Am I ready to own a horse?
This may be your child's pony, but you are ultimately responsible for it. Don't buy a pony for a child when the child is the only source of knowledge of horse care and handling. If you aren't experienced with horses, take the time to learn before you buy. You don't need to become an expert, but you do need to be confident with horses to be able to set a good example, and you need enough knowledge to make decisions about horse care.
Chances are your child has a riding instructor. Talk to them about buying a pony. Take advice from experienced horse people who know your child. They'll be the best source to tell you if you and your child are ready to own a horse, and they'll be an important resource later on too. If you are going to keep your pony at a livery stable, talk to the managers there. If they understand your level of knowledge and experience, they'll be better able to help you out when you need it.
Is my child committed to horses?
Many young riders are infatuated with horses, and many children feel that has to manifest in having their own pony. But when it comes down to getting out of bed early every morning to feed and care for it, when it's snowing and cold, when they've fallen off or been stepped on for the umpteenth time, when caring for a horse gets really dirty and smelly - will your child still feel the same? If you have reason to doubt your child's
commitment, then don't buy.