Anybody who has owned a Welsh Pony knows that this breed is one of a kind and some people may describe them as being like marmite.

You either love them or you don’t!

With their quirky traits and fiery personality, there is no wonder that there is a dragon on the Welsh flag! But what makes a Welsh Pony and how many different sections are there?

In This Blog:

Welsh Section A

Starting off with the smallest of the Welsh sections, the Welsh Section A, also known as the Welsh Mountain Pony. This section of Welsh will not exceed any higher than 12.0 hands and is a spritely and sturdy pony.

The Section A is a great choice for both children and small adults, especially in the show ring as they are known to work their magic and wow the judges.

They can be both in hand, on the lead rein or ridden away. No matter what you throw at this pony, it will try and conquer it one way or another.

However, don’t be surprised if they add in a little bit of sass and spirit along the way because it wouldn’t be a true Welsh pony if they did everything we ask first time with no arguments.

The Welsh Pony and Cob Society state that this section should be hardy, spirited, and pony-like.”  They have made a breed specification of what your true Welsh Section A should look like.

Colour Any colour apart from piebald’s or skewbald’s
Eyes Bold, bright, and alert
Head Small and well set on their neck
Ears Evenly placed on top of their head and relatively close
Nostrils Open and prominent
Neck Well carried, relatively long and lean unless they are a mature stallion which can be cresty
Forelegs Strong and straight, well-set knee and short bone below the knee which is straight
Hind Quarters Tail well-set and carried well. No goose rump or looking ragged
Hindlegs Large hocks which are not turned in or out. Straight line down the back of the leg and hocks to not be under their body.

If your Welsh A meets the breed specifications, not only will this make them look better and score more marks when showing, but this will also help them move better.

As their action should be quick, free, and straight from the shoulder. Their knees and hocks should be straight and create powerful leverage.”

Welsh section A’s have been known to do well in the show ring, especially at many of the top venues. These venues can include HOYS, Royal Windsor, and the Royal International Horse Show.

Welsh Section B

Standing bigger than the Welsh section A, the section B shares a lot of the same attributes when it comes to their overall looks. However, they are allowed to reach the height of 13.2hh and they are commonly described as a riding pony.

With this being said, the Section B should have adequate bone structure, hardiness, and produce good quality riding action. All the while still holding a pony character.

Their build is typically finer and lighter than the Section A and this is due to them being developed overtime with Hackney, Arab and Thoroughbred blood lines.

Unlike all the other sections, they have a much straighter, lower, and longer stride which often follows with a pointier toe action. This can get them a lot more marks in the show ring against all the other competitors.

As well as in the show ring strutting their moves, you may also see some scopey Section Bs on the BSJA (British Show Jumping Association) circuit racing the clock and leaving every pole up with their careful footfall.

There is no wonder many people state this this is the most versatile Welsh of them all!

Welsh Section C

The Welsh Section C, or more commonly known as the Welsh Pony of Cob Type, has a height limit of 13.2hh which is the exact same height limit as the section B. But, with the Section C they should have a lot more bone structure and be compact, representing how a cob would be.

The Section C is a mini steam train and once they get going, there is no turning back. With their powerful hindquarters and careful footing, this pony can excel in anything you turn them to.

From showing, to show jumping, and even carriage driving, they really do have it all.

In fact, a Welsh Section C stallion has managed to smash the record of being sold for the highest price a Welsh has been sold for! The 6-year-old was put up for auction at the autumn cob sales in Wales and was bought for £45,000 on the very last day. It just goes to show how special the Welsh breed really is!

Colour

Any colour apart from piebald’s or skewbald’s

Eyes

Bold, bright, and set evenly but widely apart.

Head

Pony character and full of quality.  Avoid roman noses. 

Ears

Evenly placed on top of their head.  

Neck

Well carried and lean unless they are a mature stallion

Forelegs

Square in front without bowing in at the elbow. Long and strong, with plenty of bone below the knee.

Hind Quarters

Ragged or drooping quarters are objectionable.  

Hindlegs

Strong thighs with large flat hocks which are prominent at the point. Straight line down with the hocks not too much underneath them or too far out.

When it comes to watching the Welsh C move, it starts to get exciting. With high knee action, the knee should be bent and as the foreleg becomes extended from the shoulder, it should become as straight and as far forward as possible in trot.

When this pony is in action, they should be pushed forward and not held back as this will allow their gait to be free and flowing as opposed to short and choppy. Your Welsh may also not appreciate being held back when they want to show off and power round.

Welsh Section D

The Welsh Section D, or the Welsh Cob!  The Welshest of all Welsh’s, this section really is one of a kind. 

You will know when you have met a pure Welsh D which meets all the relevant attributes. From their flashy and powerful trot to their overall looks and stance, the Section D is not to be messed with!

They can turn into the Welsh dragon over the slightest thing such as, being five minutes late, a new horse next to their field, weather changes, or just a different colour of tarmac…every time you are around them, you are in for a treat. 

But they make up for their spritely character with everything else. They really can turn a hoof to almost anything. You can take them to the beach, showing, show jumping, carriage driving, and hunting. As they have the power, the endurance, the carefulness, and the moves to wow anybody who meets them.

This breed doesn’t have an upper limit unlike the rest of the sections, but they do have a minimum height limit of 13.2hh. Anything smaller than 13.2hh will be classed as a Section C. They hold a lot of the same traits as the Welsh C, but they are simply bigger.

Owning a Welsh Section D will allow you to try almost any discipline you are interested in and almost always succeed. Their ability is recognised across the world for being so diverse.

Once you have a Welsh in your life, you may never want to have anything else again. From their fiery temperament and quirkiness to their ability to try everything and determination to succeed. They really can be a great breed to own.

However, you may want to consider remembering a couple of things if you are new to owning a Welsh.

  1. Whilst they look hardy and tough on the outside, most of them are very sensitive flowers who can go into complete meltdown if you tell them off. Even if you just said no. Consider treating them like a toddler. Reason with them but don’t let them get away with things.
  2. Never let them get away with something. Even if it is just the once as you are rushing for time, or you don’t want to have an argument today. That once will implant into their brain for the rest of their life, and you will never be able to forget it! Unless you bribe them with food. Then you may be able to change their mind.
  3. Expect comments from non-Welsh owners about the lack of horse you have underneath you. Many people underestimate the Welsh ponies and believe that they will not be able to achieve as much as a 16.2hh dashing Warmblood. Go into that ring and prove them wrong because Welsh’s love to show off.
  4. Have fun! This breed really is one of a kind. As long as you can get along with them and understand their logic and way of doing things. You will have a great partnership for a very long time. But don’t become too complacent with them. No two days are the same and they always have a trick waiting around the corner.