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About Welsh Pony and Cob HorsesAbout Welsh Pony and Cob Horses

The Welsh Pony and Cob are a group of four closely related horse breeds including both pony and cob types, which originated in Wales in the United Kingdom. The four sections within the breed society for the Welsh breeds are primarily distinguished by height, but also by variations in type: the Welsh Mountain Pony, the Welsh Pony, the Welsh Pony of Cob Type, and the Welsh Cob. Welsh ponies and cobs are known for their good temperament, hardiness, and free-moving gaits.

Native ponies existed in Wales before 1600 BC, and a Welsh-type cob was known as early as the Middle Ages. They were influenced by Arabian horses, and possibly also by Thoroughbred and Hackney horses. In 1901, the first stud book for the Welsh breeds was established in the United Kingdom, and in 1907 another registry was established in the United States. Interest in the breed declined during the Great Depression, but revived in the 1950s.Throughout their history, the Welsh breeds have had many uses, including as cavalry horses, pit ponies, and as working farm animal.

Today, Welsh Pony and Cob breeds are used for many equestrian competitive disciplines, including showing, jumping and driving, as well as for pleasure riding, trekking and trail riding. Also the smaller types are popular children's ponies. Welsh-type horses crosses well with many other breeds and have influenced the development of many British and American horse and pony breeds.

Welsh Mountain Ponies

Welsh Mountain Ponies are the smallest of the Welsh breeds. They differ from the cob types by having large eyes, small heads (often with a dished face from the Arabian influence), high set on tail, and a refined leg conformation, but they retain good bone and correctness.

Welsh Mountain Ponies may not exceed 12.2 hands (50 inches, 127 cm) in the US or 12 hands (48 inches, 122 cm) in the United Kingdom.

 
Welsh Ponies

Welsh Ponies are a larger than Welsh Mountain Ponies are a good riding-type pony. They combine the hardiness and substance of the Mountain Ponies with elegant movement and athletic ability. Welsh Ponies are a maximum height of 13.2 hands (54 inches, 137 cm) in the UK and 14.2 hands (58 inches, 147 cm) in the US. They have no lower height limit.

Welsh Ponies also generally have a slightly lighter build, than the mountain ponies, as a result of Thoroughbred and Hackney blood. However, they should not be light of bone; they should resemble their Mountain Pony ancestors for quality of bone. They should also have a free-flowing movement, a muscular neck, arching from withers to poll, and have a deep, wide chest.
 
Welsh Pony of Cob Type

Welsh Pony of Cob Type horses are known for their strength, hardiness, and gentle nature. In contrast to the Welsh Pony, the Pony of Cob Type is heavier, more cob-like and compact. They have a moderate amount of feathering on their legs. They may not exceed 13.2 hands (54 inches, 137 cm) high.

Welsh Pony of Cob Type first resulted from a crossbreeding between the Welsh Mountain Ponies and Welsh Cobs. Today, some Welsh Ponies of Cob Type are still produced from this cross. There have also been crosses with Iberian horses, which led to the development of Powys horses, which were also a foundation for this type. Other breeds also influenced Welsh Ponies of Cob Type, including Norfolk Trotters, Hackneys, and Yorkshire Coach Horses.

Welsh Ponies of Cob Type are shown in jumping events and in harness, notably in competitive driving.

 
Welsh Cob Horses

Welsh Cob Horses have the overall proportions of Welsh Mountain Ponies but are much larger. They stand from 13.2hh with no upper height limit. They stand with arched neck, four legs in a square, and a well set tail held with pride. Their feet are well shaped and as hard as nails ensuring longevity – the old saying “no foot, no horse” still holds true today. They have a very well laid-back shoulder with a long slope which ensures a comfortable horse to ride. In movement they use their whole foreleg which extends forward from the elbow with strength; the front legs have short cannons with a good amount of flat bone so as to reduce tendon injuries. They have a deep girth which allows adults to ride them without looking out of place. Their width across the hips is broad, the loin strong and the lumbo-sacral joint is flexible which allows for great jumping ability.

Welsh Cobs have a pony-like head with a large eye set wide – this reduces the instance of spookiness as the eyes have almost 360 degrees visibility when set prominently on the head. They are highly intelligent, have small neat ears, and a slight dish to the face. The mane and tail hair is very fine, and fine feather is present from mid-cannon to the hooves. They come in all colors except skewbald and piebald.


The old vernacular description of a Welsh cob is “a head like a Duchess and a farewell like a cook” which is exemplified in this photo at right of Ballytruckle Cleopatra with filly foal Ballytruckle Hot Chocolate at foot!

Source: Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welsh_Pony_and_Cob)  and the New Zealand Rare Breeds (www.rarebreeds.co.nz )



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