Saturday, August 30, 2008

New Pony Comes Home

Well, we brought Pandora home yesterday! I detailed more extensively over on her blog, but to paraphrase: all went well, she is very patient and always willing, shows no behavioral issues whatsoever, and seems to be settling in nicely. Definitely a pocket pony -- she is always up for forehead rubs, but never pushes into your space. She needs some groceries but she's not terribly skinny, and overall I am very very impressed by her personality. Her biggest issue right now is the stiffness, which we will need to work out. Fingers crossed it's something that goes away with massage and fitness and long warmups. All in all, I'm just blown away by how sweet this mare is. If she continues to be this level-headed, sensitive, and willing, this is going to be the easiest training I've ever had. She was ridden today and did just fine.
Pictures from yesterday!
She wants to be a pocket pony.

Meeting McKinna (where surprisingly there was no squealing or pawing or any rude behaviors)

Look at her face! She's so cute. I know, I'm biased.

There's a tack sale in a couple weeks that we're going to have a table at, so Mom and I just spent an hour or two cleaning extra pieces of tack. It's much more fun and relaxing when you've got company, by the way. It's tiring but fun to see all the tack nice and clean.
Speaking of tack sales, we went to one this morning! We scored three nice dressage schooling pads for $1 each, how awesome is that? I also got a blanket, shipping boots, schooling boots, two lead ropes, and a halter for Pandora. No super-awesome deals on saddles, unfortunately. Have any of you guys found good deals on tack and horse accessories lately? I know that I love it when I find something for a good price!

Tomorrow I'll make the second post in my "How To Sell Your Horse" series -- some things to keep in mind as you close the deal. After that, I will embark on the presentation posts, the three-part feature about how your presentation can change the way your horse is perceived.

In closing: talk to me about your horse insurance. A number of you mentioned that you have it, or your friends have it -- what companies do you use? How much is your premium? We're definitely going to check into it, for one or maybe both of the horses.


Anonymous said...

Aww Pandora is beautiful! So is Mckinna. That's a really cool name.
I love reading about people that do everything with their horses :) Gotta love life inside AND outside the ring!!!

FD said...

H'mmm. She looks like a sweetheart I have to say. Careful you don't get too attached. ;)

Now insurance. I have no experience with US insurance for equines apart from the nervewrackingly high amount of cover I needed for teaching English at summer camps way back in my twenties.

However, from my UK experience - there are three basic types of cover with varying levels in those.

1. Loss of use / replacement value cover

2. Vet bill cover

3. Care cover: in the event of you getting incapacitated and unable to work

Insurance is one of those perenially knotty questions. Generally, the more valuable the horse, the more cover you can get / should get.
However, I have an acquaintance with a Grand Prix dressage horse - he's a beautiful, stupendously well bred, talented, amenably natured stallion who stamps his foals with all his characteristics, including his temperament.
He's not fully insured - he's so valuable that she can't afford the premiums. So she sweats it out every time he gets a nick.

If I were you, I'd look at type 2 for Minna, and type 1 & 2 for Pandora.

Type 2 for Minna because forgive me - you're not planning to sell her are you? So if you lost her it would be emotional, rather than specifically financial loss. The cost of the premiums over her lifetime for loss of use cover would more than wipe out the value of any payment that you might get from her - because although to you, she's priceless, to the insurance company she's a middle aged un-papered quarad with no serious competition history.

Type 1 & 2 for Pandora - you have plans for her and you would be in a financial hole if she cost you a lot of money in vet bills, or you couldn't in the end sell her. As you're only planning to keep her for a short time, the outlay in premiums can be figured into her sale price.

I'd not recommend type three - you are fortunate to have family that would help in the event of disater, so the outlay for that type would be wasted money in a way.

I know a few professional dealers, and few of them have type 1 insurance - but your situation is different - you don't have the cashflow or margins to support losing your one horse for sale, whereas they may have 20 or 30 for sale at any one time. Often too they have business insurance, which you'd not get, and the cover they have is a "pool of funds" type, not linked to any one horse, whereas for most non-pros, the cover is linked to the specific horse.
They do tend to have some form of type three though - sometimes referred to as PPI.

Hope that was helpful and I've not offended with ruthless pragmatism!

GNH said...

Very pretty horse! Also Pandora is an excellent horse name.

I don't have horse insurance but will probably change that in the future. Lots of reasons to get it. I had a horse die in an accident with a fence a few months back. Would be helpful to have had insurance to cover burial expenses. Also of course just basic medical care, which could get expensive if your horse needed surgery.

Something else to consider is liability insurance. Its almost playing Russian roulette if you don't have it. Let a friend ride your horse and they get hurt, and they might decide to sue. That may be an unlikely scenario, but it could happen.

Well good luck with Pandora!

Anonymous said...

I live in Canada, so I am not sure if there will be some differences for insurance but... I have my horse insured for major medical. This costs me $250 a year. There is an all coverage option [covers almost every type of emergency bill] or limited covers just [trailer injury, injury due to natural disaster and a bunch of other specifics]. My insurance is the unlimited, which can cover to $5000 or $10000 depending what you choose. The deductible for a claim is $500, they cover the rest. Then I have the mortality insurance [they pay full value of horse in the event of an accidental death or theft]. I believe this is around 2.5% of the horse's purchase price or value. I am with Capri Insurance, but I do not know if they have offices in the US. You can pay the insurance up front, and they also have payment plans. I have not had to make a claim [Thank god!], but it makes me feel much better that the largest bill I am looking at is $500, because I cannot afford to dish out thousands of dollars on a freak accident.
Anyways, I hope this helps. Good luck with the horses :-)!!

Ms.BarnBrat said...

All the above comments ring pretty true for insurance here in the US as well. I would suggest getting 'Major medical' on McKinna as it covers her death as well provided it is due to a medical type reason (colic, injury, etc.) Not that you want to think about that.
Keep in mind though insurance companies will only allow 1 colic surgury in a lifetime of the animal, so if either have already had that then you can only insure for replacement cost.

Also they won't cover colic surgery at all if the horse is older than a certain age (maybe 20?) as they deem it unprofitable for them.

Major medical (or #2 from fd) is the most common and affordable by the adverage horse-owner, and requires a lot less "proof" of value.

Good luck!

ps. I still think she is cute for an APX :)

Promise said...

She's adorable, congrats!


Leah Fry said...

Congratulations! I, a nominating committee of one, hereby present you with an award. Stop by my blog and pick it up -- it will tell you there what to do!

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