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Before you buy a Shetland pony as a pet - Please read...

One Voice for Animals UK Guest Blog by Katryna Gamble

Our guest blogger, Katryna runs Equine Halfway House in County Down, NI.

Yesterday a neighbour had an open bale that needed to be ate, we had just put big bales out to all the fields and paddocks that usually get them, so he dropped it in with the 3 little Shetlands - Moup, Cooper and Raven. Far too much for just the 3 of them, so I threw up a mini track with plastic posts and tape and added the 4 boys - Smokey, Nutty, Indie and Rook. They ate and ran around the track, they rolled and groomed each other. Later myself and 2 friends went out with a bag of brushes and just groomed anyone who came up to us.

After about an hour we left them. Happy and gleaming (except Nutty, who wanted no part in grooming).

I came back into the house, turned on Facebook (as you do) and could've cried. So many posts about little Shetland's displaying coltish behaviour towards people.

Or being due surprise foals.

My heart hurts!

Ponies need pony company. Not a goat, not some sheep, not a human - An other pony!

Ponies need appropriate feed, of hay or rough sparse grazing; Not acres of lush grass; Not 2 bucket feeds a day; Not carrots, apples or bread.

Ponies need room to move. To run and play with the herd, room to roll. This is not your back garden or yard.

Ponies need shelter, be it a stable or a tree. They might not use it, but they might.

Ponies need the dentist, at least a yearly check up.

Ponies have the same size and number of teeth as a big horse. All crammed into a little mouth.

Unless your little colt is an outstanding example of the breed, has a great temperament and you have the knowledge and facilities - Get him castrated! Pony's with nuts cause Nutty ponies!

Unless your mare is an outstanding example of the breed, has a great temperament and you have the knowledge and facilities - Don't put her in foal!

Yes foals are cute. So are Teddy bears.

Don't play with a life.

Photo of Click, in his new home with Thor the Shetland and Tinker blu (also one of my rescues) living their best lives 💙

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