Horse Isle 3: Big Book of Breeds
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Big Book of Breeds
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[ INDEX ] Equine Type: Horse Breed: Newfoundland Pony   [ PREV ] [ NEXT ]
The Newfoundland Pony is a rare pony breed named after Newfoundland Island (near Canada) from which it originated.

When British settlers arrived at the island of Newfoundland in the 17th century, they brought a variety of ponies with them: Connemaras, Dartmoors, New Forest Ponies, Exmoors, Fells, Galloways, Highlands, and Welsh ponies and cobs. Interbreeding between these ponies created the Newfoundland Pony.

Until the 1970s, Newfoundland Ponies were used as pack ponies, driving ponies, and riding ponies. However, the arrival of modern machines to the province of Newfoundland rendered these ponies redundant. In addition, due to new laws, ponies were not allowed to roam free anymore, and had to be kept in the farm all-year-round, which significantly increased the cost of their upkeep. Many farmers couldn't afford to keep their ponies anymore, so they sold them to meat trucks. That led to an almost complete extinction of the Newfoundland breed; from a large population of over ten thousand ponies, only a hundred were left.

In 1980, Canadian farmers decided to save the breed, and founded the Newfoundland Pony Society, whose goal is to preserve and protect the Newfoundland Ponies. In the 90s, the Newfoundland ponies were declared as Heritage Animals in Newfoundland, and were granted special protections. Today, the population of the Newfoundland ponies is slowly growing, but the breed is still considered as a critically endangered pony breed.

Newfoundland Ponies are well-adapted for living outdoors, and for coping with cold winters. They often have thick hair inside their ears, which keeps the ears warm and insulated, prevents insects from entering them. Furthermore, Newfoundland Ponies have thick tails and manes, especially in the winter when the mane can grow so long and thick that it will cover both sides of their necks rather than one. In addition, they also have light feathering which can grow thicker during the winter.

In general, Newfoundland Ponies don't have a heavy conformation, except for their neck which tends to be muscular and somewhat thick. That said, some Newfoundland Ponies can have a stockier conformation. Because of this variability in conformation, different Newfoundland Ponies can perform different tasks, and the breed is considered to be an all-around breed.

Newfoundland ponies come in the colors of bay, black, brown, chestnut, dun, grey, and roan. White markings, especially leg markings, are kept to a minimum, which is why Newfoundland Ponies in Horse Isle don't have leg markings. Newfoundland Ponies stand between 11hh and 14.2hh.


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