Horse Breeds - The Welsh Pony
One of the most versatile of Horse Breeds is known as the Welsh Pony or Cob and divided into 4 "sections" or height ranges. This beautiful breed has much to offer as you will see below!
The larger members of the Welsh Horse Breeds are known as Welsh Pony of Cob Type and Welsh Cob (Section C and D respectively) of the Welsh Pony and Cob Society's breed classification. Click on this link to see our profile of the magnificent
snd find out more about them.
The first 2 Sections or height classifications namely "A" and "B" are typically referred to as Welsh Ponies and are covered here.
Section A is classified by the Welsh Pony and Cob Society as the Welsh Mountain Pony and Section B (slightly larger in height terms) is classified as the Welsh Pony of Riding Type.
Read all about our very own
Section B Pony in
Welsh Mountain Pony - upper height limit 12.2hh (122cm at the shoulder)
Welsh Pony of Riding Type - upper height limit 13.2hh (138cm at the shoulder).
The Welsh Mountain Pony (Section A) is smaller and of a stockier build than the Welsh Pony (Section B). The latter is by far the finest or most lightly built of all the cobs while still having the appearance of strong hindquarters and a short-backed compact frame. Section B's have a fine neat head very similar to that of a thoroughbred.
Section A's have a pretty, dished face as demonstrated by the beautiful stallion Isle of Wight Spellbound" shown in the picture above and are a mini-version of the Section D in appearance.
They have long flowing manes and tend to have very defined arched neck with a wide chest and strong powerful hindquarters. Section A's also typically have small ears, wide-set eyes and a broader head shape than the Section B.
Legs are solid but finer than other native horse breeds, having much less feathering (longer hairs on the lower legs). Welsh Ponies are very sure-footed.
As with the larger Sections of the Breed, Welsh Mountain Ponies and Welsh Ponies are mostly solid colours such as Black, Bay and Chestnut. If you would like an explanation of the different
referred to here, please click on this link.
Roans and Palomino are also seen but colouring such as piebald, skewbald or appaloosa are not permitted under pure-breed registration. Grey is very common among Section A's and can look stunning as the above picture demonstrates.
White leg markings also known as stockings are common, as are white facial markings such as a blaze, snip or star. For a quick guide to
click on this link.
Welsh Mountain Ponies have a cheeky, inquisitive disposition. Like many of the native horse breeds, they are full of character and like plenty of attention. Intelligent and with a good workmanlike attitude - they like to be kept busy and have lots of stamina which makes them ideal partners for children.
They are affectionate and easy to handle for children providing they are trained correctly. Their stocky build means they are also strong enough to be ridden by small adults. Stallions and youngstock (ponies under the age of 3) should only be handled by experienced adults.
Being native breeds, the Welsh Mountain Pony and Welsh Pony of Riding Type thrive on a simple forage diet and are easy to maintain, although with too much good grass and not enough exercise they are prone to excessive weight gain.
HISTORY OF THE BREED
They share their origins with the other members of the Welsh Cob family which date back to Roman times when Arab horses left behind mixed with the native Celtic ponies.
Generations of living in the unforgiving hills and mountains of Wales made the Cob hardy, with great stamina and the ability to survive on very little good quality grazing.
They were used by farmers for shepherding and transporting goods as they adapted very well to harness. This enabled them to be used for family events such as outings to Church once a week.
Historically, most cobs would therefore have served a dual purpose or trained as ride and drive.
Some of the smaller examples of the breed served as pit ponies to the burgeoning mining industry in the early part of the 19th and even as recently as the early 20th centuries.
WHAT ARE THEY GOOD AT?
Welsh Mountain Ponies are an excellent choice for a child's first pony.
They are often used on the lead-rein for tiny tots, progressing adeptly to first ridden ponies as the child becomes more confident.
Welsh Ponies have showy, floating paces with a high stepping knee action (more pronounced in the Section B) that make them popular with young handlers for in-hand showing. Their size and agility also makes them a talented competitor for mounted games.
Welsh Ponies (both Sections) are also commonly used by children for hunting or show-jumping - testimony to their adaptability.
DID YOU KNOW THAT?
Welsh Mountain Ponies are very sought after by Trekking Centres across the world for their hardiness and ability to cope with many different types of terrain.
Many of today's top riders started out by riding Welsh Ponies and countless generations have gained great pleasure and skill from these humble, hardly little horses with the biggest of personalities!
If you enjoyed learning all about the Welsh Ponies in our Horse Breeds topic why not
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