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Shetland Pony Fact Sheet: Height, Weight, Cost, Lifespan, and More

The Shetland Pony is a Scottish breed that is arguably the cutest and most well-known pony breed available! This breed, named for the islands in Northern Scotland where they once resided, is available in a variety of colors, coat patterns, and markings, including buckskin, roan, and palomino in addition to black, brown, and bay. The one pattern that a registered Shetland will not exhibit is leopard spotting, which is more common in Appaloosas. Are you prepared to learn a little bit more about the feisty Shetland Pony? Come on, let’s ride!

History of the Shetland Pony

These Northern Scottish ponies have adapted to the hard conditions of their birthplace, the Shetland Islands. They were tough and resourceful, and the villagers utilized them for many different jobs.

Shetlands were used to transport seaweed from the shore to the fields and peat from the bogs to the homes. In the 1800s, they also removed coal carriages from British mines. Their small stature made it easy for them to maneuver large coal wagons down the mine’s low tunnels.

In relation to height, How come Shetland Ponies are so tiny?

Why is a Shetland Pony So Small?

Perhaps you’ve noticed that the Shetland is referred to as a pony rather than a horse. What makes a difference? Height.

Pony breeds are limited in height to no more than 14.2 hands. For this reason, despite their general modest stature, Icelandics and Haflingers are horse breeds. They have a maximum height of 15.3 or 15.3 hands, respectively.

How tall—or, maybe more accurately, how short—are Shetland Ponies? A Shetland Pony can grow up to 11.2 hands tall, although the typical height is more like 9.3 hands. Furthermore, their typical weight ranges from 200 to 450 lbs. Talk about little!

The typical cost and price of owning a shetland pony

Even though they are little in stature, they are powerful pets. They are breathing, alive animals in need of nourishment, drink, shelter, attention, and company. They have a lot to offer, though!

We can answer any questions you may have about the cost of owning a Shetland pony, including how much they initially cost.

Cost of Purchase

A pony might cost just as much to purchase as a horse. Contrary to popular belief, smaller breeds will not necessarily be more expensive! Even though this animal isn’t as tall as others, you are still buying a hefty animal.

Several factors determine the average cost of a Shetland sheep:

Location
Age
Sex
Level of training
Bloodline/pedigree
Past winnings, if you’re buying an established pony

Whether you adopt or buy from a private breeder

The good news is that a nice Shetland probably won’t set you back more than $5,000. Rather, you’ll shell out more like $2,000. This is around the same as a wild Mustang, but much less than a purebred Arabian horse.

Price of Ownership

Similar to how the cost of purchasing a pony varies depending on several factors, there are other factors to take into account after you have a Shetland in your stall, including:

Boarding expenses
Feed costs (hay, grain, vitamins, upkeep of pastures)
Costs of supplies and equipment
Rates for instruction in riding or training
Fees for farriers
Vet bills and prescription costs

To keep your pony happy, budget at least $500 a year for feed and regular farrier or veterinarian treatments. Whether you ride, board, or enroll in lessons, this expense increases. Don’t forget to budget for unforeseen veterinary expenses! Though unlikely given the Shetland Pony breed’s resilience, it’s always a good idea to be ready.

Whether or not your pony has a partner to keep them company is the last thing to consider. Remember that horses are sociable animals before making a purchase.

Let’s talk on the nature and disposition of Shetlands now that the expenses have been addressed.

Are Shetland Ponies Good Pets?

Shetlands’ lively temperament, small stature, and physical strength make them some of the greatest companions for equestrian enthusiasts. Some are only “spirited,” while others are lazier and always find time for a snack.

If you’re looking for a sophisticated ride to get you into the upper-level show rings, this pony might not be for you. But you want a Shetland Pony if you’re looking for a playful, mischievous breed that has a golden heart!

Is It Possible to Ride a Shetland Pony?

Yes, you can ride a Shetland Pony. Because they are little, you must ensure that your size is adequate in order to ride them comfortably.

You can use the 20% rule to find that out! Up to 20% of the weight of a horse or pony (with gear) can be carried by them. The most weight that they can usually carry is about 100 pounds, though this varies depending on the height and strength of each pony.

This is part of what makes them great for kids who want a fun, size-appropriate mount, even though it may be disappointing to hear as an adult. Junior riders who wish to make a big impression in the pony hunter arena will also benefit greatly from their kind and cooperative nature.

Alternatively, they can be used for harness racing or carriage driving. This makes them accessible to kids and adults of all sizes and forms! They can lift a lot of weight, up to twice their body weight, considering how little they are! Compared to draft horses, who can only tow half their own weight, this is more.

How Quick Are Shetland Ponies at Running?

Shetland Ponies with zoomies may run as fast as 20 mph despite their sturdy build! Even if they aren’t quite as fast as some of the quickest horses on the planet, they can still compete with them. particularly considering how little a Shetland’s legs are!

This breed so frequently participates in (and wins!) official Shetland Pony races with young riders who wish to get experience as jockeys.

How Long Do Shetlands Live?

Shetlands live to be between 25 and 30 years old, like the majority of horses and ponies. Even as they age, they are a resilient breed with few health issues to be concerned about.

Because of their size and breed, Shetland Ponies can have two potential health problems: laminitis and heart problems. However, laminitis in this moorland breed can be avoided with a properly controlled diet devoid of overabundance of grain or luxuriant grasses.

What are the Disadvantages of Shetland Ponies?

As you can see, the Shetland Pony has several advantages. What about the challenging aspects of owning such a unique and lively breed? Though their possible health issues have already been discussed, there are a few more things to think about before accepting a Shetland puppy.

The following are the main drawbacks of having a Shetland pony:

They will devour all of your goodies.
You will be with them at the barn for the entirety of the period.
Your heart will be stolen by them.

You won’t want it back, so don’t worry.