How Much Does a Shetland Pony Cost: Comprehensive Guide

Are you thinking about adding a Shetland pony to your family but unsure about the cost? Look no further! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll answer the question on everyone’s mind: “How much does a Shetland pony cost?” Get ready to learn about the various factors that influence the price of these adorable ponies and gain valuable insights into making an informed purchase decision.

Shetland Pony Overview

Minature shetland pony

The Shetland Pony is a small, hardy, and intelligent equine breed originating from the Shetland Isles in Scotland. Throughout their history, these tough ponies have become popular pets and pleasure companions for people all over the world.

Origin and History

Shetland Ponies are native to the Shetland Isles in Scotland, where they have lived for centuries. They have evolved over time to withstand the harsh climate and terrain, developing a compact and sturdy body to survive in their challenging environment. Historically, the Shetland Pony was primarily used for farming and transportation, often pulling carts filled with peat and other materials.

Physical Characteristics

Known for being strong and stocky, Shetland Ponies typically stand between 28 and 42 inches at the withers. They have a dense coat, a thick mane, and a full tail which provide protection against the harsh weather conditions in their native habitat.

Shetland Ponies come in various colors, with the exception of spotted coats. Their physical features include a wide, dished face and short, sturdy legs. The breed’s overall build enables them to carry heavy loads on their back, despite their small size.

Temperament and Behavior

The Shetland Pony is known for its docile and friendly temperament. They are intelligent animals, making them easy to train and suitable for various disciplines, including riding and driving. Due to their gentle nature, they are often great companions for both children and adults alike.

Despite their tough heritage, Shetland Ponies are adaptable and can thrive in a variety of climates and environments. This adaptability, coupled with their good-natured disposition, has contributed to their popularity as pets and working animals across the globe.

Cost Factors

Two shetland ponies

When considering the purchase of a Shetland pony, it is essential to be aware of the primary factors that can influence the overall cost. These include the age and training of the pony, whether it is purebred or has a pedigree, and the location and reputation of the breeder.

Age and Training

The age and training of a Shetland pony play a significant role in determining its final cost. Younger ponies, such as colts or fillies, will typically have a lower price tag compared to more mature geldings, mares, or stallions. Untrained or “green-broke” ponies will also be less expensive than those that have received professional training and are ready for riding, driving, or other activities. On average, Shetland pony prices can range from $500 to $1,500, depending on these factors.

Purebred and Pedigree

If a Shetland pony is purebred or has a pedigree from organizations such as the American Shetland Pony Club (ASPC) or the American Miniature Horse Registry (AMHR), it will likely command a higher price. A high-quality pedigree showcases the pony’s strong lineage and desirable traits, including color patterns like buckskin, chestnut, and sorrel. The cost for ponies with these characteristics can vary, with some reaching prices of up to $10,000 for exceptional specimens.

Location and Breeder

Lastly, the location and reputation of the breeder can also contribute to the Shetland pony’s cost. For example, buying a pony from a reputable breeder who is known for producing high-quality, well-cared-for animals is likely to be more expensive than purchasing from an unknown or less-reputable breeder. The cost of transport is another consideration, as shipping the pony to its new home can add to the overall expense.

In conclusion, researching and understanding the factors that influence Shetland pony prices is critical when considering this investment. By accounting for age, training, pedigree, and breeder reputation, you will be better equipped to make an informed decision and find the perfect pony that fits both your budget and your needs.

Ownership Considerations

Shetland pony mare with her foal

Before acquiring a Shetland pony, it’s crucial to understand the key aspects of ownership, such as feeding and nutrition, grooming and health care, and boarding and space requirements. By being informed about these factors, potential owners can ensure their pony leads a happy and healthy life.

Feeding and Nutrition

Shetland ponies, like all equines, have specific dietary needs that must be met for optimal health. Their diet should consist predominantly of forage, such as hay or pasture grass. However, they may require supplements to meet their full nutritional requirements, especially if the quality of forage is low or if they are working hard. A typical annual cost for feed and bedding can range from $1,000 to $2,500, depending on the pony’s size and the quality of the feed.

Since Shetland ponies are prone to obesity, they must be monitored closely to ensure they maintain a healthy weight. This is particularly important because excessive weight can place strain on their short legs and contribute to other health issues. Grazing time should be regulated, and high-energy feeds should be avoided. Nutritionists or experienced equine professionals can be consulted for personalized feeding programs tailored to the pony’s specific needs.

Grooming and Health Care

Proper grooming is essential to a Shetland pony’s overall health. Their dense, thick coat should be groomed regularly to avoid matting and prevent skin infections. Grooming also offers an opportunity to check for injuries, parasites, and other potential health issues.

Shetland ponies require routine veterinary care to ensure their well-being. This includes vaccinations, regular deworming, and dental check-ups. The annual cost of veterinary care can vary widely, but it’s an essential aspect of owning a pony. It’s also important to establish a relationship with a trusted farrier to maintain the pony’s hooves and prevent any hoof-related problems.

Boarding and Space Requirements

Shetland ponies need proper space and facilities to thrive. They require access to a pasture for grazing and exercising, as well as shelter from the elements. When it comes to fencing, it’s recommended to use multiple strands of electric fencing to ensure the pony’s safety and deter them from attempting to escape. Using at least three strands of electric fencing is suggested, with one strand being plain metal for added deterrence.

Boarding a Shetland pony at a stable or farm can be an option for some owners who don’t have access to appropriate land. However, the cost of boarding can significantly add to the ongoing expenses of owning a pony. It’s essential to find a facility that understands the specific needs of Shetland ponies and provides proper care for their well-being.

Riding and Driving Abilities

The Shetland Pony is a versatile and hardy breed, known for its calm temperament and adaptability. These qualities make it suitable for a variety of riding and driving activities. This section will discuss the training process, mount and movement, as well as jumping and showing abilities of Shetland Ponies.

Training Process

As with any horse or pony, the training process for Shetland Ponies should begin with building trust and establishing a strong bond between the handler and the animal. They are intelligent and quick learners, responding well to clear and consistent training methods. Shetland Ponies are particularly appreciated for their strength and endurance, which allows them to pull up to twice their own weight and carry up to half their weight.

When training Shetland Ponies for riding, it is essential to consider their smaller size, making them most suitable for children and smaller adults. The pony’s temperament, coupled with its smaller stature, makes it an ideal mount for beginner riders.

Mount and Movement

One of the distinguishing characteristics of a Shetland Pony is its smooth and agile movement. The breed is known for its well-balanced and natural gait, making it comfortable for riders of all ages. Their short legs and sturdy build contribute to their ability to navigate various terrain and maintain stability while carrying riders.

Shetland Ponies are also popular for driving, as they possess the strength and endurance to pull carts or carriages. These ponies exhibit excellent traction and maneuverability, ideal for enthusiasts engaging in leisure driving or competitive events.

Jumping and Showing

Though small in stature, Shetland Ponies are capable of jumping when well-trained. They are often included in jumping competitions designed for ponies, showcasing their athleticism and agility despite their compact size. In addition to jumping, Shetland Ponies are also popular choices for showing events, thanks to their unique appearance and friendly demeanor. At shows, they are judged based on their conformation, movement, and overall presentation.

The Shetland Pony’s versatility in riding, driving, and showing, along with its exceptional temperament, make it a popular choice among pony breeds. Its small size and sturdy build make it an appealing option for younger riders and those with limited experience, while its strength and endurance are appreciated by seasoned equestrians alike.

Finding the Right Shetland Pony

Shetland pony horse

When looking to own a Shetland pony, there are different factors that you should consider in order to find the best fit for your needs. These factors include choosing the right breeder or rescue organization, assessing the pony’s condition, and understanding their lineage.

Breeder Selection

Finding a reputable breeder is key to owning a healthy and well-tended Shetland pony. When selecting a breeder, look for one who has a good reputation, experience in breeding Shetland ponies, and a focus on producing ponies with good temperament and purebred lineage. It’s also crucial to visit the breeding facility, meet the breeder, and observe how their ponies are cared for. In addition, asking questions about the foal’s parents, health history, and training can help ensure that the pony has been well-socialized and is suitable for both riding and companionship.

Rescue Groups and Organizations

An alternative to purchasing from a breeder is adopting a Shetland pony from a rescue group or organization. Many rescue groups specialize in providing care and rehabilitation to ponies that have been neglected, abused, or surrendered by their previous owners. Adopting a Shetland pony from a rescue offers the opportunity to provide a loving home to a pony in need, while also ensuring that you are fully informed about the pony’s history and any potential health or behavioral issues. Be sure to research various rescue groups and organizations, ask about their adoption process, and visit the facility to meet the available ponies.

Assessing Pony’s Condition

When considering a Shetland pony, it’s important to assess its overall health and condition before making a decision. This includes evaluating the pony’s physical appearance, gait, temperament, and behavior. A healthy Shetland pony should have a well-maintained coat, bright eyes, and a clean environment. Their body should appear strong and muscular, reflecting their ability to participate in a variety of equestrian disciplines. Observe the pony’s gait to ensure that it moves smoothly without any signs of discomfort, and assess its behavior to gauge if it is well-trained and suitable for riding and pleasure activities.

In conclusion, finding the right Shetland pony involves researching breeders and rescue organizations, understanding the pony’s lineage, and assessing its physical and behavioral condition. By gathering this information, potential owners can be confident that they are making the right choice in selecting a Shetland pony that meets their needs and expectations.


In conclusion, the cost of a Shetland Pony varies based on several factors, such as age, training, conformation, and lineage. On average, these small and hardy ponies can range in price from $500 to $1500, but purebred and well-trained ponies might be costlier (source).

When purchasing a Shetland Pony, it is essential to consider the intended use and your skill level. These animals can be used as pets, for riding, or for show, thanks to their docile and intelligent nature (source). Their lifespan, which can extend up to 30 years, makes them a long-term companion for horse enthusiasts.

For those looking to buy a Shetland Pony, various platforms are available, including online marketplaces, general websites, traders, and local barns (source). It’s vital to do thorough research and consult experts before purchasing to ensure the pony meets your needs and is a good fit for your situation.

Overall, Shetland Ponies are an excellent investment for those seeking a small, versatile, and easily manageable equine companion. Their affordability, coupled with their desirable traits and capabilities, makes them a popular choice among horse lovers of all ages and skill levels.