The Shetland Horse is a small, hardy breed from the Shetland Islands, off the north-east coast of Scotland.
Small horses have existed in Shetland for over 2,000 years, archaeological excavations on the islands reveal bones from equines from the Bronze Age.
The horses probably crossed the Shetlands from the ice fields and were then crossed with cattle brought by the Norse settlers.
The breed was further influenced by the Celtic pony, brought to the islands between 2000 and 1000 BC Due to its isolation, the Shetland pony developed without much influence from more modern breeds, and were distinguished by their robustness and longevity. .
Quality food was hard to come by on the islands, and the winters were long and hard. Only the strongest and most ingenious ponies survived.
The inhabitants of the Shetland Islands used ponies for transport and to haul carts and transport coal around the islands.
🐎 Shetland horse origin
The Shetland Horses come from the Shetland Islands, which are in Scotland. Small horses have been kept in the Shetland Islands since the Bronze Age.
People living on the islands probably later crossed the native population with ponies imported by the Nordic settlers. Shetland ponies were also probably influenced by the Celtic Pony, brought to the islands between 2000 and 1000 BC.
Rigorous climate and food shortages made ponies extremely hardy animals.
Shetland ponies were first used to pull carts, transport peat, coal, and other items, also to plow farmland.
Then, as the Industrial Revolution increased the need for coal in the mid-19th century, thousands of Shetland ponies traveled to mainland Britain to be pit ponies, working underground transporting coal, often throughout their lives ( usually short-lived).
Coal mines in the eastern United States also imported some of these animals. The last pony mine in the United States closed in 1971.
⭐ Facts of the Shetland Horse
Many ponies are long-lived, it is not uncommon for a Shetland Horse to live more than 30 years. But due to its small size it also predisposes some individuals to a higher probability of heart problems than in larger animals, which sometimes leads to premature death.
Shetland ponies, like many small horse breeds and hardy ponies, can easily develop laminitis if they follow a diet rich in non-structural carbohydrates.
Therefore, owners should pay close attention to nutrition, taking care to regulate the amount and type of food, as, due to its size, the Shetland is the strongest breed of all horse and pony breeds. .
You can stretch twice your own weight in circumstances where a draft horse can only stretch about half your own weight.
Shetland ponies are found all over the world, although mainly in the United Kingdom and North America. In general, ponies in the UK tend to preserve more of the original characteristics of the breed and are often more robust than their American cousins.
🍀 Characteristic of the Shetland Horse
The Shetland Horses possess great endurance and strength, as this breed developed under the adverse conditions prevailing in the Shetland Islands.
In principle, the head of the Shetlands as a child, has some concavity in the face in some specimens, the eyes are slightly apart and the ears are tiny but alert.
These animals have a fairly muscular but short neck, are compact in body, robust in consistency; it owns logically short but strong legs, in relation to its size, has a quite short tube bone.
As for his back, it is small in size, but wide. It has an elasticity that stands out in its stride.
This type of horse exhibits thick, long tails just like its manes. Its skin is dense and thick which protects the steed from winter.
Logs of different breeds have different height standards, but the outer ranges are between a minimum of 7 hands and 11.2 hands (28-46 inches (71-117 cm).) The weight of the Shetland Horse depends on its height. , but is usually 400 to 450 pounds.
👉 Shetland horse feeding
Shetland Horses are herbivores. They eat grass, leaves, twigs, vines, shrubs and other plants.
In captivity they feed on a diet of hay and grass, they are also provided with a block of mineral salt. They lick the mineral salt block when they need additional minerals.
🔹 Shetland horse price
- USA In North America they vary – the American Shetland has a price range of $ 250 for a traditional Shetland of up to $ 2000 for a well-bred quality Shetland for exhibitions.
- United Kingdom. The Mini Shetland sells for £ 250 to £ 600. A registered Shetland is normally sold for £ 800 – £ 1000.
- Australia. There are some really cheap Shetlands available in Australia – with some going as low as $ 250 AUD, but expect to pay between $ 900 – $ 5000.
- Canada. The numbers in Canada are similar to those in Australia, with the price of a good sitting horse around $ 800 to $ 3000.
- Europe. Prices vary throughout Europe, but the range ranges from 700 to 1500 euros.
🐎 Horse Shetland Colors
Shetland Horses come in many colors, including basic colors, grays, and cream and dun varieties. Pangaré appears from time to time. The silver color is present, although it is very rare.
A newly identified and unique color in this breed is the mushroom. Due to the phenotype that mimics silver black, it was originally thought to be caused by silver dilution, until it was discovered that all mushroom-colored ponies had a chestnut base. Not much is known about color or its genetic makeup, as it is quite rare.
Several white patterns appear in the breed, including roan, tobiano, and splashed white. Although many small Appaloosa ponies are sometimes advertised as Shetland ponies, the color did not appear in the original population of the Shetland Islands and therefore spotted ponies can never be purebred Shetland ponies.
📌 Are Shetland ponies good pets?
Shetland ponies are a popular choice for children because of their tiny size. Remember though, the Shetlands were developed to be a hardy draft animal, so despite their small height, they are very strong and will use it in their favor with a much weaker rider.
However, a well-behaved Shetland Pony can be a good mount for a young rider, especially with a lot of adult involvement.
⭐ How tall is a miniature Shetland?
With the exception of certain dwarf ponies resulting from genetic mutations, the Shetland is the horse breed smaller.
The average height is about 102 cm (40 inches, unlike other horses, Shetlands are not measured with the hands). The maximum height is 117 cm. This includes most colors and stains.
Shetlands are long-lived and need little care; they are gentle and of uniform temperament if well trained.
🍀 Are Shetland Ponies Still on the Island?
Today, ponies are still fairly free in the Shetland Islands, grazing in rugged wastelands known as “scattald”, or common pasture.
They are also popular everywhere, as mounts for children or working with harnesses or as pets and companions as they are relatively inexpensive to maintain.
There is also the popular Shetland Pony Grand National, where children ride ponies on a small show jumping track.
In the following video you will enjoy a Shetland horse race that has nothing to envy in competitions with regular sized horses. The ending is shocking.