Dancing Shetland Pony Craze Blamed For Neglected Ponies


The number of people searching for a Shetland pony for sale has become increasingly popular following an advert featuring a dancing Shetland which became a YouTube sensation last year...

Dancing Shetland Pony Craze Blamed For Neglected Ponies
Shetland ponies may appear cute and cuddly but at the end of the day they are still horses and need to be treated as such...

The Blue Cross Burford rehoming centre recently rescued Shetland ponies Archie, Button and Smartie.  When they arrived they were dangerously overweight with overgrown feet, worms and matted manes. 

Unfortunately the sudden craze in keeping these pint sized ponies is leading to more and more rescue cases.  People have the misconception that due to their size, Shetland ponies will be fine kept in small, suburban back gardens and do not need looking after in the same way as larger horses.  There has even been one case where a pony was being kept in the spare bedroom of a block of flats in Manchester.  These completely inadequate conditions are unfortunately a growing concern for charities such as the Blue Cross. Being dubbed ‘designer pets’ it is thought that miniature ponies are following the same trend for micro-pigs and handbag dogs and alarmingly many owners have been under the impression that they will be no more trouble to keep and look after than a dog.

Vicki Alford, horse re-homing manager at the Blue Cross in Burford, believes that the problem has grown dramatically and suddenly in the past year and the popular dancing Three mobile moonwalking pony advert has only encouraged the ‘fashion’ for owning these animals.  "Small ponies are very popular with families who want to get their children a pet.  But despite their size, Shetlands can be very strong and require as much care and management as any other larger horse." Says Vicki.

It is not until people bring the animals home that they realise just how much care and expense is required to look after these ponies.  Their feet still need to be regularly trimmed and careful monitoring of their diet and pasture is crucial – their weight is notoriously difficult to regulate with many being either obese or drastically underweight.  Leaving them permanently out to grass can leave them prone to laminitis and some need rugging up or keeping in at night no different to larger horses.

These pocket sized ponies may appear cute and cuddly but at the end of the day they are still horses and need to be treated as such rather than the latest fashion accessory.

 

 

Click here to find out more about the Shetland pony breed >