A little workhorse, the Shetland pony really does originate from the Shetland Isles. They are strong, small and intelligent, and used to work down the mines as pit ponies and on farms pulling carts. These days they are more likely to be ridden by children or harnessed to a carriage for competing at shows. We had one, called Starlight, an utterly fiendish and unapproachable pony, but we loved her all the same. The English cartoonist, Norman Thelwell, wrote many books featuring an impish, big-bottomed Shetland pony called Kipper.

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