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August 15, 2008 | | Comments 0

Quarter Pony

Quarter Pony

The Quarter Pony: A Breed on its Own

One can easily guess where the Quarter Pony descended from. Its name alone suggests that it shares a common history with the highly prized American Quarter Horse. Despite its height, the Quarter Pony does have certain similar traits and characteristics with the Quarter Horse.

That means that the Quarter Pony can reasonably be viewed as an old breed too. After all, the development of the Quarter Horse spans a couple of centuries beginning in the 1600s. The horse breed began when Thoroughbreds were mated with local horses of Spanish blood. The resulting offspring became ideal work horses, cattle herders and racers. Unfortunately though, not all horses of Quarter Horse origins could be included in the first registry created for the breed. Those that could not clear the 14.2 initial height requirement were rejected.

Since Quarter Horses that were no taller than ponies retained desirable traits, some breeders began to organize themselves. A different group and registry was set up for the Quarter Pony. Although Quarter Horse height requirements have become a thing of the past, Quarter Ponies and their loyal supporters have continued to thrive on their own. Aside from accepting pony-sized Quarter Horses, an international association for the breed has also come to accept ponies that have color patterns. This was previously unheard of since Quarter Horses traditionally had solid colors. Because of the evolving standards of various associations, Quarter Ponies are eligible for double registration in different horse associations including some of those for Appaloosas and Quarter Horses.

Today, Quarter Ponies range from 11.2 hands to 14.2 hands. They should ideally not go over 900 lbs for easy management but some breeders can go well over the average weight which is not a strict requirement for registry. The Quarter Pony has a short head, and a short arched neck. It shoulders are sloping and its chest is broad. It has clean joints, a short back, muscled quarters, well sprung ribs and a generally lean form. Aside from spotted coats, Quarter Ponies can also be black, palomino, sorrel, bay, roan, buckskin, gray and dun among other colors. These ponies are generally level headed and gentle.

It is primarily because of their temperament that they make great mounts for first time riders. Of course, their small stature also commends them to young riders. They are not however intended for children alone. Since they stand close to being full horses, they may also be ridden by adolescent riders. The heavier ponies are particularly recommended for older riders. Aside from being used for riding lessons, these ponies can also be hitched for driving competitions, used for pleasure riding or exhibited for show.

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