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Posted on Wednesday, 25 November, 2009 - 11:26 pm:   


We started with our section A companion pony (3yrs), had it broken to drive, had many adventures (some hairy) met lots of friendly helpful people and learned from our mistakes (and there were many).

It was a rewarding journey in itself but if you want to get out there and get competing I really would consider buying an experienced pony first and then make your own later. Oh and make sure you have a driving guru somewhere in the wings.

The breed standard for section A is less than 12 hands ... a section B might be a better bet for 12.2h.

There are some very talented and very tough little shetlands out there but weight is an issue. A competition vehicle is usually over 100kg + whip + groom and pony could well be pulling more than his own bodyweight. That's why you see so many shetland and section A pairs.

Whichever way you go I am sure you will have an interesting journey but if you start your own and it's a 3 year old baby then you will be spending most of the first 2-3 years (or more) developing it. Good fun but is that what you really want to do?
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Ruth Auton
Posted on Saturday, 21 November, 2009 - 8:00 pm:   

Hi Becky, good to hear you're interested in our fun sport - ponies have to be 4 to enter our competitions so you've time to get your pony broken and going nicely before entering competitions. most clubs have single pony classes and you'll be classified as a newcommer, novice or pre novice to start with. You need to contact your local club to see how they structure classification of drivers - where are you based? look on BHDTA home page and find the page that tells you about local clubs so you go to them to find out their rules etc. I'm invovled with the Midlands Group [ ] and our competitions are based mainly in the East Midlands; Notts, Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Warwickshire. there are many clubs in different parts of the country too. Good Luck, Ruth
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Becky Woodhouse
Posted on Thursday, 19 November, 2009 - 3:27 pm:   

Hi I am just in the throws of buying my first driving pony, I am hoping to find a nice section A 3yrs unbroken (I am an experienced horse owner) I wish to break it to harness myself, but I wondered what the rules are for the age of ponies/ horses to start competing and also if classes are governed by size of pony, also is it a big disadvantage to have a 12-12.2hh pony. Looking forward to reading the opinion of all you experts out there

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