Photos and informations about the rare Dülmener Wildpferd breed, Forgotten Horses a photographic project about endangered equines by The Pixel Nomad

Dülmener Wildpferd

Risk Level: at risk
Local Risk Level: Critical
Listed by DAD-IS
Pony breed from Germany

Informations about the rare Dülmener Wildpferd

The Dülmener Wildpferd, or Dülmen Wild Horse, is a remarkable and historic equine breed native to the Merfelder Bruch nature reserve in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. This breed, often referred to as a living link to Europe’s wild horse ancestors, embodies a captivating tale of survival, adaptation, and cultural significance. Known for their hardiness and versatility, these ponies have a distinct grullo coat color, a testament to their primitive origins. The Dülmen Pony is celebrated for its gentle nature and intelligence, making it a favored breed for conservation and educational purposes.

Origin and history of the Dülmener Wildpferd

The breed’s roots trace back to the Middle Ages, with evidence suggesting their presence in the Dülmen area for centuries. They have survived wars, industrialization, and habitat loss, largely due to the efforts of the Duke of Croy in the 19th century, who established a reserve to protect them. This sanctuary, the Merfelder Bruch, remains their primary habitat, where they live semi-wild and are managed through annual round-ups.

Character and features of the Dülmener Wildpferd

Dülmen Ponies stand around 120 to 130 cm tall, characterized by their sturdy build and the distinctive mouse-grey to dark grullo color, often with a dorsal stripe. They exhibit strong social behaviors, living in herds led by a dominant mare, which contributes to their well-adjusted temperament. These ponies are known for their intelligence, adaptability, and friendly disposition towards humans.

Utilisation of the rare Dülmener Wildpferd

Historically, the Dülmener Wildpferd roamed freely in the Merfelder Bruch reserve, contributing to the ecological balance of the region. While they maintain their semi-wild status, efforts have been made to integrate them into conservation grazing projects, where their natural foraging behaviors help manage the landscape. Additionally, they are sought after for therapeutic riding programs and as family horses, valued for their calm demeanor and ease of handling.

Current situation of the rare and endangered Dülmener Wildpferd

The Dülmen Pony is considered a rare breed, with the population predominantly concentrated in the Merfelder Bruch reserve. Efforts to preserve the breed have been successful, but challenges remain, including limited genetic diversity and the need for habitat protection. Conservation initiatives focus on maintaining the breed’s purity and ensuring their habitat within the reserve is preserved. Annual round-ups are conducted to check the health of the ponies, manage the population, and facilitate adoption of young ponies to suitable homes, which helps to fund their conservation.

Native country




Risk Level

Critical: ca. 500


122-132 cm

Coat colour

Dun, Bay, black, chestnut


GEH, Herzog von Croy

Forgotten horse

Rare and endangered

Free Horse

Semi-feral population

Other names of the Dülmener Wildpferd horse

Dülmener — Dülmen Pony — Dülmen Wild Horse

Explore my Dülmener Wildpferd Photos

Dülmener Wildpferd

All my pictures of rare and endangered horses can be licensed for private, editorial and commercial usage, and ordered as Fine Art Print as well. In addition, the albums only show a part of my large archive. Contact me directly if you don’t find what you are looking for.

Where to find the rare Dülmener Wildpferd

Here are some places where you can see where you can support the rare and endangered breed. Above all I want to thank everybody who works with me.



Breed show

Event calendar

Forgotten Horses Group on Facebook

This group is part of the Forgotten Horses project and aims to raise awareness of endangered horse breeds and therefore to contribute to the preservation of the diversity of horse breeds, further free living and wild horses.
The group provides information and facilitates international exchange on rare and endangered horse breeds.
Take part in my project

Dülmener Wildpferd Photoshooting

Take part in my projects Forgotten Horses and Free Horses and consequently make an impact that matters. By photographing rare and endangered horses we can raise awareness to disappearing horse breeds and therefore preserve equine diversity.

photo archive

Professional photography of Dülmener Wildpferd

Are you looking for professional photos of rare and endangered horse breeds? You will find a small selection of my pictures in the breed posts, however you may ask for more specific photos directly. In short, all my pictures can be licensed for private, editorial and commercial usage.


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