Athletic … Graceful … Animated… Spirited… Thrilling …Sophisticated described the Modern American Shetland Pony.
The American Shetland Pony is distinctly an American breed, and Modern Shetlands, with their refinement, animation and carriage, are the very essence of the goal some American Shetland breeders set more than 100 years ago.
Modern American Shetlands are not your grandparents Shetlands. Today’s Modern Shetland Ponies combine the beauty and hardiness of the more traditional Shetland - today’s Classic American Shetland – with the excitement and animation of a Hackney pony.
The result is simply elegance in motion. This sophisticated pony with its extreme action and spirited personality is truly at home in the show ring. Modern Shetland Ponies are shown in two height categories, under 43” at the wither and 43-46” at the wither. They excel in performance classes including roadster, fine harness, and pleasure driving.
Their abilities don’t stop there, however. As a general rule, although extremely spirited, most Moderns are also willing and extremely trainable. A well-trained Modern Shetland can not only excel in the exciting performance divisions noted above, but can make a superb and people-pleasing all-around athlete. Today, beyond harness and roadster, you can find Moderns as an athletic responsive mount for a child, excelling in Liberty, such as costume, in hand obstacle, or going over fences in the popular pony jumper division.
A good headset, superb carriage and high action most often define a great Modern American Shetland performance or halter pony. This is an elegant animal with all the pomp and sophistication of a carriage horse and the hardiness of a pony. Modern Shetlands are a thrill to watch and even more exciting to own and show. They are often a favorite of converts with owners from the Saddlebred, Arabian, Morgan and Hackney breeds.
For those newer to ponies or who enjoy a refined, nicely moving pony without the more extensive work required of a Modern harness or roadster pony, the Modern Pleasure Shetland is a wonderful alternative. Ponies in the Modern Pleasure division are animated but not as extreme in their movement as Modern American Shetland. Modern Pleasure ponies are shown with the tail in a natural position. Their gaits are generally collected and balanced but display less extreme high action than the Modern Roadster or Modern Harness pony, making them very popular for amateurs.
Thrilling, animated Moderns or elegant and graceful Modern Pleasures … the American Shetland Pony’s Modern and Modern Pleasure divisions offer something for anyone moved by society ponies.