The Highland Pony is one of three native breeds from the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. One of the largest of the mountain and moorland pony breeds, it evolved in the 16th century with some influence from the Norfolk Roadster and Arabian, becoming adapted to the tough Scottish conditions. By the late 1800s it was being bred to work on the small farms, for logging and working the fields, for hunting and driving, and as a military pony. The Highland Pony Society was formed in 1923.
Although Highland Pony breeders can now be found in the US, Canada, Australia, and many regions of Europe, the breed is currently listed as ‘vulnerable’ by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust in the UK, with only 500-900 individuals remaining.
The Highland Pony is solidly-built, with an attractive head, pricked ears, large and kind eyes, long and well-developed neck, and well-muscled back. Their legs are tough and well-boned, with feathering around the fetlocks and nicely-shaped dark hooves that rarely require shoeing. Highland Ponies are also known for their thick manes and tails that are commonly left untrimmed for showing.
Highland Ponies range from 13-14.2 hands. They can be found in all solid colours including a wide range of dun shades (often with dorsal and zebra leg stripes), grey, seal brown, black, bay or liver chestnut. Pinto coats are not allowed, nor is an abundance of white markings; a small star is permitted.
Friendly, intelligent, and willing to work, with a kind nature, these ponies are hardy and can live outside regardless of weather. Under saddle they are known for their agility and endurance.
Sure-footed Highland Ponies are used for trekking and deer hunting, and also in children’s events such as eventing, jumping, pony club events, driving, and showing.
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