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Yorkshire Times
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Hannah Russell
Features Writer
9:00 PM 9th September 2017

The History Of Miniature Shetlands

Pepper and Alfie
Pepper and Alfie
Miniature Shetlands are so much fun. They're cheeky, naughty and cause a lot of havoc so it's a good job they are small, but I couldn't imagine my life without my two Shetlands Alfie and Pepper. They certainly keep me on my toes running after them and clearing up the mess they like to make together...

I've owned Pepper for nearly 10 years which is a little bit scary. Time certainly flies when you're having fun... Pepper came from a breeder's yard in the Yorkshire Dales National Park and his full name is 'Parlington Pepper'. The stud name is known as 'Parlington stud.'

Breeders often give their yards a certain name as this shows they produce high quality animals from breeding and it's also a way to get their name known across the globe. Pepper is your average size Miniature Shetland and stands at 34 inches high and his coat colour is known as 'Dun'.

Alfie on the other hand has dwarfism and stands at just 28 inches high. He doesn't have a stud name and came from a different breeders yard who couldn't keep him because of his dwarfism.

The history of Miniature Shetlands dates back years and years. In fact after doing some research Miniature Shetlands have been recorded to date back between 2000 and 1000 BCE, which was way before my time!!

Alfie and Pepper
Alfie and Pepper
Shetlands and Miniature Shetlands come from the 'Shetland Islands' which is a small island that lies north east of Great Britain and forms part of Scotland. To this day the island still has wild Shetlands roaming on it
(around 1,500). I would love to go visit one day and maybe take Alfie along for the journey and tell him all about where he originates from.

Shetland and Miniature Shetlands are incredibly hardy and often don't need shelter during the winter months as they get incredibly thick woolly coats.

In my last blog post I talked about Alfie getting his winter coat already and he's looking fluffier by the day.

Today Shetlands are talked about all over the world and used all over the world for different things. They often take centre stage at big horse shows such as the 'Horse of the Year Show' and 'The Shetland Pony Grand National'. You can often spot them in the Shetland section at agricultural shows.

I personally don't take my Shetlands to shows, mainly because I don't have the time and would rather be at home training them or spending time in the fields with the horses!

I often take Pepper and Alfie for walks down the street together which can sometimes result in them both getting told off, as when they're together they always seem extra naughty.