How Did Ponies Get Their Name?
How Did Ponies Get Their Name? The word pony started as the Latin word pullus, which meant “a young animal.” Then the word passed into French as poulenet, meaning “a young horse.” It went into Scottish as powney, and finally into English as pony.
Ponies aren’t baby horses. They are a kind of horse that happens to be small. When fully grown, a pony is less than fifty eight inches high. Most of the ponies you see are Shetland ponies.
The original Shetlands came from the Shetland Islands of Great Britain, where the land did not grow enough food for big horses with large appetites. They were imported to mainland Britain during the industrial revolution and made to work as pit ponies.
When children were banned from working in the coalmines in the 19th Century, the ponies essentially took over this role. Pit ponies were used underground for shifting coal and to pull carts full of peat for fuel.