Explore the Unique Characteristics of Welsh Pony Breeds: A Complete Comparison Guide

Most Welsh Pony Breeds horse owners will agree that each pony is unique. Even though this is true, riders often look at the breed of a pony. The breed says something about how a pony looks and the character they often share with the same breed. 

What are the differences between the four Welsh Pony Breeds? The breeds share their origin. However, The four breeds differ in height, color, character, and physique. Their uniqueness makes these ponies suitable for different conditions. 

The Welsh mountain pony, the Welsh pony Section B, and Section C, and the Welsh cob are all ponies that originate from Wales. However, as mentioned above, the four breeds differ from each other, which we will describe further below

Welsh Pony is Unique, but their Breed Type Causes the Resemblance between the Welsh pony types. To give you an idea of the different breed types and their character traits, we will discuss the four different pony breeds below.

Table of Contents (Horspedia)

The Beautiful Welsh Mountain Pony (Section A)

This small, aristocratic-looking riding pony is considered by many to be the most beautiful of all the British mountain and moorland breeds.

It is popular all over Britain, Europe, and North America and is extensively bred outside its native country, though breeders often import fresh blood from Wales to keep their stock true to its native type.

Character Traits of a Welsh Mountain Pony Section A

The Welsh Mountain Pony Section A is a unique breed type. The following list will give you an idea of what you can expect of these ponies.

Welsh Mountain Pony (Section A)
Welsh Mountain Pony (Section A)


Under 12hh (hands high)

Most common- Gray

  • Brown
  • Chestnut


Welsh Mountain Pony Section A is a high-spirited pony. Below are some of their most common character traits:

  • Great intelligence
  • Courageous 
  • Strong endurance


  • Small Arab-type head
  • Gaily carried
  • Open nostrils
  • Slightly concave face,
  • Bold eye, and small, 
  • Pointed ears. 
  • Graceful neck
  • Sloping shoulders
  • Short, muscular back on a deep girth and well-sprung ribs 
  • Hindquarters lengthy and fine. 
  • Tail set high and carried gaily. 
  • Legs fine and hard, short in the cannon bone: the humerus is upright.
  • Feet small, round and hard. 

What are the Historical References of a Welsh Mountain Pony Section A?

Historical references to Welsh ponies go back surprisingly far. Records of breeding the Welsh pony go back to Julius Caesar, who appears to have founded a stud at Lake Bala, Merionethshire, and who introduced some Oriental blood. 

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Within the last two or three centuries, at least two Arab stallions have run wild on the Welsh hills, breeding freely with the native ponies, and it is no doubt to them that the modern Welsh Mountain pony owes its Arab look. Cob, Hackney, and even Andalusian blood is believed also to have contributed, albeit several centuries ago.

Can you Find the Welsh Ponies Section A in the Wild?

Herds of ponies still live wild on the mountains and moorlands of Wales on the principle of survival the fittest, and so hardiness and resistance to disease remain inbred. Annual roundups for branding and for weeding out unwanted stock or selected stock for sale have attracted buyers from all over Europe and Welsh pony breeding has become a profitable business. 

What makes a Welsh Mountain Ponies Section A Special?
Last but not least, the Welsh Mountain Ponies are famous because 

  • They are the foundation stock for Sections B, C and D
  • They are a prime contributor to most of Britain’s hunting and show ponies
  • They are predominant in many ponies under 13.2hh.

The Perfect fit for Children, the WELSH PONY (Section B)

The Welsh pony is a taller version of the Welsh Mountain pony

Character Traits of a Welsh Pony Section B

When looking at and being around a Welsh Pony Section B, this is what you can expect



a quality riding pony for children in 

  • Action
  • Looks
  • Kind temperament.

Where Does the Welsh Pony Section B Descent from?

The Welsh Pony Section B owes a genealogical debt to a small Thoroughbred stallion called Merlin, a direct descendant of the Darley Arabian. Section B ponies are called “Merlins” to this day.

Welsh Mountain Pony (Section B)
Welsh Mountain Pony (Section B)

What are the Historical References of a Welsh Pony Section B?
The Welsh pony section B ran wild on the Denbighshire hills at the end of the 18th or beginning of the 19th century.

The Hard Worker, the WELSH PONY (Section C)

The Section C pony, or Welsh Pony of Cob Type, was formerly most in demand as a harness pony and might have declined in numbers through inadequate competition with the motor vehicle.

Character Traits of a Welsh Pony Section C

The Welsh Pony Section C is different from the ponies mentioned above in many ways. So when you come across one of these types of ponies, you will know by looking at it.

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Under 13,2hh.

Any color
apart from Piebald and Skewbald

–  Hardy and active

  • Willing and a good doer on poor fare
  • Stout-hearted
  • Kind

-Similar to a scaled-down Welsh cob

  • Smaller and lighter in build
  • Strong

Are there still Welsh Pony Section C Alive Today?

Fortunately, trekking holidays have saved the welsh pony section C from becoming a museum piece. Its strong build gives it enough substance for adults to sit on without guilt and its kind temperament and ability to thrive on heavy work make it a perfect mount. 

Are There more Types of Welsh Pony Section C?

There are two different types of the Welsh Ponies and Cobs

  1. The small hardy original Mountain type
    This is the original Welsh Pony Section C, and their traits are as we described above.
  2. The larger bred on lower grounds.
    Although quite distinct in appearance and height, they still have the same family likeness, true pony character, air, and action, which is remarkable for their freedom and dash

What Makes The WELSH COB, Section D, Different?

The Welsh Cob, Section D is a natural jumper, also famous for speed and soundness.

Character Traits of a Welsh Cob Section D

The Welsh Cob is truly a unique pony breed that differs from the other breeds. Breeders, riders, and owners often pick these ponies for their character and physique.

Welsh Cob (Welsh Pony Section D)
Welsh Cob (Welsh Pony Section D)


Usually 14-15.1hh

Most common are
–  Bay 

  • Black
  • Brown 
  • Chestnut
  • Roan


  • Bold and energetic
  • Intelligent 
  • Equable temperament
  • Great stamina
  • Strong 
  • Brave
  • Surefooted

–   The build resembles a heavier, scaled-up Welsh Mountain pony. 

  • Head small and full of quality
  • Eyes bold and wide-set
  • Ears small and pricked
  • Neck long and proudly-carried
  • Strong shoulders 
  • Forelegs set square and forward
  • Not tied in at the elbow 


  • Strong, deep-girthed and muscular
  • Hindquarters lengthy and powerful 
  • Tail high-set and proud.
  • Legs strong with plenty of bone below the knee 
  • Little silky feather on the fetlocks (coarse, wiry hair is objected to). 
  • Feet well-shaped and dense
  • The action free, straight and forceful

Way of Trotting

  • At a trot the knee should be bent and the whole foreleg extended straight from the shoulder and as far forward as possible
  • hocks flexed under the body in straight, powerful leverage
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What are the Historical References of a Welsh Cob Section D?

The Welsh cob evolved on its own home ground. The mixture of foreign blood that gave it its height and strength can only be guessed. 

In 1188 the Archdeacon of Brecon, Gerald de Barri, came across the most excellent studs put apart for breeding, and deriving their origin from some fine Spanish horses. They were the ancestors of the famous Andalusian breed, which in turn was the ancestor of the modern Lipizzaner. 

At what point the Powys cob merged into the Welsh cob, and what variations took place in the centuries between it is unknown.

The Cob was used for pack and riding in both world wars. It was crossed with the Thoroughbred to produce good hunters, played its part in the development of the Hackney and even of the Fell pony, and has had outstanding influence in the development of trotting horses all over the world.

What is the Difference Between the Powys Cob and the Welsh Cob?

The Welsh cob of today and the Powys cob of 800 years ago were very much alike.

The Powys Cob and Welsh Cob traits

Assuming equal ability, the medieval horseman was in the happy position of possessing an animal that 

  • Could carry him into battle
  • Plough his fields
  • Be used in harness
  • Pack his merchandise to the market
  • Win races for him 
  • Be trusted with his daughter

As you can read, this pony is loved for many different reasons. Their majestic proportion and astonishing fleetness are just two of these reasons. 

Some Last Thoughts on Welsh Pony Breeds

After reading the article, I hope you understand the difference between the four different Welsh Breeds. Although they might all originate from Wales, their differences and unique traits make them special!