Shetland Ponies, Shetland

A friend asked me to see if I could get a shot of a real-live Shetland pony while I was in Shetland.

Well, OK. It took me severely out of my way, but I managed to do it.


Not that I didn’t manage to do it; not that it was a big effort. There’s a reason that iconic images and stereotypes are what they are.

Head shot of Shetland ponyClose-up of Shetland ponyI was fascinated by the delicacy of the eyelashes on such a sturdy beast.Close-up of Shetland ponyBut sometimes it’s good to pull way back and take the long view. In this case, it gave me two iconic Shetland images for the price of one. The arch in the background is Dore Holm, said by some to be the finest natural arch in Shetland.

Shetland ponies in the foreground; Dore Holm in the backgroundOn closer look, this photo has three iconic images, counting the haar (never ever say the “f” word – “fog”).


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7 Responses to Shetland Ponies, Shetland

  1. Jim Taylor says:

    I’ve been told that Shetland ponies can be mean-tempered beasts. I assume you didn’t get within kicking distance?
    Jim T

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Jim – I had not heard that, but I always try to stay out of kicking or nipping distance. So far, so good.

  2. Tom Watson says:

    Nice pictures of Shetland ponies. However, it also reminds me of a story.

    When I was 21 and still living at home, my father wakened me one Sunday morning to tell me that a phone call came for me the night before, the message being that I had won a pony in a raffle at a fair in the nearby town of Comber.

    Truthfully, I had put out of mind my buying the ticket from a friend who was selling them for his agricultural organization. But I had won! A Shetland pony, three years old, complete with saddle.

    It didn’t take long for me to understand why someone had donated the pony to the agricultural organization. Blessed thing didn’t like to be ridden. When I saddled it up and climbed aboard, it reached around and tried to bite me. I avoided that and got it to run. It ran as close as it could to the side of the barn – far enough away to avoid getting scraped itself but close enough that my leg received some severe scratching. Quick analysis: it was plain mean!

    After tracking down the former owner, I learned that the only way to control it was to keep hitting it with a stick – in other words, beating it into submission. That didn’t cut it for me.

    A cousin of mine said his son Ralph had wanted a pony, so I offered to give it to him. Ralph tried one ride. That ended his desire.

    A few months went by. My dad said, “What are you going to do with that pony come winter? It’s been able to be out in the pasture during the summer and fall, but you will need other feed if you’re going to keep it for the winter.” Action was needed, and quick!

    I ended up advertizing it for sale. Got $100 for it, saddle and all.

    My Shetland pony adventure was over and it, of course, ended any thought I had of having any kind of pony from then on.


    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Tom – A free pony, eh? Or almost so, given raffle-ticket prices. They say we get what we pay for. At least we usually don’t get more. A good cautionary tale, on several levels.

      • Tom Watson says:

        I think my story supports Jim T.’s understanding that Shetland ponies can be mean-tempered beasts.

  3. John Whitman says:

    Isabel – and in return I will provide you pictures taken during my recent trip up the Alaska Highway of a wooden railway trestle (bridge) that appears to be still in use.

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