October 17, 2013

TIL: Ponies are Not Baby Horses

TIL is internet short-hand for "Today I Learned".

Some things you think you know, and then you learn you've been wrong or just a little off-base for years.

My understanding of what a pony is fits into that category, and recently I was set straight when it came up in a group chat with my friends on Facebook.

So here's the surprise about ponies.

Ponies are not baby horses.

At least not anymore.
The original meaning was from the French word for foal (a baby horse), but that's no longer the case.
Maybe only a few of us had that idea wrong... but maybe a lot of us did.

So here's the clarification:
A pony is not based on its age (baby vs adult horse), but on its size at adulthood.

1- Baby horses, under 1 year old, are foals.
      Bonus knowledge: male foals are colts, female foals are fillies. Grown males are stallions, grown females are mares.

2- Ponies are small horses, measuring less than ~14 hands (just under 6 feet) tall at the withers (that's the top point where the neck meets the body).

Mind... blown.
Many comparative pics, like this one, emphasize the size difference

So next time you hear someone is "going to watch the ponies", you might wonder if they're really going to see small (yet grown-up) horses racing, or if they're using the term incorrectly.

At least, I know that's what I'll wonder.

Ride 'em, cowboys and cowgirls!

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