|First Posted: July 9, 2009|
Sep 25, 2010
The Newfoundland pony is a breed of pony originating in Newfoundland formerly used as a beast of burden. It was considered the all purpose pony, in large part because it has several desirable characteristics: stamina, strength, intelligence, courage, obedience, willingness, and common sense. Newfoundland ponies are generally hard workers and easy keepers.
Physical characteristics of the Newfoundland pony include a height of 11-14.2 hands in height; a dark, thick mane, and also a dark, thick tail in lower sections. It is commonly brownish in color through other colors are common; some Newfoundland ponies experience mild to drastic color changes from season to season. The weight of the pony ranges from 400 up to 800 pounds, its hooves are small, hard, and flint, and its tail is low and set. Newfoundland Ponies can come in a variety of colors that include blue roan, grey, chestnut, black, and bay.
The ancestors of the Newfoundland pony arrived in Newfoundland from the British Isles. The ancestors include the Welsh Pony, the Galloway Pony (extinct), and the New Forest Pony, which adapted well to the similar climate. Over a few centuries, the early pony immigrants interbred (without human management) and merged into one common type, which is now recognized as the Newfoundland pony.
In the past, the Newfoundland pony was used for ploughing, assisting with gardens, hauling fishing nets, gathering hay, and carrying wood, and they were also used for transportation. With the advent of mechanization, the Newfoundland Pony became of little use, and the pony population dropped. The population now numbers fewer than four hundred, and they are now considered critically endangered by Rare Breeds Canada.
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