The Highland Pony
is a native Scottish pony, and is one of the largest of the mountain and moorland pony breeds of the British Isles.
Its pedigree dates back to the 1880s. It was once a workhorse in the Scottish mainland and islands, but today is used for driving, trekking and general riding. They are very hardy and tough, they rarely require shoeing, and are Very economical to keep. They usually don't need rugs, and are generally free from many equine diseases.
Over many centuries the breed has adapted to the variable and often severe climatic and environmental conditions of Scotland. The winter coat consists of a layer of strong badger-like hair over a soft dense undercoat, which enables this breed of pony to live out in all types of weather. This coat is shed in the spring to reveal a smooth summer coat. This essential hardiness is combined with a kindly nature and even temperament.
The height of a Highland pony is between 13 hands to 14.2 hands. The head is well-carried and alert with a kindly eye and a broad muzzle.
Feather hair behind the fetlocks is soft and silky. When Highland ponies are shown, the mane and tail is kept natural, flowing and untrimmed.
Highland ponies are seen in a range of dun shades. The Highland Pony Society recognizes shade variations referred to as "mouse," "yellow," "grey," and "cream" Other, nonstandard, terms such as "fox dun", "oatmeal dun" and "biscuit dun" are sometimes also used. They also may be grey, seal brown, black, and occasionally bay or a shade of liver chestnut with a flaxen mane and tail.
Dun-coloured ponies have primitive markings which include a dorsal stripe and some show zebra markings on legs. Foal coat often changes and many ponies change colour gradually as they grow older. Others show a slight seasonal change in colour between winter and summer coats.
The Highland Pony Society actively discourages white markings of any description other than a small white star.
The Shetland pony
is a breed of pony originating in the Shetland Isles. Shetlands range in size from a minimum height of approximately 28 inches to an official maximum height of 42 inches (10.2 hands, 107 cm) at the withers.
. Shetland ponies have heavy coats, short legs and are considered quite intelligent. They are a very strong breed of pony, used for riding, driving, and pack purposes.
Shetland Ponies are hardy and strong, in part because the breed developed in the harsh conditions of the Shetland Isles. In appearance, Shetlands have a small head, sometimes with a dished face, widely-spaced eyes and small and alert ears. The original breed has 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. Shetlands have long thick manes and tails and a dense double winter coat to withstand harsh weather.
Shetlands can be almost every colour!
Shetland ponies are generally gentle, good-tempered, and very intelligent by nature. They make good children's ponies, and are sometimes noted for having a "brave" character, but can be very opinionated or "cheeky", and can be impatient, snappy, and sometimes become uncooperative. Due in part to their intelligence and size, they are easily spoiled and can be very headstrong if not well-trained.
For its size, the Shetland is the strongest of all horse and pony breedsIt can pull twice its own weight under circumstances where a draft horse can only pull approximately half its own weight, as well as many being able to carry up to 9 stone
Many ponies are long-lived, it is not unusual for a Shetland pony to live more than 30 years. Shetland ponies, like many hardy small horse and pony breeds, can easily develop laminitis if on a diet high in non-structural carbohydrates. Therefore owners must pay careful attention to nutrition, being careful to regulate feed quantity and type.
The Eriskay Pony
Is generally grey in colour, and has a dense, waterproof coat that protects it in harsh weather. The breed developed in ancient times in the Hebrides islands in Scotland, and a small population remained pure and protected from crossbreeding by the remoteness of the islands.
It is used for light draught work, as a mount for children, and for driving. The breed is rare today, with the Rare Breeds Survival Trust considering their status critical.
The Eriskay Pony generally stands between 12 and 13.2 hands (48 and 54 inches, 122 and 137 cm). The winter coat is dense and waterproof to protect from the harsh climate, with a thick mane and tail. The head is large, with a wide forehead. The neck and shoulders are well muscled, and the chest deep but generally not broad. The rib-cage is long and the loins short, which increases the strength of the back. The croup is slightly sloping. It is quite similar to the Exmoor pony in body type. The Eriskay has an easy-going temperament and is suitable as a mount for children. It is used for light draught work, as well as dressage, show jumping, three day eventing, western riding and driving.