THINK before you breed your mare ~ a heartfelt plea from Troels Dalberg author of the "Shetland Pony" book

"For God's sake... please think carefully before making yet another foal."

The author of the book "Shetland Pony", Troels Dalberg, makes a point of asking all of us to please think twice and carefully before breeding yet another foal.

'Foals, and especially Shetlands, are cute and adorable. Many seem to have caught some kind of Sheltie-foal-bug breeding far more ponies than any market can absorb.

"It is sad", say Troels Dalberg, "that so many Shetland ponies are sold on and on and in far too many cases end up in need of rescue. I welcome and admire the great work of the many equine rescues helping to save these sad lives, however, there are more than enough ponies in need of help.

Regrettably our ponies often carry a price tag much lower than most pets. Consequently, they are not respected and cherished. Our ponies have joined the many modern gagets that we buy cheaply, quickly use and soon throw away. We who love our ponies can't really change this, but we can and ought to think carefully before we add yet another pony to this circus. 

Half of all foals are colts and 98% ought to be castrated when possible. Never sell a colt, not being of breeding material, without ensuring that it is / will be castrated. Sadly, this quick procedure costs more than most colts. I stopped breeding ponies some years ago. When ponies are sold for as low as £50 or worse, I have no desire to contribute. I have all the ponies I need.

 A skilled and cautious breeder will think ahead, knowing that the first summer with this cutie will soon be over and the challenge of finding a permanent and good home will arise. 

The cost of keeping a Shetland pony is not cheap. The vet bills, farrier etc are the same as for any other pony or horse. Some think they can just be left more or less on their own to fend for themselves, this is not the case. 

Man has intervened in nature, we have fences and restricted free land and space. About 5,000 years ago we domesticated the horse and consequently it is our duty to look after them and provide for them. If one is not up to this 365 day obligation one can collect stamps, play golf, punch a computer or find countless other good hobbies. 

Remember that Ghandi once said, "You can judge a countries moral standard at how they treat their animals ...." Ghandi was a wise man finishes Troels Dalberg.' 


  1. I hope people listen and learn and act accordingly.


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