The Dartmoor Pony is breed of pony that lives on Dartmoor England. It has been there for centuries and is used in a variety of roles. Because of the extreme weather conditions experienced on the moors, the Dartmoor is a particularly hardy breed with excellent stamina. Over the centuries, it has been used as a working animal by local tin miners and quarry workers. It is kept in a semiferal state on Dartmoor.
Despite this, numbers living on the open moor have declined from an estimated 5,000 in 1900 to about 300 registered ponies today. Only around 800 ponies were known to be grazing the moor in the spring of 2004.
Dartmoor Ponies are native to Britain, but are also seen in other parts of the world, including the USA, Continental Europe, New Zealand, and Australia. They are often used as foundation breeding stock for the Riding Pony. The breed is a suitable size and temperament for a children’s mount, but it is also quite capable of carrying an adult. They are used for hunting, trail riding, showing, jumping, dressage, and driving, as well as everyday riding.
All ponies free-roaming on Dartmoor are owned and protected by Dartmoor Commoners. Visitors feeding the ponies is illegal.
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