The Connemara pony is the contribution of Ireland to the world of horses. The western part of Ireland houses the Connemara Ponies in a place called County Galway in the Connemara region. The landscape and terrain of this region is extremely tough and harsh. Thus, these ponies that originated from this region are hardy and tough creatures. These animals that took shape in the harshest of conditions can live through any tough situation.
The height of the Connemara ponies ranges from 12.2 to 15 hands. The head of the horses in the breed has medium length and is well balanced. The eyes are set wide apart. The large eyes reflect the kindness of the animal. The ears are small. The cheekbones of the Connemara ponies are well defined and the jaw is deep. The withers of this animal are well defined. The shoulders are slightly sloping. The body has good girth and the back is very strong. The ribs are well sprung and the loins are strong. The long hindquarters of this horse are muscular and sturdy. The legs are also long. They have short cannon bones and the knee joints are well defined. The feet of these horses are well developed and hard.
The movement of the Connemara ponies is easy and free. There is no unnecessary knee movement. The strides are long and cover a lot of ground. These agile creatures have good jumping ability. They have a good temperament and are easily trainable. These intelligent creatures are hardy and can live a long life.
12.2 - 15 hands
The most common coat colors of these horses are brown, gray, bay and dun. Some shades of roan, chestnut, palomino and very rarely black are also found. Horses with piebald and skewbald pinto patterns are not considered for registration.
The Connemara ponies find their use extensively in sports. This pony breed is very versatile and used for various competitions like dressage, endurance riding, show jumping and other events. They are good pleasure mounts for children and adults.
The Connemara ponies are considered to be the descendents of the horses brought by the Viking soldiers to the Irish soil. An extinct breed called the Irish Hobby was also considered to have played a role in their development. Another probable thinking states that these horses are the result of cross breeding of the Andalusian horses that were set loose from the Spanish galleons, and the native ponies of Ireland.
In the 17th century, the Arabian blood was added to this breed to improve it. Hackneys and Thoroughbreds also played a role in the development of this pony breed. In the year 1923, the Connemara Pony Breeders’ Association was formed to preserve and promote this pony breed. The studbook for these ponies was released in 1926. Today, these ponies are bred extensively in various parts of the world including Ireland and the United Kingdom.