“The Passion behind the Ponies”
Welcome to the Dartmoor Pony website
We are a small team of people with a common passion and goal, which is to raise awareness of the wonderful pedigree and registered Dartmoor ponies bred and born right here on Dartmoor.
Living and working here we are often astonished and dismayed when we hear it incorrectly said that the registered pony is too delicate, too refined or too soft to survive and thrive out on the open moor, when in fact the complete opposite is true - these ponies are tough, hardy, extremely clever and have their innate knowledge of Dartmoor passed down from generation to generation!
Dartmoor ponies bred on Dartmoor have gone on to become superb riding, driving, jumping, showing and breeding ponies all over the world.
'Horses for courses'
On Dartmoor there are pedigree Dartmoor ponies, beautiful 'true to type' Heritage Ponies, and also a huge range of Dartmoor Hill Ponies that come in every colour, size, type and mix of breeds including Welsh, Spotteds and Shetlands.....which means there is literally something for everyone.
It's a matter of personal choice, but for us the fact that the native pedigree Dartmoor pony is now an endangered rare breed means we are putting our efforts into letting people know they are here, they are fabulous and they are available for you to buy! If you want a gentle, intelligent, beautiful child's pony who can take your children from lead rein, to gymkhana to even perhaps the Horse of the Year Show it's a Dartmoor pony you need.
Pedigree Dartmoor Ponies
A commonly asked question by visitors to Dartmoor: "Are there any true, purebred Dartmoor ponies left on the open commons?" - Yes! The beautiful small, hardy, thick coated, single coloured ponies are ideally suited to the harsh environment, and many farmers are taking positive, effective steps to retain their traditional herds. These wonderful native ponies, the iconic emblem of Dartmoor National Park are a huge asset to Dartmoor, have been sought after by breeders all over the UK and abroad to improve the quality and type of their own ponies. Some of the farmers/breeders on Dartmoor have been breeding these beautiful ponies for many generations, with their ponies living out on the open moor all year round. Even world famous studs such as Shilstone Rocks let their mares run free on the moor throughout the year, just coming onto the farm for the breeding season!
Coming in a huge range of colours, from bay and black to blue roan, grey, chestnut, pink roan and brown, the Dartmoor Pony is the favourite choice for many people who want a pony that's as happy being loved and fussed by children in the field as they are doing a victory lap at Horse of the Year Show.
The pedigree Dartmoor Pony went from category three ‘Vulnerable’ to category two ‘Endangered’ on The Rare Breeds Survival Trust List in 2015, which is a shocking state of affairs. This website is in support of the breeders who are doing their best to reverse this sad situation, we salute them!
Dartmoor Heritage Ponies
A Heritage Pony is the brand name for a good quality unregistered Dartmoor Pony. Several farms on Dartmoor have beautiful, quality Heritage Ponies as part of their breeding herds, and there is a custom built centre at National Trust Parke, run by Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust which is dedicated to preserving and promoting Heritage and Pedigree ponies.
Dartmoor Hill Ponies
There has been a great deal of media attention over the past few years focusing on the sad fate of the hundreds of unplanned and unwanted foals from Dartmoor hill pony herds on Dartmoor. On this website you can find information on the wonderful, hard working charities that take in hundreds of foals and older ponies in need of a home. They come in a range of colours, size, type, height and even with spots on!
If you would like to add a Dartmoor hill pony to your family, we can tell you where to look whether you prefer to buy, loan, adopt or sponsor one. Each of the charities will help match the right pony to your family, will carry out a home check and give you all the support, advice and help you need.
This glorious background photograph (Malcolm Snelgrove) shows Dartmoor ponies from the Metherall Herd, owned by Sue Hutchings. The grey pony bringing up the rear is their fabulous vasectomised stallion 'Metherall Maelstrom' Sue is one of several farmers who run a vasectomised stallion with their mares on Dartmoor now.