Pet Road Tests > Horses
Breed: Welsh Ponies & Cobs
Temperament: Quick learners, versatile
Cost: from $500
Lifespan: 25-30 years
Recommended for: Beginners to experienced riders
Wales.......Tom Jones, green valleys, leeks, and homeland of Welsh ponies! This horse breed is unique in that it comes in four different sizes. Best known is the engaging Welsh Mountain Pony, compact, tough and said to be the rootstock of three other types, the Welsh Pony, the Welsh Pony of Cob Type, and Welsh Cob.
The smallest of the four types, the Welsh Mountain Pony is a popular choice as a small riding pony for beginners being reliable and usually of a better temperament than his diminutive cousin, the Shetland. It is small (max. 12hh) compact, strong and was used for decades as a pit pony to operate coal-mining machinery.
A Welsh Pony, while taller, cannot be bigger than 13.2hh, is lighter and was developed primarily as a riding pony. It's considered a good 'second pony' for young riders, with the potential to develop jumping skills.
The Welsh Pony of Cob Type describes a pony which can't be taller than 13.2hh but is more muscular. It's said to be versatile, hardy, can carry heavier riders and is often used in harness.
The Welsh Cob is classified as a horse and must be taller than 13.2hh, usually 14.2hh-15.2hh. It's an all-rounder with an emphasis on endurance and makes a fabulous harness horse. In the past it was used to haul slate and in wartime pulled military weapons and equipment as well as being used by the mounted infantry.
All four are said to have a amenable nature and are quick to learn while retaining spirit and determination. Grey is a popular choice although they are allowed in all colours other than piebald or skewbald.
Welsh ponies are usually very hardy, although they can suffer from founder on lush feed. Founder is a disease affecting the feet which if left untreated can cause permanent lamness. Every eight weeks they need to be wormed, as well as have their feet checked then trimmed or shod as necessary. Teeth should be checked annually. Foaling problems are uncommon.
In Australia the coats are not as thick as they develop in their homeland but regular grooming is still required to keep tidy and take out loose hairs.
Figures from the Welsh Pony and Cob Society show a steady increase in popularity with around 20,000 registered throughout Australia.
The Welsh Pony and Cob Society of Australia Inc., 20 - 14/17 Hogan Court Pakenham 3810. Phone: (03) 5941 3288, eMail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.wpcsoa.com.au
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