The Highland Pony is one of the three native breeds of the Scottish Highlands and Islands, the others are the Shetland Pony and the Eriskay Pony. Over many centuries, the breed has adapted to the variable and often severe climatic and environmental conditions of Scotland. The winter coat consists of a layer of strong, badger-like hair over a soft, dense undercoat, which enables this breed of pony to live out in all types of weather. This coat is shed in the spring to reveal a smooth summer coat. This essential hardiness is combined with a kindly nature and even temperament.
The breed was originally bred to work on the small farms of Scotland, hauling timber and game, as well as ploughing. They are still used for such work, but are usually enjoyed as all-round ponies, good for jumping and trekking, due to their quietness, stamina, and ability to carry weight.
An estimated 5500 Highland Ponies remain in the world today, with most in Europe. Although some are still bred for their substance and stamina, the trend is to breed for a pony more suited for riding and driving. The breed is also commonly crossed with Thoroughbreds to produce good eventing horses. Despite increasing popularity, the breed is still categorised as category 4, “at risk”, by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.
Other names: Garron — Garran — gearran
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