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Are Ponies The Same Species As Horses

author
Ellen Grant
• Tuesday, 24 November, 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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(Source: www.pinterest.com)

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.

equus genus species horses zebras horse wikipedia difference between common vs kiang wiki variation asses przewalski speciation both
(Source: en.wikipedia.org)

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.

horse przewalski wild animals asian horses species came hairy przewalskis zoo asia animal conservation pony extinct reintroduction tracking brown skunk
(Source: worldbuilding.stackexchange.com)

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. Maybe you thought they'd be more suitable as a pet than a fully grown mammal, which is why they would make an ideal Christmas present.

Both species have similar features, with the horse just growing to a substantially larger size than a pony. Pony foals are born incredibly small but mature but grow rapidly quicker to their ultimate size than horses do.

In contrast, horse foals grow at a much slower pace, sometimes not evening reaching their full mature size until they are at least six or seven years old. If a species measures 14 hands or above and 2 inches at the ridge between their shoulder blades (called the withers), it is a horse.

This isn't black and white, though, as you can find horses that are smaller than 14 hands, and vise versa. Because ponies cope with cold weather well and have good endurance, they tend to be great workers.

Despite the pony's reputation as a good worker, people often opt to work with horses because of their lesser intelligence and willingness to co-operate. Even though ponies mature and grow quicker than horses, they actually tend to live longer.

horse flower miniature animals crown mini horses flowers pretty equestrian cute barn ranch pony baby ponies animal most barns stable
(Source: www.pinterest.com)

However, ponies can endure heavier loads for longer periods of time due to their anatomy. This refers to gastrointestinal issues that many horses deal with, leading to intense abdominal pain.

Even though both the pony and the horse have the same digestive system, there are still some differences in the actual feeding process. Ponies are also very easy to overfeed, making them more prone to laminates and founder, which are conditions that horses can't get as easily.

They have shaped our society with their contributions to agricultural and industrial advancements and have been important animals during battles and wars. These two animals might look different and shape, but they're both extraordinary creatures that bring awe to millions of people.

From the obvious differences in size and height to the life expectations and personality characteristics, ponies and horses are magnificent and much-loved creatures with their own unique traits. We hope we've helped you learn more about what these amazing creatures offer, as well as their distinct features and behaviors.

Many people consider ponies as baby horses due to their smaller size. Also, ponies have thicker tails, coats, and manes than horses.

horses unique markings never before seen ve buzzsharer
(Source: www.pawbuzz.com)

While ponies are ‘easy keepers’ because they can easily add weight by eating almost anything, most horses are the direct opposite. Spotting some differences between ponies and horses isn’t as easy as noticing the size.

Also, ponies tend to avoid work more and can withstand the consequences. They can carry or pull heavier loads, depending on their size.

They grow thicker coats during the winter, which only shed off in the hottest summer days. While this is correct for most of them, the term sometimes refers to the agile nature of a horse (regardless of being a pony).

It might be surprising to know that ponies and horses can mate, and it’s not as rare as you imagine. It doesn’t, however, imply that breeding ponies with horses is always a great idea.

Complications are less likely for the mare (female) if the stallion (male) is a pony. But if it’s a stallion horse, then it is essential to consider their different heights.

horse icelandic donkey mule between horses animals differentiate animal istock appearance
(Source: animalsake.com)

It’s safer to use a female horse and a male pony to minimize the risk of birthing complications for the mare. But studies show that there may be birthing complications if there’s too much difference in height.

Regardless of who the dam (the female parent or mare) or the sire (the male parent or stallion) is, a few characteristics distinguish them from a pony foal or horse foal. This classification is primarily due to the bone proportions and structure.

Having discussed the differences between ponies and horses, let’s talk about the similarities they share. Also, their digestive systems are the same, which implies that both ponies and horses can consume the same food and suffer the same illness, such as colic.

Although donkeys are from the same family (Equus) as ponies and horses, they are two separate species. Well, loads of people get confused between them and think ponies are the baby horses, but that’s not true.

This is not a thumb rule as there would be horses less than 14.2 hands tall and ponies with more than 14.22hh. Another distinction amongst them is of the density of the coats and roughness of the hair.

horse horses animals meadow animal mare equine breast pasture stallion milk steppe prairie mammal broodmare grazing grassland fauna foal herd
(Source: pxhere.com)

Ponies hairs and tail grow long, dense and rough. Usually, the horses have thin coats in summer and grow dense hair during cold weather.

Horses that grow in Arabian and Akhil Take’s they have skin coats as per the warm climate. Ponies are stronger than horses because of their stocky size, and they are well known for pulling and carrying large loads.

Their hooves are more durable, and they have more ability to handle different temperature ranges. They need half the day and no grain at all, which makes it pretty easy to overfeed a pony.

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Sources
1 www.lifeinvetschool.com - http://www.lifeinvetschool.com/2012/05/30/qa-human-doctor-turned-veterinarian-the-switch-from-md-to-dvm/
2 www.skepdic.com - http://www.skepdic.com/wallach.html