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Shetlands have become one of the most popular breeds of ponies. Originally from the Shetland Isles of Scotland, these hardy and compact ponies date all the way back to the 8th or 9th centuries.
A Shetland pony will cost on average between $500 to $3,000. Champion show ponies and top breeding stallions may sell for $4,000 or more. Factors such as type, bloodline, show record, and age can all play a role in the price of a Shetland pony.
Shetland ponies are smart, sturdy, versatile, and of course, adorable. They are a popular pony breed for small children. Shetlands are also popular show ponies, competing in pony hunters, carriage driving, modern fine harness, and roadster driving. They can be almost any color and on average, stand between 9.3-11.2 hands tall.
Factors That Affect the Cost of a Shetland Pony
When finding out how much a Shetland Pony will cost, these are some of the main factors that will determine the price:
American Shetland ponies tend to have a more refined build than the Shetland ponies found in the UK. Traditional Shetlands tend to have a shorter, sturdier build with fuller coats.
The American Shetland Pony Club has two studbooks: Division A and Division B. Division A are classic Shetland ponies that have the hardy, rugged builds inherited from their Shetland Isle ancestors. Division B ponies have more refined, elegant builds from outcrossing with Hackneys or Welsh ponies.
The American Shetland Pony Club also recognizes four types of Shetlands: Foundation, Classic, Modern and Modern Pleasure. Foundation Shetlands tend to be smaller, bigger-bodied, with no Hackney blood, and tend to be closer to the original imported Shetlands. Classic Shetlands are elegant and durable, known for their refinement and versatility.
Modern Shetlands are athletic, graceful, animated and with a high head carriage, making them popular in roadster, fine harness, and pleasure driving. Modern Pleasure Shetlands are similar to Modern Shetlands as they are refined and graceful, but they do not have as much animation as the moderns do.
Some people will pay top dollar for the different types of Shetlands that possess quality bloodlines. Buyers will seek out horses with champion bloodlines and are willing to pay more for well-bred horses.
Training will influence the price you pay for a Shetland. Ponies that are from top show barns with vast training will generally go for more money.
Just like with horses, training a pony can be expensive. A professional trainer will work a pony multiple times a week to keep them in top shape. Show ponies are generally kept in training to keep them in shape for competing. So, a pony that is in show training will cost more than one that only gets worked a couple of times a month.
Shetlands are popular show ponies for people of all ages. They are popular as children’s jumping mounts and driving ponies for both children and adults.
Shetland ponies are stars in the show ring. They continue to grow in popularity as show ponies. Shetland ponies with top show records will often sell for $3,000-$8,000. Some of the most elite show ponies will go for $10,000 or more.
Age and Conformation
Considered the second smallest pony breed, Shetlands are compact, sturdy, and strong. Though conformation does vary slightly based on type, American Shetland ponies are strong, athletic, refined, and elegant. You can expect to pay more for a horse that checks all these characteristics off.
In addition to conformation, age will play a role in how much they cost. The prime age of a Shetland is around 6-15 years old. Ponies in this age range will be their most fit for riding and driving. Once a pony is in its late teens or early 20s, it will often sell for much less.
Shetland ponies come in all colors and coat patterns besides leopard-spotted, like Appaloosas. Some color enthusiasts will seek out more unique colors. People may pay more for less common colors like gray, buckskin, and perlino.
Monthly Costs of a Shetland Pony
It is important to take into consideration the monthly expenses to own a Shetland pony before buying one. Horse boarding generally costs between $150-$1,000 a month, depending on location and if your pony lives in a stall or pasture.
Board generally includes the cost of food, bedding, and basic care. Your pony will need its hooves done by a farrier every 6-8 weeks, which typically costs between $45-$150. Annual veterinary costs will generally be $200-$400. In addition dentistry costs around $80-$250 every six months to a year.
Other Options Besides Buying
Buying a horse isn’t practical for everyone, but fortunately, there are other options available. Leasing and joint ownership are two popular alternatives to owning your own horse.
Some owners will offer their pony up for lease. This gives you the ability to have partial or full use of a pony at a more budget-friendly price. In some situations, a limited liability company (LLC) or partnership is an option, which will divide up the costs of buying and owning a Shetland.
Owning a Shetland Pony
Whether you are looking for a trusty companion or a fun and flashy show pony, Shetlands are a great choice. They are versatile and beautiful, making them a wonderful option for both children and adults.
Though prices do vary, you can get a quality Shetland for $500-$3,000. These adorable ponies are gentle, hardy, and intelligent. If you are interested in buying a pony, Shetlands are a great choice.