Horse Breeds

The Shetland Pony

Horse breeds that are thought to have originated on an island are rare. The Shetland Islands off the coast of Scotland is where this sturdy little pony comes from.

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Meet Navajo

Age: 2000
Gender: Gelding
Color: brindle
Height: 36 inches
Weight: 650
Job: children’s riding pony



The origins of the Shetland Pony are uncertain. But the breed can be dated back 2 to 3 centuries and perhaps longer. It lived in isolation on the Shetland Islands until it was brought over to the mainland. In the 19th century the Shetland pony was used in mines. This was due to its small size and relative strength. It is one of the strongest equine animals relative to its size. When the use of the ponies in mines was banned, breeding farms were created in Scotland and England to improve the Shetland breed which had deteriorated over the years. It became the first native pony to have its own society and stud book. (1890)

Click here for more information about the Shetland Pony Stud Bood Society.

Click here for more information about the American Shetland Pony Society.


Horse Breed Description.

Height: not to exceed 42 inches when full grown.

Color: any color except spotted.

Conformation: Broad forehead with large, dark, intelligent eyes; small ears, large muzzle, short back, strong body and legs, tough feet.

Character: Can be independent and headstrong. But docile if managed and trained properly

Uses: riding, driving.


Interesting Facts

In winter the Shetland Pony guards itself against the cold by growing a double coat. This second layer protects it from the rain and snow and keeps the skin completely dry.

The American Shetland.

The Shetland Pony was introduced into America in the late 1800’s. It was crossed with Arab, Hackney and Thoroughbred. Because of this it lost most of the native character and looks of its true British ancestors.


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