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August 23, 2008 | | Comments 0

Welsh Pony and Cob

Welsh Pony and Cob

Welsh Pony and Cob

Discovering the Welsh Pony and Cob

The Welsh Pony and Cob proudly bears the name of its place of origin, Wales. No better breed could have been found to carry the distinction. This breed is not only blessed with excellent physical attributes but with ideal temperaments as well.

At first glance, a pony of this breed may be regarded as a humble one because of its size and stature. In the past, it was indeed no more than a humble work animal but it also has an old and rich history that has contributed much to the solidification of its well-known traits. The Welsh Pony and Cob is said to have descended from an ancient Celtic breed that was already in existence long before Rome ever became an empire and occupant of the British Isles. In their native Wales, these ponies were prime assets used for the harness, domestic chores and for pulling ploughs. Later on, they were also found useful in coal mines because of their size.

Despite being domesticated, the breed was able to retain part of its wild heritage. Like its old wild ancestors, the ponies of Wales were allowed to fend for themselves at certain parts of the year. This meant that Welsh Ponies had to contend with minimal supplies of food, difficult terrain and cold weather. Despite the trying environment however, the breed continued to thrive. Their rough origins is even now credited for their distinct traits of hardiness and intelligence. Indeed, it must have taken a great deal of skill and toughness to survive on their own with intermittent human help.

A society for the breed was only established in 1901. Even before this time however, breeding programs were already established by different breeders to attempt to improve the traits of this breed. It is commonly believed that even the Romans sought to breed better pony offspring. Different horse breeds were used to influence future Welsh Pony stock. Some of the breeds used were Thoroughbred, Hackney, Arabian, Yorkshire Coach, and Norfolk Roadster. Spanish breeds were also introduced.

It was probably because of the wealth of influence from other breeds that different pony types were introduced. With the establishment of a formal group dedicated to this breed, also came the formal organization of pony types. In the section A category are ponies that closely resemble the original Welsh Mountain Ponies standing at a maximum of 12 hands and carrying a refined form. Section B is almost similar to section A but are taller at no more than 13.2 hands. They are considered more refined than section A ponies and are used primarily for riding and show.

Sections C and D begin to depart a bit from the refined conformation of the first two sections. Section D ponies in particular are the largest, tallest and stockiest of the breed at a maximum height of 14.2 hands. They are properly known as Welsh Cobs. Section C ponies are also compact ponies but generally occupy the middle ground in conformation. They are known as Cob types and are no bigger than 13.2 hands. It should be noted that American standards for height restrictions may vary.

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