Although many people begin by looking at ponies from the local riding school, this may not be such a good solution as it initially appears.

In some cases, the “right” pony with the “right” attitude will be perfect. However, most riding schoolponies become considerably more lively when taken out of their “five-hour a day” working environment.

If you have an older child who can keep the pony exercised or if it is going into “working livery” then this option may work.

First poniesthat are both safe and suitable for the “show circuit” can be found, but the price will be higher depending on its winnings and the standard you want to show at.

Well-bred little show ponies being produced by professionals will not fare well in muddy fields and being ridden only once a week.

Part-bred show pony types will usually need more feed and exercise than their more basic counter parts.

Your local branch of The Pony Club is another place to start because many ponies change hands through word of mouth.

Once again, caution, consideration and expertise are required. Does your child wish to compete in mounted games and jump, or would they rather hack quietly and do dressage?

Many Pony Club ponies are fast, nippy little things that are used to competing and it can be difficult to teach a pony used to galloping about to walk and trot with a beginner. However, there are some ponies in the Pony Club that can do both.

Before you buy, consider what the child wants, rather than what you would like to see the child riding.

Think about where you are going to keep the pony and how much time (be realistic) your child will actually have to love and ride this quadruped.

When all of this has been decided (and costed out) you need to decide on a budget as your purchase price for the pony.

This will be effected by the experience the animal needs to have, as well as the type and size you require.

The going rate for suitable animals can be found by looking in Horse & Hound or on this website’s easy to use Quick Search horses for sale.