The Welsh Pony of Cob Type was developed by crossing the light Welsh Mountain Ponies (Section As) with the larger and heavier Welsh Cobs (Section Ds). The result is a small cob with big heart and plenty of ability. Although it was bred for work (and some are still used for this), today it is an outstanding pony for children to ride and adults to drive.
The original Welsh breed is believed to be the Welsh Mountain pony which has lived in the mountains of Wales for literally thousands of years. These ponies are of small stature, which can be an asset in some situations but a limitation in others. It is believed that the original Welsh Cob (section D) was developed by crossing these mountain ponies with larger breeds including some chosen for their refinement (such as Arabs) and others for their strength. When this breed was established, crossing it back with the original Welsh Mountain ponies produced the Welsh Pony of Cob Type (Section C). Today, Section C ponies can be either the result of a cross between the Section A ponies and the Welsh Cobs or can be bred directly from other Section C ponies.
Originally the animals were bred as working animals, combining small stature with relatively high strength. Today, however, they are prized as riding and driving animals. They make excellent children's ponies. The choice between Section B and Section C will depend partly on preference and partly on purpose. The cobby build of the Section C means that they are less suited to dressage, but they are powerful jumpers and are excellent for cross-country rides. While all the Welsh ponies have good temperaments, some people may feel safer on the sturdier Section C ponies.
The Section C is more like a smaller version of the Welsh Cob than to either the Section A or Section B ponies. They can stand up to 13.2 hands high and all whole colours are permitted. Their necks and bodies are noticeably more muscular than those of the Section A and B ponies. Their legs are also broader, with some light feathering typical of cobs. They maintain the same good bone structure as the other Welsh breeds. In spite of their sturdy build, the Section C ponies still have a refined look with the Arab-style face (a dished forehead and large eyes) and the small pony ears. Like the other Welsh ponies the move well both under saddle and in harness. Their tale is typically set high and may be raised to show emotion, such as excitement.
Section C ponies have the gentle temperament typical of all the Welsh ponies. It is a mistake however to assume that there size and easy-going nature makes them dull to ride. Beginners will find them reliable and trustworthy mounts. More experienced riders will find them adventurous and resourceful. Their ancestors managed to cope with all the challenges of life in the Welsh mountains and the modern Section C has inherited their resourcefulness. Like its Welsh cousins, the Section C is an honest worker. The only time a Section C is likely to cause any difficulty is if it is over-fed and/or given insufficient exercise. Either of these situations may lead to the pony simply having too much energy and becoming difficult to handle. In the second case, in particular, excitement at finally being allowed out to work may exacerbate any problems already caused by over-feeding. The irritating habit of jogging instead of walking or trotting properly is often a sign of a pony with too much energy, although it can also be caused by a smaller pony being concerned about being left behind when out with a larger one. All of these issues can usually be avoided by good management.
Welsh Section C Health
As well as being sturdy in build, the Section C is sturdy in health. If properly cared for, vet's bills should be minimal. The most important point to remember is that like all the Welsh breeds (and native breeds in general), the Section C thrives on very little food. This means that it can be very easy to over-feed them and this is a cruelty rather than a kindness. Obesity is as bad for ponies as it is for humans. In particular, overweight ponies are at particular risk of laminitis, which can leave horses crippled. Even when no extra food is given, ponies can easily over-eat themselves on rich pasture land. This means that it is critical to watch their weight and to restrict their grazing if necessary. Some yards keep a starvation paddock especially so that ponies can be kept outdoors without being able to over-eat, but where this is not possible then the pony can be kept stabled for part of the day. In summer, ideally this should be during the daytime to give the pony respite from the heat.
Caring for a Welsh Section C
The Section C pony is, in horse terms, easy to care for. It can live out all year although having access to a stable does have several advantages and is likely to be a necessity if the horse is to be worked over the winter. The Section C will grow a thick coat, which will give it admirable protection from the cold, but will mean that it will sweat and be uncomfortable if worked hard unless it is clipped. If it is clipped then it will need extra protection from the cold. How much extra protection depends on the extent of the clipping. They will need regular grooming all year round (particularly in winter) as well as shoeing/feet-trimming and worming. Although their feeding requirements are minimal they will need access to clean water at all time and their stable and paddock will need to be kept clean.
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