What is a Riding Pony?

Most horse and pony breeds have evolved by natural selection rather than design. Even the Thoroughbred was developed by selecting speed horses and mating these with other speed horses, rather than having an end result in mind.

The Riding Pony is one of the few examples of a planned exercise to breed a type for a particular purpose. It cannot be considered in genetic terms a breed but rather a refined type. It combines certain characteristics of known breeds and certain identified bloodlines which have demonstrated prepotent ability to breed on some of these combined characteristics.

In other words the Riding Pony is essentially a fixed cross or composite of several breeds.The end result aimed for is a animal which can go out into the show ring and exhibit all the characteristics in type, movement and temperament that defines a SHOW PONY. Over nearly 100 years now the recognition of the bloodlines which can best contribute to this end result have been recognised, recorded and concentrated, first in Britain and now since 1975 in Australia.

One of the most important things about a composite type is that it can continually evolve new bloodlines and new influence and consequently the breeding of Riding Ponies is a continuing process and type may be always improved. So the Riding Pony is a combination of various pony breeds with thoroughbred and Arab, bred to produce the ultimate pony to perform in show riding classes.

Photo: Lorelle Mercer

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