Useful Reference Works
Horse Sense: 8. Is a Pony Just a Small Horse?
Not exactly. They are separate breeds of the equine species, who are smaller than a horse, generally under 13 or 14 hands tall. Ponies come in many breeds and from many countries. They are usually the product of harsh environments, such as the Shetland islands, where economy of size was of benefit to the breed's long-term survival. They can be used to pull carts or as children's mounts, and some are large enough in stature to bear adult riders, but they can be very stubborn and hard-headed. Temperments do seem to vary according to
the pony breeds.