The Exmoor Breed
A listed rare breed, Exmoors have all the qualities required for survival in Britain’s wilderness and moorlands. Exmoor ponies are small at 11 to 12.2hh and are bay, brown or dun, with black points and mealy markings on the muzzle, round the eyes and inside the flanks. They have strong compact feet and a ‘toad eye’ which consists of an extra rim of flesh to protect it from rain. Another breed characteristic is the ‘snow chute tail’ formed by short hairs at the root of the tail, which form a channel down which snow and rain can run off the body.
The Exmoor makes an excellent riding pony for both children and adults, yet the number of ponies in the UK has fallen. Other types of pony have been introduced onto the moors and the number of pure bred Exmoors has decreased.
The Exmoor pony aids conservation. They prefer to eat the wild grasses and leave wild flowers untouched, which provides a better environment for these plants to grow. Conservation grazing will help support the continuation of this ancient breed. However, greater awareness of their presence and usefulness is needed to ensure the future of this very special pony.