Horse Isle 3: Big Book of Breeds
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Big Book of Breeds
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[ INDEX ] Equine Type: Horse Breed: Highland Pony   [ PREV ] [ NEXT ]
The Highland Pony is an ancient Scottish pony breed, which is known for its iconic appearance and natural jumping talent.

Highland Ponies have already roamed the Scottish Highlands before the last Ice Age. They survived the cold winters thanks to their winter coat, which has two layers: an inner layer (called undercoat) which is made of dense hairs that isolate the pony from the cold, and an upper layer which repels water and thus keeps the inner layer dry during rainy days and snowy nights.

Compared to other pony breeds, Highland Ponies are extremely muscular, and as such they are very strong for their size. In addition, they are familiar with the hilly terrain of the Scottish Highlands, and know how to safely climb these hills and cross the local rivers. Therefore, they were, and are still, often used as pack ponies for carrying grouse and deer, including carrying heavy stags who weigh 200kg or more. In addition, they also serve as riding ponies for adults who want to explore the highlands.

Highland Ponies have a natural jumping talent, and usually have a cooperative personality. Therefore, many Highland Ponies serve as show-jumping or eventing ponies, for both children and adults. Moreover, their elegant appearance together with their physical strength makes Highland Ponies popular for driving events. Furthermore, the British Royal Family keeps a herd of Highland Ponies in Balmoral Castle in Scotland, where they are bred and serve for riding and hunting. The interest of the Queen in Highland Ponies has attracted more attention to this breed, and thus contributed to its popularity.

When it comes to their conformation, Highland Ponies have wide and heavy bodies with a rectangular frame. Their heads are short and wide, their muzzles are wide as well, their eyes are large, their ears are very small, their necks are thick, their backs are short and arched, their croups are prominent, and their legs are short and thick. In addition, Highland Ponies have light feathering that covers the back of the cannon bones, but doesn't cover their hooves. Last, they also have thick manes and tails that are often long and can be wavy.

Highland Ponies come in the colors of grey, bay, brown, black, and chestnut, with the latter being rarer. They often have a dun coat, or at least primitive markings. In addition, their coat can also be mealy, and they can have silver manes and tails. Any white markings are unacceptable except for a small white star. Most Highland Ponies stand between 13hh and 14.2hh, but the full height range of this breed is 12.1hh and 14.2hh.

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