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Breed Breakdown – Shetland Pony

APPEARANCE: Short, strong looking ponies, with a robust body, deep girth and short legs. They have a short muscular neck, small head with small alert ears. Thick coat that comes in almost all colours and a thick mane and tail. Their height must not exceed 10.2 hands high.

TEMPERAMENT: They are intelligent, generally good tempered, loyal and gentle. However they can be cheeky, sometimes headstrong and uncooperative if not trained properly.

AVERAGE LIFE SPAN: Long life expectancy and often live to over 30 years.

CARE: Shetlands are generally good doers, not requiring much feed. However they easily become overweight and prone to laminitis so their feed quantity and quality needs to be regulated. Their thick coats, manes and tails will require regular brushing, especially when losing their winter coats.

USES: Their gentle good nature makes them a great kids pony. Often seen at shows or events offering pony rides and in petting zoos. They are also used in Junior Harness Racing.

INTERESTING FACT: Shetlands are the strongest horse for their size as they can pull up to twice their own bodyweight.

Originally published in My Pet Magazine Autumn 2016.

To view all issues of My Pet Magazine click here.

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  1. The maximum height for a Shetland Pony is 10.2H

    1. Hi Alan,
      Thank you for pointing that out. You are correct 10.2hh is the maximum height for Shetlands in Australia, I believe in a America it is 11.2hh.

      Thank you for reading 🙂


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