There are so many different types of ponies – Shetland, Welsh, POA, and Haflinger to name just a few – and they come in all sizes and colors. To be considered “pony” the size must be less than 14.2 hands, or 58 inches tall at the withers. For showing purposes, ponies are divided into 3 different categories: small – 12.2 hands or under, medium – over 12.2 to 13.2 hands, and large – over 13.2 to 14.2 hands.
There are some breeds – Arabian, Morgan and Quarterhorse – which are considered horses no matter their size. Some breeds, such as the Fjord and Icelandic, are considered horses by their registries even though they exhibit some of the pony characteristics and size. Typical pony characteristics, other than size, are thicker manes, tails and coats and stockier builds.
I am a grandmother now and starting the next generation on a pony – a large, calm, Welsh/Quarterhorse cross mare named Bailey. How wonderful to see another kid on a pony! Of course, over the years I have learned a lot and calm horse or not, this child will always wear a riding helmet.
I cannot wait to watch my granddaughter learn on this gentle equine, just as I watched my own daughters years ago.