Think of a pony, and there is a high chance you just imagine a baby horse. It is a rather widespread misconception, one that is easily rectified. Ponies do belong to the same species like horses, the Equus ferus caballus, and thus they can interbreed, producing an offspring which shares characteristics of both horses and ponies.
A pony traditionally stands at less than 14.2 hands, where a hand is a term of measurement used by equine experts. Because they share from the same species, there are a lot of similarities between them, and size is the most apparent difference between the two equines. Ponies are also generally tougher, more stoic, intelligent and can carry heavier loads relative to their size than horses can. They grow thick seasonal manes during winter which lasts until the beginning of summer. This makes them more resistant to changes in the weather and temperature than horses. The center of gravity in ponies lies closer to the ground due to proportionally shorter and stout legs, and as such, they are more stable.
It is much easier to keep a pony due to the above reasons. Also, ponies are quite efficient at wheedling out nutrition from whatever they get. They are so efficient at it that it becomes a bit of a problem as they quickly get overfed. They also live and be used for longer years than their taller counterpart.
Dales Pony – Eastern Slopes Of Pennine Range
These are native to the United Kingdoms and have a history in the lead mining in the Dales area. It came very close to extinction in the past during the world war times due to heavy usage in the battlefields, but efforts from people have brought up its numbers. Today they are used for show jumping, dressage, and other competitive sports.
Shetland Pony – Shetland Isles, Scotland
From their withers, their heights range from 70 cm to 107 cm. A Shetland pony is quite intelligent and strong for its size. They have smallish heads, wide-set eyes, and alert little ears. They are suitable for children, as they have an even, gentle temperament. These ponies are generally used for pleasure riding and can be trained to be guide-horses.
Exmoor Pony – Exmoor, British Isles
The Exmoor pony has been given an endangered status, and only a numbered few of them are left all over the world. They come in different shades of the brown color and have markings around their eyes and muzzle. It is known for its stocky, sturdy build and impressive endurance. You can use these ponies for showing and long-distance riding. Due to their hardiness, they help conserve grazing patches as well.
Connemara Breed – County Galway, Ireland
These are excellent show ponies with superior athleticism and versatility. They originate from a harsh habitat, and so are very sturdy. An adult pony of this breed is usually 12.2 to 14.2 hands tall. Due to their excellent endurance and strength, they are mostly used today as a sports pony, competitive in show jumping and dressage.