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By Smith Northam

Last updated: 23rd March 2018

French Saddle Pony


Smith Northam
Last updated: 23rd March 2018

The French Saddle Pony was developed in France, and is still a popular choice of the pony lovers. These equines were primarily designed to become good riding ponies for young people, especially in schools for children. They are excellent at jumping, galloping, and are able to hold their riders even when they are moving at high speed. The French Saddle Pony fills a role similar to the German riding pony and the British Riding Pony.

French Saddle Pony Pictures

Quick Information

Also Known As Poney Français de Selle
Physical Characteristics The profile is either straight or slightly convex, and having a small head, the eyes are large and expressive; has a long, well-shaped neck and a deep, wide chest, while the shoulder is also long, but sloping; legs are sturdy and with defined joints, and the hooves are tough and in good shape
Temperament Alert, willing, affectionate, good-tempered
Type Riding Pony, Sports Pony, Competition Pony, Show Pony, Pleasure Pony
Colors 14 common colors – white, black, brown, grey, bay, chestnut, dun, buckskin, palomino, perlino, cremello, roan, champagne, and grullo
Height/Size 12.1 hands (average studs, stallions and mares)
Common Uses General riding, dressage, driving, trailing, eventing, hacking, racing, show jumping
Health Problems Normally healthy
Popular Traits Excellent balance in riding and galloping; enduring
Feeding/Diet Normal equine diet including hay, grass, grains, etc.
Country of Origin France
Population Status Common
Time of Development 1969

Video: French Saddle Pony Participating in Sports Event

History and Development

These ponies were developed from a cross between local French pony mares with the Arabian horse, the Connemara horse, or Welsh stallions. However, the bloods of several other larger native equines were also mixed in the long run. In fact, the main aim of the breeders was to find out new ways to modify the native breeds into sturdy saddle ponies.

It was in 1969 that the ‘Association Française du Poney de Croisement’ (French Association of Cross-bred Ponies) started the breeding program for the development of the French Saddles. Initially, the association considered creating and promoting a French Sport Pony under the name Poney de Croisement (Cross-bred Pony).

In 1972, a stud book for this new breed eventually came into existence. Later, in 1991 the association closed the registry for equines from outside blood. During this time, they also renamed the breed as ‘Poney Français de Selle’.

Interesting Facts

  • In France, the biggest breeding areas of this breed at present are Mayenne, Normandy and Brittany.
  • Many riding schools in France use French Saddle Ponies for novice riders.

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