About Gotland Pony HorsesGotland Ponies (also known as Russ or Skogsruss ponies) are believed to be descended from pre-historic horses that migrated west from the plains of Asia. They are indigenous to the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea off the Swedish coast. In the 1800s Oriental blood was introduced to the original breed.
Until recently, with the coming of mechanization, the Gotland pony was extensively used by Swedish farmers for light draft work. Their relatively great strength and endurance adapted it to such work. At this time, there remains a herd of non-domesticated Gotland ponies. They live on the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea off the Swedish coast in a forest at Lojsta.
Gotland Ponies stand 12 to 12.2 hh. They can be a variety of colors, although bay or black is usually preferred. Wild bay and mealy (Pangare) are very common as well. They have a small head with a broad face and large, expressive eyes. Their ears are small and pricked, and their neck is short. Their back is long, and their withers are pronounced and their croup is sloped. Their short legs are strong and clean with little cannon bone. Gotland ponies are noted for their endurance and occasional stubbornness. They have an excellent trot but they do not gallop well.
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