Horse breed: Welsh pony and cob – small body, big personality

A Welsh is a mix of a noble horse and a solid family pony. At the same time, it is both child-friendly and has a great personality. In addition, it is robust, and it can easily find its own ways if it is not brought up correctly. In many ways it can resemble a large horse in a small horse’s body. But it is also completely its own. The history and the special characteristic of the breed is truly inspirational.


The Welsh ponies, which come in several sizes and types, come from the mountains of Wales. Here they were registered as different breeds in 1901. The Welsh-born ponies were then crossed with Arabs, Thoroughbreds and possibly also Hackney. They are approved in all colors but must not be variegated.

Today, the breed is mainly used for riding and driving. Both often with competition in mind and at all levels. They can do fine dressage, have great talent for jumping and are generally all-round ponies. They are especially popular because of their great movements alongside their good temperament and toughness. The often, high leg lifts are thought to stem from the Hackney pony, as you can see in this photo from Instagram which shows a Hackney pony.


One of the special things about a Welsh is that it can turn on its temperament within seconds. But it can also relatively easy turn it off. A very thought after on-and-off switch. The experienced rider will get a pony that is suitable for most things and that is honest and real to ride. In other words, you get what you put into it when it comes to training and upbringing.


However, one should not be mistaken for the often, calm mind of a Welsh pony. It can easily travel its own way if allowed to do so. Therefore, it requires that its rider or owner knows how to ask it to show respect.  However, if you win the Welsh´s trust, you can be sure that you will never find a more uncomplicated and straightforward companion.

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The breed is divided into different sections (sec.), Each defining what size and type of breed it belongs to. They are called sec. A, sec. B, sec. C and sec. D, but also has other nicknames. Basically, you can say that sec. A is a more Arab-like and lit pony type. Where a sec. D – and the other two types are in between. In addition, one can speak of a Welsh partbred (WBPR), which is a cross with at least 12.5% ​​blood from a Welsh. Below you can get an overview of what characterizes the five different types.

Sec. A: Welsh mountain pony

A Welsh mountain is the smallest type of Welsh pony and should not exceed 122 cm at the withers. It is relatively well built and can be a bit reminiscent of an Arab, who is however much more robustly built. The pony can handle many types of climates. As a childrens pony, it can work well when you just remember to have a ground up helping hand nearby. A sec. A can be a bit temperamental and is extremely intelligent. For the same reason, it can quickly decide things for itself, if it gets the chance. If it can respect and has confidence in its rider, it will be a fantastic all-round pony.

The small and fine sec. A is what someone might want to call a real Barbie horse. Photo: Archive.

Sec. B: Welsh pony

The sec. B is bigger than the Welsh mountain pony. It was once used for the mountain farmers to get through the rugged mountain area when they had to guard wild ponies or maybe sheep. It is therefore extremely hardy and has a good balance as well as the well-known good temperament. This makes it a good riding horse. But it is also strong willed and will take charge if it is not handled and ridden correctly. As far as its measurement it should not grow taller than 137 cm.

In sec. B is noble but with robust limbs. Photo: Archive.

Sec. C: Cob-type Welsh pony

A Welsh pony sec. C can like sec. B measure up to 137 cm, but it is more reminiscent of the cob type (sec. D). So, it is a mix of a Welsh pony and a Welsh cob. They can be ridden by both children and adults because of their noble but strong body. There is not much, a sec. C – like its fellow species – cannot be used for. Dressage, jumping and driving are usually where it shines the most.

In sec. C. is a mix of Welsh pony and Welsh cob. Photo: Archive.

Sec. D: Welsh Cob

A Welsh cob is sometimes described as the best riding and driving animal there is. It is bred for the purpose of being brave, compliant and enduring. At the same time, it is hardy and has beautiful movements just like the other Welsh types. It is more powerful and often has a slightly more mustache and is reminiscent of a cross between an Arab and a Belgian. With its solid and at the same time noble physique, the Welsh cob is an excellent competitive pony in virtually all disciplines, and it has enjoyed enormous success in driving. The demand for sec. D is often so big that the supply in large parts of the world is far from sufficient. This type should measure over 137 cm.

Sec. D is a bit more powerful than the other Welsh types. The horse in the pictures is also a bit on the well fed side. Photo: Archive.

WBPR: Welsh Partbred

Due to the good nature, energy and lovely movements of the Welsh pony, it is often crossed with other breeds. The mixtures have, among other things, achieved great results in dressage worldwide. Because the WBPR is only supposed to be a minimum of 12.5% ​​Welsh, they may, unlike the other Welsh ponies, be motley. Read more about WBPR and the other types.


Welsh Pony & Cob Breeding in Denmark
Adlais Welsh Cobs: Welsh Cob (2020)
Wikipedia: Welsh Pony and Cob (2021)

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