More History of The Breed.

Ponies have been exported from Shetland for centuries. By the late 1800's, great numbers had left the Islands for Europe and America. Consignments of up to 129 ponies at a time to America have been recorded. They were popular as harness ponies and became the foundation of such miniature breeds as Fallabellas. The celebrated American horse tamer, John Rarey, purchased 5 when on a trip to Shetland in 1860, 4 of which he took back home with him, to join his travelling exhibition and to form a stud in Ohio.

Pony with harrows
Pony harrowing in the early 1900's.


Ponies being transported
Ponies were transported by boat, sometimes rowing boats, between islands.

Photographs by kind permission of the Shetland Museum, Lerwick

Studs in Shetland still produce top class ponies with the same original hardy qualities, so many breeders in other areas return to Shetland and Scotland for breeding stock, to ensure they retain these essential qualities in their own bloodlines.