One of the oldest breeds of equids in Europe is the Gotland Pony. Their history is mysterious and fascinating. These ponies have historically lived in the outdoors year-round, enduring an often harsh climate of rain and snow. Gotland ponies are claimed to descend from Tarpans that lived on the small island of Gotland that is on the South-Eastern coast of sweden right after the last ice age.
The Gotland has been used by mainland Swedish farmers, yet this pony’s abilities also lead to its use by children as a saddle horse and in harness racing. Like many ponies throughout the rest of Scandinavia and northern britain, it is believed the Gotland is descended from the original wild horses of Asia. The Öland horse from the neighbouring island of Öland was a close relative of the Gotland, but became extinct in the early twentieth century.
Gotland Pony History
The Gotland Pony is an extremely ancient breed. This breed originated from the primitive forest horses that dwelled throughout northern europe. The Gotland is believed to descend from the pre-historic horses which migrated west from the plains of Asia. in the 1800s Oriental blood was introduced to the original breed.
In the early part of the 19th century many Gotland ponies could be easily found in the large forests of the Gotland region. Plenty of ponies were also taken to the manner Europe, and around 1870 they were sold 200 per year. They were transported all the way to great britain and belgium where they were used in coal mines.
Towards the mid part of the 19th century, many horses of this breed were exported to Germany, England and Belgium to help people in mining and other chores and hence their numbers began to drop. The Gotlander breed was first developed by the nomadic Goth people. The Goths were a traveler and a warrior class who would use their ponies to carry their homes, and travel from place to place, along with their families. The Gotland Ponies served the purpose greatly.
Gotland Pony Characteristics
The Russ is strong, healthy and long-lived (many live into their thirties!), energetic, intelligent and friendly. These animals are lively and friendly creatures. The horses of the Gotland Pony breed are also versatile.
Their hooves are solid and hard. the height of the horses in the Gotland pony breed ranges from 11.3 to 13 hands. The ears are small and pricked, and the neck is short. the back is long, and the withers pronounced and the croup is sloped. Its short legs are strong and clean with little cannon bone. The Gotland is noted for its endurance and occasional stubbornness. The overall build of this horse is narrow and light. The hindquarters are sloping and the tail is set low. The gait of this breed of ponies should be smooth and elastic.
Common colors include bay, chestnut, black, buckskin, and palomino, but all colors except for dun, grey, and pinto, are allowed. Bay or black is usually preferred.
Scientific name: Equus ferus caballus
Breed Name: Gotland Pony
Other Name: Gotland Russ, Russ, Skogsbagge, Skogsruss
Behavioral Characteristics: Gentle
Breed Purpose: general riding, children’s riding, dressage, eventing, show jumping, polo, harness racing, athletics
Height/ Size: 11.1 – 12.3 hands
Coat Color: white, black, brown, grey, bay, chestnut, dun, buckskin, palomino, perlino, cremello, roan, champagne, and grullo
Feeding : hay, grass, grains
Country/Place of Origin: Sweden
What is use Gotland Pony?
Gotland pony or Gotland russ is an old Swedish pony breed. The Gotland has been used by mainland Swedish farmers, yet this pony’s abilities also lead to its use by children as a saddle horse and in harness racing. Thanks to the even temperament and gentleness of these creatures they are used as pleasure mounts for people of all ages right from children to the elderly. they are used by riding schools that train people on riding skills. These horses are also good for various competitions like dressage, polo, harness racing, athletics, eventing and show jumping.
How to tack care Gotland Pony?
Their small sizes make them less intimidating and are more closely matched to a child’s size and strength. They are closer to the ground and when well trained, are easily controlled and maneuvered. Ponies tend to be more independent than other types of horses, and they require less diligence in their care. There are basic care requirements for all the pony breeds, but it is very important that the needs of each individual breed is also considered.
Advantages of Gotland Pony
- There are standards for the appearance and characteristics of a Gotland Pony.
- Good fertility is also considered important.
- Gotland Pony have ideal height is about 49 inches (125 cm.).
- Its way of going should be energetic, elastic, and smooth.
- The desire is to produce an easily-born, strong children’s horse that can be used for trotting, dressage, jumping, and driving.
- Horses like this can have skin that is over-sensitive to the sun and are not as hardy.
- The same Gotland Pony can both be a good jumper, dressage horse, and draft horse.
- The Gotland Pony is also the fastest trotter among ponies.
Disadvantages of Gotland Pony
- The light coloring of this foal is not considered desirable.
- There is a risk that the offspring of two light-colored Gotland Ponies might be an albino, meaning it would lack pigmentation.
Interesting Facts of Gotland Pony
- Gotland pony was extensively used by Swedish farmers for light draft work.
- Its relatively great strength and endurance adapted it to such work.
- They are commonly referred to as ponies due to their size. They are calm, athletic, intelligent.
- The Gotland Pony got its name from the Goth people, who created them.
- Gotland pony or Gotland russ is an old Swedish pony breed. The Gotland pony is the only breed of pony native to sweden.
- Among all its colors, the bay or black variety is usually preferred.
- At present, Gotland ponies are mostly bred in North America, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and Norway.
- The Gotland may be a true small horse, averaging from 11.3-13 hands in height and weighing around 650 lbs.
- This pony is a favorite choice of the riding schools that provide riding training to people.
Gotland Pony price
Mostly depend on the breed and starting price up to $4500
Gotland Pony for Sale
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Gotland Pony pictures
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Reference : wikipedia.org