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Finding a horse or pony in the UK

I didn't find as many useful sites as I expected when looking for a pony in 2004, but here are some of the better sites I visited regularly

Horse Deals

The website of a monthly UK magazine - you don't have to wait for the next issue of the magazine to come out as the adverts for the next issue are displayed on the website as they come in, which gives you a head start on those who wait for it to hit the shelves. Well displayed (not too slow to load). Probably the site I used most.

Equibuy

Although I found a pony before I could use it, I loved the idea of Equibuy, who will guarantee to find you a horse within the UK to your criteria, which can be quite specific. Their price is very reasonable (£80 in 2004) and includes vetting and delivery of the horse for a two-week trial. The only catch is paying the delivery charges if you turn down both the horses they find, but that seems fair enough. I spoke to a most helpful woman at Equibuy and felt reassured they would only send a horse they felt sure was suitable after discussion with me. The advantage of this is that it's so frustrating to see and advert for the perfect horse five counties away: this happened to me time and time again, and using Equibuy opens up the whole country to you.

Equilink

Similar to Equibuy except they match you up to your perfect horse via the 'net, using your specifications to trawl their database of horses for sale. One wanted advert is free, after which you pay £8.95 for 8 weeks inclusion on the database, and they email you with details of any suitable horses which come in. I did find a possible horse this way, immediately, (although I didn't end up buying it.)

Horsequest

A well-stuffed site but oh! so frustrating to use if you are on dialup, as the pages are very long and the pictures beside each advert are fullsize (no thumbnails) so take forever to load. A big range of horses, though.

The Horse Exchange

A nice site to use with lots of details I liked; the only problem is that horses in the US are mixed in with UK ones, a total waste of time as far as I can see as surely everyone is looking for a horse either on this side of the Atlantic OR the other!

Horse4you

I had bought a pony before I found this site, but it seems well laid out. Promising.


Places to buy tack

Robinsons

My favourite shop: I've never found a better place for choice and value. They have a huge, nice range of everything you could need, from rider clothes, rugs, bridles, and bits and pieces, right down to hoof oil brushes and multicoloured water buckets. Also do their own line in everything inc. grooming stuff rather cheaper than other brands. They also have a good choice of horsy gifts, etc. (note: their website (2004) is not good, but is fine to order from if you have a paper catalogue with order codes to hand. I believe they are updating it.)

Derby House

An excellent place to browse, but expensive. Has some things worth looking at that Robinsons don't stock.

Shires

Another good place with a wide range.

The Pony Club

Good place for pony-lovers with news and activities from the branch nearest you. (uses pdf documents though, which drive me mad as they are clunky and ridiculously slow). Some classified ads for ponies (check the date though as they never seem to remove old entries).


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updated 28-Sep-2005 8:21 PM