Ponies

Nature

Shetland ponies have a reputation for being cranky but are actually determined, gentle and intelligent by nature. They are easy to train and a popular first horse for very small children.


Origin

Miniature ponies all have origins with the Shetland pony which came from the Shetland Islands. The Shetland Islands are known for their rough, rocky land and cold, harsh weather, and after living there for so long, Shetland ponies developed into tough little miniature draught horses. Shetland Islanders domesticated the Shetland pony hundreds of years ago and used it to help carry peat, seaweed and coal. With their short legs and sturdy build, Shetlands are believed to be the strongest known horse by strength to weight ratio, and they also have a thick and shaggy coat to keep them warm. A Shetland's coat is smooth in summer and doubles its depth in winter.


Did you know?

  • Shetland ponies are not ready for riding until the age of about 4 years old as it takes time for their bones and muscles to develop solidly.
  • Because they originate from the Shetland Islands where food is scarce the Shetland Pony developed the survival tactic of eating whenever food is available...and not knowing when to stop. As a result some Shetland pony's fall into ill health and can even die by eating too much, causing bloat and a very painful condition of the feet called founder. To keep a pony healthy food must be restricted.

About Tiara

Tiara was born in 2005 and she was originally called Winnebago ( named after a large American car) but her name was changed to Tiara when she was bought for Zippity Zoo.
She has a stripe on her back, like a racing stripe, which is a result of her Shetland Pony background.
She likes to herd the cows and donkeys when she thinks we are not looking.
Tiara loves to be tickled on her chest.
Her boyfriend is a neighbours large and very old thoroughbred horse - she is not even as tall as the top of his legs. Watching him nuzzle her head is like watching a giraffe bending to drink water.
It's not unusual for a Shetland pony to live more than thirty years.


About Meg

Meg loves to trot and gallop pulling a cart. She is also very patient with having her mane plaited.
She is just over 10 hands high.
She likes to pull hats off peoples heads when they are not looking.


Origin

Meg is ¾ Welsh pony. The Welsh pony is a breed of small horse of European origin. First bred primarily in Saxony, it later became localized in Wales. The Welsh Pony was present in Wales before the arrival of the Romans. The pony's life was not an easy one...winters were severe and vegetation was sparse. Shelter most often was an isolated valley or a clump of bare trees yet the Welsh Pony managed not only to survive, but to flourish. Down through the years the Welsh Pony and Cob has served many masters. On the upland farms of Wales, Welsh Pony's and Cobs would often have to do everything from plowing a field to carrying a farmer to market or driving a family to church on Sunday. Welsh Ponies have been pampered by royalty and served on the farms of the poor.
Welsh Ponies and Cobs were among the earliest livestock brought to Australia and New Zealand from Britain after the arrival of white settlers in Australia in 1788.
Although the breed is of ancient type, it presently bears traces of the Arabian horse and shows influences of the Thoroughbred horse. It is a popular children's pony and has been used extensively for light labor, especially in the harness, having trotting tendencies similar to those of the Standardbred horse. The Welsh pony is taller than the Shetland pony, averaging just over 12 hands (48 in./120 cm). It is usually of solid color, with grays, whites, and chestnuts predominating. Meg is chestnut but with pale mane and tail, she is very pretty...and a little mischievious.


Horses are represented in Western Astrology (Sagittarious) and in Chinese Astrology (see below)


The Horse

1918, 1930, 1942, 1954,1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014
Positive: The Horse can be productive, enthusiastic, amusing, warm-hearted, talented, agreeable, industrious, generous, sociable, autonomous, strong minded, sexy, curious, persuasive and logical.
Negative: The Horse can also be defiant, condescending, unscrupulous, anxious, moody, excessively pragmatic, opportunistic, hard-nosed, self-serving and so obtuse as to seem to have gone both blind and deaf at once.