Hybrid : The true Shetland is a hybrid breed containing the blood….

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fairly slender and short and are not always straight – many Ariegeois ponies have a tendency to be cow-hocked, meaning that their knees bend inward slightly toward each other.

The present-day specimen stands up to I 4 hands, which is the height limit, although most average I 3 hands, two inches.

The head should be neat and pony-like and set on a fairly long neck, which, together with well-laid-back shoulders, gives the rider a good length of rein.

When choosing an Ariegeois pony for riding, large or coarse heads should be avoided because they are a sign of stubbornness and make a difficult mount with which to work.

A pony with a short, thick neck should be avoided as well, for they will never have a smooth ride.

Good legs are one of the qualities of the breed, and these must be strong with plenty of bone.

The normal color for an Ariegeois pony is dark, ranging from dark brown and chestnut to a more common solid black.

Normally, there are no white stockings and no other markings on the head.

The pony’s flank may be lightly flecked with white, in the manner of an appaloosa or a dapple-grey, but no other markings are common.

In the winter, the coat of the Ariegeois acquires a distinctive reddish tinge, and never grows particularly furry.

The coat is fine in texture, unlike the mane and tail which are harsh to the touch and extremely thick.

The Ariegeois has been used as a packhorse for centuries.

It also functions as a small riding horse and can easily work the land on the steepest of hill farms where machinery cannot venture.

The Ariegeois is noted for its hardiness, courage, and adaptability, but it is not a stubborn animal.

It is extremely gentle and docile, a temperament that makes it very popular as a children’s pony even for fairly young riders.

Because it has n o hot blood and is not prone to shy or scare easily, the Ariegeois is also well-suited for driving and pulling small carts.

Further, it is a creditable jumper and has the ability to trot for long distances at a steady speed. Ariegeois The Ariegeois pony lives in the Pyrenees Mountains in the southwest of France, and it is known to be a breed of great antiquity.

The Ariegeois is a bold pony, unafraid and eager for even difficult journeys.

It closely resembles the horses of Southern Gaul and was interbred with the Barb horses as Caesar and the Romans spread north and west along the European coast.

The original home of the breed is the high valley of the Ariege River, from which the pony takes its name.

One of the most noticeable things about this breed is its light and delicate bone structure.

Unlike the other, tougher ponies of the northern areas, the Ariegeios is a swift-running but lightly built animal.

It does not do well in frigid climes, although it is adept at mountain-climbing.

It is outstandingly surefooted, and even ice-covered mountains hold no terrors for the little Ariegeois.

In the summer, it will seek shelter part of the day and come out to graze at night.

These ponies can travel into Southern Spain, North Africa and even the Middle East and live well on the scrub grass that they find in those sparse areas.

Ariegeois ponies have an expressive head with a flat forehead, straight profile, hairy ears, and bright, alert eyes.

The neck is short, and the shoulders straight – not t o handle heavy burdens but instead built for speed and conservation of energy on long travels.

The back is long and strong, and the chest is broad, with a great deal of room.

The limbs are Shetland At least 2,000 years ago, there was a pony like the modern day Shetland living on the islands of the same name.

Like the islanders, the pony mixed British with Viking to create a distinct Shetland type, breeding – most probably – with the Norwegian Fjord pony.

The true Shetland is a hybrid breed, containing the blood of the British Hill type pony, like a Highland or Fell/Dale of Scotland, and a Scandinavian breed influenced by some Oriental bloodlines.

The resulting pony was first represented in a 9 t h Century stone carving found on the island of Bressay.

It depicts a hooded priest riding a very small pony with the distinguished profile and body structure of the Shetland.

O u t of a broad and widely diverse stock, the Shetland has grown into a very predictable, hardy, and constant breed.

Their background and breeding were highly influenced by the relative isolation of the islands on which they were Ariegeois Statistics Along with the standard Pony Base Statistics, Ariegeois gain the Sure-Footed Feat for free. 28 originally bred.

Despite the various strains first developed, all of the ponies that lived in the Shetlands coped with an environment that was constantly, almost unbearably hostile.

The island is cold, bitter, and does not support much animal or plant life.

These tough little ponies must live on bad grass, hard, wet ground, and in the continual path of the driving wind.

T h e cold climate encouraged them to conserve body heat; the resulting pony has short limbs, a short back, a thick neck, and small ears.

Big stock starved; fragile stock broke; only the small, quick, hardy, and intelligent animals survived.

With a maximum height of 46 inches, Shetlands are the perfect size starter pony for a child.

Bred t o pull ore carts in coal mines, Shetlands have retained an innate driving ability.

A well trained Shetland not only excels at driving, but is a sturdy and reliable mount for any child.

One of the main problems that the Shetland breed faced in its incipiency was its use in the coal mines – the strongest and hardiest of them were used as laborers in these dangerous conditions and often died – leaving only small, inferior stock to breed more ponies.

In time, stables were built to house and breed the finer examples of these tough little ponies, encouraging the type to flourish and revive once more.

Generally, most peasants and farm laborers do not ride their ponies.

Some used by doctors or ministers are ridden in order to visit the scattered peasants on farms that are not near the main villages.

However, the main use of Shetlands in primitive British life was for work, carting, or carrying heavy loads.

The majority o f ponies live almost free out on the scattalds, or wide pasturelands of the island.

These ponies remain on the scattald until the season turns and they are required for use “flitting the peats,” which means to carry recently cut strips of peat moss from the hills to the homes of local peasants.

These strips of peat (moss, manure, and other decaying plant matter) are the main winter fuel of peasant homes, and many commoners would have frozen to death in the cold winters without them.

Because there were few roads into the higher areas where the peat grew, the ponies were required to navigate crosscountry in all weather.

Shetlands were needed during the winter more than any other time of year, and were often found carrying heavy woven baskets filled with peat from the deep moorlands.

T h e Shetland pony can be seen in all colors except spotted: black, chestnut, grey, bay, dun, blue roan, piebald, or skewbald.

Unlike bigger horses, measured in hands, the Shetland pony is measured by inches in height at the withers.

The smallest of the British native breeds, maximum height reaches 42 inches, with a minimum as small as 28 inches. Shetland Statistics Shetlands add the following bonuses to the Pony Base Statistics: Hardy and resilient, the Shetland is very strong for its size. It has a medium-sized head, a rather dished face with a wellshaped muzzle, and a jaw capable of grazing through poor growth over an extensive area.

The ears are medium-sized, and the eyes are large and kindly.

T h e coat is thick, with a heavy mane and tail, offering good protection against the local winter weather conditions.

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Other Sources:

  • Stable – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  • American Horse Council
  • Horse Journal – Horse Journal
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