|Origin||Shetland Isles in Scotland. It is probable they came over from Iceland with the Vikings|
|Sex||Male (Stallion) / Female (Mare)|
|Height||10-11 hands (42 inches)|
|Animal Population||Unthreatened, no exact population numbers, but are thriving.|
The Shetland pony is the smallest horse breed. They are essentially miniature versions of the working horse i.e. the Shire horse.
Common characteristics are short legs and a long and shaggy coat, which changes according to the season and can come in a variety of colours. Their long mane helps to protect their eyes, head and neck in cold weather.
These Ponies are very well mannered though some have a reputation for being very irritable. Perhaps this is because they are very intelligent animals.
In total we have 8 ponies. Our ponies were donated by people who had cared for them and you can read about the history of five of these and the remarkable man who bred them as you queue to come into the farm. Other Shetlands and small horses are not so fortunate. It is the dream of most young children to keep ponies, but as they grow older the novelty wears off and the reality of the hard work to keep them becomes apparent and many have to be rescued as they are no longer wanted.
Shetland Ponies can also be used as working animals, because even though they are small, for its size the Shetland Pony is the strongest of all Horse and Pony breeds. It 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 – 130 pounds.
They were once used as a method of transport to pull carts full of peat for fuel and also for ploughing. When children were banned from working in the coalmines in the 19th Century, the ponies essentially took over this role.