Pony in exhibit
Scientific Name
Equus caballus
Geographic Range
Throughout the world
Grasses and other vegetation
Pony in exhibit Endangered Status Graph - Not Listed Endangered Status Graph - Not Listed

More Information

The term “pony” is generally used to describe various horse breeds that are between 34–56 inches at the shoulder. Researchers believe ponies were domesticated between 4,000 and 2,00O B.C.E. Lincoln Park Zoo cares for two breeds: pinto ponies and Shetland ponies.

Pinto ponies are members of the pinto breed that are small enough to be considered ponies. They are defined by their coloring rather than their genetic ancestry. They generally have a dark-colored coat with white patches on top.

Shetland ponies are one of the oldest horse breeds in Britain. They originate from rocky islands off the northern coast of Scotland, with shaggy coats that are adapted to a harsh climate. They were originally used to haul coal, peat, and seaweed, but are mostly pets today.

Did You Know?

  • Pinto ponies come in two varieties: tobiano, with a larger spotted pattern, and overo, with more jagged white markings.
  • Shetland ponies are regarded as the strongest equines relative to body size in existence.
  • Horse breeds smaller than 34 inches are miniature horses, not ponies.


Animal Care staff working with seal

Commitment to Care

Lincoln Park Zoo prioritizes individual well-being over everything else. Guided by scientific research, staff and volunteers work to provide the best welfare outcomes for each individual in the zoo’s care.

Learn More

Support Your Zoo

Two Chilean flamingos in exhibit

Animals Depend On People Too

When you ADOPT an animal, you support world-class animal care by helping to provide specially formulated diets, new habitat elements, and regular veterinary checkups.

Adopt an Animal

Asian small-clawed otter in exhibit

Wish List

The Wish List is full of one-of-a-kind items for the zoo’s animals, including nutritious snacks and enrichment items to keep them active and healthy.

Browse the Wish List

African penguin eating a fish

Take Action With Us

Wildlife face many daunting challenges—some global, like planet-wide climate change, and some that affect individuals, like an animal ingesting plastic—but now is not the time to despair. None of these problems are too big for us to come together and solve.

Take Action

Empty Playlist