|Pony of the Americas|
| In 1954, Leslie Boomhower, an Iowa man, bred Shetland Ponies. Les was offered an Arab/Shetland mare, who was bred with a Shetland stallion accidentally. Les was not sure that he wanted the mare. He decided to wait until the foal was born, and then decide whether or not he wanted to buy the mare.
The mare gave birth to a white colt with black markings, that appeared to be paint smears, all over his body. Les looked at the colt and noticed that some of the black marks on the colt's hindquarters reassembled a black hand. Les decided to buy the mare and foal. He named the colt Black Hand.
Les liked the Black Hand and wanted to breed more ponies like him. He called his Shetland breeding friends to a meeting. Les and his friends decided to breed gentle, easy to train, spotted ponies. The Pony of the Americas breed was born.
Originally, to be registered as a Pony of the Americas, the pony had to be between 44-52 inches, have a small Arab-like head, a muscular body, and Appaloosa coloring. The spots had to be big enough to see from 40 ft. away. Now, the breed has changed slightly. Pony of the Americas breeders started using larger ponies, such as Welsh Ponies, and Mustangs. They also used more Quarter Horses and Appaloosa bloodlines.
A larger pony was the result. So, the breed raised the height to 56 inches (14hh).
If you attend a Pony of the Americas show, you will see various coat colors and patterns. Some of the ponies have spots all over their bodies and some have "blankets" of spots over their hindquarters. Spots also vary in size.
Pony of the Americas are great for kids. They are very versatile. They also make wonderful jumpers.
For more information, visit poac.org.