Exactly how the Connemara came to be is uncertain, although it is likely to have first appeared during the 16th century when Spanish horses (probably Andalusians) from the shipwrecked Armada came ashore in Ireland and bred with native stock. Some claim this is mere legend and that the Connemara actually descends from Scandinavian ponies brought to Ireland by the Vikings.
The Connemara was first recognised in County Galway and has existed on the rugged, unspoiled landscape ever since, developing into a hardy breed with strength and endurance. In order to enhance the breed, Arabian blood was added in the 18th century, as well as Hackney and Thoroughbred influence.
This leant the Connemara to even greater speed and stamina, however too much crossbreeding began to affect the strength of the bloodline, leading to the formation of the Connemara Pony Breeders’ Society. Established in 1923, the Society aimed to preserve the bloodline and increase breed numbers and today the Connemara is bred worldwide, from Ireland to Europe, North America and South Africa.
Characterised by a height between 13-15 hands, well-conformed legs, a strong head and coat colours of grey, black, chestnut, palomino and cream, the Connemara is an attractive horse with good balancing and definition.
The Connemara is known for its great love of food and has been known to eat an entire bowl of fruit through a kitchen window when unobserved.
never had a connie cross before but wow what lovely horses, full of character :)
Headstrong, intelligent, cheeky but very loveable horses - an amazing breed
My Connemara is 28 this year and we have had him since 9 years old. He still believes he is 2 years old. It's a sturdy breed of horse with lots of personality with very good conformation and nicely formed feet. Of all the horses I have ever owned, the connemara is by far the best all round
Connemara ponies make fabulous riding ponies for children and small adults. They are intelligent, brave and sure footed and have wonderful if sometimes cheeky characters. They are also very hardy and can live out all year. The biggest disadvantage for their owners, and I have experience of this, is trying to keep their weight controlled in the summer when they're turned out on grass. They are designed for poor quality forage and can expand at an unbelievable speed at the first signs of spring grass. Having said that, I would always want to have either a Connie or a Connie/TB x, and I'm lucky enough to have one of each.
Percy is an absolute darling. Honest, straightforward and a joy to handle. He loves his show jumping and has a really good ‘pop’. He is careful cross country but not particularly brave. Connemara’s seem to be very popular in pony club and eventing circles and it is easy to see why as they are very versatile. Can’t recommend the breed enough.