After almost running into extinction, the Pony of Terceira is back in force and recently won recognition as a native Azorean breed from Terceira Island. It is now considered the fourth Portuguese breed after the Lusitano, Garrano and Sorraia.
“These are extremely beautiful and balanced animals, similar to a pure Lusitano but smaller in dimension,” according to Artur Machado from University of Azores that lead the project of rehabilitating and promoting this breed.
It is precisely the fact that the pony looks like a horse, but is smaller, that will make this animals excellent when interacting with children and teaching them how to ride.
The recovering process of the breed took around 14 years. The recognition process took the last two years and it has now an estimated population of 118 ponies.
Usually used as a working animal for agriculture and transport, the Pony of Terceira was closely linked to the daily life in the island and once had an active role in the development of the island.