So, i'm looking at getting an older pony mare for my son and she's of course pure white now and has melanomas under her tail. Supposedly she drove in her former life. I'm curious if anyone has melanomas under the tail and what they do for the crupper? Would you drive without it/no breeching? Or wrap it in sheepskin? Or just not drive her?
I dont know if it will work out or not, she may have more health issues than i really want to work with, but she's otherwise a super little first pony for my son... Just thinking it might be neat to get her driving again and let him learn to drive something one day with a little less go than my cob...
You do not need the crupper if driving single. The attachment of the holdbacks to the shafts will keep everything in place. The crupper was used to keep the saddle from moving forward when the over check was used.
I had a gray Thoroughbred that I drove - she had melanoma bumps under her tail bone, but they were small and they never bothered her with the crupper.
As long as the melanoma isn't excessively large, or in the area that the crupper will fit, it really is a non-issue. If there are large bumps directly under the tail in the crupper's "sweet spot" simply leave the crupper long so that it doesn't come in contact with the tail bone, or dispense with it altogether and just keep your girth tight. As long as you aren't negotiating major hills that will cause the carriage shafts to shift the saddle too far forward, you should be OK.
Good luck with the pony! She sounds adorable! Ones that will take gentle care of your little tots are hard to find and are worth 10x their weight in diamonds, irregardless of any health issues. Just remember: a dry lot, soaked beet pulp, and soaked hay are your friends when you have a pony.
Thanks guys. I'm very torn about this pony... She's PERFECT for my son, everything i've been looking for... BUT, she's 24, she cant eat hay anymore and is on hay pellets (which they dont soak, ...yet...) She's got a mild case of cushings, but it's controlled with pergolide... I do not have dry lots, my landlords do not wish for the grass to be eaten down like that, so i have to rotate and keep things green. I can do a grazing muzzle... She's in CA, and from the pics, in a spot where she doesnt have much grazing like we do here in SC. At least she is a pony, and doesnt eat a bag of hay pellets a day...
I'm just concerned i'll get her and she'll die on us in a year and we'll all be really attached and heartbroken. Or she'll live to 40 and cost a fortune to maintain as issues get worse... I was hoping to find something in it's mid teens, but those come with hefty price tags i cant afford, and yes, rightly so. My hope is that this one would get us through a good 3yrs or so before we move into a medium pony.
If i can get her depends on if i get one of mine sold... And no interest in that department yet. So i dont know if/when it will all work out...
But good to know that hopefully the melanomas wont be an issue. I should have a harness to fit her, i would just need to get myself a smaller cart. Always fun to cart shop! My son gets to sit on my lap and take the reins now and then when my cob is cooling out. He really loves it. He would love to do more. I would love to take advantage of his interest before he doesnt have the interest anymore!
Oh, boy. If she's 24, already on mush food, and on Pergolide (that stuff is $$$$!!), and you have no facilities for penning her on a dry lot.....hmmmmm. Tough call, this one.
I got started in the Welsh when we were given an aged (upper 20's) Section B Welsh for my son (who was 3 at the time). The pony was Perfect with a capital P - dead quiet, sweet, gentle, kind, and totally little kid material. We adored her. Taught her to drive (piece of cake) and he would go out and play in her paddock as she dozed or ate her hay while he was rolling in it. He loved her, and she was a gentle pet for him. Perfectly healthy, except for minor Cushings. Within a year she was gone from a sudden, very bad, acute (metabolic) founder attack that we could not stop or control. Our old vet advised she be put down otherwise the cost of fixing, then keeping, her was going to be huge - he was right, too, and the people who had given her to me agreed putting her down was the right thing to do - which put me in a frenzy, calling my riding and driving friends, to help me find a duplicate replacement so that my son wouldn't suspect.
Luckily, one of my neighbors knew of a Section A Welsh mare for sale that was similar in color, much younger (8) that was just too "quick" for the small pony hunters. I could immediately tell the way she was being ridden is what made her quick, but she had the right attitude when her mouth wasn't being jerked on. I kept my own mouth shut, bought her, and took her home. Turns out she was just as quiet, gentle and sweet as Pony #1. Little son noticed the difference - even at that age they are pretty observant - but we explained that this was Pony's sister who had come to visit while Pony was "away", and he accepted that. New mare was a dream to teach to drive - once again, piece of cake - and she, too, would just doze or eat hay while he played in her paddock. I have the best photos of little son dumping over her large water bucket (so that the water gushed between her legs in a flood) and dragging the big bucket next to her, upending it so he could clamber and scramble up on her back ...and she never moved a muscle. Last photos were of him sitting on her back, big grin, waving his hands in the air in triumph. She never stopped eating, or moved an inch. Anything he did was fine by her.
Those photos are priceless to me.
We kept Welsh mare #2 for the next 8 years before passing her on to another home with tiny kids. She was an angel, and what a great riding and driving pony.
But I wouldn't have found the second mare without the first.
So....you can take your chances, and hope for the best...and always keep an eye on the horizon for a replacement that is younger.
Oh, yeah, and I hear you on the "do it now before he loses interest." The minute they grow old enough to understand what the intoxicating roar of a combustion engine means, anything that goes "clip clop" is quickly forgotten.
yes, he already uses the hammock as a "motorcycle" and begs for rides on my husband's motorcycle regularly... BUT, he's with me all day, and we plan to home school and push towards 4H and being a techie farm kid... (I'm the farm, and dad's the tech, LOL) so crossing fingers and toes, he might stay in horses... After all, he'll have his pick of girls in breeches...
I'm really torn on this older mare... I WISH my 4yr old sec B liked him, but she doesnt. She could care less if he's playing around her and throwing dirt or whatever, but the minute he steps up to brush her, she shies away and cant stand still, and well that's just a recipe for disaster. She's pretty good when he's on her for lead line, doesnt care then... But on the ground, i think she sees him as a dog and she hates dogs up close to her, stomps them... So of course, i have visions of my 3yr old getting stomped any day...
My two cobs adore him, he can climb up their legs and hang off their faces... But much too HOT under saddle. He already took a fall off my mare out in the woods one day with my husband on the ground leading them at a walk! She had a spook, kid rolled off her back. He wears a safety vest and helmet, but was shook up a bit. Hard watching your kid fall, but he got back on. Pony got some bad words said to her under my breath, something about dog food or being launched off a cliff... And they made it back in one piece... Daily this kid is asking me to ride or drive though, every single day, and every day i have to tell him no. He'll be 4 in Oct... And every day i crush his hopes with no pony that he can "DO ALL BY MYSELF." lol
The only good welsh ponies i've found are 8k+ hunters... I keep watching. I've found some grade ponies, which i've sure considered, but i'm holding out hope for a welsh so he can do the welsh shows with me. I just hate the waiting due to the above mentioned desire and crushed hopes...
I had a percheron he rode last year. Horse was a saint. He rode him all by himself. We trail rode all over. I miss that. I sold him to buy him a pony and bought my B mare thinking she had the right brain. And she does, once he gets on her... But i just cant trust her on the ground with him, and that's getting really old.
My light gray pony has some good sized melanomas under his tail, and the crupper never seems to bother him. We do a lot of steep downhills.
However, I would be very concerned with the other issues you describe with this horse. I went through years of special feed and lots of management of my aged Hackney pony. I sure didn't begrudge it after the years of joy he'd given me, but I would not want to start out with a horse in that condition if I could help it.