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Why I Love Connemara Ponies

Updated on March 31, 2012

Beautiful Connemara Ponies from Ireland

Why do I love Connemara ponies?

These good-natured, hardy and intelligent ponies have a very special place in my heart. Although I adore all horses, ponies and donkeys, there is something that always makes my heart soar when I see a Connemara. Here's why...

When I was a teenager, I went through mad phases where I got totally obsessed with things. The X-Files and collecting vintage Star Wars action figurines are two prime examples! Around the age of 13, I fell completely and utterly in love with horses and ponies. I learned everything I could about them, from the different parts of saddles and bridles to the name of every single horse breed and colour!

More than once I could be heard pleading at home, "Can I have a pony pleeeease?" to no avail. Alas, we had neither the room nor the finance for a horse, so I had to make do with books, magazines, films and models from Breyer and Julip. Luckily, however, I became good friends with a girl at school who DID have a pony. Her name was Miss Muffet (the pony, that is, not the girl!) and she was, as you might have guessed, a Connemara pony.

This is her in the picture - a gorgeous dun delight! Little Miss Muffet taught me to ride, and this is my tribute to her.

Photo Credits: All photos are copyright of the author unless otherwise stated. Please do not use elsewhere without permission, thank you.

Introducing Little Miss Muffet...

She sat on a tuffet, eating her carrots and hay!

Here's me when I was about 14 or 15, with Miss Muffet. I was a very shy child, which continued into teenage-hood, and was not particularly adventurous. So I was a little nervous about getting on a horse, but luckily I had Muffet to guide me! She was a very good pony, typical of the Connemara, who is said to be well tempered and a good jumper.

I remember the thrill of riding her for the first time, and eventually building up to trot, then rising trot, and once, even a canter (not by choice - cheeky little Muffet decided to bolt for the other side of the paddock!)

My friend even coerced me into trying a jump - although as you can see, it wasn't very high! It seemed like a massive leap to me at the time though!!

Copyright Olaf Kleinwegen - taken from Wikimedia Commons
Copyright Olaf Kleinwegen - taken from Wikimedia Commons

What is a Connemara Pony?

Learn about this Hardy Breed

Connemara ponies hail from the West Coast of Ireland - Connemara to be precise, which is a beautiful area in County Galway.

This broad peninsula stretches between Killary Harbour and Kilkieran Bay in south west Connacht, and the name derives from Conmhaicne Mara, which means descendants of Con Mhac (of the sea).

Despite its beauty, it is a harsh landscape, and hence the ponies have evolved as a very hardy breed. Much of the area is bog, shown here.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons - Copyright Christophe Meneboeuf

The Connemara pony has existed in Western Ireland for many years, although its exact origins are unknown. However, there are theories as to where it originated - one is that it was developed from Scandinavian ponies first brought to Ireland by the Vikings, while others link it to a now-extinct, pre-13th century breed called the Irish Hobby. Legend, meanwhile, says that Spanish galleons ran aground in 1588 from the Armada, and their Andalusian horses bred with the native ponies.

Typically, the Connemara is grey, like the one above. But they can also be bay, black, brown, dun (like Miss Muffet), and also occasionally roan, chestnut or palomino.

Standing at 13 to 14.2 hands high, the Connemara is said to be a good natured, intelligent, sensible pony, with a good temper and jumping ability that makes it ideal for a child's pony and for showjumping.

It also has mighty fine stock in its veins. In the 1700's, Arabian blood was added, and it was later crossed with Hackneys and Thoroughbreds. However, increased crossbreeding began to dilute the pony bloodlines, and so the Connemara Pony Breeder's Society was formed in the 1920s which began working to preserve the breed.

Jigsaw of HORSE

Connemara Pony, Stallion from Ardea

Black Connemara Stallion Running in Field Elizabeth, Colorado, USA Photographic Poster Print by Carol Walker, 24x32

The Little Horse That Could: The Connemara Stallion, Erin Go Bragh
The Little Horse That Could: The Connemara Stallion, Erin Go Bragh

A movie all about the care and showing of a Connemara.

 

Remembering Miss Muffet - A Connemara with Heart!

All good things come to an end, and, eventually, both my friend and I grew too big to ride Miss Muffet. My friend bought a new horse called Sunny, who was a bit frisky for me, so I took to riding her mum's shire horse, Dolly. Bless Dolly, she was a bit of a plod, and you could rarely get a trot out of her, but she was a beautiful horse!

Miss Muffet retired to galloping around the paddock. School came to an end, and I saw less of my friend. She eventually sold Muffet, much to my dismay, so I don't know what happened to her in the end. I lost touch with my friend, but I often think of Muffet. She may well have gone to the great paddock in the sky by now, but she will live on in my horsey heart!

Connemara Pony Showcase - Tribute Video to the Connemara Pony

Here is a great clip show of Connemara pony images set to "Fly on the Wings of Love".

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I hope you enjoyed this four-legged lens! Please leave your comments, feedback and Connemara stories here!

Connemara Comments - Thanks for reading my Horse Review page!

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    • AdeleW profile image

      AdeleW 5 years ago

      Connemaras are a lovely breed of pony, as a qualified riding instructor,I have taught many people on many various breeds of horse and pony, and I have always loved my connemaras. Both have been dun with the best temperament. A great horse or pony will always live on in your heart forever. Great lens,thanks for sharing!

    • Philippians468 profile image

      Philippians468 6 years ago

      thank you for sharing this! they are indeed lovely! cheers

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Beautiful Connemara Pony Christmas Card and Calendar:

      http://connemarapony.redbubble.com/

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Connemara Pony Fans on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/connemara.pony.fanpage

    • greenerme profile image

      greenerme 7 years ago

      These are incredibly beautiful! I love what you've done with this lens and the CSS background. This is the first time I'm seeing the Horse Review club template. I like what I see!

    • profile image

      kimmanleyort 7 years ago

      I can see why this is a superstar lens; it is a lovely, personal story about Connemara ponies, especially your precious Muffet. I saw Connemara ponies in the hills of Western Ireland and they have a special place in my heart.

    • The-Java-Gal profile image

      The-Java-Gal 7 years ago

      Sure did enjoy reading about Miss Muffet. It seems those childhood memories stay for a lifetime. Congrats on the SuperStar.

    • clouda9 lm profile image

      clouda9 lm 7 years ago

      Congrats on the Superstar...it sure is deserving! Enjoyed your story about Miss Muffet the Connemara Pony and all the beautiful photos!

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 7 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      What a wonderful story! Congratulations on your Superstar Lens!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 7 years ago from Central Florida

      It's so interesting to learn about different breeds of horses. I was horse-crazy too as an early teen.

    • Grasmere Sue profile image

      Sue Dixon 7 years ago from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK

      A great lens about this lovely animal. Thanks

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 7 years ago from United States

      Miss Muffet is beautiful! She is the perfect size for a teenager. I love her coloring, so pretty. I would love to visit Ireland. My mother has always wanted to go to Ireland. Her father was Irish decent and she feels a connection to the lovely country.

    • WildFacesGallery profile image

      Mona 7 years ago from Iowa

      Lovely lens. The horse photos were gorgeous. Well done! :)

    • profile image

      SnoopyGirl1 7 years ago

      What a lovely lens! I had never heard of Connemara Ponies before. Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      tssfacts 7 years ago

      Congratulations on getting RocketMoms Superstar Lens. Very well done 5*. I didn't know much about this horse breed. They are beautiful.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Wasn't familiar with the connemara until now. What a beautiful pony!

    • stacy mcdaniel profile image

      stacy mcdaniel 7 years ago

      Beautiful Lens! Love the pictures:-)

    • momto4 lm profile image

      momto4 lm 7 years ago

      Great lens! We're thinking about getting a pony for my oldest son. He loves horses!

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 7 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Love it and the backgrounds you use here too.

    • profile image

      happynutritionist 7 years ago

      This is beautiful! So deserves to be a RocketMoms Superstar...nice! ~claudia

    • myraggededge profile image

      myraggededge 7 years ago

      This is wonderful! I've been to Connemara and have seen the ponies there. My first was an evil Welsh Mountain pony called Smokey. I had him until his demise at age 30-ish. Beautifully done.

      Was trying to think of a caption but it turned into a full-scale dialogue about pony cubes!

    • hlkljgk profile image

      hlkljgk 7 years ago from Western Mass

      beautiful ponies

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Another great lens. Interesting reading your story and some lovely pics too. What lovely ponies.

    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 7 years ago from New Zealand

      Great lens. Love the photos and your story.

    • Ecolicious LM profile image

      Penny Pincher G 7 years ago

      love the pictures and personal story

    • HorseAndPony LM profile image

      HorseAndPony LM 7 years ago

      What a great story and I love the pictures. We just love ponies and the Connemara is one of my daughter's favorites. Thanks for sharing. Blessed! http://www.squidoo.com/horseandpony-squidangel

    • profile image

      bdkz 7 years ago

      Love this lens!

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 7 years ago from Canada

      Great lens; great story.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Very nicely presented information about Connemara ponies. I had not heard of them before. Thanks for sharing!

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 7 years ago from USA

      Gorgeous!