There is more to a pony than a small horse wrapped in a cute package. Ponies differ from horses in a variety of ways, from dietary and health considerations, to behavior. Most horse people agree that ponies have a clever intelligence quite different from that of most horses. Being able to outsmart their predators is one of the qualities that has kept ponies alive on the moors, plains, and deserts over the centuries. Most ponies have naturally gentle dispositions. This, along with size, intelligence, and hardiness define the pony. At R&M, we celebrate our ponies and provide them with good care and great appreciation for their talents!
Dixie – is a Welsh pony and is the “boss mare” in our herd. She keeps the other ponies on task and is well loved by our campers.
Swifty – is a pretty pony. Her long flowing mane and tail complement her beautiful confirmation. She is used in camp and lessons.
Puzzle – has one black eye and one blue eye. Her black and white spots look like they could be assembled together as a puzzle. She works in camps and lessons.
Black Beauty – Is the most mischievous among the pony herd. If she were human, she would be a practical joker keeping everyone laughing all the time. She is primarily used in camp.
What is a Pony?
Why is a pony different from a horse? This is the most frequently asked question that we get at R&M Stables. Here is a bit of an explanation of their differences.
First of all, horses are something of an anomaly. They result from hundreds of years of people breeding them for greater height, speed and strength. In the process, there might have been a bit of a trade off. Some horses have lost their resistance to disease, their natural hardiness, and some of the wild instincts that protected them from predators and horrible weather conditions.
Ponies, on the other hand, have evolved from some of the most inhospitable conditions. They come from windswept islands, high snowy slopes and from bogs and marshes. Today, they retain the qualities that have helped them survive throughout the generations.
Characterized by their thick, shaggy manes and tails, and heavy winter coats, ponies protect themselves from even the harshest elements. They are considered the natural descendants of ancient "wild horses". Their small hooves are strong, helping them to plod through uneven terrain. Their compact size helps conserve body heat, and their energy saving metabolism helps them keep their weight on, even in the poorest pastures.
Physically, ponies share few characteristics that distinguish them from horses. However, their legs are proportionately shorter, their barrels and backs wider, their withers less prominent, and their heads are shorter and broader. While their looks vary from breed to breed, their ability to survive on the poorest feed, and longevity (some live into their 30's and 40's) seem to be universal.
Ponies are intelligent. While there are no studies to prove it, any horse person who has kept a pony will agree that ponies have an intelligence quite different from that of most horses.
Despite all of the advantages that would allow ponies to survive quite well on their own, they have chosen to get along well with people. At R&M, we feel that it is definitely worth returning that favor by providing them with good care and much appreciation for their patience and talents with us. Our ponies have gentle dispositions with tremendous sense of humor.
We hope your time at pony camp will be a celebration of ponies and the special place they have in our lives!
Ponies at a Glance: