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By Smith Northam

Last updated: 3rd June 2021

Eriskay Pony


Smith Northam
Last updated: 3rd June 2021

The Eriskay Pony is a breed of very rare ponies that developed in Scotland. These good looking equines are primarily used for light draught and agricultural works, dressage, shows, events, and also for adults’ and children’s riding.

Eriskay Pony Pictures

Quick Information

Behavioral Characteristics Docile, willing, adaptable, kind
Physical Traits Short stature with a large head, a strong, muscular neck, and a deep chest; the legs are fine with small feet and tufts of feather behind the fetlock; the coat, mane, and tail are waterproof
Coat Colors Gray is the most common color, with other colors including black, bay, pinto, piebald, skewbald
Height/Size 11.3 – 13 hands (adult)
Weight 799 pounds (average)
Common Uses Light draught work, western riding, driving, dressage, show jumping, three-day eventing
Health Problems Generally healthy
Type Working Pony (mostly agricultural works), Driving Pony, Therapy Pony, Riding Pony, Show Pony
Ancestors (Bloodlines) Early Celtic and Norse horse breeds
Popular Traits Easygoing, multi-talented, excellent trots, easy trainability, durable
Feeding/Diet General pony diet including hay, grass, grains, etc.
Country of Origin Scotland (Eriskay Island, Hebrides)
Associations and Registries The Eriskay Pony Society

Video: The Eriskay Ponies of Scotland

History and Development

The Eriskay Pony got its name from the Eriskay Islands, where it developed by mixing the Celtic and Norse equine breeds. It is one of the last pure strains of ponies that are still surviving in the Hebrides, the Western Isles of Scotland.

They were densely studded throughout the Hebrides until in the 19th century these equines faced a severe decline in their population resulting from an increase in cross-breeding. Heavy horses from the mainland were brought in to the island to carry on with such breeding schemes. Gradually, more and more cross-breeding was initiated with the aim to develop a new strain of larger ponies that would be able to assist in field work, thus demoting the Eriskay to a rare breed.

In 1971, the Eriskay Pony (Purebred) Studbook Society, the first organization of its type, was formed in order to safeguard and preserve the Eriskay breed. Later, the RBST (Rare Breeds Survival Trust) of England has also declared their status as Critical. Presently, though much less in number, this breed is still considered a valuable asset to small farmers and peasants of the island.

Interesting Facts

  • In June 2017, well-known horse enthusiast Emma Massingale planned to camp out and spend a month horse boarding with her two Eriskay ponies, foraging, and fishing for her food across ten islands of the Outer Hebrides.

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