Are there any major differences between ponies and horses?
Of course! There are perceived differences, and then there are actual differences. Perceived differences are that ponies are more stubborn, naughtier, chubbier. Certainly this is the case for some ponies - but I also know plenty of wonderful, kind, and svelte ponies that counteract this pony stereotype. I also know plenty of horses that are stubborn, naughty, and chubby.
Looks adorable, might still be a little naughty thing.
But there are some real differences between ponies and horses that may change the way you manage your pony. Or simply give you something to talk about during the next convo with barn friends. Because I KNOW we mostly talk about horses and everything horse related.
It turns out that ponies are asked to carry a larger percentage of their weight than their horse counterparts. This in turn means that your pony is putting more stress and strain on his joints, back, muscles, and hooves. You know, all of the pony parts. Ponies are also more prone to skeletal problems, so that larger percentage of weight they carry may affect their bones, too.
Ponies are also famous for becoming overweight! While this makes them adorable, the health consequences are real. Metabolic disorders, such as Cushing’s disease, are common and can contribute to laminitis. Ponies can also develop liver problems and have increased blood levels of fats. Overweight ponies also put even more pressure and strain on their legs and joints.
When you are caring for a pony, you will need to step up the care and management routine in a few areas. Monitor weight, use grazing muzzles, and have regular blood tests to stay ahead of metabolic disorders. Support your pony’s body with properly fitted tack, and use therapeutic measures to pamper his legs. Regular grooming, Veterinary care, and a well balanced diet will help your pony thrive. And stay naughty.