French Saddle Pony
The French Saddle Pony was developed in 1969 in France, as a cross breed from Arabian, New Forest, Welsh, Connemara and Thoroughbred bloodlines. Other bloodlines added later in the French Saddle Pony include Landais, Pottok, Merens and Basque.
The pony was originally bred for children and small adults for riding. In 1972 the stud book for the breed was created, but the registry closed in 1991 to future crossbreeding. Today the pony can be found throughout France as well as being exported to other regions. By 2000, there were 1,300 registered ponies, but by 2012 the population had declined slightly. This is a normal tendency for the breed.
There is no particular characteristics that stand out in the French Saddle Pony. However, the breed is well suited for competitions like, dressing, show jumping, riding and eventing. The breed can also be used as harness ponies, recreation and many riding schools use the pony for training beginner riders.
The pony stands around 48 to 56 inches high with a coat that can be any color. Although there are a wide variety of French Saddle Pony features, common traits do exist. The head is small with a long neck, it has a wide chest and long sloping shoulders. The legs are strong with large joints and have defined tendons.
Image Caption: French Saddle Pony. Credit: Eponimm/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0, 2.5, 2.0, 1.0)