Dartmoor Pony

The Dartmoor pony is a small-stature pony breed native to the southwest of England.

Breed Characteristics and Appearance

How do I recognize a Dartmoor pony?

The pony has a noble-looking head with small ears and expressive and alert eyes. The neck is erect and well set on. The withers are rather flat and the back compact. The Dartmoor Pony shows a stable foundation and healthy and strong hooves.

What is special about a Dartmoor pony?

Dartmoor ponies are tough and frugal. They impress with their tact and expansive movement.

How big is a Dartmoor pony?

This breed can reach a height of 1.16 to 1.27 m.

What is the life expectancy of a Dartmoor pony?

The Dartmoor Pony can live to be between 25 and 30 years old.

Which coat colors are there on the Dartmoor pony?

The Dartmoor ponies can usually be found as brown or black horses. Mold or foxes are rarely encountered, and piebalds do not appear at all.

Traits of Temperament

Are Dartmoor ponies also suitable for beginners?

The ponies are ideal for beginners. You are calm, friendly, good-natured, reliable, and quite sure-footed. If you have little idea how to deal with horses and how you should communicate with them, seek support from a horse trainer. Each horse must always be viewed individually and so there can be strong characters even among this breed.

What are the behavioral and character traits of a Dartmoor pony?

These horses are very calm and good-natured animals. They are known for their friendliness, balance, intelligence, the strength of will, reliability, hard work, and empathy.

Origin & History

Where did the Dartmoor pony originally come from?

In its origins, this breed is native to the raised bog in England. The so-called Dartmoor is located in the southwest of England, near the city of Plymouth. In the course of time, different breeds were crossed in order to create good riding and driving horses out of the robust horses.

What were Dartmoor ponies bred for?

Originally the ponies served as porters and rode horses. They were used on farms and in mines. At the royal houses, they were used as riding horses for the children.

Care, Health, Diseases

What should I watch out for when caring for a Dartmoor pony?

Every horse needs appropriate care. Brushing and grooming the fur or grooming the mane and tail are just as much a part of this, as is a visit to the farrier or routine checks by the vet. The Dartmoor pony needs this care. Even if its coat is quite short and often looks a bit shaggy, it is still quite easy to care for. Otherwise, there are no special features to look out for with this breed.

Are there diseases or hereditary diseases typical of the breed in the Dartmoor pony?

There are no known or breed-specific diseases. The pony is considered to be very original and healthy. However, due to incorrect husbandry and feeding conditions, overweight or the like can also occur in such a horse.

Learn about the Diet of the Dartmoor Ponies

What should you watch out for in terms of feeding times and the amount of feed?

The Dartmoor pony is used for meager and sparse feeding. In its origins, the raised bog, there were no lush pastures, as is often the case nowadays with horse keeping in this country. This breed is very frugal when it comes to feeding and does not need any concentrated feed if it is not used very much. However, the roughage should be available in sufficient form and of high quality. This breed is also often used as ideal pasture maintenance. Because it can not only arrange itself well on steep pastures but also eats all kinds of plant species. The pasture is therefore evenly grazed by the horses.

How often should the Dartmoor pony be fed?

If Dartmoor ponies are part of pasture management or have the opportunity to spend a lot of time in the pasture, fixed feeding times are of secondary importance. Due to the continuous and slow feed intake, the pony finds feed and occupation in one. The roughage should be offered to the horse over the day if it is not kept on pasture.

Activities with the Dartmoor Pony

Which sports are suitable for the Dartmoor pony?

The breed is not one of the greatest horses. You can also have a lot of fun with this breed from a sporting point of view. Dartmoor ponies have a good jumping ability, which is especially beneficial for children. Adults tend to harness these horses to the carriage. Due to their good nature and friendliness, these ponies are not only used as riding horses but are also used as therapy horses.

How much exercise does a Dartmoor pony need?

Since this breed is also often used in landscaping, a lot of exercises is important. Large pastures, which the ponies can graze, not only serve as fodder but also as an occupation at the same time.

Consideration before Purchasing

Where can you buy a Dartmoor pony?

Once you have decided on such a pony, you can acquire such a horse in various ways. There are various breeders in Germany who offer Dartmoor ponies. You can find out the respective addresses from the German Equestrian Association or the Dartmoor breeders and friends interest group. On the other hand, you can also buy a pony from private hands. Take your time to think about what you want and which horse might be the right one for you.

Where can you find a riding stake for a Dartmoor pony?

You can find participation in riding in various ways, whether through advertisements or recommendations. Riding participation must suit you and your horse. After all, a Dartmoor is not a great sport horse. However, you can still have a lot of fun with this breed and use it in many ways.

Upbringing and Attitude

Is a Dartmoor pony right for me?

If you are looking for a robust, frugal, friendly, good-natured and at the same time intelligent and willing horse, a Dartmoor is just right for you. It is very easy to care for and can be used in many ways, for children as a riding horse or for adults as a carriage horse. The pony can also be seen as a loyal companion when going for a walk. It is happy and in a good mood at work and with people. You can also use it for landscaping and pasture maintenance. The location and variety of plants in the areas are irrelevant. This breed can get along on steep slopes and with a wide variety of plant species and cleanly graze the areas.

How do I keep a Dartmoor pony?

Dartmoor ponies are frugal and robust. Wind and weather are no problem for them. So you can keep such a horse in an open stable without any problems. The shelter should, however, be dry and clean so that the horses can shelter and find protection as needed. If you want to keep this breed in a box, the stable should be light and well ventilated. Contact with fellow horses is important for every horse and should be guaranteed.

How much space does a Dartmoor pony need?

If you want to be able to offer your Dartmoor pony as long as possible on the pasture, the area (or areas) should be correspondingly large and spacious. If this is not the case, you definitely need alternatives such as a paddock, a clay court, or the like. A Dartmoor pony is not enough to be stuck in a stall with minimal movement.

How do I transport a Dartmoor pony?

With its low weight and small size, a Dartmoor pony can be easily transported in a pony trailer.

Interesting, Worth Knowing, and Extras

Why are Dartmoor ponies so popular?

Dartmoor ponies are very original, robust, and have a pleasant character. They are friendly, good-natured, reliable, balanced, and sure-footed. They are also known for their willpower, intelligence, and ability to learn. Whether child or adult, these horses find many fans with their sensitivity and always in a good mood.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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