Sales talk, Galvayne's Groove in teeth, Buying
a Child's First Pony, Owning My First Pony Article, Last Chance to buy article... (on this page)
<<...Back (Conformation, Top Ten Owner's Expenses, Tips for Buying, Mileage)
Kelly Palmer rides Bullseye for first time - İKelly Palmer
My last chance - buying a youngster
Kelly Palmer, like many people, always longed to own a horse but
when it came to buying her first one, things did not turn out the way she hoped. Several purchases later, she gave herself
one last chance to find the horse of her dreams. Read the article Kelly wrote for Horse and Pony Info by clicking on
the link below.
Five examples of 'horse salesperson speak' - or what we
aren't being told!
We've all probably heard
of 'estate agent speak'. It's a special language, or use of words, by estate agents when they describe houses for sale. 'In
need of some renovation', for example, usually means the house is a complete ruin. I thought it would be a good idea to assemble
some 'sales speak' which people might hear from sellers of horses.
1. 'He's a lovely horse
(or pony) but he's a little green.' - A little green has
obviously nothing to do with the animal's colour - it means he's uneducated. Green horses or ponies need time put into them
to teach them to become quiet and reliable. Green horses don't suit inexperienced or nervous riders.
you have to do is lunge her before you ride her and she'll be as quiet as a lamb.' - Trust me, any horse
that needs to be lunged every day before being ridden is anything but quiet. I know a young woman who recently bought
a horse from a supposedly reputable owner and was told this. The horse turned out, surprise, surprise, to be a crazy animal,
and bucked off the girl's father and broke his back. Needless to say, they returned the horse and were lucky to be able to
3. 'All this pony needs is a sympathetic rider with soft hands'. - Again, we're probably
dealing with a mad thing but this one will probably tear around the arena with his head in the air or try to pull the reins
out of the rider's hands. The dentist (more info here) might be able to help but, unless the rider considers himself calm, sympathetic
and able to deal with over-sensitive horses, I wouldn't go there.
4. 'I'm afraid I've lost her passport,
but she's only nine years old.' - It's amazing how many sellers have lost passports. What this usually means is that
the passport has been thrown away because the horse is at least fifteen years old. When I'm told the horse's age
and there's no sign of a passport, I immediately look at the teeth as it is easy to tell an older horse's age using Galvayne's
Groove as a guide (see details opposite). I bought a pony from a dealer last Autumn. She knew I knew about Galvayne's
Groove so admitted that the man she'd bought the pony from had tried to tell her he was nine. We both thought he was more
like fourteen or fifteen but he's kind, sensible and good for beginner riders so it didn't really matter.
horse is four years old and he's bombproof'. - If I got a euro for every time I see bombproof four year olds advertised
for sale, I'd be a rich woman. I don't believe there's such a thing as a 'bombproof' young horse. They simply don't have the
years of mileage and experience behind them. Obviously some horses and ponies are more sensible than others but only older
ones should be labelled bombproof. (by Zoe Wright)
Called Galvayne's Groove after Sydney Galvayne, a horseman who
first noticed it, this way of telling an older horse or pony's age is well worth learning to recognise.
Once a horse is nine or ten a notch or groove
appears just below the gum on the upper corner incisors (see diagram below)
When the groove comes half-way down the tooth, the horse is fifteen.
When it reaches the bottom, he is twenty.
When he is twenty-five,
it has disappeared from the upper half of the tooth.
When the groove has disappeared completely, the horse is thirty.
Diagram of Galvayne's Groove
The groove appears when horse is aged 9 or 10
Buying a child's first pony
Good first ponies for beginner riders are worth their weight in gold and are usually handed from one family to another
without ever having to end up with a dealer. Try to tick most of the following boxes:
Older pony with experience (aged at least 8)
should walk, trot, canter and pop over small jump when asked, on and off the lead
Kind temperament - no biting, kicking, bucking or rearing
Child should be able to lead pony safely without being trampled or pushed about
Child should be able to feed and groom pony
should not need to be lunged before being ridden
pony which is quiet enough to be ridden straight from the field even after weeks without work is ideal
Not too forward going but needs to be obedient and move without constant kicking
Owning My First Pony
Hello, I’m Matilda
and I’m 12 and I’ve just got my first pony, a New Forest mare called Lucy. I started riding when I was either
four or five, and have wanted a pony ever since one! I never dreamed I would get one though. I’ve ridden at quite a
few stables, riding in the arena and out on hacks, therefore gaining quite a lot of experience, and for the last year I’ve
ridden Lucy - a friend in the village’s 14 year old pony - and looked after her a bit... (See
link below for rest of Matilda's article).