letting me know they’re running 5 minutes late.)

Good luck!!! :slight_smile:

1 Like

So it sounds as if you already have a solid, forward-looking plan.

Get this information together into a one-page summary. Present it in the most mature, calm and organized way you can. Don’t get upset, no matter how they respond.

And give them time to process the idea. They may say a hard ‘no’ at first but don’t push too hard, and don’t get discouraged. If they have a chance to think it over on their own, they may start to see it your way. Just say something like “I understand. I hope you will think about this more. I’d really like to talk about this again in a couple of days, but I respect your decision, whatever it will be.” Then leave them with a short paper summary that you will already have prepared, and let them alone to think it over.

People process information and make decisions much more clearly and rationally when they don’t feel under pressure. It is a sales technique to give the pitch, then excuse oneself from the room for about 10 minutes. (“I left some papers in the car, I’ll be right back.”) This gives the people they are talking to a chance to talk privately to each other. When the salesperson comes back, the salesperson doesn’t ask questions, but just moves directly into the final stages of making concrete plans to implement whatever the thing is. Often people are ready to just go right along with it. But if they aren’t, this sale probably isn’t going to happen for a few months, at best.


If she has significant behavior issues and you have so far been one of a small number of people able to ride her, I would not count on being able to sell her after a year. She did not turn out to be a very sellable horse after you spent 6 months with her. I understand you have a bond, but I don’t think your plan is entirely realistic.


Borrowing from blondewithchrome’s post, here’s my take on doing it for minimal cost. If the pony is healthy and reasonably young, she probably doesn’t need supplements or “maintenance”. None of the horses at the barn I’ve been at the last 11 years have been blanketed, except my most recent horse who had cancer and was losing weight. And I’m in western Michigan where it can get pretty cold. In fact, I can only think of one other horse in the past 39 years who wore a blanket, and he was a Thoroughbred recovering from being nearly starved, and he only wore it one winter.

If this pony has good feet, she won’t need shoes, and you can hold her for the farrier and vet. If you are riding her in lessons, she won’t need ‘training.’ And you can do her grooming/lunging/mane pulling yourself. You will not “need” insurance to cover her loss, but it MIGHT be not-that-expensive, and your parents may be able to add that to their other insurance costs.

HOWEVER, first your parents will have to pay for this pony AND get it back to you, meaning a transportation cost which will be added to the immediate price. It is true that this pony will need her own equipment and tack. You can find older, not-in-fashion tack, but you will want it fit her decently, i.e. not hurt her or make her uncomfortable. (Could be the reason she is bucking for her current owner.)

If you are not working, your parents have to be willing to pay for an emergency vet bill, either by cash or credit card. And they may require you to pay them back, again if you have some sort of job. AND you have to realistically put a limit to you can ask your parents (or yourself) can spend on an emergency, even for a horse that you developed a bond with. It may be limited by the percentage the horse could survive, or be ridable, or “useful” after an emergency. It may be limited by what your parents can afford at the time with cash, put on a credit card, or by how much they expect you to pay them back within a reasonable amount of time.

What you are asking your parents to pay for the pony, her initial price, transportation cost, tack, possible emergency vet bills, boarding, regular farrier, etc. could pay for a LOT of lessons. I agree with OverandOnward that it is unlikely that she will end up going for slaughter; I just expect that her current owner isn’t the right one for her. Read her post a few times and think about it seriously.


Before you dive into this I think you need to understand a little bit about flipping horses.

You want to spend $2000 + 5hrs of shipping for the pony. Lets say $2250 all in.
Your trainer sold her previously for $3200. My guess is that she wanted the pony gone sooner rather than later. Let’s say with a little more time and some luck you could sell the pony for $4000.
That means if you bought the pony, lead it off the trailer, magically fixed her issues and turned around and sold her to the first person you saw you would make $1750.

So $1750 is our baseline. It’s coming into winter… do you need blankets in your area? Maybe you buy some off of facebook and get a deal for a set of winter layers for $300. What about a pony sized bridle and girth? Let’s go conservative again at $100. Now your profit is down to $1350.

You will need your trainer’s connections to sell the pony and her commission is probably 10% or $400. Now we’re at $950.

Your quote for keeping the pony is $415/month which is VERY low. I’m going to bump it up to $500. That means your breakeven point is less than two months. That’s not even counting vet work (both routine and emergency), the possibility she will need shoes (more expensive than a barefoot trim), shots, lessons, destroyed blankets, horse shows, miscellaneous tack that she probably won’t be able to share with your horse such as boots, bits, fly mask, standing wraps, cooler, etc.

After that 2 month mark you are spending money you will not get back. That’s not necessarily a horrible thing, plenty of people take on projects or rescues with no intention of making money. But you do need to understand the reality and realize that this money will very likely cut into what you can do with your horse. This pony sounds like a tough sell. Ponies are hard to begin with, quirky ponies are MUCH harder, and quirky ponies you want to keep close enough to keep an eye on… well that’s going to be tough. You may be stuck with the pony for years. Keep that in mind.


Am I the only one who thinks that a junior (or a young amateur) who seems short on leasing/owning experience and doesn’t have an income of one’s own isn’t the best candidate for a re-train and/or flip? I don’t see any budget for training. I doubt what sounds like a working student arrangement would include the necessary training rides here.

Beyond the obvious costs not listed (no, your budget doesn’t sound reasonable) and the unforeseen contingency costs, I really don’t see any budget for training. If the horse is bucking off current rider… this is not an easy turnaround. And I don’t see evidence that OP has the experience to flip a horse like this.

My question is: what makes you the better home for this horse? And who will help you work through the problems and holes? And how will you offset that budget-wise? Yes, we want horses to avoid the meat truck. But are you the one to help it do so?

I think it is admirable that you like this horse and want to help it. I just don’t see evidence that you can. Sorry to be a downer.


Realistically, you would be narrowing your potential pool of buyers to a very small number if you insist on an “in barn” buyer or a buyer that is only a few miles away. I think you will find that is much easier said than done.

Another thing to keep in mind is a “right of first refusal” (to buy pony back) sounds nice on paper but is often forgotten or ignored. Not saying don’t put it in the contract, but do set your expectations appropriately.


Like some others have mentioned, the buying restrictions in place are going to be tough. Obviously an in barn sale didn’t happen the first time nor the close radius. Obviously things and people can change in a year but those restrictions will definitely hinder you a lot.

Why exactly were you the only one that could ride her? It may seem special and like a sweet bond but it does not really help her establish a pattern for long term success.

1 Like

i was one of the only ones wanting to ride her at the time, and one of the only people at the barn who had time to ride her.

As an old fuddy duddy adult, I would encourage you to enjoy the pony you have now and the agreement you have with your parents. It’s not fair to ask them to shoulder the burden of another pony on a “whim” that you may or may not be able to sell in a year. I was told “no” a lot as a kid, but in retrospect, I got a lot of opportunities that other kids never got by catch riding and learning from my trainers since I wasn’t paying for things like wrapping and braiding.

And… I’ve spent upwards of $3k on vet bills in two months for a pasture injury. I would hate for that to happen to your pony and you or your parents not be able to foot the bill in an emergency.

ETA: There will ALWAYS be another horse that needs a home, that strikes your fancy, even when you’re 50! :slight_smile:


You’ve gotten some good advice here. You seem like an intelligent young person. Just a note, though, that it would really be helpful in coming across as a more mature person if you used capitalization in your writing. Your posts are a little difficult to read because of the lack of caps. Good luck with your decision.


If you offer $1000 for a pony that bucks it’ll be plenty generous. Wait until further into winter and they may want to unload it. That’ll help your argument.


I am very torn in my reaction to your posts and all the excellent advice you’ve been given. So I’m hesitant to jump in and enable. I want to know more about the pony - size, breeding, started over fences, potential for showing, etc.

If the pony is a local/4-H/pony club type, the financial analysis on flipping it as above is accurate to generous, especially if the pony continues to be an advanced ride only. So you’d be doing this for the experience, and would need to be realistic about barely breaking even/losing money.

IF the pony is a little fancier, and could do some local showing, and if the ridability could be improved by 6 months of consistent work, then you might be able to do well with this as a project.

Best case scenario is that you put 6 - 9 months into her; get her going well enough so some other kids at the barn can ride her, and then do a care lease or half lease to a barn kid who will put some show miles on her at minimal expense to you. That’s the best way to maximize her value.

But bear in mind that the biggest increase in an equine’s value occurs not at breaking, and not in the first year under saddle. The biggest increase comes with finishing a horse in its discipline - in this case, putting changes on and getting it reliably jumping courses in an ammy friendly way. And the ability to finish a horse is a lot rarer than the ability to start it and do the initial training.

All that said, if you go ahead with this plan, wait until the first frost and offer $500., cash. The difference between what they’re asking and the $500. will be eaten up (literally) by spring. If you’re really patient, wait until the first snow and offer to take the pony off their hands, free, with no questions asked.

Best of luck to you whatever you decide!


So, wait. You are going to try to buy the dream pony, but would then sell her in a year? But then, if she ever sold again, you would buy her back? Why not just keep her and not sell her. If you have another horse already, then you can show or whatever on him and keep your dream pony.

As for costs, a presentation might help. How old are you? It may come down to keeping just one horse if money is the main issue. That means, deciding to either sell the horse you currently have, or not buying your dream pony.

I can only imagine how it feels to be trying to decide on this. But I hope that this helps. PM me if you need any more info :slight_smile:

1 Like

OP everything about how to get your parents on board has been said and I wish you luck. I see no reason for a kid to not take this project on since she’s already under a trainer. Pretty sure she has a better grasp on the cost than most kids since she already boards at the barn. I see nothing wrong with a 15/16 yo taking on a LL project.

@KingRocker4Life I don’t think this is a dream pony I think the OP would like the opportunity to put more miles on it and give it a better situation.

1 Like

I don’t think you have a super special bond with this pony. It sounds like it’s a difficult pony and you’re the only one willing to ride it. Is that really enough of a reason to take on a project that may or may not sell? I think you have stars and rainbows in your eyes and you’re not thinking rationally. Pass on this one and enjoy the one you’ve got. Plenty of other ponies will come along when you’re in a place where you can support them without your parents.