The Riding Pony is a type of small-sized equines, which although developed in Britain, has become popular as show ponies across the world. Depending on their height and type, the riding ponies are classified into three categories including show pony, show hunter, and working hunter.
|Temperament/Personality||Bold, intelligent, willing, easy to train|
|Physical Characteristics||Compact body with small but attractive head and ears; long, well-formed neck; sloping shoulder, deep and wide chest, well-sprung ribs, strong limbs with tough feet, well-set tail|
|Colors||All colors are possible excluding pinto|
|Height (size)||Show pony: 12.2-14.2 hands (127-147 cm, 50-58 in)
Show hunter: similar to the classic show pony
Working hunter: can be greater or lesser than 13 hands (132 cm, 52 in)
|Common Uses||As show, pleasure, sport, and polo ponies|
|Health||Healthy and sturdy; not affected by any known breed-specific diseases|
|Gaited||Yes; straight, floating movement; covers the ground with ease|
|Popular Traits||Elegance, free-flowing gaits, relaxed temperament|
|Feeding/Diet||Grass and hay mixed with grain and chaff|
|Country of Origin||United Kingdom|
|Ancestors||Welsh, Dartmoor, Thoroughbred, Arabian|
|Breed Registry/Association||The National Pony Society|
In the UK, beginner’s and children’s ponies developed from the native breeds were traditionally used for hunting and riding. Once the ponies were first classified during the early 1920s, the local breeders started crossing the Dartmoor and Welsh ponies with Arabians and Thoroughbred horses. The crosses were further refined by adding Arabian blood, including that of Naseel, one of the most important stallions. As a result, a group of small and elegant ponies was developed which were ideal for the show ring.
The development of polo and riding ponies was motivated by the establishment of “The Polo Pony Stud Book” in 1893. Soon after its formation, the stud book registered more than 600 mares and 100 stallions. In 1903, its name was changed to “Polo Pony and Riding Pony Stud Book,” which was renamed to “The National Pony Society” in 1913. The NPS has since then maintained the breed registry of British Riding Ponies.