Shetland Pony

Hystrix Cristata

Species Information

Lily is the boss in this paddock, which she shares with her best friend Dixie.

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These ponies originate from the Shetland Isles, north-east of Scotland. Although because of its popularity, it is found all over the world. They are found amongst farmland, grasslands, and moorlands.

Shetland ponies are tough, hardy animals. This is because only the strongest ones survived the long, harsh winters of the Shetland Isles as well as living on sparsely distributed food. Hence, Shetland ponies have a thick, double coat throughout winter with guard hairs which prevent the pony’s skin ever getting wet and so keeps them warm. This coat is replaced in the summer with a short, smooth coat which helps them to keep cool. Although small (standing between 28-42 inches) they are very strong; being able to pull twice their weight.

They are herbivores, primarily grazing on grass which they can graze on for up to 22 hours a day. However, especially in the Shetland Isles, they will venture to the coast to feed on seaweed and will also eat plants.

About 30 years.

These intelligent, friendly natured animals live in groups of up to 30 individuals and often communicate with their tails, especially when running.

After 11 months they give birth to one foal.

They have not been evaluated but about 1500 live in the Shetland Isles, and they are very numerous throughout the world as they are popular animals to keep.

They are the strongest breed of horse and pony for their size!