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Are Ponies And Horses Different Species

author
Daniel Brown
• Monday, 19 October, 2020
• 7 min read

The one thing that ponies are not, that many people are mistaken about, is that they are not baby horses. Both horses and ponies are of the same species (Equus Catullus) and come from the exact same family tree.

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Contents

However, ponies stay small their whole life, maturing more quickly than horses. Pony foals are tiny and will rapidly mature to the approximate size of their parents.

Horses are slower growing, some not attaining full mature size until they are six or seven years of age. In fairness to the riders and these mounts, these size standards help prevent ponies and small horses from showing against larger animals, whose size might give them an advantage.

It also isn’t safe to have very small children on tiny ponies riding around the same ring with larger horses. They can be quite wily, which is why it’s sometimes easier to find a quiet horse for a child than a reliable pony.

They can pull or carry heavy loads with more strength than a horse, relative to their size. Their coats tend to grow thicker in the winter, which often doesn’t shed out until the hottest days of summer.

They begin to grow back their thick coats as soon as the days start to shorten. They are heavier boned and shorter legged in proportion to their bodies compared to horses.

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In fact, it’s very easy to overfeed a pony, which makes them more prone to founder and laminates than horses. While some horses can be ‘hard keepers’ most ponies are the extreme opposite, apparently putting on weight just looking at the grass on the other side of the fence.

In general, you can ride them, drive them, and most importantly, pamper them like spoiled pets. Horses and ponies alike have shaped human society, letting people make agricultural and industrial advancements and helping civilizations wage wars and.

As any barn rat will tell you, the main difference between a horse and a pony is height. An equine that measures 14 hands, 2 inches at the withers (the ridge between their shoulder blades) is considered a horse, whereas those that fall below this threshold are known as ponies.

But despite the strict height distinction, how people refer to certain horses and ponies is a bit fluid. Minis were essentially designed to resemble their much-larger counterparts, just drastically smaller, as if they'd been shrunk in the evolutionary dryer.

The Icelandic Horse averages a height of 13 to 14 hands and has a heftier build. As The Horse Rider's Journal reports, the Manipur Pony of India was considered the original polo breed.

horses breeds different course galloping through history saveourgreen allpost
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A person may call their horse a pony in the same way the owner of a full-grown dog may refer to their pooch as a puppy, but it’s a term of affection rather than an acknowledgment of age. | WonderopolisWe sent you SMS, for complete subscription please reply.

At one time or another, most children will think that they'd like to receive a pony as a gift. Of course, ponies require a lot of space and care, so most backyards aren't wonderful places to raise a pony.

When most of us hear the word pony,” we think of a small horse. In fact, it's not unusual for people to believe that a pony is simply a young horse that has not grown to maturity yet.

The truth, though, is that ponies and horses are not two stages of development of a single animal. Ponies remain small when they're fully grown.

The main distinction between ponies and horses is height. A horse is usually considered to be an equine that's at least 14.2 hands (or about four feet ten inches) tall.

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A pony, on the other hand (pun totally intended! The answer is that ponies and horses are different in other important ways beyond just their height.

Pony breeds, in addition to being shorter than horses, have other characteristics that make them different from horse breeds. This means that they have differences in their bone structures, muscles and overall body proportions.

For example, ponies tend to be stocky and stronger (for their size) than horses. From a human point of view, this means that ponies might be more stubborn than a horse.

Physically, ponies usually have thicker manes and coats that help protect them from the cold. Likewise, there are horse breeds that don't grow taller than 14.2 hands, yet don't share the same characteristics of ponies.

Examples of these breeds include Caspian, American Miniature, Morgan and Icelandic horses. Despite their shorter stature, these equines are considered horses because they are quite different from ponies.

pony breed breeds guide ultimate ponymag
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If the horse in question is still a baby, you can try to guess the adult height by looking at mom. Further, while ponies tend to look stockier and a bit different from full-size horses, minis are bred to be miniature versions of horses in terms of looks and proportions, just on a smaller scale.

If you are looking for the word to describe a baby horse, that is a foal, regardless of what size they will be as an adult. In fact, there are several terms used to describe horse gender which I have covered in detail in this post if you are interested.

Looking at size, ponies are not only considered to be smaller than horses, there are maximum height requirements they must be at or under. In the English disciplines, this becomes extremely important because of specialized pony classes.

Well-behaved ponies that remain short enough to compete in these classes can fetch top dollar. There also may be some variations is height maximums between show rings and disciplines, but expect them to be generally the same.

Further, the thicker coats and manes of ponies were developed over time to better protect their small bodies from the cold. If you have ever heard of the term Napoleon complex in reference to someone of something who I short having a bigger, overcompensating personality.

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When it comes to choosing a pony, remember that you can’t assume just because the horse is child-sized that it will be safe for a child. When it comes to intestinal workings, ponies differ from horses in the ease of their digestion.

You may often hear the ponies are “easy keepers”, which means they generally require less food and maintain weight with fewer fluctuations. Overfeeding is much easier to do on accident than with horses, making them that much more susceptible to foundering and developing laminates.

Close monitoring of his body condition should be done to ensure that your pony does not slowly become obese over time. A pony can shockingly founder in under an hour if they are turned lose suddenly onto a lush pasture.

The perfect pasture for a pony will be one that requires more work to graze, compared to the ideal environment for a horse. These shorter, stockier, more stubborn little cuties may look like and act like bigger horses, but only to a certain degree.

In size, shape, personality and feeding patterns, ponies are very much their own animal. The American Miniature Horse Association and the American Miniature Horse Registry both determine a 34-inch maximum height or a 38-inch maximum height, respectively, for minis.

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(Source: allpony.com)

Think like someone took a shrink ray to a regular horse, with minor variations in conformation. Their skeletal systems much more closely mirror that of a larger horse’s, and so they will not have quite the same rounded, stocky proportions of a pony.

They are so small compared to their equine counterparts, that they can consume too much and become obese very quickly. Most miniature horses should be fed strict diets and exercised regularly to maintain good weight.

Outside of height and carrying capacity, however, mini horses are not too far off from their larger horse cousins. Firstly, they are all members of the equine family and are all pretty many types of horses.

There are some small (and some larger) details that vary between them, though, in the end, they are three equines in the same family.

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