Use of British Shetland Ponies: The British Shetland pony hails from the Shetland Islands off northern Scotland. Small equines have inhabited the islands since the Bronze Age. It’s believed British Shetland ponies are related to a cob type of Tundra pony and a mountain pony type from southern Europe crossed with an Oriental horse.
Shetland Islanders used their stout, short-legged ponies to pull carts of peat and seaweed. Shetland ponies came into high demand when the law banned children from coal pits; their docile and willing dispositions allowed them to adapt to the underground environment. The Shetland pony became the first pony to have its own breed society when fanciers formed the Shetland Pony Stud-Book Society in 1890.
Photo courtesy June Brownrich