The Welsh Pony
The sturdy Welsh Pony has its origins in Wales and due to its versatile characteristics, it can be used in several types of riding and driving. Today it is still one of the favourite breeds in the British Isles.
This pony originated from native ponies of Wales before 1600 BC. The larger cob type of this breed developed during the medieval times.
The breed has since been influenced by Arabians and Thoroughbred as well as Hackney horses. In return it has influenced many other breeds in England. It was also imported to the United States of America and Canada in the late 19th century.
Welsh ponies are divided to four sections, mainly according to their size but sections do have some other differences as well. In 1901 the first registry for these ponies was established to protect the breed and to classify variations:
-Section A: Welsh Mountain Pony is refined and Arab influenced which is displayed in both conformation and general appearance
- Section B: Welsh Pony of Riding Type is an even more refined pony. It is larger than Section A ponies and is bred with riding in mind.
- Section C: Welsh Cob of Riding Type is a more cob-like pony than the refined Section A ponies
- Section D: Welsh Cob is the tallest of the Welsh ponies with height of over 13.2 hands. Although it is more cob-like, Welsh Cob has some pony-like features such as its head.
This pony was traditionally used as a cavalry horse and in farm work. Due to its hardy build and stamina it was also used in coal mines. These days it is more commonly used in pleasure riding, driving and is a popular childrens pony.
Welsh ponies are characterised by a sturdy body with a small head and high-set tail. They can be found in a variety of colours except pinto. Their height varies between 11 and 16 hands.
Their gaits are free moving and they are especially good trotters, some reaching excellent speeds in distance riding. This pony is often described as intelligent and thus generally easy to train.
The origins and characteristics of the Welsh Pony have made it a popular choice for a variety of uses. Due to its merits in all aspects of horse riding and driving, it is often used in breeding half-bred ponies.
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