Three pony types
My Little Pony Friendship is Magic divides ponies into three main "types" in the first episode: Earth ponies, Pegasi, and unicorns. These are called the "three pony tribes" in the episode Hearth's Warming Eve. The storybook Under The Sparkling Sea adds seaponies, and previous My Little Pony generations included flutter ponies and breezies as well as sea ponies. Most, however, are absent from the Friendship is Magic series. The division into three types led the show's developer, Lauren Faust, to initially give them equal representation in the show's main cast and the Cutie Mark Crusaders. The powers of the Alicorns draws equally from the three types, according to the book Twilight Sparkle and the Crystal Heart Spell.
chapter book Twilight Sparkle and the Crystal Heart Spell mentions that one special trait is "the strength of a good, true heart of an Earth Pony." The main cast of the show My Little Pony Friendship is Magic features two Earth ponies: Applejack and Pinkie Pie.
Pegasus. The term "Pegasi" is used in the episodes Sonic Rainboom and The Return of Harmony Part 1, and "Pegasus ponies" is used in the episodes Look Before You Sleep and Sonic Rainboom. When referring to a single pony, "Pegasus" is almost always used, with the exception of one "Pegasus pony" in Friendship is Magic, part 1. Pegasi can usually fly and interact with clouds. The main cast of the show features two Pegasi: Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy. Two Pegasus royal guard ponies pull Princess Luna's chariot in Luna Eclipsed. The guards have tufted ears, bat-like webbed wings, non-hairy tail and crest, and wear dark purple armor.
Rarity and Twilight Sparkle, but Twilight gains wings in the season 3 finale, Magical Mystery Cure (see next section).
Other types of ponies
- Main article: Alicorns
Crystal PoniesCrystal Ponies are introduced in the episode The Crystal Empire - Part 1. Crystal Ponies appear more "faceted" and "glittery" through a magic that links them with the Crystal Heart – this appearance carries on to all episodes that include the Crystal Ponies. While most possess neither wings nor a horn, at least one Crystal Pony guard is shown to have wings in Three's A Crowd; said wings share his body's crystalline appearance. The magic affects other characters temporarily in The Crystal Empire - Part 2, where Princess Cadance, Shining Armor, the main ponies, and Spike – who is a dragon – all temporarily possess on the texture and "coloration" of Crystal Ponies. Princess Celestia notes the importance of the Crystal Ponies when she tells Twilight that if their kingdom is "filled with hope and love, those things are reflected all across Equestria."
In Castle Mane-ia and on The Journal of the Two Sisters' The Journal of Friendship page 3, Spike and Applejack respectively mention shadow ponies. According to a legend told to Applejack by Granny Smith, when Nightmare Moon was banished, remnants of her magic takes the form of a being called the "Pony of Shadows" whenever night falls on the Castle of the Two Sisters.
During King Sombra's diary flashback in My Little Pony: FIENDship is Magic Issue #1, Sombra is told by his mother that he is an umbrum, a Shadow pony, and that an army of umbrum is buried below the Crystal Empire city; Sombra enslaves the Crystal Ponies to raise his umbrum army. In My Little Pony: Friends Forever Issue #4, Twilight Sparkle and Shining Armor discover mechanical pony statues of Sombra's army in a part of the caves below the Crystal Castle, and during the crystal bard's flashback, two members of Sombra's army—unidentified, but both sharing Sombra's gray coat color and at least one sharing Sombra's earlier green eye color—are shown.
Seaponies and mermares
Seaponies, named very similarly to G1 Sea Ponies, first appear in the storybook Under the Sparkling Sea, where the main characters go to the underwater kingdom of Aquastria. They resemble sea horses, and referred to as "cousins" of the earth-based ponies. Mermares, named somewhat similarly to G3.5 Mermaid Ponies and to G1 Fancy Mermaid Ponies, first appear in the same book and have fish fins, tail, and scales, and they are presented as the seaponies' competitor in the kingdom of Aquastria. Mermares are described as more introvert, bigger, and faster than seaponies. Neither kind of submarine ponies bear a cutie mark.
The title Sea-Ponies appears on page 6 of The Fall of Sunset Shimmer. Mermares later appear in My Little Pirate: Friendship Ahoy, one being the love interest of Hoofbeard. Seaponies are also mentioned by Princess Celestia in Friends Forever Issue 3.
Seaponies are later mentioned in Rarity and the Curious Case of Charity.
A mermare and a unicorn seapony appear on pages 9 and 10 respectively in the pop-up book My Little Pony: The Castles of Equestria.
The term "My Little Pony" – and more often "My Little Ponies" – is used a few times in the show, such as by Twilight Sparkle in The Show Stoppers, Princess Celestia, Cheerilee, and Discord in The Return of Harmony Part 1, and Pinkie Pie in Fall Weather Friends, always in conversations concerning at least one pony. "Foals" is used in a few different contexts in the show, and "colt" and "filly" are used to refer to young ponies too, while "baby ponies" is used to refer to the youngest ponies. Apart from the above terms, others are sometimes employed: Trixie boasts in Boast Busters that she is destined to be "the greatest equine who has ever lived"; Sapphire Shores mentions "Clothes Horse magazine" in A Dog and Pony Show; and Braeburn refers to other ponies as "horses" in Over a Barrel. In The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000, Flam states that "Any horse can make a claim and any pony can do the same." In Flight to the Finish, Scootaloo precedes a song by saying about her and her friends "we may just be little ponies, but we have hearts as strong as horses!"
Other kinds of equines and equine-like creatures are featured in the show.
In The Journal of the Two Sisters, young Luna and a manticore named Melvin encounter other zebras in a dark part of the Everfree Forest. Like Zecora, they have cutie marks and all speak in rhyme.
Donkeys and mules
A resident Ponyville mule is used as a visual gag in Applebuck Season, Hurricane Fluttershy, and One Bad Apple; Mulia Mild is another mule. One of the Diamond Dogs refers to Rarity as a "mule" in A Dog and Pony Show, and she acts deeply upset about it.
The Saddle Arabian delegates feature a different design than the other ponies.
The Breezies are tiny, magical fairy-like creatures that have distinct pony attributes and body shapes, whilst also having large, clear wings and antennae. In the third generation of the My Little Pony toy line, Breezies were originally considered an official pony type, as previous generation Breezies had cutie marks, whilst in contrast the fourth generation Breezies are completely blank-flanked.
Horse-like stylizationThe show's developer, Lauren Faust, wanted the ponies to act in ways characteristic of horses and avoid human conventions that wouldn't fit with their stylization, like human poses and holding items in their hooves. Faust wanted the characters to "evoke the feeling of a natural horse". Faust specifies a few attributes in one of her interviews: the back of the ponies' heads streamlines down their neck and to their back; the manes fall to one side of the neck like a real horse; and they have authentic horse trots and gallops. Despite this, season two and onwards saw the show incorporate more human-like stylization as new artists joined the show.
Use of instrumentsMost of the time ponies hold objects with their mouths, with their "wrist", between their hooves, by using magic, or simply just with a single hoof: ponies hold shovels in their hooves in Winter Wrap Up, and Octavia Melody and the violin playing pony in Luna Eclipsed "hold" the instrument's bow with their hoof. In Pinkie Pride, Pinkie Pie uses a sticky tape-like substance to hold a bubble blower onto her hoof.
ApplausePonies applaud in the series in two different ways. The first is by clapping their front hooves together, like Twilight Sparkle in Look Before You Sleep, Hoity Toity in Suited for Success, and Apple Bloom's classmates in Family Appreciation Day. The second way characters applaud is by stamping their front hooves on the ground, first done by the theater audience in The Show Stoppers; other examples are the applause by the fashion show audience and Rarity in Green Isn't Your Color, and by crowds in The Cutie Mark Chronicles, The Last Roundup, and Putting Your Hoof Down.
Hoof-bumpA hoof-bump, also known as high-hoof or brohoof, imitates either a handshake, high-five, or even a fist bump. Ponies bump their hooves in several instances in the series:
- Look Before You Sleep: Rarity declines a hoof-bump by Applejack since she spit on her own hoof before offering it. Later, the two of them do a hoof-bump after Twilight declares her slumber party a success.
- Fall Weather Friends: Applejack and Rainbow Dash do a spit-soaked hoof-bump before competing against each other before the Iron Pony competition and before the Running of the Leaves.
- A Bird in the Hoof: Rainbow Dash and Philomena hoof/wing-bump toward the end of the episode.
- Sisterhooves Social: Applejack and Apple Bloom hoof-bump (referred to by Sweetie Belle as a "high-hoof") after corralling sheep.
- A Friend in Deed: Pinkie Pie uses the term "hoof-bump" during the Smile Song.
- Ponyville Confidential: The Cutie Mark Crusaders do a three-way hoof-bump several times throughout the episode.
- A Canterlot Wedding - Part 1, The Crystal Empire - Part 1, and Games Ponies Play: Twilight and Princess Cadance do a double hoof-bump in their "sunshine, sunshine" dance.
- Wonderbolts Academy: The term "hoof-bump" is once again used, this time by Rainbow Dash.
- Games Ponies Play: Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy hoof-bump during the "Equestria Games Inspector's" visit to the Crystal Empire.
- Princess Twilight Sparkle - Part 1: Twilight and Pinkie Pie hoof-bump as they and their friends put on the Elements of Harmony.
- Castle Mane-ia: Applejack and Rainbow Dash hoof-bump while agreeing to stay in the castle to prove who is the most daring pony.
- Daring Don't: Daring Do offers Rainbow Dash a hoof-bump before Rainbow Dash hugs her.
- Flight to the Finish: The Cutie Mark Crusaders hoof-bump while agreeing to Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon's challenge. Scootaloo and Granny Smith also hoof-bump after Scootaloo regains her confidence.
- Equestria Games: Two ponies on the Ponyville team do wing-ups and hoof-bumps at the same time.
- Twilight's Kingdom - Part 2: Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy hoof-bump in the Friendship Rainbow Kingdom castle during Let the Rainbow Remind You.
- Party Pooped: Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash hoof-bump after Rainbow makes a blanket of snow for Prince Rutherford and the other Yakyakistan delegates.
In Keep Calm and Flutter On, Rainbow Dash moves her hooves to imitate air quotes, even though part of the point of air quotes is that the two fingers of each hand represent the two curved lines of the quotes. Applejack does the same thing in Twilight's Kingdom - Part 1.
- ↑ New York Comic Con 2012 MLP Panel (2012-10-12). Retrieved on 2012 October 15.
- ↑ Lauren Faust panel at BronyCon 2012 (2012-06-30). Retrieved on 2012 July 7.
- ↑ "Extended interview with Lauren Faust", Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony, 2013
- ↑ Interview: Raven Molisee at Everfree Northwest 2013. The Round Stable (2013-07-16). Retrieved on 2013 July 16.
- ↑ Review: MLP:FiM Micro-Series issue #2: Rainbow Dash. Louder Yay (2013-03-21). Retrieved on 2013 March 31.