The adorable pocket-sized Shetland pony is celebrating a special anniversary this autumn
the appeal of the miniature but mighty Shetland. Friendly, gentle and intelligent, Shetland ponies have a heritage that goes back to the Bronze Age. They’re renowned for being tiny but tough, and despite their size they were first used as farm horses, carrying peat and ploughing the fields in their native Shetland Islands. Their fame spread and during the Industrial Revolution they were brought to the mainland for use as pit ponies in the coal mines.
But it’s as riding ponies for children that these adorable animals have found a modern use. In fact it was a Shetland that started the Queen’s lifelong passion for all things equine. When she was just four-yearsold, the little Princess Elizabeth was given a Shetland called Peggy by her grandfather, King George V. Which just goes to prove that these pocket-sized ponies may be small in size, but they have a very big following indeed.