Pony (horse)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Horse and pony
Shetland pony (pony type)
Haflinger (recreational type, small horse type)
Welsh pony (sport type)
Thanks to their strong stature, Icelanders can also carry tall men over long distances.
Bulky waste with pony carts in Virginia, 1942
Children's pony, France, 2011
Children on ponies in Brisbane, 1940
Norwegians as recreational horses, Denmark 2009
Jumping pony, Poland 2009
Connemara dressage pony, Ireland 2008
Welsh A as a driving pony with an adult driver, 2003

A pony is a small horse .


Pony type

The typical pony breeds are landraces , which are characterized by stocky stature, short, strong legs, small, hard hooves, short facial skull with a broad forehead, pronounced nostrils, small ears, rich long hair with dense Schweifwurzelbehaarung (called Pony bell), strong nerves and Leichtfuttrigkeit ("Good feed converters"). They are used as riding, carrying and draft animals. They are usually strong enough to carry adults too. Due to their great robustness, breeds of this type are almost exclusively used in semi-wild keeping for year-round grazing in grazing projects. In their social behavior, ponies are characterized by a comparatively short individual distance and strong herd ties.

Examples of typical pony breeds are Shetland pony , Dartmoor pony , Exmoor pony , New Forest pony , Icelander , Highland pony , Dülmener and Konik .

Sport type

Sports-type pony breeds are drawn to riding horse points, such as a longer back, a good saddle position, expansive gaits and jumping ability, and are used in pony sports. These pony breeds were often refined with Arabs and, depending on the degree of breeding, show flowing transitions between pony type and warm blood type . Well-bred sports ponies often look like miniature riding horses and, because of their light build, can usually not carry adults for long periods of time. These ponies are usually not as easy to feed as the classic pony type.

Examples of the sport type are Welsh pony , Connemara pony and German riding pony .


When used in tournaments, ponies and small horses must not exceed a certain height . The FEI sets this height at 148 cm. In Germany a further distinction is made between

  • G ponies: 138 to 148 centimeters stick size (final size ponies)
  • M ponies: 128 to 137 centimeters stick size,
  • K-ponies: up to 127 centimeters stick size.

In the Anglo-Saxon world , where horses are measured in " hands " (1 hand = 4 inches = 10.16 cm), a pony is often defined as a horse that is less than 14.2 hands (147 cm).


Feeding typical pony breeds differs from feeding warm-blooded animals . A typical pony requires significantly less concentrate than a warm-blooded animal. Without work, in maintenance feeding, good pasture in summer and hay and water in winter can suffice. If necessary, it is appropriate to give mineral feed. Excessively fat willows and too much concentrated feed represent a great danger, which can cause laminitis , crab and colic . An excess of mineral feed can also cause hoof damage.


Ponies are used as children's ponies, in recreational riding and in pony sports.

Children's ponies

Due to their size, pony breeds are particularly suitable for children and smaller, lighter adults.

Recreational horses

Icelanders, Haflingers and Norwegians can also carry heavy adults due to their strong build. For inexperienced riders and children, the typical pony breeds are often better suited than large horses, as they are usually not yet able to sit out a large horse swinging in the back with sweeping gaits .

Icelanders have their own mass sport competitions, the Hestadagar , as well as a tournament scene with gait tests .

Pony sport

In equestrian sports, pony riders are in the age group up to 16 years. In order to participate in pony tournaments , the height of the pony must be certified. Sports ponies that come close to the permitted height of 148 cm are called final size ponies. Final size ponies look like miniature riding horses and, due to their light build, can usually not carry adults for long periods of time. There are both jumping and dressage tests for pony riders.

In driving sports , adults can also take part in pony tests.

Small horse

In Germany, in addition to the internationally common distinction between pony and large horse, there used to be the designation small horse. With a size of more than 130 cm and less than 147.3 cm, the small horse was located between the pony and the large horse. Small horses were understood to mean, in particular, those breeds that are listed above in the “Leisure horse” section.

Today in the insurance industry, the term small horse is used as a synonym for pony in connection with horse liability insurance , where the tariffs differ for small and large horses .

Concept and etymology

The singular is the pony (plural: the ponies ). The hairstyle, on the other hand, is called the bangs . A male pony is called a pony stallion, a female pony mare, a young pony is a pony foal. The name pony originally comes from the Latin pullus , meaning foal (later also pullanus , young stallion). From then old French poulain or poulent became in Scottish poulenet in the pronunciation “pulnei” and later “punei” in the spelling powney , which then led to English powny and finally pony , which was then borrowed from there in the 19th century. Pierer's Universal Lexicon of 1847 already states that ponies “… a very small, graceful, but powerful and very hairy horse breed " and one " [...] the smallest ponies [...] on the Shetland Islands , Iceland , Norway , Öland etc. Corsica ; somewhat larger [in] Wales , Galloway , Sardinia a . the Pyrenees .

Races (selection)

In the following, some typical pony breeds known or widespread in the German-speaking area are listed.
Pony type:

Small horse type:

Sports type:

See also


  • Gerhard Kapitzke: The horse from A – Z. Breeds, breeding, husbandry . BLV, Munich 1993, ISBN 3-405-13275-4 .
  • Martin Haller : Ponies & Small Horses. Breeds, riding styles, buying, keeping . Müller Rüschlikon, Cham (Switzerland) 2001, ISBN 3-275-01368-8 .

Web links

Commons : Ponies  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Kleinpferd  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Uni Leipzig, Wortschatz-Lexikon , “Pony” ( Memento from June 29, 2016 in the Internet Archive ). Retrieved June 29, 2016.
  2. ^ Digital dictionary of the German language, "Pony" . Retrieved June 29, 2016.
  3. Duden online, “Pony, that” . Retrieved June 29, 2016.
  4. a b c Martin Haller: Ponies & Small Horses. Breeds, riding styles, buying, keeping. Cham (Switzerland): Müller Rüschlikon, 2001. ISBN 3-275-01368-8
  5. Martin Haller: Kosmos horse handler. Horse and pony breeds from all over the world. 2nd Edition. Stuttgart: Franckh-Kosmos, 1999. ISBN 3-440-07759-4
  6. ^ Leo Linnartz, Renée Meissner: Rewilding Horses in Europe. Background and guidelines - a living document. Nijmegen: Rewilding Europe, 2014. ISBN 978-90-822514-1-8 Online readable and downloadable PDF document. Retrieved June 29, 2016. (English)
  7. Roeland Vermeulen: Natural Grazing. Practices in the rewilding of cattle and horses. Nijmegen: Rewilding Europe, 2015. ISBN 978-90-822514-2-5 Online readable and downloadable PDF document. Retrieved June 29, 2016. (English)
  8. FEI Fédération Equestre Internationale: 2016 “Chapter IV: Ponies, Article 1042: Definitions” ( Memento of April 8, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) in Veterinary Regulations. 13th Edition 2015, effective 1 January 2016. ( Memento of April 8, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Lausanne 2015. Page 60. Accessed on June 29, 2016. (English)
  9. Deutsche Reiterliche Vereinigung eV - Federal Association for Equestrian Sport and Horse Breeding: "Measurement Certificate Pony." Retrieved on June 29, 2016.
  10. Hobby Lexicon Horses, keyword pony feeding, 1976, Lucerne, Frankfurt am Main
  11. Information from an Icelandic horse farm ( Memento from September 28, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) on the carrying capacity of Icelanders
  12. Measurement certificate , FN
  13. Information about a riding school ( memento of February 3, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) on the weight of the rider, Cavallo
  14. Pferdesportverband Schleswig-Holstein Pony Sport ( Memento of 1 February 2014 Internet Archive )
  15. Hobby Lexicon Horses, keyword small horse, 1976, Lucerne, Frankfurt am Main
  16. Example of horse liability insurance, the tariffs of which depend on the height of the horse
  17. Duden 7, dictionary of origin, Bibliographisches Institut Zürich, 1963, page 520.
  18. Pony . In: Heinrich August Pierer , Julius Löbe (Hrsg.): Universal Lexicon of the Present and the Past . 4th edition. tape 13 . Altenburg 1861, p. 358 ( zeno.org ).