A Shetland Pony is probably one of the most interesting breeds of horse there is. When children see a Shetland Pony they immediately want one. When adults see them they want one too but may not admit it. But everyone loves Shetland Ponies.
Where do Shetland Ponies come from? They originated in the Shetland Islands of Scotland. They can exist on very little food and have been utilized as pack horses as early as 1850. England imported some as did the United States.
It was in the United States that superior breeds of Shetland Ponies began to be produced. These new breeds are the ones we are most familiar with as children’s pets.
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American Shetlands are not like the Shetland Ponies they descended from. The Shetland Ponies from Scotland were a very wooly breed, while the America Shetland Pony is more like a miniature horse. There are two types of Shetland Pony, the Classic and the Modern American Shetland.
A registered American Shetland can be no taller than 46 inches. Shetland Ponies are not measured by “hands” as other horses are. Even though the Classic is more directly related and not bred with other breeds of horse, the ones you see today are not like those Shetland Island Ponies of the 1800s.
Enough history, this article is to help you learn what it takes to care for your pony if you decide to get your own Shetland Pony.
Your Shetland Pony, for the most part, needs the same grooming as any other horse. They need to be washed, combed, and cared for as you would any pet. They need regular vaccinations, de-worming, and veterinary care like all horse do.
The only thing that I can say you might want to pay more attention to is your Shetland Pony’s feet. They require more care. Miniature horses are a little more delicate in that area than their larger cousins. This requires daily care, so if you are thinking of getting your own Shetland Pony, please note that with it comes responsibility for their care.
Here are some tips for caring for your Shetland Pony’s feet.
Picking out your pony’s feet is one of the most important things you will do for your Shetland Pony. You may have to do it for an active pony several times per day. You should check your pony’s feet before you ride him/her every single time. Make sure there is no debris stuck in their hooves.
You will need to purchase a hoof pick. It’s a sharpened curved tool especially made for this task. Always use the pick aimed away from you as you should with any sharp object or tool. You will also need a hoof brush. Later in this article I will tell you how and when each tool should be used. The other item you will need is hoof oil. You can purchase it from your local feed store most likely. If not, ask your Veterinarian.