The Exmoor Pony

Ancient roots

Text: Brigitte Billings

Native to the British Isles, the Exmoor Pony has ancient roots in the area – fossil remains of ponies have been found on Exmoor dating back to about 50,000BC. While the Exmoor is not a direct descendent of these ponies, he bears a striking resemblance to them. Historical literature puts the Pony of the Exmoors in 1086 and some still roam wild in this area.

The Exmoor almost ceased to exist after theSecond World War – reportedly due to being used for target practice when the moor became a training ground, and also being stolen for meat. Only 50 ponies survived the war; however, efforts by breeders brought them back from the brink and ongoing publicity increased their popularity.

Built to survive

The Exmoor is a small (between 11.1hh and12.3hh), stocky pony but strong for his size. He sports a deep chest, broad back and short legs with good bone. Designed for hardiness the breed has a coat which is able to withstand the cold winters of the area. Combining a woolly insulating under layer and a longer, oilier topcoat, the hairs divert water down the sides of the horse and keep the undercoat from becoming waterlogged. The thick mane and tail also deflect moisture – coarse hair at the dock of the tail, also called a ‘frost cap’, causes rain to run to the ground without reaching the groin or underbelly.

The ponies are almost always a shade of brown with lighter markings, called pangare, around the eyes, muzzle, flanks and underbelly. The studbook does not allow white markings. This uniformity of colour, along with sturdiness, has made the breed popular with carriage enthusiasts. While in the past Exmoors were used as pit ponies, modern fans use them for showing, long distance riding and horse agility, which is an international discipline similar to dog agility. The herds are also used to maintain vegetation on nature reserves.


The Exmoor appears on various rare breed lists including the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, the Livestock Conservancy and the Equus Survival Trust which has listed the breed as ‘critical’ – meaning that there are estimated to be 100 to 300 active adult breeding mares in the world. Statistics in 2010 put the population at 800 ponies worldwide.

The Exmoor Pony

current category

chronological order


Feed time
What do they do while eating? Gear I use:
Canon 800D and sometimes a GoPro ————————————————————————
Social Media:
Twitter: horsefriends_yt
Instagram: horsefriendsyt

Read More »
HQ Magazine

PTSD in horses

By Charlotte Bastiaanse When our horses suffer from conditions like depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), it is very saddening to see them in such…
The post PTSD in horses appeared first on HQ Magazine.…

Read More »

ReFuture Clinic, Kiev, Ukraine

We love restraint. Not in a confining or limiting sense, but in the elegance and clarity that are the result of not adding unnecessary components. The skill, of course, is knowing what is unnecessary. And even that is a question of taste and opinion. In our opinion, the ReFuture clinic of aesthetic medicine in Kiev, […]
The post ReFuture Clinic, Kiev, Ukraine appeared first on The Cool Hunter.…

Read More »
HQ Magazine

AskHQ: How long does it take for a young horse to become balanced?

Asked by Briana McGull This is a very open-ended question that is entirely dependent on the horse’s individuality and upbringing. Some horses are naturally better…
The post AskHQ: How long does it take for a young horse to become balanced? appeared first on HQ Magazine.…

Read More »

Impressive Private Residence, Munich – Germany

The stone-clad street-front façade of this opulent residence in Munich appears mausoleum-like, impressive and enigmatic. In contrast, the other side of the house is completely open to the beautiful garden through all-glass walls that in some cases move in rails to connect the rooms directly with the outdoors and let natural light in. The building […]
The post Impressive Private Residence, Munich – Germany appeared first on The Cool Hunter.…

Read More »