Ponies are very strong and, despite their smaller size, are actually stronger than a standard sized horse when compared pound for pound!
Amazing Facts About the Pony
- It is often thought the only difference between horses and ponies is size. This is an important distinguisher but other characteristics also separate horses and ponies
- Ponies are generally considered to be 14.2 hands or under. Horses and ponies are measured in ‘hands’ with each ‘hand’ measuring 4 inches. Ponies height is measured at their withers – where their neck and back meet.
- Although size is a key distinguisher, the smallest horse, a Falabella is considered to be a horse rather than a pony despite only reaching 8 hands, or 32 inches!
- The structure of a pony is different to a horse. Ponies are stockier than horses with shorter legs, wider barrels (bodies), shorter, thicker necks and shorter heads with broad foreheads. Ponies bones are also heavier than horses!
- Shetland ponies are the strongest of the smaller ponies in spite of their small size.
- Ponies’ temperament also separates them from horses. They are steady and have gentle dispositions as a whole, however each pony will have different characteristics!
- Ponies evolved in harsh environments and are known for their surefootedness which allows them to traverse rough terrain well.
- There are over 200 breeds of ponies worldwide.
- Ponies generally live longer than horses. The oldest living pony recorded was Teddy E. Bear who lived to 55 years old!
- Ponies’ teeth take up more space in their head than their brain! The age of a pony can be best estimated by looking at their teeth.
- Ponies, like people, can get sunburnt if they have pink skin exposed. This is often on their nose if they are white or have a white patch.
- Ponies are highly intelligent and some, such as the Shetland pony, are notorious for being cheeky!
- When spoken to, ponies and horses are thought to distinguish tones rather than specific words.
- Ponies and horses have an amazing memory. It’s said to be even better than an elephants!
- Type: Mammal
- Diet: Herbivore
- Life span: 25-30 years but it is dependent on breed
- Size: 7 hands to 14.2 hands
- Weight: 150kg – 550kg
- Range: Worldwide
- Scientific name: Equus caballus