The Connemara Pony: All About This Irish Breed


The Connemara Pony is a breed of pony whose origins land in the country of Ireland. These Irish ponies are known for their kindness, gentle temperament, and popularity as children’s riding ponies. This amazing breed has incredible athletic ability and great talent in both dressage and jumping fields which is why they are great for children’s competition.

Not only are these ponies amazing, they also have a very interesting and unique history. Keep reading to learn all about the Connemara Pony.

What is the Connemara Pony?

The Connemara pony is a breed of pony whose origins fall in the country of Ireland. These ponies are fairly large and generally can stand up to 14.2 hands high. Connemara ponies are very athletically gifted, making them a popular choice for dressage, jumping, and general riding. The biggest thing to take away from these ponies is their kind and gentle temperament. These ponies are actually one of the top pony breeds recommended for beginners because of their wonderful, calm temperament.

Basic Breed Information

Country of OriginIreland
HeightUp to 14.2 hands high
Weight800 to 900 pounds (360 to 410 Kilograms)
Acceptable Coat Colors/ PatternsGrey, Bay, Dun, Chestnut, and Roan
TypeWarmblooded Pony

How Big Are Connemara Ponies?

Connemara ponies are large when looking at the pony breeds. Generally these ponies stand around 14.2 hands high making them almost large enough to be considered horses.

These ponies, because they are on the taller side of things, weigh a little more than most other pony breeds. The average weight for a Connemara pony lands between 800 and 900 pounds (or 360 to 410 Kilograms).

Because these ponies are a little taller than most other ponies, they are even large enough to carry adults.

What Coat Colors are Seen in this Breed?

The Connemara pony can be seen as many of the solid coat colors found in the horse world. The main coat colors found in this breed include:

  • Gray (most common)
  • Bay
  • Dun
  • Chestnut
  • Roan

The reason black is not on the list is just because black Connemara ponies are so hard to come by. Some horse encyclopedias don’t even recognize black as a color that these ponies can be.

The History of the Connemara Pony

The Connemara pony has a very interesting and unique history which made these ponies how we know them today.

The Connemara is a breed of pony that originally descended from the Celtic ponies of Europe. Over the years, the Connemara has beed crossed with a number of different horse and pony breeds, where it took the best traits from each of those breeds and added them to the list of reasons why these ponies are so popular.

The breeds that have been crossed with Connemara’s in the past include:

  • Arabians
  • Thoroughbreds
  • Hackneys
  • Spanish Jennets
  • Barbs
  • Welsh Ponies

The first stallion to ever be entered into the studbook for Connemara ponies was a stallion named Cannon Ball. This stallion was of Connemara and Welsh decent and became one of the many founding stallions of the breed.

Some of the other stallions used to influence and develop the breed were:

  • Golden Glen (1932)
  • Rebel (1922)
  • Carna Dun (1948)
    • This stallion was born from a Thoroughbred named Little Heaven
  • Mayboy
    • An Irish Draft stallion
  • Clonkeehan Auratum (1954)
    • This stallion was an Arabian
  • Dynamite
    • This stallion was a Welsh Pony

The breed inherited only the best traits from each of the contributing breeds. Surprisingly, though there were many influences to the creation of the Connemara, for the most part most of the members of this breed have similar traits and only one main type emerged.

Today, many people see the Connemara as one of the finest ponies in the world.

How to Identify These Ponies

There are some key traits to look out for when trying to identify the Connemara pony. Some of the most easily identifiable traits of this breed are:

  • A finely made head
  • Well-arched neck
  • Deep, broad chest
  • Muscular shoulders
  • Compact body
  • Sweet personality
  • Incredible stamina
  • Well-made legs

What are Connemara Ponies Good At?

The Connemara pony can be used for almost everything. Some of this breed’s specialties include:

Jumping

These ponies have a natural gift for jumping and they never seem to struggle to fly through an obstacle course. Because of their natural athletic talent, these ponies are often seen competing at the top levels of kids showjumping competitions.

Dressage

Thanks to their great temperament and good looks, the Connemara makes an ideal pony to master the sport of dressage in.

Eventing

These ponies have excellent stamina which is what makes them so good at cross country. Being good at all three of the sports seen in eventing (dressage, cross country, and show jumping), is what makes eventing a popular riding discipline in the world of Connemara ponies.

Driving

Thanks to their Hackney ancestors, Connemara ponies are definitely a reliable, sweet, driving horse who will happily put on a show for an audience.

Children’s Riding

This is what Connemara ponies do best. They are the pony of choice for many riding schools and programs both in and outside of Ireland. I know that when my facility expands and my students begin jumping, I would like to get a couple of these ponies not just for lessons, but also for shows.

What is the Average Lifespan of a Connemara Pony?

The Connemara pony, like many other pony breeds, is an extremely hardy breed. These ponies, because of their great health, generally can live to the age of 35 years old if they are well taken care of during their lives.

Hailey Johnson

Horses have been my passion ever since I can remember. At school, I was known as that weird horse girl, and I would read horse encyclopedias for fun. Over the years since those days, I have only learned more. My experiences with horses of a variety of breeds have taught me a lot. Now I want to share what I know with you!

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