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By Smith Northam

Last updated: 3rd June 2021

Pony of the Americas


Smith Northam
Last updated: 3rd June 2021

The Pony of the Americas is a medium size pony that resembles a mini Appaloosa Horse. It is a relatively new riding-pony breed that developed in the United States around the middle of the 20th century and is especially popular as children’s mount.

Pony of the Americas Pictures

Quick Information

Other Names POA
Temperament/Behavioral Characteristics Willing, gentle, quiet, friendly, affectionate
Physical Traits The profile is slightly concave with a fine head, pricked, medium-sized ears, and large, expressive eyes; the neck is arched, having a good proportion, while the chest is deep and broad, and the back is short but straight; all the four legs are sturdy and solid ending in high-heeled hooves
Coat Colors Traditional Appaloosa patterns
Height/Size 11.2 – 14 hands (adult average)
Weight Vary between adult individuals
Common Uses Jumping, dressage, eventing, endurance
Health Problems Generally healthy
Lifespan 25-30 years
Type Riding pony, Sport pony, Show pony
Ancestors (Bloodlines) Appaloosa Horse, Shetland Pony, and other local pony breeds
Popular Traits Excellent steps, friendly personality, easy trainability, sturdy
Feeding/Diet General horse diet including hay, grass, grains, etc.
Country of Origin USA
Associations and Breed Standards The Pony of the Americas Club

Video: Pony of the Americas Nationwide Competition hosted by POA National Congress

History and Development

The Pony of the Americas breed originated in the 1950s, in Iowa, United States. The foundation sire named Black Hand #1 was owned by a female American breeder Leslie Boomhower who lived in Iowa’s Mason City. Black Hand was an Arabian/Appaloosa/Shetland Pony cross, having Appaloosa markings all over its body, and Leslie had bought the foal along with its Appaloosa mother.

Being very impressed with the attributes and disposition of the new horse, Leslie founded a nonprofit organization with an aim to retain the strain possessed by the young horse and establish it as an independent breed. She also wished to create an association for the registration of the offspring of this distinguished pony.

Accordingly, in 1954, Boomhower, along with a group of associations, founded the ‘Pony of the Americas Club’ (POAC), and gave the first registration number to Black Hand. The primary motto of the club was to create medium size riding ponies suitable for older children and younger adults, as also, will possess the Appaloosa coloration, well-muscled and strong-boned like the American Quarter, and the refined attributes of the Arabian Horse.

In 1955, a dozen of ponies and 23 members got registered with the club, and by 1970, there were over 12,000 registered equines. Eventually, this club proved to be one of the most active child-oriented horse associations in the United States, and every year, the association conducts full equestrian programs for children under 18.

The contemporary breeders have crossed the POA with several other breeds including Welsh and Shetland ponies, as well as, Quarter and Arabian Horse. However, in order to qualify for registration with the Pony of the Americas Club, a pony, along with other pre-specified measurements, must have the dappled Appaloosa patterning.

Interesting Facts

  • As of 2012, the total number of registered Ponies of the Americas exceeds 50,000.
  • During the breed club shows, the adult riders are only allowed to show the POA in halter or driving classes.

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