The Dartmoor Pony

28. Dartmoor Pony-smaller

The Dartmoor Pony is the native pony breed of the county of Devon in the South West of England. The ponies have been recorded living on the wild and inhospitable moors of Dartmoor since the Middle Ages.

They have the metabolism to prosper in the tough and uncompromising conditions they have to contend with. They have an exceptional temperament and breeders have long realised their potential as children’s ponies with the ability to make wonderful companions, give endless fun, and, if required, compete and succeed in all spheres of competition.

The height of the Dartmoor Pony must not exceed 127cms/12.2hh. Their colouring may vary from bay, brown, black, grey, chestnut, or roan. Piebalds and Skewbalds are not allowed. Excessive white markings should be discouraged.

The head should be small with large kindly eyes and small alert ears. It should be well set on a good neck of medium length. The throat and jaws should be fine and showing no signs of coarseness or throatiness. Stallions to have a moderate crest. Good shoulders are most important. They should be well laid back and sloping, but not too fine at the withers.

the dartmoor
The body of the Dartmoor Pony should be of medium length and strong

The body should be of medium length and strong, well ribbed up with a good depth of girth giving plenty of heart room. The hind quarters should be strong and well covered with muscle; should be of medium length and neither level nor steeply sloping. The tail is well set up.

The hocks should be well let down with plenty of length from hip to hock, clean cut and with plenty of bone below the hock. They should have a strong second thigh. They should not be ‘sickled’ or ‘cow-hocked’. The forelegs should not be tied in at the knee. The fore-arm should be muscular and relatively long and the knee fairly large and flat at the front.

The cannons should be short with ample good, flat, flinty bone. The pasterns should be sloping but not too long. The feet should be hard and well shaped.

Movement should be low and straight coming from the shoulder, with good hock action but without exaggeration. The mane and tail should be full and flowing. The Dartmoor is a very good looking riding pony, sturdily built yet with quality.

For further information contact the Dartmoor Pony Society at