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Showcase | The Shetland Pony | The Smallest UK Native Pony Breed

This renowned native breed hails from the Shetland Islands, which are located north east of Scotland. For centuries small ponies have been kept on the islands and it is widely believed that this native stock was bred with ponies that the Norse settlers brought over. Additionally, the Celts would have taken to the islands the Celtic pony and this combination of breeding has resulted in the modern day Shetland

They are tough, hardy animals having adapted to a harsh environment with scarce food supplies. This has resulted in their distinguishing features such as their sturdy build, thick coats and their strength. They are the strongest of all horse and pony breeds and can pull twice their own weight, and many despite their small size can carry up to 9 stone

Originally they were used for pulling carts to transport peat and coal along with other farm work such as ploughing. Thousands were moved to mainland Britain to be used for coal mining where they would haul coal underground

They also have royal connections as the first ever pony ridden by the present Queen was a Shetland Pony called ‘Peggy’ a present from her grandfather, King George V

Shetland Pony Uses

Children’s riding ponies
Showing
Driving
Racing (There is a Shetland Pony Grand National)
Guide animals (same role as guide dogs)
Companions

Shetland Pony Characteristics

Maximum height of 10.2 hands
Small & sturdy build
Short broad back
Small heads
Small alert ears
Thick coat
Long thick mane & tail
Compact & strong
Intelligent
Most colours excluding Appaloosa

The Shetland Pony Stud Book Society

An organisation started in 1890 to encourage high standards of breeding along with the ‘Shetland Islands Premium Stallion Scheme Stock’ has helped to maintain quality stock of this intelligent and often gentle breed

Shetland ponies are prone to laminitis if they are allowed too much non- structural carbohydrate, (in very simple terms – too much sugar in grass) so their feed quantify and type needs to be carefully monitored

Probably The Worse Shetland Pony Joke In The World
A man walks up to a shetland pony and asks:
“do you have a sore throat?”
The pony replies:
“no I’m just a little horse”

and did you know that the smallest Shetland pony in the Uk is a tiny mare called ‘Lucy’ who comes in at just 19.5? high, that is small even by Shetland standards

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