Shetland ponies

Shetland ponies are the smallest of Britain’s native pony breeds. 

They have lived for thousands of years in the bleak and rugged ShetlandIslands, northeast of Scotland.





The ShetlandPony Stud Book Society of the United Kingdom was opened in 1890 to maintain purity and encourage high-quality animals.

Little pony picture

These tough and hardy ponies can survive the harshest of conditions and their small size means they can find shelter easily. 

This tiny pony is measured in inches, not hands and are up to 42ins (107cm) high, measured from the whither.

They come in all colours as well as piebald and skewbald. 

In appearance, the breed have a small head, sometimes with a dished face, widely-spaced eyes and small and alert ears.

With a short, muscular neck, compact, stocky bodies, and short, strong legs and a shorter than normal cannon bone in relation to their size.

A short broad back and deep girth are universal characteristics as is a springy stride.


The winter coat grows very long and is double layered along with a thick mane and tail to protect them from the harsh weather conditions.

This breed is probably the strongest of all horses and ponies, and can survive on very little food.

They are one of the world’s most popular ponies loved by children and adults, but they can be quite cheeky or naughty on times. 


Shetland ponies

These ponies were first used for pulling carts, carrying peat, coal and other items, and ploughing farmland.

As the need for coal in the mid-19th century increased, thousands of Shetland's travelled to mainland Britain to be pit ponies, working underground hauling coal, often for their entire (often short) lives.

Today they are used as harness ponies, scurry racing, showing and as a child’s first pony.


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