It’s a sad fact of our modern world that animal species must pay the ultimate price to make way for our urban sprawl. Civilization was built on the back of the equine species and many of them carry low numbers.
To help combat that I’ve been posting about rare horse & pony breeds of the world to help draw attention to their contribution & the efforts to save them. The final installment of the rarest ponies in the world series, (until I find more) this post is dedicated to the New Forest pony all the way to the Welsh pony.
Breeds You Don’t See Everyday
Build – Ponies built for work, the new forest pony will have sloping shoulders, strong hindquarters, straight limbs and strong feet.
Nature – Intelligent and kind, these ponies are easy to train and eager to please.
Colors – Found in almost any color, exceptions from registration include, pintos, appaloosa, and creme dilutions.
Origin – Documentation of this breed from G.B. dates back to 1016. During the years their stock was improved through many different bloodline enhancements such as Arabian, Hackney, Fell Ponies, Dales, Exmoor ponies.
More information – New Forest Pony
Build – Very large for a donkey, bred for large ears and heads and robust leg joints. Their ears are often carried horizontally due to their extreme length. Coat is long and thick and if left unkempt will grow into dreadlocks.
Nature – Friendly and mellow.
Colors – Black or bay with a mealy gene.
Origin – Donkey breeding was introduced to the Poitou region of France by the Romans. Evidence supports the Poitou as a well established breed of donkey by 1717. Now it is the rarest breed of donkey.
More information – OK State
Build – Breeding has not been managed, so these ponies display a variety of physical attributes.
Nature – Tough and adaptable, these animals are feral so as with any wild animal, they are unpredictable and stubborn.
Colors – Usually black or bay, however colors vary as there is no breed standard.
Origin – These horses are thought to have Spanish blood in them, and their lineage is thought to go back to the 16th century. However much of their history is unknown. They come from Sable Island which is a small island off the coast of Nova Scotia.
More information – Sable Island Horse
Build – One of the strongest equines relative to their size, their body has a wide barrel and short robust legs.
Nature – Tough and willing, these ponies make great family pets and enjoy contact with people. They are, however ponies and can exhibit that ‘pony attitude’.
Colors – May show a variety of colors, but black and bay are the most common.
Origin – One of the oldest of Britain’s pony breeds, the shetland pony is named for Shetland Isles off the coast of Scotland.
More information – Shetland Pony
Build – Small head, sloping shoulder, short back and sturdy legs.
Nature – Kind and attentive, this pony is brave and full of energy.
Colors – All colors except pinto.
Origin – Bloodlines could date back to around 930 AD, and the Welsh Pony and Cob Society was formed in 1901.
More information – Welsh Mountain Pony
Build – Bright eyes, strong shoulder, dense hooves and powerful hocks. Built for a high stepping gait and driving purposes.
Nature – Gentle, but strong and active, this pony is hardy, powerful and enjoys people.
Colors – Black, grey, bay, roan, chestnut, cream. pinto patterns are discouraged.
Origin – Originally used to carry British Knights in the 15th century, their role was leading larger battle horses into battle.
More information – Welsh Pony