Horses and ponies are more similar than different. However, there are quite a few characteristics that separate the two. Many non-equestrians assume that a pony is a baby horse, but that is not the case. Both horses and ponies come in many breeds, colors, and personalities. See if you can guess some of the differences!
The most obvious is the size difference. A pony is shorter than a horse. They are classified as under 14.2 hands. Unfortunately, this rule isn’t true for all. Some breeds of horses may be shorter than 14.2 hands, such as the Miniature Horse, and some ponies may be taller. That’s because size isn’t the only factor.
It’s hard to label an entire group as this or that, but, in general, ponies tend to be more ornery than horses. They can become experts at avoiding work. A horse is usually more suitable for a child, contrary to popular belief. Certain breeds follow these stereotypes more closely.
Many pony breeds are known for their thick coats and dense manes and tails. They can be of a stockier build with thicker necks. Of course, some ponies are very refined.
Ponies are usually at risk for overeating. Some might say they simply look at grass and bloat. They can develop founder or laminitis without proper management. Horses and ponies have unique characteristics that set them apart. These are general stereotypes you can assume when comparing the two.