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By Maurice Gainsbourg

Last updated: 2nd August 2016

Burmese Pony


Maurice Gainsbourg
Last updated: 2nd August 2016

The Burmese Pony is an equine breed that is said to have originated in the Shan state located in the Eastern part of Burma (previously known as Myanmar).  Presently they are bred by the local tribes residing in the hills for performing a host of functions. They are sure-footed and hardy because of their mountainous terrain.

Burmese Pony Pictures

Quick Information

Other Names Shan Pony
Temperament/ Personality Hardy, Quiet, Willing, even tempered that make them suitable for children and beginners
Physical Characteristics These not so beautiful horses have a head with a straight profile; generally, muscular neck; long back; a sloping croup; withers not well-pronounced; deep, wide chest; an upright shoulder; strong, elegant legs;  and small, hard hooves;
Colors Bay, black, gray, brown, chestnut
Common Use Pack ponies, for trekking, endurance, polo
Height 12 to 13 hands
Weight Unknown
Health No known breed-related health problems
Popular Traits Sure footed, high endurance level
Feeding/ Diet Hay and grass
Country of Origin Burma
Year of development Unknown
Ancestors Mongolian horses as well as other eastern equine breeds


Though there is not much detail about the history of its origination, the Burmese pony is said to bear resemblance with the Spiti horse, Bhutia horse, and Manipuri pony. This suggests that all these breeds may be similar in origin, probably deriving their lineage from Mongolian horses along with other Eastern horse breeds.

At one point in time when the English had set up their colonies in Burma, the Burmese horse had been used by British people as polo mounts, not because they were fast or athletic, but due to the unavailability of other equines.

In fact, during the past years, horse racing in Rangoon was not at all flourishing because the only breeds competing would be the Burmese pony, imported from the Shan states. Some Arab stallions were imported by a British man and crossed with Burmese ponies to produce race horses. Gradually other breeds were introduced for the purpose of participating in races in Burma.

Interesting Facts

  • Valentine was the first descendant produced by crossing an Arab stallion and a Burmese pony, which participated and won several races.

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