Pony Breeds

Pony Breeds

When asking what the word pony means the answer you will get will likely differ depending on who the question is directed at. Ask a young girl from the city and she’ll probably describe a juvenile horse, possibly a pink one with a long flowing mane. Ask a young girl from the country and she will likely describe a full-grown horse of a type that has not grown very tall.

Two different answers – both correct. Commonly the word pony is used to describe a foal or a young horse whereas if we look at the equine definition of a pony is not related to the age rather it relates to the size of the horse. Most horses that reach less than 14.2 hands(148 cm) are referred to as ponies, though there are some breeds that whilst never exceeding this height are always referred to as horses. Likely the term pony club was coined to describe young people is riding schools because the horses ridden were generally smaller in height a thus referred to as ponies

At the bottom of this article are links to ponies of the equine definition in that they are horses that do not grow more than 148 cm high.

In areas where conditions and feed are plentiful larger animals tend to dominate. Stallions that are larger and more powerful are more likely to be the Alpha horse in a herd enough they will pass on their large horse genes to their progeny. In mountainous hilly or otherwise marginal land, small horses have an advantage. They are better able to navigate uneven and rocky ground. Their feed requirements are smaller. The Alpha stallion of the herd living in such conditions is far more likely to be a tough stocky more nimble smaller horse than a plains bred stallion. Heavier stallions were likely to struggle to find enough feed to graze on and navigating the rough terrain certainly would have been more difficult for them.

It is likely the plains bred horses that moved into the mountains were very quickly involved in a speedy evolution from tall horse to small horse.

Though shorter in height than the ‘horse” breeds ponies tend to be shorter stockier and sturdier allowing them to be ridden by adults and used as beasts of burden. Certainly, your average mountain pony is going to be stronger than a horse of the same height.

The list below contains information about some of the more popular pony breeds seen today as well as information about some historical breeds that either were once popular or played an important role in the breeding of today’s ponies.

Ariegeois Pony


The Ariegeois mountain pony was developed between Rousillon and Catalonia, sometimes called the Cheval de Merens but is more often referred to as the Ariegeois. The breed takes its name from the Ariege River

Ariegeois Pony2019-11-21T23:26:04+01:00

Connemara Pony


The Connemara Pony is an amazing and well loved little equine specimen. This breed can be found all over the world, winning hearts with its ability to do almost anything with a kind and loving disposition. They not only please the eye but have a nice, bal

Connemara Pony2013-06-29T00:00:00+02:00

Eriksay Pony


The Eriksay pony is a lovable breed of Scottish pony that was, until recently, on the brink of extinction. They are a very kind and loving pony, and many enthusiasts of the breed have found a wonderful and willing partner in them. They love humans, and

Eriksay Pony2013-06-29T00:00:00+02:00

Fell Pony and Dales Pony


The Fell and Dales ponies are both native English breeds. They are very similar and thought to have the same origins, and are geographical neighbors. They are both well loved by their owners, and are very useful and versatile.

Fell Pony and Dales Pony2013-06-29T00:00:00+02:00

Fjord Pony


The Fjord pony is an extremely primitive breed of pony and is considered to be one of the original ancestors of all modern European draft horse breeds. It is from the country of Norway, where it has been roaming for thousands of years. The breed has had a

Fjord Pony2013-06-29T00:00:00+02:00

Galiceno Pony / Galiceno Horse


The Galiceno pony, or Galiceno horse is an extremely refined, willing and horse-like pony. It was developed in Mexico and is one of the most beloved ponies of that country. It is very willing to please, trainable and versatile, and enjoys the ability to

Galiceno Pony / Galiceno Horse2013-06-29T00:00:00+02:00

Gotland Pony


The origins of the Gotland Pony can be found on the island of Gotland in Sweden. In Sweden these ponies are known as Russ or Skogsruss (translated to English means "little horse of the forest") and Skogsbaggar ("forest ram").

Gotland Pony2013-06-29T00:00:00+02:00

Hackney Pony


THE HACKNEY PONY The Hackney Pony does not exceed 1.42 m (14 hh) and shares the same stud book as the Hackney Horse, with a common ancestry in the great lines of Norfolk and Yorkshire Trotters. Regardless, it is a real pony, not just a little horse. The

Hackney Pony2013-06-29T00:00:00+02:00

Haflinger Pony


Haflinger ponies are a very beautiful and popular Austrian breed of pony. They are a golden chestnut color with a flaxen mane and tale, and a very Arabian head and neck, with a very functional and hardworking body. The common saying pertaining to these

Haflinger Pony2013-06-29T00:00:00+02:00

Icelandic Horse – Icelandic Pony


The Icelandic Pony is a breed that has lived in Iceland for around 1200 years. They are technically a horse, with more horse like characteristics than pony characteristics. They are also one of the purest breeds of horse in the world having had no outside

Icelandic Horse – Icelandic Pony2013-06-29T00:00:00+02:00

New Forest Pony


The New Forest Pony has the most varied genetic background of the British native breeds. Before the Norman Conquest in AD 1066, when Winchester in the west was England's capital city, the New Forest, in south-west Hampshire, was passed through by anyone t

New Forest Pony2013-06-29T00:00:00+02:00

Pindos Pony


The Pindos pony originated in the country of Greece. They are exceptionally hardy and tough in both build and in character. They are not noted for their beauty or conformation, and are generally used as a utility horse, for jobs such as packing and trans

Pindos Pony2013-06-29T00:00:00+02:00

Pony of the Americas


Ponies of the Americas (POA) are a hardy breed which has diverse utility. It a kind hearted and intelligent pony with a very recent history tailored exclusively for young beginner equestrians.

Pony of the Americas2013-06-29T00:00:00+02:00

Welsh Pony


Four types of ponies are categorized under the single name of Welsh Pony. These sub-categories carry the very impersonal names of Section A, Section B, Section C and Section D. While they all share a common origin, they differ somewhat in physical charac

Welsh Pony2013-06-29T00:00:00+02:00