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By Jeffery Garfield

Last updated: 24th March 2018

British Riding Pony


Jeffery Garfield
Last updated: 24th March 2018

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.

British Riding Pony Pictures

Quick Information

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)
Weight Unknown
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

British Riding Pony Video

History and Development

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.

Interesting Facts

  • The show riding ponies are in many ways similar to the miniature show hacks while the show hunters have more substance as compared to the show ponies. The working hunters, on the other hand, are stockier and have the ability to jump over natural fences.

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