Gotland Pony: Endangered After Centuries Of Survival

| Updated: January 16, 2023
Gotland Pony in field

Origin and History:

The Gotland Pony is a stunning breed of horse that has been around since the 8th century! Originating in the Swedish island of Gotland, the Gotland Pony is a small yet hardy breed, with a thick coat that’s perfect for the cold Scandinavian winters. These ponies were used for centuries for light draft work and were even trained as riding ponies. They were also used for herding and hauling small loads.

The Gotland Pony is thought to have descended from the wild horses that once roamed the island. In the 19th century, select breeding began to take place, which resulted in the hardy, compact ponies we know today. In the 20th century, the breed was exported to the United Kingdom and Finland, where it is still popular today.

Physical Characteristics:

The Gotland Pony is known for its intelligence and willingness to please. They are versatile and can be used for a variety of activities, from dressage to western pleasure to driving and more.

The Gotland Pony is a breed of small pony that is highly valued for its versatility, agility, and intelligence. These ponies are known for their compact size, robust build, and graceful bearing. They range in size from 11.2 to 13.2 hands (46-54 inches) and typically weigh between 500-700 pounds. As far as color goes, these ponies come in a variety of colors including bay, chestnut, black, gray, buckskin, roan, and dun.

Gotland Pony side profile

Gotland Ponies are known for their hardy nature and long life expectancy. It is not uncommon for these ponies to live 30-40 years with proper care. They are also known for their sure-footedness and intelligence, making them well-suited for a variety of disciplines, including dressage, show jumping, and eventing. They have an even temperament and are known for their people-friendly personalities.

Unique Characteristics:

The Gotland Pony is a true original! This breed is known for its unique characteristics, such as its thick, wavy mane, long, shaggy coat and short, stout legs. The Gotland Pony is usually a golden-brown color, and its mane and tail are often lighter. This breed is also known for its gentle, kind temperament and its willingness to learn. It is an intelligent, hardy breed that is capable of learning quickly and retaining knowledge. Gotland Ponies are also known for their sure-footedness, and they can often be seen confidently navigating difficult terrain. The Gotland Pony is a truly unique breed and is sure to bring joy to any horse lover!

Interesting Facts:

Gotland Ponies are a unique breed of pony native to the Swedish island of Gotland. Here are 5 interesting facts about this unique breed:

1. Gotland Ponies have a unique coat color called ‘silver dun’ which is a combination of silver, grey, and black hues.

2. The Gotland Pony is one of the oldest pony breeds in the world, dating back to the Viking era.

3. Gotland Ponies are known for their gentle and friendly personalities, making them great for children and beginners.

4. Gotland Ponies are very versatile and can excel in a variety of activities such as dressage, show jumping, and even driving.

5. The Gotland Pony is an endangered breed, with only around 500 individuals in the world.

Sports and Competitions:

The Gotland Pony is a friendly and hardworking equine that loves to compete in a variety of sports. This sturdy and athletic breed is a popular choice for show jumping, cross-country, dressage, and endurance riding. Not only does the Gotland Pony have an incredible work ethic and athletic prowess, but they also have a pleasant temperament and winning personality. With their strength and agility, along with their willingness to please, the Gotland Pony is a great choice for any sport. Whether you’re a competitive rider or just looking for a fun activity to do with your pony, the Gotland Pony is ready for action!

Diet and Nutrition:

The Gotland Pony is a beautiful, hardy horse originating from Gotland, Sweden. As with any animal, proper nutrition and diet are essential to their health and well-being. The Gotland Pony has unique dietary needs that must be taken into consideration when providing for your animal.

A diet rich in roughage, such as hay and grass, is best for the Gotland Pony. These animals are known for their hardy constitutions and can tolerate cold climates, making them perfect for outdoor living. However, as with any animal, they need a balanced diet that includes protein, minerals, and vitamins. If a Gotland Pony is kept indoors, it is important to provide a complete and balanced ration that includes grains, legumes, and hay.

The Gotland Pony also requires plenty of fresh, clean water to stay healthy and hydrated. Access to clean water must be available at all times, as dehydration can be dangerous for horses.

gotland ponies in woods

Common Health Issues:

Gotland ponies are one of the most popular breeds of ponies in the world, known for their intelligence, agility, and good nature. However, they are also prone to certain health issues that owners should be aware of in order to keep their ponies healthy and happy. While the majority of Gotland ponies live healthy and long lives, there are certain common health problems to look out for.

One of the most frequent health issues that Gotland ponies face is lameness. This can be caused by a variety of factors such as injuries, arthritis, or a hoof condition and can be difficult to diagnose. Regular hoof care, exercise, and a balanced diet can help prevent lameness.

Another common health concern is obesity. As ponies, Gotland ponies have a tendency to put on weight easily, so it’s important for owners to be mindful of their pony’s diet and exercise. If a Gotland pony becomes overweight, it can lead to a poor quality of life and shorter life expectancy.


Grooming your Gotland Pony is essential in order to ensure their health and happiness. It’s important to brush your pony regularly to remove dirt, dust, and loose hair. You should also check for any lumps or bumps that might be developing on the skin. Additionally, you should trim their hooves at least once a month. This will keep them healthy and comfortable. A good bath every now and then is also important for keeping their coat looking sleek, shiny, and beautiful. Grooming your Gotland Pony may seem like a daunting task, but with a little bit of patience and care, you’ll be sure to keep your pony looking and feeling their best!

Famous Examples:

The Gotland Pony is a breed of horse that has been around for centuries and is still popular today. It is a compact, strong, and hardy breed that is well-suited to both riding and driving. The Gotland Pony’s popularity has led to its appearance in many media outlets, including books, movies, and television shows. Some of the most famous Gotland Ponies featured in media and history include Snowflake, the star of the 1994 film “The Horse Whisperer,” and the ponies featured in the popular television show “Game of Thrones.” The Gotland Pony is also a popular breed in many equestrian competitions, including dressage and show jumping. This breed has a long and fascinating history, and its popularity is sure to continue for many years to come.

Where to Adopt or Buy:

If you’re looking to adopt or buy a Gotland Pony, you’ve come to the right place! Gotland Ponies are a unique breed, with a beautiful coat and friendly demeanor. They’re perfect for those looking for a family-friendly horse with plenty of personality. The best way to find a Gotland Pony is through a reputable breeder or adoption organization. Make sure to do your research and ask plenty of questions to ensure you get the right horse for your needs. You can also search online for organizations that specialize in Gotland Ponies, as well as local listings for adopters or sellers. If you’re lucky, you may even find a Gotland Pony in your area! So what are you waiting for? Get out there and find yourself the perfect Gotland Pony!

Dotland Ponies Grazing


The Gotland Pony is a breed that is beloved by many for its hardy and friendly nature. As a hardy breed, they are able to thrive in a wide range of climates, which makes them a perfect choice for many different owners. They are also known for their intelligence, making them an ideal choice for learning and competing in various disciplines. Finally, their friendly and gentle disposition makes them a great choice for families who are looking for a safe and reliable pony for children to enjoy. All in all, the Gotland Pony is an amazing breed that is sure to bring joy to any family or rider.


The Gotland Pony is a breed of horse that is known for its intelligence, agility, and strength. If you’re considering adding a Gotland Pony to your family, you may have some questions. We’ve got you covered with this FAQ about Gotland Ponies!

First, where do Gotland Ponies come from?

This breed is native to the Swedish island of Gotland, hence their name. They have been around since the Middle Ages and were originally used as farm horses.

What do Gotland Ponies look like?

These ponies have long, thick coats that can range from light gray to silver-gray. They have short broad heads with small ears and dark eyes. They generally stand between 12 and 14 hands tall.

How are Gotland Ponies as pets?

Gotland Ponies are very intelligent and highly trainable, making them great companions for kids and adults alike.

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