Welsh Mountain Pony

Welsh Mountain Pony

Origin: Wales.

Height: Not over 12hh (usually not much smaller).

Color: Any color except piebald and skewbald. Gray, brown and chestnut are the most common.

Character: High-spirited pony with great intelligence, courage and endurance.

Physique: Small, Arab-type head, gaily carried, with open nostrils, slightly concave face, bold eye, and small, pointed ears. Graceful neck well-set on deep, sloping shoulders. Short, muscular back on a deep girth and well-sprung ribs. Hindquarters lengthy and fine.

Tail set high (another resemblance to the Arab) and carried gaily. Legs fine and hard, short in the cannon bone; the numerus is upright, so that the foreleg is not set in under the body. Feet small, round and hard. The action, typical of a pony reared unmount tauons terrain, is quick and free in all paces, moving well away in front, and with the hocks well flexed and under the body to give power full ever age.

This small, aristocratic-looking riding pony is considered by many to be the most beautiful of all the British mountain and moorland breeds. It is popular all over Britain, Europe and North America and is extensively bred out side its native country, though breeders often import fresh blood from Wales to keep their stock true to its native type.

The Welsh Stud Book refers to the Romans crossing Arabs with the mountain ponies; which is wrong, but is entirely excusable not only because of the Arab-like appearance of the pony but because the historical documents from which they got their information are misleading. Records of breeding the Welsh pony (or it would be fairer to say of pony-breeding in Wales) go back to Julius Caesar, who appears to have founded a stud at Lake Bala, Merioneddshire, and who introduced some Oriental blood.

Here is the source of the confusion, as translators of the original documents tended toin terpret a horse of Oriental breed as being “Arab”, whereas in Roman times the Arab was not a breed as such and “Arab” was not one of the 12breeds mentioned by the Romans.

Arabs did have a hand in it, but not until much later. Within the last three or five centuries at least two Arab stallions have run wild on the Welsh hills, breeding freely with the native ponies, and it is no doubt to them that the modern Welsh Mountain pony owes its Arab look. Cob, Hackney, Andalusian blood is believed also to have contributed, albeit several centuries ago.

Welsh Mountain PonyHerds of ponies still live wild on the mountains and moorlands of Wallison the principle of survival of the fittest, and so hardiness and resistance to disease remain inbred. Annual roundups for branding and for weeding out unwanted stock or selected stock for sale have attracted buyers from all over Europe in recent times, and Welsh pony breeding has become a profitable business. In the light of modern prices it is strange to remember that as recently as 1948 a pony could be bought unbroken off the moors foras little as twelve shillings and sixpence (approx. $1.50).

It is a prime contributor topmost of Britain’s hunting and show ponies, and is predominant in many ponies under 13.2hh.

See more: Welsh Pony

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