From time immemorial ponies have been running
on Dartmoor.Though there have been few references
through the centuries to the ponies in old
writings, the earliest is said to have been in about
the eleventh century.
Registration of pedigree Dartmoor Ponies by the
Dartmoor Pony Society started in 1899. Many
people are not aware that there is a big difference
between “Dartmoor Ponies” and “Ponies on Dartmoor”!
The Breed Standard permits Black, Brown,
Grey, Chestnut and Bay, but Piebald, Skewbald or
Coloured ponies are not allowed.The maximum
Height allowed is 12.2hh.
All Dartmoor Pony herds are owned by farmers
on the moor. Every year in September, the ponies
are rounded up and moved from the higher moor
for winter grazing and shelter.This event is called
“the drift” and there are pictures in the book
showing this happening.
Dartmoor Ponies are an essential part of Dartmoor
as their grazing habits keep the moor in
good shape for other grazing animals. By trampling
and browsing, the ponies help prevent the moor
from being overrun by scrub and gorse which
cattle and sheep won’t eat. Some Dartmoors are
used byThe NationalTrust on some of its properties
far removed from Dartmoor, for conservation
With over sixty fascinating and heart-warming images,
Spirit of Dartmoor Ponies captures the essence
of these beautiful creatures, the living heart of the
The Dartmoor Pony Society
has had a key role in protecting
and preserving the breed.
Leading members of the
Society have contributed text,
photographs and images taken
especially for this book.
Imprint: PiXZ Books. ISBN 978 1 906887 23 0, hardback, 110x155mm, 64 pages. Published June 2009.