The Connemara Pony

Connemara Pony – Origins, Use and Characteristics

Originating from the West of Ireland, Connemara ponies are one the most sough after ponies worldwide. Due to their characteristics built by the hard landscape of the Connemara region, these ponies have numerous uses and their versatility is appreciated by many horse owners.

The exact history of this pony is unknown. Some have argued that Scandinavian ponies brought by the Viking invaders had an effect on their breeding; others believe them to be descendants of the now extinct Irish hobby or the Spanish Andalusians.

What is known is that Arabian blood was added to Connemaras in the 1700s and they were later crossed with both Hackneys and Thoroughbreds. Due to their popularity in breeding Connemara Pony Breeding Society of Ireland was established in 1923 to combat too severe cross-breeding. Connemaras are now bred worldwide.

Although this pony is often referred to as a sports pony, they are versatile in their use. Due to their size and strength they make great recreational ponies for both children and adults. Connemara ponies are often seen competing in dressage, eventing and endurance competitions. Their build also makes them excellent showjumpers.

After the establishment of the Breeding Society, Connemara shows have been held worldwide. While Connemaras are a popular pony, there are strict guidelines to determine the right kind of build and appearance.

A true Connemara is characterised by a short back and powerful hindquarters. Their structure should be strong and sturdy and they often have short legs. Their height varies from 12 to 14 hands but in America they can be taller.

Connemara ponies make an excellent investment as they live a long life and despite of their lively nature, they are very trainable. A pure Connemara should always have good heart room, a quality often lacking with half-breds. Specific regulations in regards to their conformation and colour are set by the Breeding Society. The society also has a system of grading, allowing horses who do not meet all the requirements to potentially get a lower grade examination.

Connemara ponies are a must have investment for any breeder looking to produce ponies with good characteristics and versatile use. Origins of the Connemara pony have made this pony an excellent family ride for both children and their parents.

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