Home » Connemara Pony

Connemara Pony

by Jil Wiedemann
0 comment

There’s something wild and free about Connemara Ponies in their natural environment. Perhaps it’s because the original home of the Connemara Pony is the dramatic coastline of Connemara in Ireland. It’s a romantic place for visitors who walk the Wild Atlantic Way, yet that’s not the only appealing aspect of the Connemara Pony. It’s also the fact that these ponies represent beauty and hardiness combined, reflecting the enchanting landscape and extremes of weather in this part of Ireland.

Connemara Pony – History and Origins

Given their wild and romantic origin, it’s perhaps not surprising that some lovely legends have grown up around Connemara Ponies. Evidence shows that horses were in Ireland around 4,400 years ago during the time of the Early Bronze Age. Connemara Ponies may be descendants of these first horses in Ireland. There’s evidence for the people of the Iron Age in Ireland riding horses. However, the ponies are likely to have gone through several changes since then. 

In the Middle Ages, Ireland was famous for a fast, gaited type of horse called a Hobby. These were so popular throughout Europe that Henry VIII, who owned Hobby studs in Ireland, sent them as gifts to other kings. These animals may also have contributed to the creation of the Connemara breed.It’s sometimes claimed that Connemara Ponies are descended from stallions that survived when the Spanish Armada was wrecked off the coast of Ireland in a great storm. However, a Scottish historian who looked at the bills of lading for the Spanish ships discovered there were no stallions on board. 

There were only a few pack horses and mules, which were washed overboard and lost. The origins of the Connemara may still be something of a mystery, but their popularity as a riding pony is no mystery at all! In 1923, the Connemara Pony Breeders’ Society was set up in Ireland. Its aim was to set breed standards and improve the ponies. Now, many countries of the world have a Connemara Pony society. In the USA, breeder details are published in the Connemara Pony Farm Directory.

How tall is a Connemara Pony?

Connemaras are reasonably tall ponies, standing at 13 to 14.2 hands high (52 in/133 cm to 56.8 in/144 cm) and weighing around 630 lb/285 kg. This makes them suitable for children, teenagers, and small adults to ride.

Connemara ponies for sale


The Connemara is, above all, an excellent riding pony, and its conformation reflects this. They have beautiful heads with soft eyes and small ears. Sometimes their profiles are slightly dished, suggesting an Arabian influence on them in the past century. They have strong bodies and quarters, deep through the girth and with roomy chests and sound hearts and lungs.

 Their legs are not overly long, yet they have a good length of stride and move effectively, with notably sound and strong feet. They are exceptionally athletic and often excel at jumping. Two famous show jumpers of the past, Dundrum and Stroller, were part Connemara.

Conemara pony: Brown one from the side

Connemaras standing at 13 to 14.2 hands high (52 in/133 cm to 56.8 in/144 cm) and weighing around 630 lb/285 kg.

Characteristics of the Connemara Pony

Due to evolving and being selectively bred for the harsh climate of Connemara, the breed has developed some unique traits. One is the Connemara coat, which has adapted to keep out wind and rain. It has natural waterproofing qualities and acts as the pony’s raincoat. It can grow quite thick and plush in winter, and ponies that are ridden during this season are often clipped

Many of the ponies are gray, though coats can be black, bay, and brown as well. A beautiful dun is also one of the traditional colors of the Connemara. The occasional roans, chestnuts, palominos, and creams found in the breed are always popular. They are generally friendly, calm ponies. This, combined with their athleticism, makes them great performers.

Video of Connemara ponies

Are Connemara Ponies good for beginners?

Yes, Connemara Ponies are excellent family ponies. They are generally sensible and kind. Being strong and easy to keep, they are a great choice for anyone starting out in keeping ponies.

Connemara Pony – Breeding and Uses

Though its origins are obscure, the Connemara has undoubtedly been influenced by other breeds more recently. These include Welsh ponies and also Arabs, which were imported by local landowners. The result is a great all-rounder that excels in many equestrian disciplines, from dressage to jumping. They are equally useful working on the farm. 

When mares are kept in natural conditions, they usually foal easily and are caring mothers. The Connemara is often crossed with taller breeds of horses to make outstanding sports horses, which can compete at the top level.

Connemara pony: grey one cantering

Connemara Ponies are great all-rounder that excels in many equestrian disciplines, from dressage to jumping. They are equally useful working on the farm.

Diet and Nutrition: Keep it Simple

Like many of the hardy ponies known as the Mountain and Moorland Breeds, Connemaras are best kept on grazing that is not lush. They need little additional feed unless they are working very hard. Too rich a diet can cause problems for them. They are prone to a condition called white line disease, or separation disease. 

This causes wall separation in the hoof, which is an even more serious condition than laminitis. Therefore, it’s important to pay close attention to their diet. They are best living out all year round on grazing that is not rich. They were bred in a harsh environment, and that suits them best.

How long do Connemara Ponies live?

Connemaras are relatively long-lived ponies, reaching the age of 25 or even more.

Grooming and Maintenance

The dense, plush winter coat of the Connemara Pony has developed to keep it warm and dry in winter. The rich essential coat oils help to do this. Ponies living out all year should not be groomed too much in the winter as this removes the oils from their coats. An alternative is to clip and rug them if they are going to be ridden.

Leave a Comment

* Mit der Nutzung der Kommentarfunktion erklärst Du Dich mit der Speicherung und Verarbeitung Deiner Daten durch diese Website einverstanden.