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a small horse, measuring 80–140 cm tall, bred in the British Isles (including the Shetland Islands, the Hebrides, and Ireland), Iceland, Corsica, Sicily, Gotland, and Hokkaido (Japan). Among the approximately 20 breeds are the Shetland, Welsh, Icelandic, Gotland, and Hokkaido ponies.
In their native lands, ponies were used on small peasant farms and in mines. They were also used as pack animals along mountain paths and for distributing food in the cities. Today ponies are widely encountered in parks, where they are hitched to light carriages or used as riding horses. In many countries, various types and colors of ponies are bred especially as work or riding horses.