Ponies: A pony stands between 10 and 14.2 hands. Ponies are generally independent in nature, are surefooted and can live in harsh environments. Most ponies are used for agricultural labor and as children's mounts.
Light Horses: A light horse stands between 14.2 and 17 hands. Light horses have smooth gaits and are used to compete in equestrian sporting events such as racing, working cattle, jumping and dressage.
Is the Welsh Cob a Horse or Pony?
The only horse that does not fall easily into any of these categories is the Welsh Cob. The Welsh Cob is a breed that has several different classifications within its studbook, each used as the foundation of different horse and pony breeds:
General Differences In Horse Breeds
Breeds of horses develop certain characteristics depending on the pressures placed upon the breed by the environment in which it has evolved and by those who breed it.
Environment: Horses in cold climates developed thicker coats to protect them from the harsh conditions, while horses in desert areas develop in other ways to become more "heat resistant." Wheat Germ Oil and Yucca Supplements can be beneficial to horses in both climates.
Breeding: Horses are either selectively bred for the promotion of desirable traits or without a lot of restrictions. These requirements depend on the breed and association rules which are widely published.
Some pony breeds have a reputation for being stubborn and independent, while draft horses are considered compliant and very gentle. Those horses raised in semi-feral conditions, regardless of the breed, may not be receptive to human attention and attempts at domestication.
Depending on ancestry, horse breeds fall into one of three categories:
Origins of Horse Breeds
Experts believe that four types of primitive horses existed before the domestic horse, and that all modern equine breeds developed from these breeds.
Horse Breed Sub-Species
Prior to domestication, four sub-species of horse developed that served as prototypes for the modern horse breeds: