In general, American Shetland Ponies are a refined version of both the British Shetland and their early American ancestors. With well-planned selective breeding and cultivation for more than 120 years, the result is an appealing pony that continues to grow in popularity.
By nature, the American Shetland is often docile with a pleasing personality. Because of this temperament, these elegant but sturdy ponies are extremely versatile. Shetlands can be found in almost every equine role from pet, to children’s leadline and riding mounts, to school ponies, to driving teams with four or more ponies up. They have been used successfully in therapeutic programs for the physically and mentally challenged as well. American Shetlands are equally at home in the show ring, dazzling along parade routes or just relaxing in their home pasture. A Shetland Pony should be pretty, well-balanced and animated with an emphasis on excellent manners.
Today’s American Shetland is a versatile pony with the temperament and personality to become a lifelong friend. For that reason, along with their beauty and their unique and long history, the breed is growing in popularity and will undoubtedly continue to flourish as more people meet this versatile and beautiful pony.
(Breed History adapted from the American Shetland Pony Club and Miniature Horse Registry.)