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Tips on Selling a bonded pair (Read for why it's so hard)

The other issue is her size. There aren’t that many competent trainers who can fit on a 12 hand pony.


12 hand ponies are hard to place at 7 y/o if they are not already child friendly and/or driving. Is she easy to handle on the ground? Need to pay a trainer for 90 days and see what you have to make a sure decision. Otherwise, I would consider euth. if you are unable to keep her or afford her. No one wants a pint sized PITA pony.


@thoroughbred21 is spot on. Even if the horse was abused by another trainer years ago, that’s all the more reason to take the MARE’s (not filly’s) training very seriously.

In my opinion, if you bring a horse into this world you’re responsible for making sure it grows up with the necessary skills to not end up on the slaughter truck for as long as possible. That means you A) ensure they horse is well bred. B) ensure the horse is trained in some sort of discipline. C) ensure that the horse has manners and can tie, trailer, stand for the farrier, etc. since it sounds like you didn’t do any of that, you better be ok with paying for this horse’s care for the rest of its life OR pray you find a trainer willing to take this MARE on.

Also stop breeding horses.


Colour and a long mane do not a successful pony make. Have you got side on photos of her? Take the photos side on, with her head looking forward or very slightly towards you. Hold the camera at the level of her barrel so you don’t make her legs look short. Make sure her halter fits her properly - not drooping down her nose like the ones in the photo.
Yellow eyes? That’s unusual and may make people baulk. Cream is okay - was she born darker and is now greying out, or was she born cream? Horses are not classed as “white”, They are either grey or cream. Dark eyes are always better - there is often concern about eyesight or the possibility of cancer with lighter coloured eyes. (This may or may not be true - I’m just reporting old stable tales).

It looks as if you have decent facilities. Is there no way you can separate the two horses for a period of time and begin handling the 7 year old?

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So she looks like she is (or was) able to be handled by the farrier. So what is keeping you from separating the mare and daughter now? Are they boarded or at home? Are there other horses on the premises?

I’d be separating them today.


They need to be separated, like yesterday. Well, 6.5 years ago. I can tell you horses like this are common, and not many people will take them on. I can’t even count how many horses like this I have helped sort out. It’s a long and arduous process. You have to be really dedicated. Her size puts an extra complicating factor in here, not many trainers who can fit on a 12hh pony. And obviously this is not a kids project.

Just pointing out that everywhere in DE is within an hours drive of MD and/or PA and/or NJ, and within 3 hours you can be way the heck down in VA. Just a possibility that there is a good, kind horseman or two in those states.


Okay, I’m sorry, but I feel like a lot of people are getting the wrong idea just because I didnt feel like writing a 6 paragraph essay about the backstory. So here it is. We bought the mare as a young rideable pony. A month later, while the vet was giving her a checkup after purchase, she declared that she was pregnan. We were lost at that point. We ultimately sold the mare to properly wean the filly (now mare) and get a new start. We sent the filly to trainers so she could get broke to drive. She broke cart axels and ultimately they did not know how to train even though they had good word of mouth. While she was there, we decided to take her home after a few weeks because her halter had been tied too taught and she had cuts all over her face. The trainers were not paid and we do not speak to them any more. So we were stuck with a very destroyed pony that had been traumatized. Years went by of us trying to reverse what they had done, nothing worked. One day, the people we had sold the mare to, called us, and asked if we wanted her back. We accepted and then we had the mare and the grown filly (mare). They became inseparable, especially after my father’s mule passed and there was no longer a third member. This is the whole story. Im so sorry that some thought that we bred horses and didnt try to do anything about, because we did. It was a long grueling 7 years with tornados putting the training to reverse what they had done, behind schedule and everything else. And the mare can load, be haltered, etc. She just isn’t rideable.


I seperated them yesterday. We have two pastures, so it works. My main issue is just trying to get her trust bsck when it comes to touching her back legs and trying to make her less dangerous. No one wants a horse that randomly breaks out in mood swings and tries to kick them. I don’t know how to reverse that.

OP: This does change things somewhat. Mare and filly lived apart for what sounds like years - until you bought the mare back. In that case, I would suggest that’s its more a badly herd-bound situation than a never-truly-weaned situation.

Either way though, the options don’t change. It sounds like driving didn’t work well. I’d look for a trainer that has a rider capable of mounting a 12h pony. Make arrangements for her to go somewhere to get re-started from scratch. Then talk with the trainer about when and how they want her separated. You could just load the filly and take her away, or you could start a few weeks beforehand. Assuming the mare doesn’t care, and the filly will freak out, I’d stall the filly and turn the mare out. Talk with your vet and get some tranq if necessary.

See where you are in 3 months. If she turns into a polite citizen, learns to lounge, and be mounted calmly - a trainer may be willing to take her off your hands for free to train and sell. If she isn’t even close to being sat on in 3 months, you may want to look for a companion home for her so she won’t come back home and get re-attached to mare all over again. Assuming she can go out on grass and has excellent ground manners, that size pony is desirable to many as a companion. If you’re lucky, you may even find a spot where you don’t have to pay all of her expenses. I know someone who found a home for an older companion pony where she only pays for shoeing and meds. The “lease” family covers all feed/vet costs, and no board since she is at their house.


Not many horses have the temperament to drive. Has she ever been sent out for training to ride?

My 2 mares are horribly bonded too and sadly it can be a real pain, but we make it work with time and consistent work.

Now that you have them separated maybe you can find a small adult to take the young mare on as a project.

Well, the problem is it probably needed to be addressed 6 years ago, and preferably by a pro. I really don’t think that the mare is still suffering from lack of trust from a training incident that long ago. Especially if it was brief.

It is likely that you anticipate issues, and she’s now a rank bitch who gets her way. She wins every time.

Unless you’re a pro and have trained/retrained horses with issues, this may take forever and/or never be accomplished. Start looking around for reputable pros that can take her for a few months and assess her potential.

The other possibility is that the trainer did nothing really wrong, and that the mare has other issues - you can’t change temperament. If she’s just nervous/fractious she may never be good for anything. That’s why most good breeders don’t breed horses that haven’t been put into work - you need to be sure that they are sound, sane, trainable and talented, in addition to pretty.


This. Horses don’t hold onto trauma like humans do. If she has been handled appropriately over the last 6 years, she isn’t sitting there going over and over in her mind what happened to her 6 years ago. Horses very much live in the moment. It sounds like she doesn’t view people as leaders, that will keep her safe, thus she’s bonded to the mare so that she can feel safe and protected. Perhaps you could find a local horse trainer that can help you assess the “filly” (she’s really a mare at this point), as well as see how you handle her and give you some advice. If she felt you were a leader figure, she really would be easier to handle. But she is looking to the other horse as her security blanket.


If you were not across the country from me, this is the type of pony I would probably buy and see if they have potential as little spit fire ranch ponies. I am 5 feet tall 100 pounds drenched, so I can easily work with them and ride them. If I can get them working cows nice and fine with ropes, Jr rodeo families and gaming families will snatch them right up.

However this is also my area and market. I can buy ponies like her for dirt cheap. I am not nessisarily making profit on them to be fair, but I am at least making them useful members of society.

Your younger mare is not that.

Just because she had one accident with a driving trainer does not make her “damaged” and “abused” I have worked with much worse. If that is all you can think about when you work with her then sadly you are just a part of the problem as she is.

IMO she came back from the trainer after her accident and got your number, now here we are. She is a pasture princess that probably thinks acting like an idiot gets her out of any discomfort she may feel.

I would rather deal with actual abuse cases than spoiled pets in the long run.

Your best bet is to find someone who specializes in problem horses. Someone like myself who had chosen to work the smaller brats. That may mean spending a lot of money, that may mean traveling out of state to find one. But until that happens, selling your mare for anything more than meat price is gunna be just about impossible.

Sorry if I am blunt, but horses like her are what I normally get (not that I am complaining) it takes the right person to turn them around and fix human made problems.