They are essentially horsemen, and have a cruel habit of gashing the backs of their ponies that they may get a good seat in the blood.
The inland transit of goods is almost entirely on the backs of bulls carrying from 450 to 600 lb, on ponies carrying 200 ib, and on men carrying from l00 to 150 lb, bringing the average cost up to a fraction over 8d.
Shorthorns and polled Angus are the commonest breeds of cattle; the sheep are mostly Cheviots and a Cheviot-Leicester cross, but the native sheep are still reared in considerable numbers in Hoy and South Ronaldshay; pigs are also kept on several of the islands, and the horses - as a rule hardy, active and small, though larger than the famous Shetland ponies - are very numerous, but mainly employed in connexion with agricultural work.
Of imported animals, cattle, goats, asses and dogs thrive well, ponies and horses indifferently, and sheep badly, though some success has been achieved in breeding them.
His thoughts were a carousel that like repeating ponies progressed in circles no closer to conclusion than the start of the ride.
Pigs and a hardy breed of ponies find a good living in the forest; and in spite of an act in 1851 providing for their extermination or removal, a few red deer still survive.
The breeding of cobs and ponies comes next in importance, and thirdly that of cattle, now mostly Herefords, though Speed mentions a native breed, long since extinct, all white with red ears.
Excellent polo ponies are bred as first or second crosses by thoroughbred stallions on the mares of nearly all the varieties of ponies named.
Finland ponies are exported in large numbers.
Experience only can teach the art of packing wagons and the care of draught animals, and throughout the campaign the small ponies of Poland and East Prussia broke down by thousands from over loading and unskilful packing.