What Horse Breeds Are There? – Ponies

Elegant, imposing, and breathtakingly beautiful, the world of horses shows itself with many different horse breeds, which differ greatly in size, weight, and color as well as in breed-specific characteristics. Divided into warm-blooded horses, cold-blooded horses, and ponies, the individual breeds can be easily distinguished from one another. This article is about the ponies, the character traits of the animals, and the areas in which they are used. But individual breeds are also described in detail.

Ponies – small but mighty

The many different horse breeds that belong to the ponies are considered to be hardy and robust animals with a particularly long lifespan. In addition, many ponies have a strong will, which they try to enforce again and again so that they are often referred to as stubborn. They are mostly used as riding horses and many breeds are also ideal for children to learn how to ride.

The characteristics of the ponies

A pony is a small horse. This has a maximum height of 148 centimeters. They inspire with a strong character and a typical appearance. In addition, the individual ponies have many great talents, so they are not only used as riding animals and leisure horses. They are also very popular in dressage and jumping and can achieve great success.

As with warm-blooded and cold-blooded horses, ponies also have character traits that can be observed independently of their individual breed. Added to this is their strong willpower, which they sometimes try to enforce by any means necessary. Often referred to as little stubborn ones, ponies always work together with humans and make excellent mounts for children of all ages. They are very persistent and are always obedient when trained well. Most pony breeds are also very good-natured and balanced.

Many ponies make particularly good mounts and can also be used by beginners. Due to the cute appearance and rather small body size, even people who are actually afraid of riding horses gain confidence more quickly. Many years ago, ponies were also used as working animals because they are very enduring and robust and can also pull heavy loads well.

  • small;
  • dear;
  • spirited;
  • stubborn;
  • likes to work with people;
  • also suitable for beginners and children;
  • Can also be used in dressage and jumping;
  • need a good education;
  • persistent and good-natured.

Pony breeds in the overview

There are many great breeds of ponies. However, these differ not only in size, weight, and color or appearance. All pony breeds have just as many different characteristics, which we will present to you in more detail below.

Australian pony

Origin: Australia
Height: 125 – 140 cm
Weight: 200 – 350 kg

Character: loving, trusting, elegant, filigree, willing to work.

The Australian Pony, as the name suggests, comes from beautiful Australia and was crossed from an Arabian horse. It is mainly used as a riding pony for children and therefore makes children’s eyes light up. They come in all imaginable colors, although it can be observed that most Australian ponies are gray horses. They inspire with their loving nature and are very intelligent animals that like to learn quickly. They are pretty and filigree ponies, which are very gentle with people and show a great willingness to cooperate.

Connemara Pony

Origin: Ireland
stick size. 138 – 154 cm
Weight: 350 – 400 kg

Character: loving, friendly, reliable, persistent, willing to learn.

The Connemara Pony owes its name to its origin, as it comes from the Irish region of Connemara. It is considered a semi-wild breed that can still be found in this region. It is now mainly used as a riding pony and is suitable for children as well as adults or beginners and advanced riders. The Connemara pony is mainly gray or dun. They are powerfully built, have great stamina, and beautiful big eyes. They have a really great character and are considered frugal, sweet, and good-natured, so it is no wonder that this is a particularly popular pony breed. However, they are not only suitable as typical leisure horses but can also achieve success in dressage.

Dülmen wild horse

Origin: Germany
Height: 125 – 135 cm
Weight: 200-350 kg

Character: intelligent, willing to learn, persevering, loving, reliable, peaceful, strong nerves.

The Dülmen wild horse is one of the small horses, which comes from near Dülmen and was spotted there as a wild horse from 1316. Even today they still exist in this nature reserve, so that this pony breed is probably the only wild horse stock in all of Europe. Today these beautiful animals are mainly used as mounts, while in the past their small size made them particularly suitable for working in mines. They mainly come in brown, yellow or mouse color and usually have the typical eel line on their backs. Dülmen wild horses prefer to live together in larger family groups. In addition, they are very frugal and peaceful, so that the animals, which are kept as leisure horses, are particularly well suited as mounts. They are also very intelligent and willing to learn.

Exmoor Pony

Origin: England
Stick size: up to 129 cm
Weight: 300 – 370 kg

Character: Willing to learn, persevering, peaceful, willful, stubborn, quick, and sure-footed.

The Exmoor Pony is native to the moorlands of southern England. It occurs as a bay or dun and has a light-colored muzzle area known as the mealy mouth. It also differs anatomically from other ponies, such as the seventh molar. It is small and compact with a powerful head and beautiful eyes. By nature, the Exmoor Pony is known to be friendly and alert. However, it is also known for its headstrong and stubborn nature, so it is not uncommon for these little ponies to want to get their way. It is very calm and balanced, has only a weak instinct to flee, and is therefore often used as a riding pony. Off-road, the Exmoor Pony is sure-footed and fast.


Origin: Argentina
Stick size: up to 86 cm
Weight: 55 – 88 kg

Character: loving, intelligent, persistent, strong, reliable, calm.

The Falabella is one of the miniature ponies that originated in Argentina. It is the smallest horse in the world and is very popular around the world because of its size. Nevertheless, the stock of this horse breed is considered to be very low and it is still declining today. The Fallabellas come in all colors, they have a rather small head and a nice, thick mane. Mares are pregnant two months longer and many foals are born less than 40 cm tall, with almost all having to be delivered by cesarean section. This horse breed is considered to be particularly intelligent and willing to learn. You enjoy working with people and have a calm demeanor. Due to their unique size and cute appearance, Falabellas are often used in various shows or as carriage animals.

Fjord horse

Origin: Norway
Height: 130 – 150 cm
Weight: 400-500 kg

Character: loving, robust, undemanding, healthy, peaceful, balanced, good-natured.

The Fjord horse comes from Norway and is therefore often referred to as “Norwegian”. In his home country, this pony breed was particularly popular as a riding or carriage horse and also served as a reliable helper in agriculture. The Fjord horses only occur as duns, with different shades being observed. The individual ponies are strongly built and have expressive charisma. They are considered strong and have a loving and peaceful nature, making them ideal as carriage horse. They are undemanding to keep and therefore healthy and uncomplicated horses. Due to their peaceful and friendly nature towards people, they are often kept as leisure horses.


Origin: South Tyrol
Height: 137 – 155 cm
Weight: 400 – 600 kg

Character: peaceful, strong, robust, friendly, obedient, reliable.

In its homeland, the Haflinger was mainly used as a pack horse in the South Tyrolean mountains. They are only represented as foxes and have a light mane and different shades. This compact and robust pony is strong and persistent, making it ideal as a carriage horse. They are easygoing, frugal, and obedient. Thanks to its peaceful and friendly nature towards its people, it is mainly used as a riding horse and is therefore particularly popular with children and beginners.


Origin: Northern England, Scotland
Height: 130 – 150 cm
Weight: 300 – 500 kg

Character: robust, friendly, strong, persistent, peaceful, obedient.

The Highland Pony has been bred in Northern England and Scotland for more than 6000 years and is one of the very robust breeds. Most of the animals in this breed are dun, but they can come in different shades. Occasionally brown, black or fox colored ponies of this breed are also bred. This compact and strong pony is considered very hardy and obedient at the same time. Because of its origin, it is known to be a healthy pony with a long lifespan. In character it is strong-nerved and obedient. It is always friendly to its people and does not have high standards when it comes to keeping it. In the most varied of situations, however, the Highland Pony also has a strong will, which they try to enforce.

Icelandic horse

Origin: Iceland
Height: 130 – 150 cm
Weight: 300 – 500 kg

Character: sure-footed, strong, robust, friendly, obedient, frugal, willing to work, willing to learn.

The Icelandic horse, as the name suggests, originally comes from Iceland and can be used in many different ways thanks to its many different talents. This pony breed is one of the gaited horses, since the Icelandic horse has three other gaits, the tölt, and the pass, in addition to the typical three gaits. These are considered soft and comfortable for the rider. So it’s no wonder that the Icelandic horse is primarily used as a riding animal, although in contrast to other ponies it can easily carry an adult rider due to its strength. There is this breed of horse in almost all color variations, to which only the tiger spots do not belong. The character of the Icelandic horse is considered frugal and pleasant. Due to their peaceful nature and their friendly nature, the animals are very popular and are often used as riding horses for children and beginners.

Shetland Pony

Origin: Shetland Islands and Scotland
Stick size: 95 – 100 cm
Weight: 130 – 280 kg

Character: friendly, good-natured, strong, robust, and intelligent.

The Shetland pony is one of the most well-known pony breeds and finds its origin in the Scottish Shetland Islands. Due to their small body size and the immense strength and robustness that these animals bring with them, they were mainly used as workhorses in mountain pits. These ponies are available in all color variations, but not as tiger-spotted. Shetland ponies are considered to be very good-natured and friendly animals that like to work with people or ride out. They are sure-footed in the terrain and are also often used as riding animals for children or beginners. These ponies are known to be friendly, reliable, and good-natured. They have strong nerves and because of their cute demeanor and their intelligence, they are also often used in the circus or other shows.


Origin: Great Britain, Ireland
Height: 130 – 160 cm
Weight: 450-730 cm

Character: strong, reliable, peaceful, sometimes stubborn, friendly, persistent, and good-natured.

The Tinker is a strong pony and was often used as a working animal due to the so-called draft horse breed. In the meantime, the Tinker is mainly used in recreational sports and has repeatedly achieved good results in different disciplines. It is available in different colors, whereby it is particularly sought after as a plate piebald. The Tinker is very intelligent and even-tempered. He likes to work with people and inspires there with great reliability and his peaceful nature. Some ponies of this breed can be stubborn from time to time, but never aggressive. Whether for pulling carriages or as a reliable companion on any terrain, the Tinker is always a pony you can rely on.


The world of ponies brings with it many great breeds with wonderful characteristics and personality traits. They are loving, and peaceful and enjoy spending days together with their humans. But ponies always have certain requirements in terms of keeping, food, and the behavior of people towards the animals. You should always study these more closely before you decide to buy a pony because this is the only way your darling can stay healthy and happy so that you can experience many exciting and unforgettable years together.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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