One of my assignments this semester is to put together a breed improvement scheme for a specific breed or type. I think this is going to be quite a fun assignment, although quite hard when it comes to talking about all the heritability bits and finding journal papers for references… however, let’s not focus on that yet, lets focus on my idea.
I am thinking of ‘improving’ Shetland ponies to make them more versatile and desirable ponies. Everyone loves Shetlands. They are cheeky, smart and often make very good teachers for children. I want to basically give them a bit more ability and potential while keeping them as much to type as possible. Things I am thinking are:
~ increase height range up to 14hands
~ increase dressage ability
~ increase jumping ability
~ make them competitive ponies for eventing, hunting and pony club activities.
~ pony racing? ~ we already have the shetland races…
I haven’t quite worked out all the details yet, but I am thinking along the same sort of line as the connie ponies. They are now very desirable as pony club and competition ponies, but at the same time, you still get the traditional type with the jumping and dressage ability.
What do you think of my Shetland Sports Ponies idea?