Species group: Ponies
The POA (Pony of the Americas) was developed in the 1950’s to provide a good-sized pony with a gentle disposition, handsome appearance, speed and stamina for young riders who were too big for a pony but not quite ready for a full sized horse.
According to the Pony of the Americas Club (POAC), "In 1954, Les Boomhower was a Shetland pony breeder and a lawyer with his own practice in Mason City, Iowa. A neighbor offered Les an Arabian/Appaloosa mare who had been bred to a Shetland stallion. She was due to foal that spring. Les waited until the foal was born before he bought the mare. The little colt born of this union was white with what looked like black paint smears all over his body."
Appearance / health:
The POA has a refined head similar to an Arabian with expressive eyes and fine ears. It has a substantial body with a broad chest, sloping shoulders, strong hind quarters and ample bone in the legs. Most POA's exhibit the striking coat pattern of an Appaloosa, which could include a blanket or loud leopard spots. Many also exhibit another Appaloosa trait, sclera of the eye, which is when the iris of the eye is encircled with white, similar to a human eye. POA’s also exhibit mottled skin and striped hooves.
Behavior / temperament:
The POA is rugged, athletic and tractable.
temperament, perfect size, extremely versatile pony, young children, quick learner
natural horsemanship, trail courses, late 20searly 30s, longer useful lifespan, barrel racing
"Lucy is such a sweet little cute mare and she has the best temperament with children, adults and strangers. I would recommend a horse of this breed for anyone and they are just the perfect size for beginners and young children. Their markings are also very unique so they make for a flashy little pony. Kids love them. Lucy is a very curious and gentle girl. She will follow you everywhere and is not hard to catch at all.."
From CaseySJ Dec 12 2012 8:56PM
"POAs are appaloosa-colored ponies that are between 11 ½ and 14 hands tall. Adults can show halter horses as well as showing in a limited number of riding classes, training ponies, and coaching young riders. Most of the showing is done by youth (18 and under). I grew up showing POAs, and everyone I know who grew up showing these ponies agrees that it was one of the best times of their life. There are many things that make the POA breed stand out. For one thing, you can compete in most of the same events as you can in quarter horses, paints, or appaloosas, but costs tend to be quite a bit less, and the horses are of a more manageable size. Unlike quarter horse competition, POAs tend to actually be more versatile as individual horses rather than just as a breed. A POA that competes in only one event is unusual, and the ultimate is the horse who can “do it all,” from western and english rail classes to jumping and reining to gymkhana timed events. While the shows are very competitive, with good lessons and a lot of hard work it is possible to be competitive in POAs, whereas many full-size breeds are so intensely competitive that a full-time trainer is almost a requirement. Because the competition is a bit more laid back, the friendships and bonding between the kids tends to be much closer and more meaningful. I can’t think of a better experience growing up than showing POAs. The fun times, the bonding with my ponies, and the friends I made are something I will never forget. ."
From Sharla Simpson Jan 19 2017 6:37PM
"Bambi was actually my neighbor's horse growing up. She was a farm horse, nothing special about her, they didn't show her, she was just used to ride around their home. I've worked with other POA's but Bambi always sticks out in my mind. She was a great horse, at home, she was able to be lead around, at home, she could be rode by anyone, at home. See the pattern? I had went to my neighbors house after school one day to ride horse, then when we were done, we were going to ride her to my house (1/2 mile away) with her parents leading her. <br>We made it about half-way down their 1/4 mile long driveway before Bambi decided she didn't want to be lead out of the driveway. She turned around and bolted for her pasture. Once my neighbors caught up to us, Bambi was waiting at the gate with me still on her. When she saw her people come running, she tried to jump the fence and I went tumbling down. <br> <br>Fast forward a few years and Bambi was sold to our other neighbors, she was just an overall rude horse and we were all told it was the pony in her, that it's just in her nature and these breeds or horses need a firm hand. She never improved, she was always barn and buddy sour. I know this can be said for any horse at any farm but this was my experience with a POA and it wasn't a positive one. I've had other people tell me that their POA's were a dream, it was the best kids horse they had ever owned. You have to hear everyone's experience with any breed to get an idea of how they're going to be. ."
From chloek89 Jul 1 2015 10:20PM