A Shetland pony can carry a maximum weight between 80 to 90 lbs (36 and 40 kg).
The main rule is that you can load any horse with up to 20% of its own weight. On average, a horse can take 20% every day, 30% for a period of time, and a bit more for a short period of time if the horse is trained to do that.
This rule of thumb only goes for a full-grown and healthy horse. If the horse is old and fragile, you should not burden it more than 10-15% of its body weight. Ponies are, for this reason, usually ridden by slight adults or children.
Shetland ponies are adapted to take more than average weight. They are resilient and can carry more than 20% compared to their own weight. Shetland ponies weigh between 180 and 200 kg (400 to 450 lbs). Looking at their size, the Shetlands are recognized for being the strongest horse or pony for their weight of any breed.
Just as a comparison, a Shetland pony could probably haul more load than, for example, the gigantic Clydesdale.
Table Of Contents
- What is the life expectancy of a Shetland pony?
- How much does a Shetland pony cost?
- What size is a standard Shetland pony?
- What colors can Shetland ponies be?
- What is the average height of a Shetland pony?
What is the life expectancy of a Shetland pony?
Shetland ponies can live very long, their life expectancy is around 30 years and they are not suffering from many health problems.
Even though ponies develop quickly, they show a tendency of living much longer than larger horses. Looking at the equine records for long life spans, most records have come from ponies. Madame Nou, one of the oldest Shetland ponies, has died at the age of 50. There were probably more than 1,500 children who learned to ride on her.
However, Shetland ponies have a higher chance of getting laminitis if their diet isn’t carefully planned. As they are naturally smaller in size, they are also under more risk of having heart problems than larger horses.
An equine year is very different from a human year as the process of humans getting older is quite different. That is to say, if we want to calculate a horse’s age, that would not really be a straightforward process. The first year is equal to 6.5 human years. From 3 years old, the aging slows down but horses still age faster than an average man/woman, coming to approximately around 2.5 horse years per human year. A 23-years-old human is the same as a 5-year-old horse, as a comparison.
How much does a Shetland pony cost?
The standard price for a Shetland pony goes from around $500 to $1,500.
The price usually goes up for ponies if their purebred lineage can be traced.
Online marketplaces, general websites, traders, and local barns are all supporting the sale of Shetland ponies.
When setting up the price for a Shetland pony, we have to think about various factors. Some of them are:
- Purebred Lineage: Finding a cheap purebred Shetland Pony is nearly impossible. When the lineage is known and could be tracked, the price is higher.
- Breeders: Breeder ponies usually seize the market at a higher price.
- Prizes: If the pony has been in competitions and won, the price will be set higher.
- Health: Health is also not something to be overlooked when setting up the price of a pony; the healthier the horse, the higher the price.
- Speed: The faster the horse, the more it will be valued.
- Gait: Distinct gait and movements are looked favorably upon.
- Age: In comparison with the older horse, a younger horse, 4-5 years old, will be valued more at the market..
When buying a pony, or any horse at all, proceed with caution. Do not rush into making a deal, choose instead to spend some time with the pony/horse, see if you can get along first.
What size is a standard Shetland pony?
The size of a Shetland pony is directly proportional to their height but typically is around 400 to 450 pounds (180-200 kg).
The Shetland pony is a small but hardy breed of horse that comes from the harsh Shetland Islands in northeastern Scotland. The harsh winters in the islands, with little food, which is not due to the neglect of the owners, but to the difficulty of finding food even for their sheep and cattle, is probably the reason for the toughness and purity of the breed, since only the most resistant survive several winters to reproduce. Despite their small size, they are a breed able to pull considerable amounts of weight under challenging conditions. Shetland ponies have short legs and bulky coats.. They are used for riding, driving and carrying. They are resilient and can carry more than the 20% that is usually recommended as the minimum load for horses (based on their own weight).
It’s a bit difficult to determine the horse’s weight so people should be cautious when getting close to the maximum cargo limit. The Shetlands ponies usually measure around 180-200 kilograms. So, counting on the 20% of their weight, the pony could be ridden if the rider weighs up to 40 kilograms (90lbs). Comparing their size, and the weight they can carry, they belong to the top of the list of the strongest horses.
What colors can Shetland ponies be?
The Shetland pony can be every equine color, aside from spotted. Black is the foundation color.
The American Shetland Pony Club, which was organized in 1888, decided that the colors black, dark brown, bay, and chestnut are the Shetland ponies official colors.
Prevalent Shetland pony’s coat colors are gray, bay(brown-black), black, chestnut, roan(red-grayish), dun (grayish-brown), brown, palomino(pale golden), cream and champagne, with every variety of face and leg markings. The Shetland Ponies can also have irregular white and dark patches. A color unique to Shetlands is the silver dapple, specifically, a dappled chestnut with silver or white mane and tail.
There was a decision that Shetland ponies could not be leopard-spotted like the Appaloosa breed. American Shetland ponies share their name and part of their ancestry with the oficial Shetland pony breed, the American Shetlands favors slightly larger size and is not so tough, as a result of crossbreeding with other small breeds of horses. The American Shetland ponies coat colors can also be a wide range of colours and patterns.
What is the average height of a Shetland pony?
A Shetland pony height is at its maximum 10.5 hands (42 inches) at the withers.
The American Shetland Pony Club states that ponies can be up to 11.5 hands (46 inches) high. Their minimum height is 28 inches. Nonetheless, Shetlands can range from 7-11 hands and weigh between 200 and 500 lbs.
Shetland ponies are gentle and very intelligent. They are also good-tempered by nature. Children love them. Shetland ponies can be very opinionated and impatient and can be very headstrong if not well-trained. Even though they are long-lived, their smaller size makes them susceptible to heart problems, and this condition can sometimes lead to an earlier death. However, or considering all of these characteristics, when buying their first horse, a lot of children choose a Shetland pony. They are, as a conclusion, a very popular breed.