The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Pets & Working Animals => Horses, ponies, donkeys & mules => Topic started by: SallyintNorth on February 21, 2021, 03:22:11 pm

Title: What do I need to know about cobs?
Post by: SallyintNorth on February 21, 2021, 03:22:11 pm
So, poor old Davy Fell will be leaving soon, whenever we can't keep him comfortable any more.  I am beyond broken-hearted, he's such a character and so beautiful (if portly in the belly...) 

Flossie needs company, and it would be good to get something we could ride around the farm, and maybe take out for local hacks too.  (Mainly off-road.)  If it was quiet enough for some of the kids to have a go when they're a bit older, that would be fab, but isn't a requirement (and I probably don't want to spend quite that much...)

Another Fell would be favourite but it could be a long wait to get another like Davy.  (And we don't want to break one in, although some bringing on / bringing back into work might be okay.  We've no school or menage here though.) 

It needs to be 13.2hh or more if I am to have a chance at riding it, and plenty of bone with it.  And be able to be kept barefoot.  After this winter stabling the Fells I am wanting to find ways to make living out 365x24 (with shelter) work better here... maybe putting down some tracks or something to make some ground they don't trash over winter. 

So I have been scouring all the horsey ads.  Not much around at the more modest end of the price spectrum except cobs and cobby types.  I've ridden several cobs over the years, no problem with that. 

What do I not know?  Any specifics I should look out for?  Anything I might take for granted, having had Fells, which isn't a given with cobs? 
Title: Re: What do I need to know about cobs?
Post by: harmony on February 21, 2021, 07:38:41 pm
Oh no. What happened with Davy Fell?  :bouquet:

Rescue centres are full of ponies needing new homes due to covid. Would you consider taking one if they had the right one for you?

Title: Re: What do I need to know about cobs?
Post by: SallyintNorth on February 22, 2021, 09:43:51 am
Thanks for the  :bouquet:, harmony.  :-*

Davy has a tumour on his jaw, inoperable and untreatable.  Happy enough on bute for now but I won't be taking him into another winter (when he will have to eat hay again, which is harder to chew, so he needs the bute.)  Although the lump is not growing fast if at all, the vet reckons it will have spread as the lymph node is swollen, so we could get other symptoms any time. 

I am keeping an eye on the rehoming centres, yes.  Any amount of non-ridable options, in all sizes and ages.  The very occasional one that could do a bit of light work, which would be fine for us, but so far nothing the right size and hardy enough. 

If it gets to crunch time and we haven't found anything, a bit of me thinks a couple of Exmoor or Dartmoor foals might be fun, do their ground training and some long-reining, sell them on when they are ready to be ridden.   Or send them away to be broken to ride if we have candidate jockeys by then.  Or I guess similar with a rescue youngster or two. 

Title: Re: What do I need to know about cobs?
Post by: sabrina on February 22, 2021, 11:06:34 am
I bought a yearling cob last September from the dealer Tom Dunbar. Due to lockdown I bought her from a photo. He was very honest with me. Andorra was an August born foal and ran with her dam until she was 11 months old. She had not ben handled but did have a headcoller on when she arrived here. I saw a photo of her dam and liked the look of her. 5 months on I now have a very sweet natured wee filly. She comes to call, picks up her feet, likes to be groomed and wears a rug. I stable my ponies in the winter due to mud and like to rest my other paddocks. Andorra is to make 14 hands but as I can no longer ride she will be sold on as a 4 or 5 year old knowing i have given her the best start that I can to make someone a nice riding or driving pony. I am a big fan of cobs, they make good all rounders and have good health, easy to keep. Before buying I tried World Horse welfare but wither my age went against me I don't know I was not able to rehome hence buying. I still have 2 Shetland ponies here, one is old the other just a pet as he is not great with kids.
Title: Re: What do I need to know about cobs?
Post by: SallyintNorth on February 22, 2021, 01:25:38 pm
Oh, that's great to hear you went ahead and got another youngster, @sabrina!  I remember you talking about whether you would..

We may very well end up with a youngster and do much the same, but just starting to look, so as yet I think we may be lucky and find a suitable rideable cob I am prepared to afford. 
Title: Re: What do I need to know about cobs?
Post by: Buttermilk on February 23, 2021, 12:15:58 pm
Prices have gone crackers with lockdowns.  Cobs can be perfect ponies or absolute thugs with little regards to fencing.  Many thrive on fresh air and can be prone to metabolic syndrome problems.

Saddle fitting can be a nightmare if you have a flat back with low withers and a forward girth groove.  Some have a short stride and stuffy action due to upright shoulders and pasterns.

Salanders and malanders can be a problem due to excess grease production, along with feather mites.

Something lilke a Welsh x New Forest could fit your bill, if you could find one.

Good luck pony shopping, it is a large sea with lots of lying sharks out there.
Title: Re: What do I need to know about cobs?
Post by: SallyintNorth on February 23, 2021, 02:15:47 pm
Thanks for that, @Buttermilk : exactly the sort of info I was hoping for (in a backhanded sort of a way, iyswim  :D)

I've had Fells and Dales - and friends with Fells, Dales, Highlands, Shetlands and Icelandics - for 15 years but have never heard of salanders and malanders, so that is definitely a cob thing that I could have been oblivious of.

Thriving on fresh air and having wide flat backs and forward girth grooves makes them perfect stable / field companions for Fells, I would say!  lol .

The short stride / stuffy action thing I have noticed in some of the videos on the For Sale sites.  Also some have quite long backs, and some really short.  From experience, long backs make them comfortable to ride but you do have to be even more careful about loading.  And short backs wouldn't do for a "horsey-bottomed" adult to ride....

All in all, it is making me think I could not possibly buy a cob without seeing and trying, unless I was happy to sell on if it didn't fit me or I it.  (In normal times, one wouldn't dream of buying without trying of course, but times ain't normal...)

Thanks again, Buttermilk, really useful input   :-*