Some Shetland ponies lived on the Shetland islands north of Scotland. They were only used as work ponies, mainly they were called 'pit ponies'. Pit ponies were ponies who pulled cars of coal inside the mines. Some of the ponies never got to go out of the mines and worked their whole lives in them. Other than that, they were also used in the fields and carried back huge sacks of wheat or other kinds of crop the farmers grew there. Sometimes they would carry clams, fish or other kinds of sea food that the people gathered at the shores. The ponies were even used for transportation and had to carry heavy people on their backs. They worked quietly but were not very happy in their work, specially the pit ponies.
But the people there weren’t mean to their ponies. If there was a huge storm that would blow outside, often the owner would let his shetland pony inside for the night. And sometimes he gave the ponies a reward of oats. They had no other kind of horse that would be big enough or strong enough for the work. And even if they could get a bigger horse for the work the pit ponies were smaller and could work around easier in the dark passages. It was really the farm work and especially the riding that a bigger horse was needed. This work was sometimes too much for a shetland pony.
One day the mines were electrified and there was no longer a need for the pit ponies, as they would now use machines. They sent the ponies to America, where they were used as children’s ponies. They seemed to love it there very much. They liked the light children on their back instead of a heavy adult. They where taught to be gentle and made sure they weren’t overfed or mistreated. They loved to pull carts with children ready for a picnic. And sometimes had a apple core for a nice treat! There were two different types of shetland ponies, the slender American and the English draft. English draft shetland ponies came in a solid black, brown or bay color. As for the American, they came in all kinds of colors, patches and spots.