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Did You Know?

  • Pinto ponies come in two varieties: tobiano, with a larger spotted pattern, and overo, with more jagged white markings.
  • Shetland ponies are regarded as the strongest equines relative to body size in existence.
  • Horse breeds smaller than 34 inches are miniature horses, not ponies.

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Why aren’t animals visible at all times? To promote positive animal welfare, we provide animals with choices. They can choose to spend time in areas that are out of public view.


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Scientific Name: Equus caballus

Class: Mammals

Diet: Grasses and other vegetation

Range: Throughout the world

Endangered Status: Not Listed

More Information

The term “pony” is generally used to describe various horse breeds that are between 34–56 inches at the shoulder. Researchers believe ponies were domesticated between 4,000 and 2,00O B.C.E. Lincoln Park Zoo cares for two breeds: pinto ponies and Shetland ponies.

Pinto ponies are members of the pinto breed that are small enough to be considered ponies. They are defined by their coloring rather than their genetic ancestry. They generally have a dark-colored coat with white patches on top.

Shetland ponies are one of the oldest horse breeds in Britain. They originate from rocky islands off the northern coast of Scotland, with shaggy coats that are adapted to a harsh climate. They were originally used to haul coal, peat, and seaweed, but are mostly pets today.

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