The Hackney Pony is a super pretty pony with a very special trot – just right for very special little girls who also like to be admired.
This is why this pony is usually “presented” as a show horse. At least that’s how it is in English-speaking countries, where horses are put on display in all sorts of shows.
But deep in the heart, this Hackney pony is also a real nature boy, because not only noble Hackney trotters but also robust, original mountain ponies are among his ancestors.
The Hackney Pony is a very fine and beautiful pony with a lot of elegance and a very expressive trot gait, which it inherited from its ancestor Hackney horse.
Like this ancestor, the Hackney Pony has been bred in the English-speaking horse nations England USA Australia for a long time, primarily as a show pony.
The Hackney Pony is not a miniature version of the Hackney horse but also carries the genes of the original, robust English pony breeds.
That is why it is enjoying increasing popularity among horse lovers in Germany and in other European countries, where an exaggerated, unnatural show driving style is either prohibited or frowned upon.
A Hackney Pony, in which the special natural gait systems are simply used and not particularly emphasized during training, makes itself really representative in front of a carriage.
And the Hackney Pony can also be ridden and, under a good rider, can even develop largely natural, easy-to-fit gaits.
Size: 124-140 cm
Weight: 300 – 450 kg
Origin: Great Britain
Lifespan: 25-30 years
Color: All clear colors
Origin and breed history
The Hackney Pony was bred from the Hackney horse in England, so it goes back to the same origins.
These origins go back to the 18th century: The Hackney horse breed was bred because at that time more and more people wanted to show themselves on the streets with particularly conspicuous carriage teams – a particularly beautiful or crazy-built carriage with a horse that stood out through its gaits was the status symbol of those times Time.
The most elegant of the carriage and carriage horses used at that time were the trotters (the whole trotting sport arose from breeding performance tests for carriage horses).
So you took a couple of pretty trotters and crossed them with the “most spectacular” horses that English horse breeding at the time had to offer: the Norfolk Trotter or Yorkshire Trotter, a large, narrow horse with a high percentage of a thoroughbred.
The result was the first Hackney horses, ideal and fast driving horses with a naturally very pronounced, high knee action.
In the course of the 19th century, the Hackney horse was further refined: Arabs and English thoroughbreds were crossed; Great care was taken to breed only the most elegant horses with the most sweeping trot and a lot of perseverance.
However, in wild breeding along the entire east coast, which is why several initiatives to standardize breeding emerged from around 1850.
It was not until 1883 that these initiatives showed success: The Hackney Horse Society was founded in Norwich, which opened a studbook for the Hackney horse and united the various trotter breeds in the east of England.
Around this time, the English nobleman Christopher Wyndham Wilson had already started to breed the Hackney Pony.
To do this, he crossed the sturdy fur pony mares from the Fell Mountains in northern England with his Hackney stallion “Sir George” and bred the offspring to this very special pony type.
The Hackney Pony shares the studbook with the Hackney Horse and is only kept in a separate department.
The appearance of the Hackney Pony
From the Hackney horses, the Hackney Pony inherited all the characteristics that make a “carriage horse to show off”. An elegant appearance, speed, and the remarkably high action of the trotters, a lot of joy of movement and stamina, and overall a very impressive charisma.
The Hackney Pony’s head even has a lot of charisma: Narrow and not very large, with a very straight nose line or, as in the Arabian, slightly inwardly curved nose line. In addition, the pony has large nostrils and large eyes, a small, delicate mouth, and small, very flexible ears.
The sturdy little horses have also contributed a compact physique with powerful shoulders and a muscular hindquarters; leave strong joints and well-shaped, healthy hooves.
As with the big Hackneys, all natural, clear colors are represented in the Hackney Pony: brown in all shades, foxes and blacks.
Temperament and essence
In essence, too, the mixture of thoroughbred trotters with robust, semi-wild mountain ponies has left a lot of good behind. The Hackney Pony is considered to be willing to work, extremely nervous, and docile.
The sometimes somewhat nervous temperament of the trotter was steered in the right direction by the fearless calm of the fur ponies.
A Hackney Pony does have a lively temperament but is also quite fearless and “typical pony” self-confident. If there is enough to do, a very pleasant and easy-going pony.
Husbandry and nutrition
Breeder Wilson deliberately let the Hackney ponies live outside in inhospitable English weather all year round when the breed was created.
They even hibernated on his lands in the cool and rainy north-west of England, he really let them live like the “wild ponies” he crossed to toughen the pampered trotters.
That is why the Hackney Pony is still known today to be extremely frugal in keeping and eating.
First of all, the same basic rules for a healthy diet apply to ponies that also apply to larger horses:
- Daily roughage, juice feed, and concentrated feed
- From organic farming if possible
- Coordinated with each other
- Feeding spread over the day
However, the following applies to the keeping and nutrition of the Hackney Pony: The “robust posture” of a mountain pony, which was imitated by the breeder Wilson in the 19th century to toughen the Hackney pony, really challenged the horses.
It has nothing to do with what is now often understood as robust husbandry: simply putting a pony on the pasture without work is not species-appropriate husbandry for a Hackney pony.
It really takes a lot of exercises every day and a feed that is very well calculated for its needs. In a lush meadow, for example, it can quickly become fat and round if it doesn’t have much activity other than eating.
If you cannot provide for a lot of daily activity, you should look for an active stable. Or at least make sure that your Hackney Pony is kept busy all day with roughage like hay.
Education and care
The first part of keeping is stable training, which you will certainly not find difficult with the friendly Hackney Pony. As you get used to it, note that it will take some time for your new pony to really trust you.
Until then, spend a lot of time with the Hackney Pony without upsetting or scaring them. And work it every day, but in a quiet and as limited environment as possible.
If you know each other a little better, you can start training before the carriage or riding training. The Hackney Pony is ideal for training as a carriage horse.
All you have to do is find an instructor who is a good fit for you and your Hackney Pony and follow their instructions. The Hackney Pony is also ridden a lot here and is also quite talented in this direction.
There are even said to be Hackney ponies who have made it to the point of being admired show jumpers.
A horse breed that is actually bred as a trotter like the Hackney Pony, however, has the difficulty that it is not very practiced in the basic gaits of walk and canter, its focus is on the particularly stressed trot.
In this, it usually develops such an energetic forward urge that it is difficult to drive into a gallop. The normal step to which z. For example, dressage judges attach so much importance to a Hackney pony.
But even a Hackney pony can walk and gallop, it just needs a very good rider who exercises the pony gradually.
If you are not yet very good at riding, it is therefore recommended that you have a Hackney Pony trained by an expert from time to time and also take lessons on it yourself.
The Hackney Pony usually has a beautiful shiny coat that just invites you to groom. You should also do this daily, it will rid your Hackney Pony of dead hair flakes, loose hair, and dirt and strengthen the bond between you.
In addition, you have to scrape out the hooves after every ride and, if necessary, grease them and, if necessary, clean the eyes and ears.
In addition, the Hackney Pony is actually quite easy to care for, exercise and activity are definitely more important.
Health and Typical Diseases
When the country nobleman Wilson bred the Hackney Pony, it has been proven that he had no miniaturized Hackney horse in mind, but a down-to-earth, robust pony.
How he hardened the Hackney Pony has already been described, and he seems to have succeeded quite well: The Hackney Pony is still known today for its very resilient constitution, which is not prone to any typical diseases.
But always remember that with plenty of exercises, a healthy, species-appropriate diet, and good care, you are doing the most to ensure that your Hackney Pony always stays healthy.
The fact that the Hackney Pony is such a small horse has a very positive effect on life expectancy. Ponies are the group of horses that have the highest life expectancy.
Some fjord horses or Icelandic ponies can live up to 50 years if they are kept semi-wild in a herd outdoors.
Besides keeping the ponies, the long life expectancy of the ponies (horses live on average around 30 years old) has to do with the fact that ponies ripen late.
This means that the ponies are only fully grown when they are around 7 years old and can be ridden for longer.
But here, too, the following applies the more robust the original and robust the breed, the higher the life expectancy.
With regard to the breed, the Hackney Pony can be expected to have a good average lifespan, which you can influence positively with good posture.
Buy Hackney Pony horse breed
The main breeding area of the Hackney pony is still in England, followed by other English-speaking countries such as the USA, Canada, and Australia.
Hackney Horse and Hackney Pony are both on the watch list of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST, a British organization for the preservation of old British domestic breeds.
As sad as it is that the breed is threatened at all, that’s good for the Hackney Pony. Because the RBST does like the German Society for the Preservation of Old and Endangered Pet Breeds GEH e. V. a lot for the breeds worth preserving.
The clubs support initiatives and mediate animals and, above all, do a lot of advertising for the endangered races. Unfortunately, in a society where many people get their wits from advertising, that’s necessary.
The Hackney horse and Hackney pony are currently on this list as “threatened”, with fewer than 300 specimens. The Hackney Pony is not sold on every corner, you can get addresses of breeders from the Hackney Horse Society.
There are two exhibitions each year showing Hackney ponies: the National Breed Show in Ardingly, West Sussex, southern England in early June and a championship show in October at Houghton Hall, a country house in Norfolk, England.
Sometimes, however, a Hackney pony can also be found on the German advertising market.
Is a pony suitable as a pet for a family with children? Before purchasing a pony, however, you should consider that a pony is not really a “pet”.
Because the pony needs a stable and it needs food. It will need a farrier and if it stays healthy for life it will need vaccinations and other routine veterinary treatments.
Liability insurance is also required and of course a lot of time and attention. The child for whom the pony is bought should, of course, have riding lessons.
For this, children and ponies need the right equipment: riding clothes and saddles, bridles, and care accessories. Or should the pony be driven? Then you also need a carriage, a particularly light one, of course.
If none of that is a problem, a Hackney Pony is sure to be a good choice. A friendly, healthy, reliable pony on which gifted children can ride or learn to drive very well.