Shetland Pony - The Right Choice for Your Child?
 

I want a pony! Have you heard that from your child? If so, you might be considering a Shetland Pony and want to learn more about these wonderful little guys.

Mention shetland ponies to a horse person and you may get a response like, "Don't get a shetland, they're crazy" or something like that. Ponies have undeserved reputations for being hard to catch, running riders under trees, being stubborn, and biting.

However don't let that cause you to eliminate a Shetland Pony from consideration.  Like any breed of horse or pony, there are wonderful and poor examples. Ponies, like any other horse, can develop bad habits if they are spoiled or allowed to do whatever they want. If you supervise your child and educate your child to communicate with the pony in a kind but assertive manner, all will be fine.

My very own granddaughters, Hallie and Madalyn, share a fabulous shetland pony, named AJ. AJ is sweet, kind, gentle, willing, and loves his little owners. At Christmas one year, we saddled up AJ and led him right into the house to take a picture of Hallie and him in front of the Christmas tree for the family card - he was perfectly behaved and didn't even poop!

The Shetland Pony is a very old breed, one of the oldest breeds in England. Originating in the Shetland Islands, north of Scotland, and the Orkney Islands, they are strong, sturdy little equines. Adapted to the harsh climate, they have stout bone, a dense winter coat that adds to their wooly winter appearance, and long, thick manes and tails.

Today's Shetland Ponies measure between 32 and 46 inches high and come in a rainbow of colors, including black, chestnut, grey, bay, white, and pinto. They are generally good-natured, willing, gentle and intelligent. However, due to their intelligence, they can become headstrong and spoiled without proper care.

These ponies are especially long-lived and many families have a shetland pony in the pasture that all their children rode and is now teaching their grandchildren to ride.

So, don't be afraid to consider a Shetland Pony for your child or grandchild. They are sweet, gentle little horses that can add lots of joy to a child's life.

 

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