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Pony not as described-buyer beware


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I bought my 8 year old daughter a pony 4 days ago from a private

seller, the ad went like this;


4 white socks, Professionally schooled. Jumps fillers without a look.

Proving to be well schooled quite/sensible (steady) forward going pony

to ride for her age. would suit leid rein or child wishing to progress on to

PC /RC activities. 100% on roads/ Hacking. Does nothing nasty/ is not

strong. Proud to say she is well mannered! Price to include all her



That is word for word what the advert said. I have a print out.

We went to see the pony and she behaved well, was ridden by the

instructor and an 8 year old girl. the owner said she puts her 6 year

old and 4 year old children on her and they have no problems. we asked

all the right questions including if she was suitable as a first pony and got all the right answers, so struck a



The pony arrived on Sunday and my child's instructor got on to school

her on Monday. Well she is not as described at all, she was constantly

rearing when asked to stand and managed to get the instructor off, :x

which is hard to do, she is an experienced qualified Ai who has backed

many youngsters and bought them on herself. she did not scare the pony

in anyway. We have since had the pony schooled twice resulting in the

same rearing and pushing instructors leg against the side of the

school/fence. The session she had today was far worse resulting in pony

rearing and going over on herself before the instructor could even



I have since spoken to the seller who admitted she did this when they first got

her but stopped with further schooling she also said pony had run her

children's legs against side of school also(I have this written as text to my mobile phone) She is saying that they

have been honest with us, that the pony needed time to settle and that

it was not mis-sold and she would not consider taking her back. She has

also suggested that we have made her this way, which is why my

instructor had advised I contact them strait away, which I did.


I'm not sure where I stand legally, could I take this to small claims court? as i have written proof of description and the pony is downright dangerous. My Instructor is saying that in her experience the pony needs to be re broken/Backed and even with considerable time and money she still may not be suitable as the first pony that she was described as.


I really don't want to sell this pony onto a dealer but could not possibly sell her to an unsuspecting new home!!


Sorry to rant on, this being my first post but I really don't know what to do.

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youve only had her 4 days, and to think shes been transported /ridden /schooled etc numerous times in those four days, she may just need a little time to get used to familiarity? new surroundings/people etc, it takes us all time to settle and get our bearings ;-)

good luck

honey x

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Hi, honey

I initially phoned the seller and said could we give her a settling period and if she still proved to be the same would she take her back, she said no.

I do realise that we have'nt given her fair time to adjust and feel awfull about the whole situation.


The pony was sold to us as childs pony, if she rears with a child they would probably out of instinct hold onto the reins causing pony to go backwards on top of them.

If she had just been high spirited so to speak, it would'nt be so much of a problem.

If seller downright refuses I won't be selling her straight away, it just would'nt be fair on the pony.

Thanks for your post, think i'm going to need the luck!

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this is gonna sound awful honestly it is :(

but why on earth did you go and buy livestock without doing your homework first :(

when kids are concerned you have too believe me, or youre forever chastising yourself, ive been there honestly and "thought" id done my homework, became apparent a year later I HADNT

hopefully fingerscrossed she will settle, not sure where abouts you are so cant advise anyone to "come see" so as to speak

honey x

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Hi there


If you saw the pony being ridden by an 8 year old and she behaved fine then I would imagine that the pony just needs time to settle in. I am a dog behaviourist and always advise that people wait to get to know their dog before passing judgement. People want everything to be perfect straight away. It just doesnt work like that. You are dealing with an animal with feelings here. Horses are very intelligent and how somebody can say that the pony needs to be broken when they have only just met the animal makes me really mad.


I could bet my life on it that this pony will be a different animal in a couple of months time with some love and TLC. Selling the pony to a dealer would ultimately mean the death of the animal. After seeing what happens to horses that end up with dealers I would certainly never send an animal there. It might be worthwhile speaking to somebody from ILPH to get some advice on what they think you should do.


Animals respond to kindness and it takes time to learn trust. You have to show the pony that she can trust you. 4 days is a bit too short time for her to learn that. I dont thnk I would have been riding her so quickly; I would have given her a good couple of weeks to settle in and get to know you.


The seller may have been telling lies but she might not have been. The pony might have been fine for her.


I would advise speaking to real experts. People who are instructors are not always good behaviourists. Behaviour is a completely different field. You have to be able to understand the way an animal thinks to change its behaviour effectively. Most instructors wouldnt know how to do that - honestly!!!! I suppose its the same as in the dog world. Lots of experts but hardly anybody who really knows how a dog thinks.


I wish you good luck. You can find the ILPH online. They would be able to advise you.


Kind regards


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Hi Firestorm,


I have to be honest, I didn't expect to see people asking for advice on horses on here! :)


My girlfriend and I run a saddlery in the South East and she often come across problems like this. There are a number of things that could cause her to change behaviour. What saddle are you using? Is it your own, or did it come with the her? Ponies can be very sensitive when the saddle doesn't fit, as it can cause back pain and general discomfort. Did you have a full health assessment done before your purchase by a vet, a chiropractor and a farrier, including scans? There could be underlying problems causing her discomfort, or it could simply be down to her adjusting to a change of surroundings. Of course, it could be that the pony is particularly naughty, in which case you will have a fight on your hands to get your money back, so keep all correspondence between yourself and the owner.


Send me a PM with contact details, if you like, and I will ask my girlfriend to give you a call. She is a Master Saddler with 15 years experience, dealing with four or five horses a day. She may be able to give you some good advice and, with a bit more background, may be able to suggest some possible causes for the pony's change in behaviour...




I may have to send you a PM at some point for some tips on puppy behaviou. I have a Jack Russell terrorist who could definitely do with some coaching!! :)

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I'm sorry but a pony sold as a first pony SHOULD NOT REAR - EVER, and neither should it ride kiddies legs into the side of the school, regardless of settling in period, her admission that it did this with her kids is important - try and keep it as evidence, it sounds completely unsuitable as a first pony. Yes they take time to settle but this is fundamentally unsafe behaviour and not as advertised. I presume your AI checked the fit of thte tack? How old/big is the pony?


I think you need to push this woman to take the pony back asap. Put it in writing giving her 7 days, then send a letter before action and then issue a summons to a small claims court. If your AI is saying this pony needs rebreaking, get her to write you a statement to that effect.


I have many years experience with horses/pony club and would recommend that you do not persevere with this pony - children are too precious to put on a rearer and there are first ponies out there who will be trustworthy and give your child bags of confidence.

Poppynurse :)


If my comments have been helpful please click my scales!!!!

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Pony is 12.2hh and 5 years (young I know)

I know it seems like we are rushing to make judgement but the instuctor feels that if the pony is going to react like this is new situations, could we ever trust it? The instuctor really is an accomplished horsewoman, the tack and ponys back has been checked, and its the tack that she came with.


As far as vetting she had been vetted in sept of which I have a copy, so I didn't feel the need to have it re-done (in hind-sight, I should have but they seemed so genuine)

The seller told me that when she bought the pony she was told it had been backed, but found that she had to get her AI to re do it. But when pony arrived she explained that she had not had passport changed to her name, but it was only sept that she bought her.

That means pony has only really been backed for 4 months!! I would never have bought her if i'd known that before hand.


4 days is a very short time but I don't want them to possibly say that it is due to us. The AI is a friend that ive known for 15 years and has had horses all her life & show jumped at affiliated level, she says pony needs to be started from the ground up to correct previous possibly wrong breaking/backing (don't like the word breaking)

AI thinks they may of scared her into submission instead of the firm but fair way.

Rearing is the most extreme & dangerous reaction and I just don't think I could trust the pony.

I think I will try the letter as poppynurse has suggested I have found other adverts since describing the pony for experienced rider! I'm going to get another AI to assess and write a statement and also video what pony is doing. I have a print out of the avert that i bought her from. (lucky because the lady has removed it from the web site)

In the mean time have pony re started from the ground up & see if we can do this correctly, she's not a nasty pony just been handled the wrong way in the past. I don't think she will make a first pony but poss competision pony for a competent rider.


Sorry if thats all a bit of a rant (again!) I know its a strange place to be talking about this but it was to find out if I had a leg to stand on??

Thanks for all your posts x

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Just had a chat with Kirsty, my other half and the horsey brains of the business. She came up with a lot of good points and said that she'd be happy to have a chat with you about it. I'll send you a PM with her number and email address and you can give her a call if you like.


Good luck...!

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