The Dartmoor Pony is a semi-feral breed of old which has existed in the south-west of England for centuries.
Having evolved in the bleak wilderness of the Devon moors, the breed has developed a natural ruggedness and resilience. Standing at 11-12 hands, the Dartmoor Pony boasts a short and broad structure, a full mane and tail, and is well balanced and proportioned. Its reduced size and gentle disposition makes this a perfect mount for young children.
Whilst the Dartmoor Pony is a common sight on the moors, numbers have suffered serious decline in recent years. As few as 800 ponies were recorded on Dartmoor in 2004.
The breed is classified as two types – the ‘Native’ pony and the ‘Registered.’ The Native’s parentage is unknown as it exists alongside mixed breeds and stallions on the moor. The Registered, however, has been selectively bred in a controlled environment, creating a horse that is better refined.
Today, the Dartmoor Pony is seen in everyday riding and eventing, including dressage and show jumping.
Various horse breeds have contributed to the development of the Dartmoor Pony, including the Thoroughbred, Shetland and Arab.