Gotland Pony is a breed of horses from Sweden. This breed is also referred to as the Gotland Rus. This breed is the only breed of ponies that are natives of Sweden.
The Gotland Pony is an animal that can boast of longevity. These animals can live up to thirty years of age which is the highest for any breed. These animals are lively and friendly creatures. They are also very intelligent and energetic. The horses of the Gotland Pony breed are also versatile. These animals are courageous and curious. They are also eager to please their owners and have a moderate temperament. They are also easily trainable since they are quick to learn.
The height of the horses in the Gotland pony breed ranges from 11.3 to 13 hands. The overall build of this horse is narrow and light. The hindquarters are sloping and the tail is set low. The gait of this breed of ponies should be smooth and elastic.
11.3 - 13 hands
The most preferred coat color of the Gotland ponies is black and bay. The other coat colors that are permissible are chestnut, buckskin and palomino. Horses with grey, dun and pinto are not eligible for registration.
Thanks to the even temperament and gentleness of these creatures they are used as pleasure mounts for people of all ages right from children to the elderly. They are used by riding schools that train people on riding skills. These horses are also good for various competitions like dressage, eventing and show jumping.
The history of the Gotland pony breed is shrouded in mystery. There are traces of the presence of horses that resemble them in the evidences dating to stone age.
Like many other European breeds, the Gotland ponies are considered to be the descendants of the Tarpan breed of horses. In the early part of the 19th century many Gotland ponies could be easily found in the large forests of the Gotland region. Towards the mid part of the 19th century, many horses of this breed were exported to Germany, England and Belgium to help people in mining and other chores and hence their numbers began to drop. However, since then, the Gotland Agricultural Society in conjunction with the locals have taken right measures in order to preserve and promote this breed and prevent them from becoming a breed of the past.