Shetland Pony: The Shetland pony is the smallest of the British breeds, it evolved on the Shetland Islands near Scotland and has existed since the Bronze Age. The harsh climate and scarce food developed the ponies into extremely hardy animals that could be ridden by an adult.
Though they are smallish in stature, ranging anywhere from 28 to 42 inches, they are a powerful pony. In earlier days they were used as pit pony's in the coal mines, able to pull twice their own body weight. The shetland was exported all over the world and today the US and Canada have several major registries for the breed.
Shetland ponies are generally gentle, good-tempered, and very intelligent by nature. They make good children's ponies, and can be seen in show jumping classes for young riders, at horse shows in both Western and English riding classes. Shetlands can be almost every color, including pinto. Shetlands, like many hardy small horse and pony breeds, can easily develop laminitis if on a diet high in non-structural carbohydrates. They are also long-lived, it is not unusual for a Shetland to live more than 30 years.
Back to Horse Riding Connection