Australian Pony

By PetMD Editorial. Reviewed by Courtnee Morton, DVM on Jan. 31, 2023
Australian pony

Reviewed for accuracy January 31, 2023.

The Australian Pony breed was carefully planned and engineered for over a century beginning in 1803, ensuring a mixture of all the desirable traits of several pony types along with influences from breeds including the Arabian and Thoroughbred.

Physical Characteristics

With slightly crested neck, sloped back, strong back, and well-defined withers, the Australian Pony strongly shows the refining Welsh Mountain Pony influence. Standing between 11 to 14 hands high (44-56 inches, 112-142 centimeters), this riding pony also has a deep chest, well-rounded hindquarters, and short, strong legs. It can be seen in many colors, although gray is the most common.

Personality and Temperament

After years of interbreeding, breeders were able to bring out the most desirable qualities in the Australian Pony, including its good temper. Though an obedient horse, it still retains its air of pride.

History and Background

As its name implies, the Australian Pony is a horse breed that was established in Australia. Its ancestors, however, are far from natives of the area. In fact, horses and ponies only came to Australia when settlers began to migrate to the continent with the livestock in the late 18th century.

The Australian Pony's ancestors include the English Thoroughbred, the Hackney, the Welsh Mountain and Cob type, the Timor, the Shetland, the Arab, the Exmoor, and Hungarian ponies. Those foals that exhibited the best set of characteristics after several trials of crossbreeding and interbreeding were further propagated. After more than a hundred years of refinement, the modern Australian Pony breed was finally established, and the Australian Pony Stud Book Society was founded in 1931.

Health and Care

Because Australian Ponies are hardy and easy keepers, they can easily become overweight if fed too much hay or grain. This can lead to potential development of laminitis, equine metabolic syndrome (EMS), or pars pituitary intermedia dysfunction (PPID) otherwise known as Cushing's disease.



Featured Image: Bloom


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