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The Top Five Pony Breeds


shetland ponyA pony is a small horse that is generally considered friendly and intelligent, and sometimes stubborn and devious. They are incredibly strong for their size and a mature pony can sometimes pull the same amount of weight as a draft horse. In general they must measure less than 14.2 hands- not all horses that meet this are considered ponies however. Here is a list of the top five pony breeds!

1. Shetland
Height: 7-10.2 Hands
Bred in the harsh conditions of the Shetland Isles, the Shetland pony is a hardy and strong breed that comes in almost every color imaginable except leopard spotted. They can be skewbald, piebald, chestnut, palomino, cremello and dappled just to name a few. They can be as small as seven hands or as tall as ten, but no taller than 10.2 hands and usually weigh about 450 pounds. They tend to be rebellious, mostly because they are spoiled by their owners for being "cute". If they are well trained, this breed can be a wonderful mount for children as they are generally gentle, good-natured, and intelligent. They have a long life-span and can live more than 30 years. Their origins date back to the times before the invasion of the Isles by the Norsemen. These sailors brought ponies of their own and created what we now see. In 1847 they endured years of servitude in coal mines. They were very loved by the miners as they are so sweet natured. Queen Victoria owned several pairs for the pulling of their smaller carriages.

2. Welsh
Height: 12.2-14.2 Maximum
The Welsh pony is actually a collection of four inter-related types types of pony from Wales. All of them are sure-footed and very hardy and can be any color except for spotted patterns. They can vary in heigh between 12.2 maximum for the Welsh Mountain Pony and 14. 2 for the Riding Type and Welsh Cob. They weigh between 500 and 750 pounds and are intelligent, brave and spirited yet calm. The breed as a whole is believed to have existed since prehistoric times, with the introduction of the cob blood in the Middle Ages to make them stronger and hardier.

3. Connemara
Height: 13-15 Hands
A native of Ireland, this pony was built to do double duty  as both a household helper and farmyard worker. They have an excellent temperament and a unique sense of being. Connemara are friendly, if hesitant at first and very expressive. They have no problem calling to you the moment they see you, scaring off the other horses just to get your attention, and making sure you know it when they're unhappy with you for making them do something they didn't want to do. They have an exceptional memory, rarely forget and rarely forgive. The love to eat and will happily go through your whole garden, orchard, and bed of roses for dessert. Few people stick to just one.

4. Pony of the America's or POA
Height: 11.2-13.2 Hands
Created in 1954 and the result of an accidental breeding of an Arabian/Appaloosa with a Shetland pony, Les Boomhower had the brilliant idea to cultivate and create this amazing breed. The standard set is very exacting and calls for a pony that must be within 44 and 52 inches in height, shown predominantly by children, and only by adults when in a halter or pulling a cart. The breed is meant to be gentle in nature. They are meant to be well mannered and follow orders and have a presence that results from animation, self-assurance, alertness and personality. They have a life expectancy of 25-30 years.

5. Fell Pony
Height: 14 Hands
An all around family pony, this breed is believed to have been around since the Romans in the regions between England and Scotland. They were used as pack-ponies until the 18th century as they are fast and steady walkers. In the 19th century they were moved to trotting races and sports events as well as light farm work and transportation. The brown color of the pony is traditionally the most common color, but in the later years the black has become more common. They have a very sweet nature and are extremely hardy. Interestingly, Queen Elizabeth II a knowledgeable owner and patron and her husband enjoys competing with them.



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