Welcome to the new and improved breeds section, have a look around and meet a breed or two.

American Shetland Pony

Country of Origin: USA


Through selective imports & good breeding practices, the American Shetland pony has made a name for itself in North America as a smart, handsome, versatile pony.


The original Shetland Ponies come from the Shetland Isles northeast of Scotland, where they have roamed since the Bronze Age. The breed was brought to the east coast of American during the late 19th century for use in coal mines. Appreciated for their great strength, good nature & versatility, the new world began breeding them in earnest.

American Changes

The formation of the American Shetland Pony Club in 1888 started a localized selective breeding process, mainly centered in Indiana, Illinois & Iowa. Shetlands were crossed with Hackney ponies, Welsh ponies & Harness Show ponies.

Within 50 years two distinct branches of the American Shetland emerged, Division A (12.5% or less non-Shetland blood) & Division B (12.5% or more non-Shetland blood).

American Shetland Types

As with many breeds brought to the Americas, landing on a new continent changed the course of their future. Breeders in different areas & disciplines required different types of animals. The American Shetland Pony Club recognizes four different types of ponies in their registry.

The tallest type of the breed, the modern type has a high head & tail sets with fancy high-stepping action.

Similar in conformation to the Modern type, but their action is more subdued.

Perhaps the most common type, Classic Shetlands share the refined conformation of their counterparts without any flashy action.

Foundation Shetlands remain closer to their British roots, they do not have any Hackney influence (for four generations) & must be under 42″ tall.


Average height 11.2 hands
Hardy & robust pony roots
A result of controlled breeding
Versatile & useful


Long head & ears with a straight profile
Notable lack of pony character
Deep chest
Luxurious mane & tail growth
Long hind legs

Traditional Colors

All colors


Versatile & easygoing for a pony
Good under saddle
Good competitor


Hackney pony
Harness sulkies
Hunter/ jumper
Show ponies

Helpful links

* All links open in a new window
American Shetland Pony Club
Shetland Pony Society of North America | Facebook
American Shetland Pony Association of New Zealand
American Shetland Pony Club Germany
American Shetland Pony | Facebook

Where to Buy

Step-N-Stone American Shetland Ponies
Soundview Shetlands


Do you have images or know more about the American Shetland breed? We’d love help completing this page, please contact us to get involved.

Country of Origin: USA | Colors:
Don't forget to subscribe now to get the latest. It's Free.
© 2010 The Equinest