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Hoofbeats - The Blog 

Welcome to our blog page, HOOFBEATS, where we talk about the countryside with a main emphasis on training and caring for horses and ponies. If you would like to contribute ideas and information about your own experiences, we would be delighted to hear them. Please email to editor@horseandponyinfo.com or post to our Facebook Page, Horse and Pony Info. If you're into Twitter, you can contact us @horse_ponyinfo.

The opinions expressed here are from personal experience and we strongly advise you to contact your vet or your riding instructor if you are seriously worried about your horse.

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Monday, January 23, 2012

And now for 2012... Horse Breeds

With Christmas and New Year now a distant memory for most of us, we're looking ahead to what will be available on Horse and Pony Info in 2012. 

We are adding info to a webpage on Horse Breeds. There is a short paragraph on each one and a video which shows off the breed. We've already got the Shetland pony (with a lovely, heart warming video), the Friesian, the Connemara and the Clydesdale.  

The Clydesdale is Native to the UK, originating in Scotland in the middle of 18th century when mares were bred with Flemish stallions to produce offspring with more weight and substance. They were used during World War 1 but numbers declined dramatically when the farm tractor arrived. The breed is now still officially 'at risk'. Budweiser Clydesdales are probably the most famous and give displays throughout the world.  

The Shetland is also from Scotland and existed in the Shetland Isles for over 2000 years and probably much longer. Various excavations on the islands have revealed the bones of small ponies that existed during the Bronze Age and it is thought that ponies have been in domestic use there since this time. The Shetland is renowned for its strength and longevity. They were used on farms and, in the 19th century, also as pit ponies down coal mines. Queen Victoria is supposed to have owned several Shetland ponies which were used to drawn small carriages.

Native to Ireland, the Connemara originated in the west of the country. There is mystery surrounding its beginnings, some believing that horses swam ashore from a Spanish Armada shipwrecked off the coast and bred with local ponies. This is probably a colourful myth. Others think that the ponies may have come over with the Vikings. Nobody knows! The Connemara is a versatile, much loved pony which can turn its hooves to anything, from jumping and hunting to showing. The breed is now exported all over the world.     

The Friesian is the only horse breed native to the Netherlands where they have been known since the 13th century. The characteristics of the horse are still similar to their ancestors with majestic flowing mane, feathering of legs, jet black colour and elevated movement. The Friesian used to be a high class carriage horse originally but now competes in many different equine sports. 

If you have a favourite breed why not drop us a line to editor@horseandponyinfo.com?  

To see the videos of these breeds, click here

6:40 pm gmt 

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There are 5 breeds mentioned: Shetland, New Forest, Welsh Mountain, Thoroughbred and Irish Draught.


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