Shetland Pony Care

Information about how we care for our ponies

First Golden Rule – Never feed from your hand

When I bought my very first Shetland ponies, I was advised never to feed them from my hand and this is the best advice. If Shetlands are fed titbits, they are very likely to become nibbly and be always looking for treats.  Let them come to you because they want to (for a hug and company), which they will do, rather than just coming looking for food.  We would always advocate putting any type of feed in a bucket or on the ground – you’ll have a much nicer, unspoiled, well behaved pony for it.

“Once you get the Shetland bug, there isn’t a cure! ……..  not that you’ll ever want one!”

The above quote is from a friend and I definitely subscribe to that sentiment.  One thing’s for certain – keeping Shetland ponies is an amazing pastime and gives so much enjoyment, to young and old alike, whether, like me, you progress to shetlands from horses, or just start with a Shetland and go from there. These wonderful little ponies are intelligent, affectionate and very rewarding, each has their own individual character. I think the following messages we’ve received from some of the first class homes our ponies/foals have gone to, sum up the pleasure that Shetland ponies give:

May gives us back so much…she is a very very special and lovely pony”

“She really is a beautiful, wonderful, clever and friendly girl. Thank you so much for this beautiful little pony. She is very popular with the rest of the family and the other Shetlands!”

“Just wanted to let you know the boys are doing well. They definitely keep us on our toes. They are both so cheeky and Harry makes me laugh when he struts around like he’s 10 feet tall. They are such a joy.”

Under the pony care menu, we offer tips on how we look after our ponies, to help those new to the breed.  It’s by no means the definitive guide to Shetland Pony Care – that of course would be a book not a few pages! Other breeders may do things differently to us but we’ve found our ponies stay in good health using the care regime we have. 

If you buy a pony from us, this information will help you know our pony’s routines, many buyers opt to follow this, at least in the early days. 

There is a small booklet produced by the Shetland Pony Stud Book Society priced at £3.25 which has other information specifically about the care and management of Shetland ponies which you may find useful. 

Our view is that if a shetland pony has been well handled and disciplined from an early age, it’s the best start he/she can have. Not all studs handle their foals from birth but we believe our approach establishes their trust; they then remain friendly throughout their lives. We have seen wild, unhandled foals, many of which later come round with time/patience and are fine  – others we’ve seen have kept some of that wild streak. No one wants a pony they can’t catch. Many buyers keep in touch, it’s lovely to get such emails, often with  photos like the one below from Austria. The ponies we’ve sold have gone to homes with different experiences – been shown in hand (both Shetland and Mountain and Moorland classes), been pets, companions, been ridden/ driven or simply been special family friends!   

We’re always happy to help with any questions buyers may have, before or after the sale of a pony. We’ve found some super homes for our foals/ponies, we’ve shared experiences and met some lovely fellow Shetland owners/breeders along the way, some becoming valued  friends.

Our policy is to be open and honest with buyers. We believe it’s in everyone’s interests, not least the pony’s. When you come to see a pony, we’ll tell you about its parents, its temperament and are happy for you to fully inspect the pony, check the pony’s mouth, see the pony in the field, trot the pony out and we’ll answer any questions you have. Some people will go to sales to buy, where there can be many good ponies but we don’t sell our ponies at sales as we feel there are many more advantages for all concerned by selling ponies privately from home. 


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Visitors are welcome but please contact us first.

  • Kettlesnout, Ripponden, West Yorks. HX6 4PA
  • 01422 822888 or 07813130179
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