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Pony

A pony is a small horse (Equus ferus caballus).

The word "pony" derives from the old French poulenet, meaning foal, a young, immature horse, but this is not the modern meaning; unlike a horse foal, a pony remains small when fully grown. However, on occasion, people who are unfamiliar with horses may confuse an adult pony with a foal.

Ponies are generally considered intelligent and friendly, though sometimes they also are described as stubborn or cunning. Properly trained ponies are appropriate mounts for children who are learning to ride. Larger ponies can be ridden by adults, as ponies are usually strong for their size.

Depending on context, a pony may be a horse that is under an approximate or exact height at the withers, or a small horse with a specific conformation and temperament.

In modern use, many organizations define a pony as a mature horse that measures less than 14.2 hands (58 inches, 147 cm) at the withers, but there are a number of exceptions. Different organizations that use a strict measurement model vary from 14 hands (56 inches, 142 cm) to nearly 14.3 hands (59 inches, 150 cm).

Many breeds classify an animal as either horse or pony based on pedigree and phenotype, no matter its height. Some full-sized horses may be called "ponies" for various reasons of tradition or as a term of endearment. Compared to other horses, ponies often exhibit thicker manes, tails and overall coat, as well as proportionally shorter legs, wider barrels, heavier bone, thicker necks, and shorter heads with broader foreheads.

Some breeds which typically produce individuals both under and over 14.2 h consider all animals of that breed to be horses regardless of their height.Conversely, some pony breeds may have features in common with horses, and individual animals may occasionally mature at over 14.2 h, but are still considered to be ponies.

While the Shetland pony stands on average 10 hands (40 inches, 102 cm), the Falabella and other miniature horses, which can be no taller than 30 inches (76 cm), the size of a medium-sized dog, are classified by their respective registries as very small horses rather than as ponies.




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