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Connemara

Characteristics: Good temperament, hardiness and staying power, intelligence and soundness, surefootedness and jumping ability, suitable for child and adult.
Height: 133cms - 148cms high (14.2hh).
Colour: Grey, bay, black, brown, dun, with occasional roan, chestnut, palomino and dark-eyed cream.
Type: Compact, well-balanced riding type with depth, substance and good heart room, standing on short legs covering a lot of ground.
Head: Well-balanced pony head of medium length with good width between large dark kindly eyes. Pony ears, well-defined cheek bones, jaw relatively deep but not coarse.
Front: Head well set onto neck. Chest not over-loaded and neck not set too low. Well defined wither and good sloping shoulder giving a good length of rein.
Body: Deep with strong back. Some length permissible but should be well ribbed up with strong loins.
Limbs: Good length and strength in forearm, well-defined knees and short cannons with flat bone measuring 18-21cms. Elbows should be free, pasterns of medium length, feet well-shaped of medium size, hard and level.
Hindquarters: Strong and muscular with some length, well-developed second thigh and strong low-set hocks.
Movement: Free and true without undue knee action, but active and covering the ground.

Connemara Ponies have existed in the West of Ireland for many centuries and there are plenty of wild and wonderful theories as to their origins, as wild and wonderful as the area they inhabit!

Pretty GirlHowever, their history as a definitive breed must start from the first volume of the Connemara Pony Stud Book published in 1926. This was compiled by around thirty - mostly local Connemara gentlemen - who formed themselves into the Connemara Pony Breeders Society with the purpose of selecting a nucleus of ponies from the dwindling number of local mares and promoting them. They agreed that a compact, short legged pony of about 13.2 hh (138 cm) with good limbs and true and easy movement from the shoulder should be their aim.

By selecting the best stallions and persuading the local farmers to only make use of those stallions at a reasonable fee they hoped to promote and improve the Breed.

hulloApart from a raised height limit 14.2 hh (148 cm) this is still the goal most breeders aim for to this day. Unfortunately the bone and substance was a little lost along the way, but more recently this important quality and that of the true, free and easy movement is being retrieved both in their native country and in England ,where they are now one of the most sort after ponies for all the family to enjoy.

The Connemara has a natural jumping ability, and its rectangular build lends it suitable for dressage. They often beat horses 16 hands and over with staying power, intelligence and heart. As a show jumper, working hunter, eventing, western pleasure, endurance, driving - Connemaras can do it all, and can be your best friend!