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22 March 2019   
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Shetland Pony

The Shetland pony is the smallest of all pony breeds and in relation to size the strongest. Though its origin is uncertain records of its existence in the Shetland Isles north of Scotland date back many centuries to the Bronze Age. It is believed they might be related to the ancient Scandinavian ponies as the Shetland Islands were joined to Scandinavia until the end of the last Ice Age.
The hostile climate and poor keep of the Shetland Isles has resulted in developing an extremely hardy pony with an extra thick, warm coat and an abundant mane and tail. It has short strong limbs with small nimble feet, ideal for picking its way over the rough, sometimes icy terrain.

Shetlands ponies vary in size from a minimum height of approximately 28 inches to an official maximum height of 42 inches (10.2 hands, 106.5 cm) at the withers. (Up to 11.2 hands for American Shetlands) Their diminutive size was believed to be a result of years of poor keep but in kinder climates with better living they rarely grow over height.
This strong breed of pony has been used for years as a working pony, for driving and pack purposes. It makes a good children's lead reign pony, though it can be willful and may need a firm hand. It is known to be intelligent and a well-trained Shetland is an ideal first mount that will enjoy fun games and gymkhana. It may be any colour including piebald and skewbald.The Shetland Pony Stud-Book Society is the oldest of the UK Native Breed Societies.

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