The UK Shetland Pony Stud-Book Society sets the breed standard for registered Shetland ponies world-wide.
Registered stock must not exceed 42 inches. Ponies are measured from the withers to the ground, by measuring stick, and a level stance, preferably concrete, should be used.
Shetland ponies may be any colour known in horses except spotted.
A double coat in winter with guard hairs which shed the rain and keep the pony's skin completely dry in the worst of the weather and, in summer a short coat which should carry a beautiful silky sheen. At all times the mane and tail hair should be long, straight and profuse.
The head should be small, and in proportion. Ears should be small and erect, wide set but pointing well forward. Forehead should be broad with bold, dark, intelligent eyes. Muzzle must be broad with nostrils wide and open. Teeth and jaw must be correct.
The neck should be properly set onto the shoulder, which in turn should be sloping, not upright, and end in a well defined wither. The body should be strong, with plenty of heart room, well sprung ribs, the loin strong and muscular. The quarters should be broad and long with the tail set well up on them.
These should have good, flat bone. Strong forearm. Short balanced cannon bone. Springy pasterns.
The thighs should be strong and muscular with well-shaped strong hocks. When viewed from behind, the hindlegs should not be set too widely apart, nor should the hocks be turned in.
Tough, round and well shaped.
Straight, free action using every joint. Tracking up well.
A most salient and essential feature of the Shetland pony is its general air of vitality (presence), stamina and robustness.