This week we learn what to look for in a Shetland pony and what qualities we should seek out when choosing the ideal pony to buy.
What to look for in a Shetland pony
Batman is a pedigree Shetland pony who is registered with the Shetland Pony Stud Book Society and has many features that make him a quality Shetland pony. He has a very long tail, a full mane and a glossy coat that keeps him warm in the winter.
Features of a quality Shetland pony
Prince William is also a quality Shetland pony. He has small fluffy ears that keep the weather out, with a broad face and wide nostrils to help him breathe easily. He has kind eyes and is friendly and interested in all that’s around him, which is known as presence. Good quality Shetland ponies are kind, engaging and fun to be with.
Why are Shetland ponies so small?
Shetland ponies are small and hardy because they are naturally bred to live in the very harsh conditions of the Shetland Islands. There is little food and shelter, so being small gives them the best chance of survival. Quality Shetland ponies have short legs, upright hooves and stout bodies, so they are very strong for their size.
Find out more
Batman and Prince William are great examples of what to look for in a pedigree Shetland pony, but Toffee also has many quality features, even though he is not registered. So, do look at the pony, as well as the paperwork when choosing the perfect Shetland pony to buy.
Our Shetland ponies are on their winter break at the moment, so let’s join them for a winter update during lockdown.
Our Shetland ponies life in lockdown
During the winter the ponies are on holiday. They live naturally and graze and rest in sunny spots together as a herd in our beautiful meadows. They like to rest by trees and in groups with their friends.
What do Shetland ponies eat in lockdown?
As well as grass, the Shetland ponies need a little extra in their winter lockdown. They eat hay, which is grass that is dried on our farms in the summer and gives them a tasty fibrous meal in winter. They eat if off the ground, spread out in little piles.
How do Shetland ponies play in lockdown?
Once they have eaten, the Shetland ponies like to take some exercise and have some fun. Can you see how they do this in this weeks’ video?
Peace during lockdown
After their fun the ponies get to enjoy the beautiful Surrey Hills sunset. Do watch the video, stay safe and share a moment of peace with the ponies.
Pause for a pony: relax for 3 minutes of calm, ASMR
Did you know that the sound of ponies eating is very calming and the sound that they make can help you relax.
It’s actually got a scientific name: Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, or ASMR for short, and it’s the feeling of relaxation that is felt after listening to certain trigger calming sounds, like ponies munching grass.
So, this week, our gift to you is to sit back and relax for 3 minutes of calm. Pause for a pony and melt your stress away in these difficult lockdown times.
In our last video of the year, we enjoy the best of 2020 at Shetland Pony Club. After the wettest winter on record, we started riding in March with our members enjoying being back in the saddle again.
Lockdown life for the Shetland ponies
After just two weeks of riding, we had a 3-month lockdown and were not able to ride. So, the ponies went back on holiday and were able to eat and run around in the wildflower meadows. It was fun, but all that eating meant that the ponies put on weight and had to be weighed weekly to get back into shape.
The best of 2020
The moon daisies and poppies in our wildflower meadows were spectacular. For many of our members, the best of 2020 was being able to visit their ponies at a social distance and take them walking through the rewilding fields to enjoy being outside with their ponies in nature.
Hands, face, and loads of space
When we were able to ride again there were new routines to learn for the staff and all the children and parents, with lots of hand washing, mask wearing, and social distancing outside in the many acres of space at the Ranch. We were able to welcome lots of children to enjoy pony fun and summer camp days too.
Results and routines
With exams cancelled our staff made the best of 2020, enjoying being outside with the ponies through the really hot summer months. We even had a graduation ceremony for Madeleine! Routines continued for the ponies with visits from the farrier, dentist and also the vet.
Halloween pony fun
With members lessons over we enjoyed our annual Halloween Pumpkin Rides, COVID – style, before it all came to an end with another lockdown in November.
Thank you so much for all your support in 2020.
The ponies are on their extended winter holiday now and we look forward to welcoming you all for another season of pony fun from 6 March 2021.
Shetland Pony Club Online is our way of helping you get through these unusual times. It enables you and your children to have pony fun and learning at home.
We have created this website for free, but many of you have asked about donations. If you would like to support our work you can make a small donation through the fun “Buy me a Coffee” scheme. Just click on the link to donate.
We hope you’ll try our fun new Online Pony Club. Do let us know if you’re enjoying it.
We look forward to seeing you inside the new Online Pony Club.