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The Welsh Pony Explored

The Welsh Pony knows the meaning of a hard day’s work. The breed originated in the mountains, and was built to withstand harsh weather and long, tedious work days. Over time, the breed also became known for its intelligence and loyal spirit.


While many other breeds originated through careful planning and breeding, the Welsh Pony’s roots began a bit more organically. The horses lived in the hills and valleys of Wales, suffering through harsh conditions. There was barely any vegetation, and no shelter from the brutal cold winters. The breed managed to thrive however, and only the strongest stallions went on to reproduce. This is one reason that the breed is so hearty today.

The Welsh Pony is so hearty in fact, that even an order by Henry VII to kill all horses under 15 hands did not get rid of them. The remaining horses hid out, living on whatever they could find, and managed to thrive and reproduce. The horses that you see today are direct descendants of those “outlaw” horses.

Today’s Welsh Pony

The modern Welsh Pony came over to the United States in the early 1800’s. Their numbers dipped during the depression, but then came back up in the 1950’s. It is said that today, Welsh Ponies are the fastest growing breed in America. They are known for being great with children, and their small stature makes them perfect for small farms. Many compete in competitions, and are skilled at hunting, driving, dressage, and various other venues.

Physical Attributes

The Welsh Pony is easily spotted. Some of their physical attributes include:

• Tiny head

• Large eyes

• Short back

• Strong quarters

• High set of tail

• Fine hair

• Hocks that do not turn in

• Laid-back shoulder

• Straight foreleg

• Very short cannon bones

Due to the differences in breeding, there are four different types of Welsh Ponies around today.

The Four Different Types

There are four different types of Welsh Ponies around today, so it is important to understand the physical differences between them. These include:

1) The Welsh Mountain Pony may not exceed 12 hands in height. They have a dished face with small ears and large eyes. They are sure-footed with sound feet and dense bone, and are very hardy. The ponies should have a sloping shoulder, deep chest, short back, and round rib cage. Their legs should be fine with good hocks.

2) The Welsh Pony or Welsh Pony of Riding Type ponies are taller than the closely related Welsh mountain pony with a maximum height of 14.2 hh in the U.S. They are known for elegant movement and athletic ability while still retaining the substance and hardiness of the foundation stock, the Welsh pony. The Welsh ponies also generally have a slightly lighter build, as a result of Thoroughbred blood. They should also have a free-flowing movement. They should have a muscular neck, arching from withers to poll, and have a deep, wide chest.

3) The Welsh pony of Cob Type should be no taller than 13.2 hands (137 cm). However, unlike the Welsh pony, it is heavier and more coblike and compact. The Welsh Pony of Cob Type first resulted from a crossbreeding between the Welsh mountain pony and the Welsh Cob. The ponies have a straight profile with large, expressive eyes. They have clean limbs with silky feathering, and have sound feet. Their movement is extravagant and high-stepping.

4) Welsh Cob is the largest of the Welsh breeds. The Welsh Cob should be no shorter than 13.2 hands. They have a straight profile with large, expressive eyes, clean limbs with silky feathering, and sound feet. Their movement is high-stepping. They have a round barrel, compact back, muscular legs and crested necks. (Wikipedia)

The Welsh Pony is one that has a distinctive look, and an intelligent way about them. If you haven’t looked into this amazing breed before, we urge you to read up on this one of a kind pony for yourself.






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