Horses are bigger, ponies are smaller, right? So, what height does a pony become a horse? Is it true that over 14.2hh and it’s a horse and under 14.2hh it’s a pony? Although this is correct, there are many, many more ways in which horses are different to ponies. Our horse insurance team own a mix of horses and ponies, so we are well positioned to fill you in on all the differences between the two.
A horse and a pony think differently about food…
Wily native ponies are often very greedy. They can be prone to gaining weight easily and frequently need to have their grazing restricted for fear that they will develop laminitis from eating too much rich grass. Horses on the other hand are less renowned for eating everything in sight and generally less likely to develop laminitis from too much spring grass. A horse will often take time to eat his food as opposed to a stereotypical little pony that gobbles up everything in sight in seconds.
Ponies and horses have different housing requirements…
A pony will often happily live out in the field 365 days a year, with minimal rugging and just some shelter from the prevailing wind. On the other hand, plenty of horses will lose condition if left out in cold, wet weather over the winter months. Horses tend to thrive better when they are brought in to a stable from the rain.
A pony will be very sure footed, but a horse may need time to ‘find his feet’…
Most ponies in the UK have their ancestry in one of the UK’s native breeds. These range from Welsh Mountain ponies, to the Highland, Fell and Dales breeds of the north and the New Forest, Dartmoor and Exmoor ponies of the Southern counties. All these breeds are renowned for being very sure footed and nimble at crossing a variety of different terrains. They will generally slip or stumble infrequently and often have a sixth sense when it comes to avoiding dangerous conditions underfoot – such as bogs or holes. On the other hand, big horses often take some time to ‘grow into themselves’ and owing to their size can sometimes be a bit gangly and weak when crossing tricky terrain. Patience is sometimes needed for them to gain confidence and large young horses will often be introduced to different terrains slowly to both help this confidence and avoid injury.
But there are plenty of similarities too….
Both horses and ponies often enjoy going out hacking in the countryside, jumping and exploring new places. They all need to be well looked after and fed appropriately. Both need to be treated very fairly and with respect and they will generally respond very positively to this.
SEIB have been providing horsebox insurance and insurance for horses for over 50 years. This experience allows us to tailor policies to suit your circumstances and ensure that you and your horses are covered should the worst happen. If you’d like advice on your insurance please call us on 01708 850000.