|“||Merry's ponies had escaped altogether, and eventually (having a good deal of sense) they made their way to the Downs in search of [Tom Bombadil's pony] Fatty Lumpkin. So they came under the care of Tom Bombadil for a while, and were well-off.||”|
–The Fellowship of the Ring, A Knife in the Dark
Taming, saddling, equipping a chest to and finally riding a Shire Pony is the requirement to earn the achievement "Poor Old Bill".
Shire Ponies spawn exclusively in the Shire; in this biome, no horses spawn, since they would be too large for Hobbits to ride. It will thus probably be the first mount a new player encounters.
In the manner of donkeys and mules, they can be made to carry saddlebags once tamed by right-clicking on them with a chest. It should be noted that like mules, they cannot wear horse armour because such things are unheard-of in the Shire; additionally, they are too small. Only tamed ponies can be bred in the same way as the horses in Middle-earth, that is with normal apples. Golden carrots do not work.
When killed, Shire Ponies drop between zero and three pieces of leather, just like normal horses. Also the saddle and the contents of the saddlebags is dropped.