Pony of the Americas

Infobox Horse
name= Pony of the Americas
status = DOM

altname= POA
country= United States
features = Appaloosa coloring, small size, suitable for riding|
The Pony of the Americas, or the POA, was developed to be a children’s mount. The breed’s origins are in America, where an Iowa breeder accidentally crossed a Shetland stallion with an Arabian/Appaloosa mare to produce a pony-sized mount with a stunning hand-shaped Appaloosa marking.

Breed Characteristics

The POA was originally developed for small riders in need of a mount larger than a small pony, but not the size of a full-fledged horse. The breed standard originally had the height requirement between 11 and 13 hands (44 to 52 inches). However, since that time the height range has been changed to 11.2-14.0 hands (46-56 inches).

The head has large, expressive eyes with a small, refined, and sometimes has a "dished" face similar to an Arabian. The body is more like a stock horse, with plenty of muscling like a Quarter Horse, with a broad chest, round belly, sloping shoulders, and powerful hindquarters. The pony should have free-flowing movement, and the tail is never carried high. Today's POAs have the desirable movement of a forward-moving Quarter or Appaloosa horse. Troping and "peanut rolling" are discouraged. A level head set, smooth, slow movement and true gaits are desired.

The coloring of the pony must be the markings of an Appaloosa, and visible from a distance of 40 feet (12 m). This includes the spotted coat in any Appaloosa pattern and the white sclera, mottled skin around the eye, muzzle, and genitals, as well as striped hooves.

POAs are very versatile and are an easy pick for a youth mount. Adults also enjoy riding and showing POAs. They have wonderful temperaments.

History of the POA

The POA first was developed in 1954, when Leslie Boomhower, an Iowa breeder of Shetland Ponies, founded the breed. A friend offered him an Arabian/Appaloosa mare that had been accidentally bred to a Shetland Pony stallion. Boomhower accepted the offer after the colt was born. The colt was named Black Hand, and he became the foundation sire for the breed.

Other breeds, including the American Quarter Horse, Welsh Pony, Thoroughbred, Mustang and Arabian have been used to infuse athleticism, stamina, and size.

Today there are almost 50,000 registered POAs in the United States. The ponies are presently being bred to have less Shetland Pony blood, with breeders striving for conformation that resembles a small horse more than a pony.

External links

[http://www.poac.org Official website Pony of the Americas Club]

[http://www.poa-germany.de POAs in Germany]

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