Shetland Pony

Shetland Pony

Believed to be one of the smallest and oldest ponies in existence, the Shetland is an equine of true antiquity with some records indicating an origin of 2,000 years. Hailing from the rugged and isolated hills of the Shetland Isles, the breed has evolved its hardiness and forbearance from existing so long on the bleak and changeable landscape.

It is unclear exactly which horses contributed to the development of the Shetland Pony, although there is evidence to suggest that Norse settlers brought their own horses with them to the British Isles, which went on to breed with native stock.

Because of the Shetland’s unrivalled strength and dexterity, it has been utilised in a number of ways over its history, from ploughing the land to transportation. During the 19th century when children were no longer permitted in the coal pits, small ponies became a popular solution to the lack of workforce.

Today, Shetlands are observed at horse shows, carnivals and at seaside resorts for young children to ride. Its common uses are driving and light draught work, as well as showing, therapeutic horseback riding and pleasure riding. The breed is observed in all colours, from solid bays, chestnuts, blacks and roans to piebald and skewbald varieties.

Did you know..?

Fossil excavations on the Shetland Isles have found small horse remains dating as far back as the Bronze Age, suggesting a much earlier history for the breed.

Our Shetland Pony owners have uploaded 117 photos

Our Shetland Pony owners' thoughts

Added on 05/03/2017
Joined 12/07/2016
From United Kingdom

Frosty is a beautiful boy. He's so clever and kind. And a real pro ...I just adore him.

Added on 06/10/2018
Joined 14/04/2014
From Perthshire, United Kingdom

Rocket is the first Shetland pony I have owned and she is an amazing girl. I bought her as a foal and she is a pleasure to own. My Anglo Arab loves her to pieces as well.

Added on 12/08/2019
Joined 01/08/2017
From Durham, United Kingdom

I love my boy, he is so friendly and funny.

Added on 01/07/2020
Joined 16/06/2018
From Hampshire, United Kingdom

We have two shetlands and if your looking for something full of character but very loving with mischief thrown in then a Shetland is the breed for you