Each Beag (The Eriskay Pony)

The Eriskay Pony is a jewel in our Scottish heritage. It is very amenable, docile and intelligent, and it is eminently suitable for children. It is good for both riding and driving. Because of its hardiness, its keep is relatively easy and inexpensive especially in its natural habitat in the Outer Hebrides .

It can be traced unchanged throughout history and is indubitably the uncrossed descendant of the wild race which roamed the forests of Scotland before people lived there. When we look at these delightful animals we are seeing the kind of mount which was used by the Picts at the battle of Nechtansmere which laid the foundations of the Scottish nation and the little grey palfrey ridden by King Robert the Bruce at the Battle of Bannockburn .

Not only have they escaped extinction through cross breeding but they have not been selectively bred for size and conformation. The result is they are perfectly adapted to the climate and vegetation of the Highlands and the Atlantic Seaboard.  

   They were incalculably numerous in the 19th Century throughout Scotland particularly in the crofting areas where they played an important role in the lives and economy of the people. During that century and the 20th the Highland Clearances and other factors took their toll of the native ponies. Many were taken from the Highlands and many more were crossbred with larger breeds giving today’s Highland Pony.     

However a few remained in their pure state on the island of Eriskay, no stallion of other breeds having been taken there.” 

Landseer painting