Faroe Ponies are a rare breed of pony that is only found in the Faroe Islands.
They are known for their hardy nature and impressive abilities in both light draft and driving work.
In this post, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about this amazing breed of pony.
Faroe Pony Breed Info
Here are some of the key things you need to know about the Faroe Pony:
|Height (size)||11.1 – 12.1 hands high|
|Colors||Black, brown, chestnut|
|Country of Origin||Faroe Islands|
|Common Uses||General riding, equestrian tourism|
Faroe Pony Facts & Information (Breed Profile)
For almost a thousand years, the Faroese horse has roamed the rough environment of the windswept islands.
When it comes to purity and age, the only other breed that can compare to the Faroe Pony is the Icelandic Horse.
This kind of pony was traditionally used to pull heavy loads and, according to some accounts, Faroese Ponies were also taught to herd sheep, a task for which they were given the name ‘tøkuhestar’.
It was released into the mountains to wander freely when it wasn’t working.
According to DNA testing, the Faroese Pony is unique and cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
The bloodlines of the ponies who live on the islands are one of the oldest and purest on the globe, and they have not been mixed with any other breed.
The Faeroes Pony is quite similar to the horses that were introduced to Europe from Asia about the year 200 A.D.
It is likely that the ancestors of the Faroese Pony were first introduced to the islands with other domestic animals in the 7th century by Irish monks, and then for the second time during the land grab by the Vikings in the 9th century and on.
Even so, horses brought to the islands by early Celtic and Scandinavian immigrants are believed to have had an impact on the breed.
In the period between 1850 and 1920, a large number of horses were exported to the United Kingdom for use in the mining sector (as pit ponies), much like the Shetland ponies.
In 1880, there were more than 800 ponies registered in the Faroe Islands; however, by the 1960s, the population had been reduced to just five or six horses.
While the very unusual Faroese horse was exported, Icelandic and Norwegian ponies were brought in.
As a direct consequence of this, the Faroese horse was mixed with other breeds at an increasing rate, which led to the progressive loss of its specific characteristics.
Felagið Føroysk Ross (Breeders of Faroe Ponies) was founded in 1978 when conservationist and breeder Leivur T. Hansen began a breeding and protection campaign for the Faroe Pony.
As a direct result of the preservation efforts of dedicated breeders, and the establishment of the Faeroes Pony Association, the population had increased to 27 by the year 1988.
The Faroe Pony population reached 70 animals in 2015, and was recognized genetically pure with the goal of preserving and further developing the breed.
The export of these animals is prohibited since they are so unique, so a Faroe island horse can only be seen in its native Faroe Islands.
If you’re interested in learning more about this fascinating breed, keep reading!
“Faeroes Pony”, “Faroese Horse”
Mild temperament and patient, but tend to be headstrong
Horses in the Faroe Islands are tough and resistant, because they’ve evolved to survive in the island’s rough climate and terrain.
The hardy and incredibly thrifty ponies survive outside year-round in the Faroe Islands’ severe environment, braving wind, rain, and storms.
They are sure-footed and very strong.
Black, brown, chestnut
11.1 – 12.1 hands high
550 – 660 lbs (250 – 300 kg)
General riding, equestrian tourism
Some are gaited and can perform the tölt
Country of Origin