A SHETLAND pony is lucky to be alive after being cruelly dragged by a rope behind a car on Christmas Day in Queensland, the RSPCA says.

RSPCA spokesman Michael Beatty says it was at first thought the pony would have to be put down because it was in so much pain following the incident on Murphy's Creek Road, east of Toowoomba.

The pony sustained severe lacerations to its legs, and its hooves were torn and bloodied.

"He's going to pull through," Mr Beatty told said.

"We need to find out who it belongs to and more about what happened."

Mr Beatty said witnesses confronted two men who had been dragging the pony in a brown 1988-89 VN Holden Commodore who then let the rope go and sped off at about 1pm (AEST) on Christmas Day.

The pony was transferred to the RSPCA's Fairfield shelter, where it remains under veterinary care.

"It was in considerable pain and had difficulty walking or even standing," said RSPCA Queensland's assistant chief inspector Tracey Jackson.