DESCRIPTION OF SHETLAND PONY
- HEIGHT: Registered stock must
not exceed 40 inches (102 cm) at three years or under, nor 42 inches
(107 cm) at four years or over. Ponies are measured from the withers to
the ground, by measuring stick, and a level stance, preferably concrete,
should be used.
- COLOUR: Shetland ponies may be
any colour known in horses except spotted.
- COAT: The coat changes
according to the seasons: a double coat in winter with guard hairs which
shed the rain and keep the pony's skin completely dry in the worst of the
weather and, by contrast, a short summer coat which should carry a
beautiful silky sheen. At all times the mane and tail hair should be long,
straight and profuse and the feathering of the fetlocks straight and
- HEAD: The head should be
small, carried well and in proportion. Ears should be small and erect,
wide set but pointing well forward. Forehead should be broad with bold,
dark, intelligent eyes. Muzzle must be broad with nostrils wide and open.
Teeth and jaw must be correct.
- BODY: The neck should be
properly set onto the shoulder, which in turn should be sloping, not
upright, and end in a well defined wither. The body should be strong with
plenty of heart room, well sprung ribs, the loin strong and muscular. The
quarters should be broad and long with the tail set well up on them.
- FORELEGS: Should be
well-placed with sufficient good, flat bone. Strong forearm. Short
balanced cannon bone. Springy pasterns.
- HINDLEGS: The thighs should be
strong and muscular with well-shaped strong hocks, neither hooky nor too
straight. When viewed from behind, the hindlegs should not be set too
widely apart, nor should the hocks be turned in.
- FEET: Tough, round and well-shaped
- not too short, narrow, contracted or thin.
- ACTION: Straight, free action
using every joint. Tracking up well.
- GENERAL: A most salient and
essential feature of the Shetland Pony is its general air of vitality
(presence), stamina and robustness.
GUIDELINES FOR SHOWING
- DRESS: Must be neat, no
training shoes or jeans. Where possible, ladies should wear a collar and
tie or blouse with jacket and neat trousers or skirt.
Tartan skirts/kilts or trousers look very smart and enhance the image of
the pony. Sensible footwear is essential to allow a pony to be shown
Gentlemen should wear a collar and tie and tweed jacket with neat trousers
or a suit or kilt. Hats are not compulsory for either sex but, without
doubt, improve the overall picture of pony and handler (and may be
compulsory at some Shows). There must be no individual stud, person or
pony names displayed in any way in the ring e.g. on clothing, rugs, saddle
cloths. Whips or show canes carried must not exceed 30" in length. Spurs
may not be worn in ridden classes.
- TRIMMING/CLIPPING: The pony's
ears may be trimmed flat but there must be no trimming inside the ear.
Trimming of whiskers on the jawline is acceptable. Manes and tails must
not be pulled but tails may be rough trimmed to clear the ground if
dragging. Leg feathers must not be trimmed. No false hair, artificial
colouring or make-up should be used. Working ponies of four years old or
over only may be clipped in the interest of welfare. Under no
circumstances should foals be clipped. Ponies should always be shown in a
Colts/stallions of two years old or over must be shown bitted. Younger
animals and older females may be shown in a suitable headcollar. For
In-Hand showing, only plain, English-style jointed or straight bar
snaffles are permitted. Chifneys or other similar bits are not acceptable.
For ridden classes, no complicated snaffles with excessive cheek pieces
are permitted. In the interests of safety, handlers aged 14 years or under
must wear a hard hat when exhibiting in In-Hand classes. Hard hats must be
worn by all ages of exhibitors in ridden classes.
NPS America Shetland Breed Representative:
See Links section for listing of Shetland Pony Societies
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