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Mountain and moorland

Mountain and moorland or M&M is a generic term which covers several breeds of horse native to the British Isles.

It is also a showing term which covers classes for British native pony breeds (usually excluding the Welsh breeds. Mountain and moorland classes are divided into two subsections, small breeds and large breeds. Horses and ponies are shown in the relevant section regardless of the individual animal's size. They are overseen by the relevant breed society, and by the British Show Pony Society.

A Shetland pony groomed for show


Mountain and moorland breeds

Small breeds

Large breeds

Highland Pony Champion at the Royal Highland Show 2005, Grace of Carlung

Welsh pony rules

Welsh ponies often have their own classes, and are excluded from mountain and moorland classes. However, where this is not the case, Welsh section A and Welsh section B ponies are classed under the small breeds category, and Welsh section C and Welsh section D (Welsh cob) ponies are classed under the large breeds category.

Showing mountain and moorland ponies


Mountain and moorland ponies should be shown in their "native" state, and are not trimmed or plaited (braided) . In reality a little light trimming is commonplace, for example to show off the fine head of the Connemara, and Welsh ponies often have their manes pulled to a length of about six inches. In some cases, trimming is necessary - if a small breeds pony's tail was left to grow unchecked it would become matted with mud and the pony could stand on it, potentially causing injury to itself or its rider.

Bridles should be plain and workmanlike, without coloured browbands or embellishments. A double bridle or a pelham bit is used in open classes, while a snaffle bit is used in novice classes.

Rider dress

Riders should wear tweed jackets, canary or buff breeches, shirt and tie, plain gloves and a navy hat. Adult riders on large breed ponies should wear long boots with garter straps. Adult riders on small breed ponies may choose whether to wear long boots or jodhpur boots. Children should always wear jodhpur boots. Show canes or plain leather whips are carried.

The use of spurs is forbidden in all mountain and moorland classes.

Part-bred classes

Many shows hold classes for part bred mountain and moorland horses and ponies. In this instance, the horse should be turned out according to type - for example hunter pony or riding pony.


External links


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