Welcome to the Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust
Why the Heritage Dartmoor pony matters so much
Dartmoor’s heritage ponies are hard to resist, a cheerful sturdy animal perfectly evolved to thrive in the moor’s windy, remote landscapes. These ponies underpin everything that’s best about Dartmoor, making a profound positive impact on the landscape.
Standing no higher than 12.2hh with a full flowing mane and tail, heritage ponies native to Dartmoor have a single colour; bay, brown, black, grey, chestnut or roan.
Our ponies originate from the moor’s ancient herds. While they aren’t registered with the Dartmoor Pony Society, they’re the same type and share their characteristics. They’re tough, robust and surefooted, and they thrive in harsh moorland conditions. The ponies are particularly good at tackling the current environmental challenges the moor faces thanks to their grazing style and behaviour.
Heritage Dartmoor ponies are increasingly rare, however. Over the past seventy years the herds have shrunk and their numbers plummeted. We face a future when Dartmoor has no ponies and our beloved Dartmoor landscape is changed forever.
On the bright side, thanks to people like you we’re improving the ponies’ prospects for your children, and theirs, and theirs. This is a crusade, and we’d love to welcome you on board.
How we support the ponies native to Dartmoor
We’re doing it by working closely with hill farmers, breeders and landowners to help build sustainable pony herds.
Securing the future of the Dartmoor heritage pony means inspiring and connecting people like you with the moor’s fabulous animals, wildlife, landscapes and heritage. Community engagement sits at the heart of everything we do. We have our feet deep in the community and our hooves firmly on the moor!
We get involved in education and there’s a scientific side to our work too. We share our understanding of the animals’ role in conserving nature and restoring rare moorland habitats with scientists and researchers locally, nationally, and internationally.
As a supporter you can get involved in all sorts of exciting ways. You can even take a guided walk with us and feel Dartmoor’s life-affirming magic for yourself.