The German Riding Pony is a breed/type whose development began almost 40 years ago. Systematic selection has led to a pony that is athletic, elegant, intelligent with a good disposition.
In 1965 German pony breeding associations saw the need to develop a breed of large pony that would be suitable for national and international competition for children.
The goal was to maintain the pony character, type and willingness to perform along with the competitive athleticism of a riding horse.
Breeders’ first attempts were what they thought would be the easy solution, to cross thoroughbred and Arabian stallions with Fjord and Haflinger ponies. These cross-breeding attempts to produce a sport pony in one generation did not lead to success.
Some German breeders began to import British pony breeds, primarily Welsh, which were bred to one another and also selectively crossed with local horses, infusing Arabian, Anglo-Arabian, thoroughbred and some warmblood blood, and by 1975 a German riding pony type developed.
These first ponies of the riding pony type showed their superb abilities at local, national and international competitions. Several quality stallions emerged that were used to further develop the breed goal.
Soon these stallions, and later the high quality mares, began to be tested and approved for breeding to further control and improve the type.
In the 1990′s attempts were made to further improve the breed through the infusion of Trakehner, Hanoverian and Holstein stallion blood, and again this infusion of horse blood was unsuccessful, as the pony type and qualities were often lost.
Today’s German Riding Pony breeders use specific bloodlines to reliably create German Riding Ponies that fulfill the goal of a pony type who competes with the athleticism of a small warmblood.