Shetland Ponies Are the Horses with Better Hair Than Supermodels

Posted by Christy Caplan
Shetland Pony

The Shetland Pony is a very old breed! They're thought to be developed from a cob-type pony from Southern Europe and a pony brought to the Shetland islands by the Celtic people. We're talking between 2000 B.C. and 1000 B.C. 

There are other amazing facts about this horse breed. I Heart Horses shares that the ponies are free but they don't run wild on the island. They all have owners.

  • They were used in the coal mines in the mid-1800s when women and children were outlawed.
  • The American Shetland looks very different than the ponies on the island.
  • They can be any color except spotted.

What is a Shetland Pony?

The Shetland Pony is one of the most popular horse breeds, especially for children. Its gentle disposition makes it an ideal choice for young children who wish to have an equine companion and who are new to being around horses.

Many horse lovers tell us they rode a Shetland Pony when they were children and they've seen these hardy creatures outwork a large draft horse.

The Shetland Pony a very small horse. In fact, this breed is considered the smallest pony in Britain!

How big is a Shetland Pony? 

They shouldn't be taller than 11.5 hands.

Shetlands are so small! The UK Shetland Pony Studbook does not allow any registered stock that is taller than 11 hands. In America, the tallest allowed 11.5 hands. 

How much does a Shetland Pony weigh? 

The weight of the Shetland Pony depends on its height but generally is about 400 to 450 pounds. 

How do you care for a Shetland Pony? 

It's hooves you need to watch and care for! Basic grooming is important of course which includes washing, brushing and combing the pony regularly to keep their coat healthy. You should pay extra attention to a Shetland Pony's hooves, which will require daily care using a hoof pick and hoof brush to remove dirt, rocks, and other debris.  

This horse breed has lived on the Shetland Islands, which are located off Northern Scotland, for a long period of time. PetGuide.com shares that the history of these ponies goes back to 1603! 

"In fact, excavations in that part of the world show that small ponies lived on the Shetland Isles from as far back as the Bronze Age. Written record

s of Shetland Ponies seem to have begun in 1603, and the first written record of this breed was in the Court Books of Shetland."

The Shetland Pony breed survived on sparse grazing and this is why they were able to overcome the harsh winters of the Shetland Islands for hundreds of years.

Their double coat is how they get through the weather. Any animal living on the Shetland Isles for centuries in such a harsh climate needs a 'winter coat'.

Are you in love with this miniature horse as much as we do? The Shetland Pony Stud Book of the UK outlines the breed standards for all Shetland ponies, although the American Shetland Pony Club (ASPC) exists with slightly different (larger) size standards.

If you enjoyed learning about the Shetland Pony, read about the Appaloosa Horse.

What do you think about this pony? Share your thoughts below.

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Shetland Ponies Are the Horses with Better Hair Than Supermodels