Can You Ride Shetland Ponies?




The Shetland pony is an adaptable horse breed that originated on the Shetland Islands in Scotland. They possess incredible strength for their size and can pull twice their own weight under extreme conditions.

Shetland ponies are renowned for their docility and intelligence, making them a favorite breed with children. Additionally, Shetland ponies make excellent first horses for young riders.


Shetland ponies are small, strong horses bred thousands of years ago to live on the Shetland Islands. To survive their harsh environment they have developed thick double winter coats as well as long manes and tails to keep them warm in cold weather.

Despite their size, these machines are incredibly sturdy and strong – capable of pulling twice their own weight. This strength makes them perfect for working long shifts without resting.

Shetland ponies have long been prized for their hardiness and durability, which can be attributed to their genetic heritage. Recently, researchers discovered that HMGA2 gene, which controls height in these ponies, causes them to stand about four inches shorter than ponies without this variant.


Ponies may be small in stature, but they pack a powerful and agile punch. That makes them an ideal breed for children to ride as they tend to be gentle and docile in nature.

As a general guideline, horses or ponies can safely carry up to 20% of their own body weight. This amount varies based on the breed, workload, fitness level and temperament of the animal.

Shetland ponies are incredibly strong and capable of pulling twice their own weight, making them the ideal choice for hauling carts through coal mines with low ceilings. Not only that, but these horses also boast incredible longevity – many live to be 30 without experiencing any serious health issues.


Shetland ponies are popular due to their height, which makes them perfect for riding. While small children can ride them at pony shows and riding schools, adults can also use them in harness driving classes or just for pleasure outside the show ring.

Shetland ponies are also employed for commercial rides such as fairs and carnivals, offering short trips for visitors. After providing rides or carrying extra weight, these animals require special care to their hooves.

Shetland ponies are bred to be strong and sturdy for their size, so they can handle heavier riders. On average, they can carry up to 20% of their own body weight as a load; however, if well trained and in excellent health, these ponies may safely carry up to 15%.


Shetland ponies are small and agile, making them ideal for children to ride. While some adults may be able to ride them too, you must consider the pony’s size and strength in relation to your height and weight.

Shetland ponies typically live to 30 years old, which is significantly longer than other equines due to their better respiratory system and thicker bones than most horses.

Horses tend to have a more stable personality than most. When properly trained and provided with supervision, they become more docile and less likely to become headstrong.

When searching for a Shetland pony to ride, make sure the breeder or rescue group is open about its temperament and health status. Spend some time with the animal to get an idea if it’s suitable for you and your family before making a final decision. Be sure to have the pony examined by a veterinarian prior to making any final decisions.