Pulling into Fernville Connemara Pony Stud, most of us were expecting the small pony that we are used to, but that certainly was not the case.
Jimmy greeted us, and told us his background. The operation has been in his fanily for generations and he even judges ponies and horses as well! He breeds horses at his barn and sells them. If you are interested in getting a Connemara pony he also goes out and finds the best one(s) for you that he can. He currently has 22 ponys.
The Connemara Pony was developed by Scandenavian ponys and brought to Ireland by the Viking. The Connemara Pony Society was developed in 1923. This society was made to improve and keep the preservation of the beautiful pony. The Connemara pony are some of the tallest ponies; they are 14.2 hands or smaller. This is how they are considered ponies! These ponies have a great temperament, this allows them to be wonderful for children and older adults. They also are very loyal to their owners and are easy to train.
Since the Connemara’s are so smart, they are used for almost everything such as dressage, riding, eventing, jumping, racing and much more. They are easy to train and do not forget what they have learned.
When looking for a Connemara for yourself, some traits to look for is a sloping shoulder. This is explained in the video above. The reason you want a sloping shoulder is because it makes for a much smoother ride. Another thing to look for is that neither of the parents have the genetic trait of Hoof-wall separation syndrome. This is when the wall of the hoof seperates from the actual hoof itself and causes a lot of pain and discomfort. Knowing this is helpful in breeding because if you find that the mare and stud both contain this gene you do not want to breed them.
The breeding process begins around 5-6 in the morning, by collecting semen. The next step would be to Artifical Inseminate (AI) the ponies. It normally takes 8 straws of semen to get the mare pregnant. When a mare is getting close to birth her teats drip a waxy substance. This sign means she will foal within the next 36 hours. She will be moved either inside, if it is too cold, or outside in her own grassy area.
When they are born, they are normally gray. Through time, they will slowly change color. Not all Connemara ponys are white though, some are Bay or Chesnut. Bay is very common in the United States. If the connemara is white, you have to keep a close eye on the amount of sunlight they get. The white makes it easier for them to get Melanoma.
With this being our first Agricultural stop, we certainly learned a lot and enjoyed getting to know these amazing ponies. Some of us are still figuring a plan to fit them into our suitcase.