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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Shetland Ponies

The Shetland Islands, off the north coast of Scotland, possibly most brings to mind its loveable, small ponies.

Shetland Ponies, Scotland, UK


The iconic Shetland pony supposedly originates from Unst in the Shetlands, although they can now be found dotted across the entire archipelago.

Shetland Ponies, Scotland

These small and sturdy horses are bred on the island and many of them are prize-winners throughout the Shetland Islands.

Shetland Ponies

Small ponies have lived on Shetland in Scotland for at least 2000 years, and archaeological finds dating back to the Bronze Age show they have been in domestic use since that time. They may well be a cross-breed with horses brought to the islands by Viking and Celtic intruders.

Shetland Ponies, Scotland, UK

Shetland ponies have heavy coats with long manes drooping over their eyes, short legs and are thought to be quite clever.

Shetland ponies are strong and hardy due to the local climatic conditions and are used for driving, carrying heavy packs and riding.

Shetland Ponies

Due to their native hardiness and small height, Shetland ponies were shipped off in their thousands to a life of endless toil as pit ponies in the dark satanic mills and mines of industrial, mainland Britain in the 19th century. Shetland ponies can pull up to twice their own body weight.

Shetland Ponies, UK

Shetland ponies appear in a variety of colours, including black, bay, chestnut, cremello, palamino and roan.

Shetland Ponies, Scotland, UK

Shetland ponies are usually long-lived reaching ages of up to 30 years. Shetland ponies were introduced to the USA and have successfully bred there.

Shetland Ponies, Scotland, UK

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