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

Shetland Pony

Country of Origin: Scotland

Shetland Pony


The Shetland is the smallest of the pony breeds & comes from Shetland Islands of Scotland. They are known affectionately as “Scotland’s Little Giant” by the people of the islands.

Shetland Pony

Image from alancleaver_2000


Thought to have come from the same ancestor as the Icelandic pony as well as other breeds found in Scandinavia, Ireland & Wales. They are thought to have come to Shetland Islands around 8,000 BC making them among the oldest of known equine breeds. Harsh weather, climactic conditions & natural selection over thousands of years have shaped this tough little pony into one well suited for their native land. They are incredibly strong for their size and able to carry great weight over long distances.

Although they lived on the islands for many years their heyday where mankind was concerned didn’t begin until the 18th century when their demand grew. By the middle of the 19th Parliament passed laws the prohibited children from working in coal mines which had a huge impact on the Shetland breed. They were small enough to haul coal carts along mine shafts and their demand grew enormously as did their price tag.

By the late 19th century mine owners took an interest in breeding Shetland ponies and developed their own stud farm as well as a studbook which was published in 1891. This continued until the second World War when numbers took a sharp decline and breeding become lazy. Because of this the Scottish Department of Agriculture stepped in and created some rules.

Today the Shetland Pony is enjoyed worldwide & there is even an American Shetland as different breeding practices have modified the original bloodlines.


Maximum height 10.2 hands


Head is small and well proportioned
Ears are small & erect
Eyes are dark & intelligent
Neck is well set
Shoulder is sloped
Legs are short & solid
Feet are round, shapely & tough

Traditional Colors

All solid colors


Kind & gentle

Shetland Pony

Image from Kallerna


Cart pony
Children’s mount
Mining pony

Helpful Links

* all links open in a new window
Shetland Pony Stud-Book Society

Where to Buy

Shetland Pony
Shetland Pony Classifieds

Shetland Pony Studs

South West Shetland Pony Group
Halstock & Blackertor Shetland Pony Studs
Collytown Shetland Pony Stud


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

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