Highland Pony




Highland Pony photo
Grace of Carlung, Highland Pony champion at the Royal Highland Show 2005.
Photograph by Confuslefu. License: Public Domain.




FACTS

Description
The Highland Pony is a strong, well balanced pony breed with all its features being in proportion to its body. Its height ranges from 13-14.2 hands high. Its body is compact and well balanced, with powerful legs and well shaped, strong hoofs. Highland Ponies have their eyes set further forward and closer than most other breeds. This allows them to have better frontal vision. They have wide nostrils which warm the air before it passes in the lungs. Highlands have very rich manes and extremely thick tails which cover their rears and inner thighs. They have a dense, double coat and facial hair which shield them from harsh winter conditions. Their coat and facial hair are much finer during the summer.

Size
13-14.2 hands

Colours
The most common colours are grey, brown, black, bay and chestnut. The mane and tale are silver. Many Highland Ponies have zebra markings.

Temperament
With excellent temperaments, they are docile animals, easy to handle, and highly trainable steady companions. Although they are friendly and reliable, these horses are not dull. They are active and can be easily used in the hunting field or in pony or riding club competition with great success. They are very safe and comfortable to ride.

Suitable for
Highland Ponies have traditionally been used as utility animals. For many generations they have been used for all kinds of farm work. They are also used by deer hunters as game carriers. Their calm and steady temperament makes them suitable for even the most nervous rider. They are also frequently used as mounts for elderly and disabled riders.

Care
They are hardy animals and can tolerate many adverse conditions. Ponies, in general, tend to be more independent than other horse breeds and require less care. They descent from wild horses, so they do extremely well in pasture conditions. If kept inside, the owner must make sure that they have outdoors access at least once a day.

History
The Highland Pony is one of the oldest horse breeds in Great Britain. The breed is native to the Scottish Highlands, therefore is adapted to living in very harsh and versatile weather conditions. It is descended from the wild horses that migrated from Asia during the Ice Age. Originally, it was smaller but during the 1800's the need for a larger pony that could pull heavier loads led to its crossing with Arabian horse breeds, which resulted to the Highland Pony as we know it today.

Breeding
Highland Ponies have been exported from Scotland to many countries. Their average lifespan is 25-30 years. Ponies tend to live longer than horses and there have been cases of ponies living 40 or even 50 years.