Difference Between Horse and Pony

Horse vs Pony

There are many who are confused about the difference between horse and pony. As a general rule, an animal that is 14.2 hands or more is considered to be a horse, while an animal that is less than 14.2 hands is called a pony. One hand totals 4 inches, and so this translates into 58 inches or 147 cm to be the criteria for classification as a horse or a pony. The International Federation for Equestrian Events uses the metric system and has ruled that 148 cm is a cutoff point between a pony and a horse. There are breeds though that have animals of both more and less than this cutoff point and there both short and tall animals are called horses. In a similar manner, there are some pony breeds where some ponies cross this threshold but are still considered as ponies.

To remove confusion, the distinction between a horse and a pony has been thus broadened and other aspects such as conformity and other nature traits are taken into consideration. Some other physical traits like the appearance also matter when classifying an animal as a horse or a pony. In general ponies have thicker manes, coats and tails. They are also more playful than horses and have a friendlier attitude towards trainers. The funny part of this classification is that these two animals are same according to scientists as they classify them under the same species Equus caballus.

However, there are many horse breeders who still feel that it is easy to categorize an animal as a pony on the basis of its physical structure. Apart from their smaller stature, ponies are stockier than horses; thicker and stronger, pound for pound, than horses. Because of a thick coat and mane, ponies are resistant to harsh climates such as chilly winters. Ponies are said to be more intelligent than horses, but this is one trait that sometimes makes them more stubborn than horses.


• Pony and a horse are one and the same animal according to scientists as they classify both under the same species Equus caballus.

• For practical reasons, the cutoff point to be classified as a horse or a pony is 14.2 hands.

• Ponies tend to have thicker mane and coat and are more resistant to cold weather

• Ponies are more playful than horses