Highland pony Horses
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Photo supplied by the Highland Pony Society of Australia - Victoria ©


Highland Ponies originated in the Highlands of Scotland and the islands off Scotland’s west coast. It is believed that they had lived there for thousands of years. Starting from about the 6th century the Dukes of Athol were influential breeders of the Highland Pony and introduced eastern blood to create a hardy, sure footed, and long lived pony suitable for the harsh environment. Their strength and sturdy built made the Highland Pony a popular choice as an army mount, in harness work hauling timber, as a mount for shepherds, and as a pack horse for deer stalkers to carry the shot stags weighing more than 101kg (16 stones) into the hills and back.

In 1923 the Highland Pony Society was founded and until recently the breed was divided into the smaller, lighter Western Isles type, and the heavier Mainland type standing up to 14.2hh. There are approximately 6,000 Highland Ponies worldwide, mainly in Scotland and England with small numbers in France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Canada, and the United States.

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