The Dartmoor Pony of England
Gentle Ponies In the Wild Moors of England..
Dartmoor is a mysterious, brooding section of Devon,England, an area rich in folktales and lonely, dramatic storms. The Dartmoor ponies that roam freely there have been features of the landscape for centuries. it is a stocky, hearty breed and was once used in the mines and in quarries. It is not difficult to train, and works as well as any pony, despite its inherent wildness. It was once thought they were related to the British Exmoor Pony, but new research hints that the Dartmoor has evolved independently. It has excellent stamina, and very strong feet.
The ponies have small heads with wide-set eyes and full manes. They have a gentle temperament and stay calm in the worst of conditions. To qualify as a Dartmoor, the pony must stand no higher than 12.2 hands, and should be bay, brown, black, grey, chestnut or roan. Dartmoor Ponies with "pinto" type coloring and large white places on legs, etc., are not deemed as suitable. They are all adorable-looking, and seemed to live in a fantasy setting, surrounded by rock outcrops, wild streams and open moorland.
The problem is, they started to breed too rapidly after World War II and many animal control experts suggested shooting them to reduce their numbers. At any rate--the facts are unclear and perhaps too depressing to discuss here--their numbers went from 25,000 in the 1930's to less than 5,000 today. At any rate, these sturdy strong ponies have a distinct place in the hearts of many horse lovers in Britain as well as the USA.