4 Most Popular American Pony Breeds (Height Colours origin Character Physique)

It’s amazing to know that there are about 350 breeds of horses and ponies. Getting to know the most popular pony breeds is a great place to start.

Each of these horses has special qualities that make it unique varying from height, color, physique. Learning about the different breeds of horses and their versatile abilities will definitely capture your heart as a horse lover.

Some of these horses are suitable for riding while others are suitable for competition and even for beginners in the equestrian journey.

What are the four most popular horses in America?

These include:


Scroll down and learn about the four most popular breeds of American ponies and what makes them peculiar.

Table of Contents (Horspedia)

American Welsh Pony | Perfect Childred Horse for Riding

In the United States and Canada, the name Welsh pony covers those ponies that the British separate into Welsh Mountain and Welsh. These distinctions are made on the basis of height rather than of type which makes more sense.

However, it is the diminutive Welsh Mountain pony that originally captivated American breeders, and which continues to do so today.

Infusions of native blood from studs in Wales have helped to keep the American version pure and true to type.

However, it is more than anything due to the genuine enthusiasm that this breed evokes and the tact and good sense of the American breed society that the American Welsh pony has degenerated into a pampered neurotic.

What are the most common uses of American welsh ponies?

Welsh ponies are used for riding, for shows, and as harness ponies. They make marvelous children’s ponies, and for bravery, for the lightness of here, and for companionability are very hard to equal.

Unique characteristics of American welsh ponies

The American welsh pony is listed in the American Stud Book under Section A. the height of the animal is listed not to exceed 12.2hh. Ponies standing 12.3-14hh are listed as Section B in both American and British stud books.

See also  Shire Horse vs American Draft Horse: An In-Depth Comparison

This particular equine comes in all colors except pinto.

For its character and Physique, it is quite similar to the Welsh Mountain pony .

Pony of the Americas | a Miniature Appaloosa Horse

The Pony of the Americas originates from the United States. It is one of the very few pony breeds to be certain of its origin, no doubt because it is one of the newest.

It began in 1956, when Mr. Leslie L. Boomhower, a horse-breeder living in Mason City, Iowa, crossed a Shetland stallion on an Appaloosa mare.

Pony of the Americas (miniature Appaloosa horse breed)
Pony of the Americas (miniature Appaloosa)

He got a very attractive miniature Appaloosa colt, which he called Black Hand (pictured on page 67).

Black Hand was so successful in the show ring, and so much generally admired by those who appreciated a good children’s pony, that he became the foundation sire of a new breed.

What qualifies the registry of ponies in a Stud book?

The Pony of the Americas quickly became a popular pony breed. It now has its own Stud Book, with P.O.A. Clubs in 24 States and in Canada, and by the end of 1971 12,598 ponies were registered.

Foals are provisionally included in the register, but it is not until the ponies are 3 years old that they can officially qualify for the Stud Book.

Qualification is on the basis of height which must not be less than 11.2hh and must not exceed 13hh, type, which is precisely laid down, and on coloring, which must conform to one of the recognized Appaloosa patterns.

Examinations for the registry are carried out by Club inspectors or by veterinary surgeons. The Pony is intended as a versatile mount for a young rider up to 16 years of age. It has proved itself successful on trail rides, as a showjumper, and in children’s races.

What the Americas pony breed looks like?

Ponies of the Americas have their origin from the United States, listed in the Studbook with a height ranging from 11.2-13hh. This pony breed coloring conforms to the six appaloosa color patterns.

See also  Comparing Shire Horse and Arabian Horse: Size Matters

The pony of Americas is a miniature Appaloosa horse, displaying style, substance, and symmetry.

It has an Arab-type head, concave face, large eyes, pointed ears. It also got a good shoulder, deep chest, short, muscular back, rounded body, hindquarters lengthy, and well-muscled.

This pony has legs clean, short in the cannon bone, and Good feet. Neck Slightly arched, head held proudly. Gay tail carriage. Action smooth in all its paces, the walk being straight with a long, easy stride, the trot balanced and free.


No one really knows where these pony breeds came from, or can account for their surprising presence on two American islands to which the horse is not indigenous.

Origin of Chincoteague and Assateague

These pony breeds originate from the United states – two islands off the Virginian and Maryland coast. Legend claims that a boat carrying Moorish ponies from North Africa to Peru was shipwrecked off the coast of Virginia in early colonial times.

Some of the ponies swam to Assateague and Chincoteague, which are separated by only a narrow channel of the sea. Here they survived unknown to man for a very long time (easy enough on Assateague, which is uninhabited).

Since their discovery by man, they are said to have become better looking: nothing to do with basking in their own reflected beauty, but more likely due to a rumored introduction of Welsh stallions to the wild herd, or perhaps to the new blood of another kind.

Characteristics of Chincoteague and Assateague

These pony breeds have a height of about 12hh and these equines come in all colors, pinto being the commonest. Unlike the other breeds, these ponies are stubborn and intractable, though with careful training they sometimes make good children’s ponies. 

See also  In-depth Look at the Magyar Vizsla Horse Breed

In photographs that are not to scale they are easy to mistake the physique of these equines for horses of a “common” lightweight type. The build is that of a small horse rather than a pony, and they do not have “pony” heads.

Every year, on the last Thursday and Friday in July, Assateague ponies are rounded up and swum across the channel to Chincoteague, where ponies from both islands are sold by auction.

Galiceno Pony Breed Overview

Galiceno originates from Mexico. Ancestors of this small horse are thought to have come from Galicia, in Spain, possibly among the 16 horses landed on the American mainland when Cortes invaded Mexico from Cuba, and probably of the Garrano or Minho breed.

Refinement to its present type is thought to owe more to natural evolution than to selective breeding by man.

What are the common characteristics of Galiceno?

The breed of pony Galiceno has a height ranging from 12-13.2hh with five common colors; Bay, black, sorrel, dun, gray. They are very intelligent, versatile, brave, and gentle.

Galiceno pony breed
Galiceno Pony Breed

This pony breed’s physique is built like a small, compact, narrow horse. Intelligent head with a bold eye; narrow chest, and often upright shoulder, short, straight back; legs fine and hard and long in the gaskin; small, well-shaped feet. They have a natural running walk, a fast gait unusual in a pony.

It is used for ranch work and for light transport, and its alert and kindly disposition has led it to excel in competitions. It is quick to learn, is hardy, and has stamina. It was first imported into the United States, where it is widely popular, as recently as 1959.