The animals of choice for transportation for both hobbits and dwarves, being of smaller stature than horses.

Some noted ponies included the five owned by Meriadoc Brandybuck, which the hobbits rode from Crickhollow to Bree. They were given names by Tom Bombadil: Sharp-ears, Swish-tail, Wise-nose, White-socks, and Bumpkin. It is said that after being given these names, they would answer to no others. These ponies disappeared from Bree after the attack by the Ringwraiths, but eventually made their way back to Tom Bombadil. He later returned them to Barliman Butterbur when he heard of their purchase from Meriadoc.

Tom Bombadil himself owned a pony, named Fatty Lumpkin who loved to wander the fields and hills around the Old Forest. He was seldom ridden, seeming to be more friend than beast of burden.

Perhaps the most famous pony of them all was Bill. Originally belonging to Bill Ferny in Bree, Barliman Butterbur bought him for the hobbits in replacement for the five lost, as well as compensating Meriadoc for his loss of the five ponies. Bill the Pony served his purpose as a pack animal well, travelling with the Fellowship to Rivendell, where he seemed to have learned to understand the common tongue, and then to Moria. He was left at the West-door of Moria, from whence he found his way back to Bree. He was returned to Sam Gamgee by Butterbur when the hobbits passed through Bree on their way home.

Picture (c) John Howe
Encyclopedia entry originally written by Merides