Finding the ideal native: which breed is perfect for you? *H&H Plus*

  • The versatility and hardiness of a native pony means they’re an apt choice for many riders. But which breed would be the best fit in your life? Alex Robinson investigates

    VISIT any livery yard in the UK and you’re likely to find a pony with native influence residing in one of the stables. The idea that the mountain and moorland (M&M) is only suitable for a rider with low ambitions and competitive expectations is a thing of the past, as we witness them performing grand prix dressage, winning horse trials and scooping supremes at the likes of Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).

    “All 12 of the M&M breeds from the British Isles are tough and, as their heritage demands, extremely intelligent,” says the National Pony Society (NPS) council’s M&M breed council representative Madge Taylor. “Each individual breed – and indeed, each individual pony – has their own special attributes.

    “Many riders started their careers on a Shetland. They’re a good introduction to the joy of riding and learning to care for a pony, its diminutive size not being too overwhelming for a small child.

    This feature can also be read in this week’s Horse & Hound magazine, on sale Thursday 6 May

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