HORSES OF THE WORLD

 

EXMOOR PONY

 

Origin:
Europe - England
 

Exmoor Pony
Photo supplied by David Mansell Exmoor Pony Society, UK

History:
It is believed that ponies of Exmoor type may date back to the Bronze Age and that they may have pulled chariots during Roman times. In the Domesday Book of 1085 Exmoor Ponies and their owners are mentioned. The Exmoor Pony is certainly one of the oldest equine breeds in the world and Britain's oldest Mountain and Moorland breed. For many centuries the Exmoor has lived in the wild moorland of north Devon and west Somerset in the south west of England well adapted to the harsh climate. With very little influence from outside blood a strong, hardy pony developed that was used for shepherding, ploughing, hunting and carrying the farmer to market.
In 1921 the Exmoor Pony Society was founded to preserve and improve the traditional moorland type. Ponies passed for registration are branded with the Society's star brand on the shoulder, below that is the pony's herd number and on the nearside hindquarter is the pony's own number. The Exmoor Pony still lives in herds on the moorland and is rounded up annually for inspection. It is estimated that there are approximately 1,200 ponies in existence in England, Canada and the United States.

Characteristics:
robust built
Head: attractive head; clean cut face;  intelligent expression; wide forehead; large, prominent eyes; heavy top eyelid; eyebrows surrounded by light buff coloured hair; small, mobile ears; wide nostrils; mealy coloured muzzle; clean throat
Teeth: very large molars set into the jaw for maximum chewing pressure; curved incisors meet vertically like a pair of pliers to cut clean and efficiently
Neck: good length of rein
Shoulders: well laid back
Body: strong body; broad, level back; deep, wide chest; well sprung ribs
Legs: clean, short limbs
Feet: neat, hard
Coat: hard, shiny, single layer summer coat;  double layer winter coat with fine, springy undercoat and coarse, greasy, water proof top coat
Color: bay, brown or dun with black points; no white markings
Height: not exceeding -  stallions 12.3hh, mares 12.1hh
Temperament: good, alert
Qualities: athletic, great strength, hardy, vigorous, economical to keep

Today:
Exmoor Ponies are excellent all-round riding and performance ponies for older children. They also do well in the sport of driving.