The Riding Pony was initially developed in the United Kingdom, and they are now bred all over the world. Riding Ponies can be split into different classes based on their height and type. However, generally, whenever the term ‘riding pony’ is used is used in a competition schedule it is accepted as referring to show ponies, as hunter ponies have their own classes.
Riding Ponies are more like small horses as opposed to ponies, with small heads and ears. They have compact bodies along with sloping shoulders and a narrow front and they also have tough feet and strong limbs.
These animals are also well proportions and have comfortable gaits and free-flowing movement.
The three types of Riding Pony are:
The show pony: These resemble miniature show hack with pony features, and often contain Arabian or Thoroughbred blood. Show ponies are shown in three height sections - up to 12.2 hands high, 12.2 to 13.2 hands high and 13.2 to 14.2 hands high.
The show hunter: similar to the show pony, but with more substance. The pony should be suitable to carry a child across country. Height class divisions are the same as for show ponies.
The working hunter: stockier, more workmanlike, and expected to jump a short course of natural fences. Height class divisions are divided into 13 hands high and under and over 13 hands high. Fences should be no higher than 2ft 6 inches for ponies under 13 hands high and no higher than 3ft for ponies over 13 hands.