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Difference Between Shetland Pony and Miniature Horse

Shetland Pony vs Miniature Horse

It is not a very difficult task to identify a Shetland pony from a Miniature horse, as there are some appealing differences between them. Their coat and body shapes are distinguishable for a familiar person with horses and ponies, but any unfamiliar person would find this article helpful to identify correctly one from the other after going through the information presented here.

Miniature Horse

Miniature horse is a small type of horse mostly found in Europe and North & South America. Usually, they are short animals, and not taller than 96 centimetres. Their height determines them from other small horses, or in other words, height is the main identifying characteristic of miniature horses. Miniature horses have natures of ponies as well as horses, and they are a distinctively registered type of small horse nonetheless. There is a variety of pretty looking coat colours with patterns in Miniatures. They have a very simple and friendly temperament with humans, like pet dogs. Therefore, people keep them as companion animals but they have some equine natures. It is easy to train them to work even at indoors. In fact, Miniature horses are good as assistants to blind human patients. These useful animals are a result of the crossbreeding between different types of ponies, and they can live long with about 25 – 35 years.

Shetland Pony

This is a breed of pony originated in the Shetland Islands of the United Kingdom. They are one the smallest of all the pony breeds with an average height ranging from 28 to 42 inches (71 – 106 centimetres) at the withers. Shetland ponies have a compact muscular body with a short neck. They have a characteristically small head, small alert ears, a dished face, and widely spaced eyes. Their mane and tail are long, which make it easy to distinguish them from other ponies. Shetland ponies have a heavy coat and strong short legs, and are well-known as an intelligent animal. There are many available coat colours in Shetland ponies including black, brown, chestnut, dun, roan, and many other colours. Shetland ponies are useful in driving, riding, and in pack purposes. They are very hard and strong, as they have grown up under hard conditions in Shetland isles, and have an average lifespan more than 30 years.

What is the difference between Shetland Pony and Miniature Horse?

· Both these have small bodies, but Shetland ponies could be slightly taller than Miniature horses.

· It is a compact and muscular body in Shetland ponies, but not in Miniature horses.

· The neck is shorter in Shetland ponies compared to Miniature horses.

· Shetland ponies have rough, long, and prominent manes and tails. However, Miniature horses have smooth manes and tails.

· The coat of the Shetland pony is rough and thick, but the coat of the miniature pony is smooth.

· Their uses are different, as Miniatures are more like indoor pets, but Shetland ponies are outdoor workers.


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