The eastern Pennines in England is the home of the Dales Pony. This pony has received recognition as the versatile equine because it is not only hard working but also stylish in looks.
The height of the ponies in this breed can vary from 14 to 14.2 hands. The head of these ponies are neat and does not have a dished profile. It is broad at the region of the eyes. The eyes which are set wide apart are alert and bright. The muzzle portion is small. They ears curve inwards. The muscular neck is slightly arched and has a full mane. The ponies of this breed do not have fine withers. They have a deep chest. The body that is barrel shaped is short. The ribs of the ponies are well sprung and the loins are very strong. The hindquarters are long and powerful. The tail of this animal is also thick. The fine legs are well muscled and have feathering. The joints in the legs are very flexible. The hooves of this pony are big and round.
These ponies of this breed are very brave and reliable creatures. They are tough and sturdy animals. These intelligent creatures are also kind, high spirited and alert horses. These animals forgive easily and are eager to please. They are also willing and quick learners. They are also easy keepers and possess great stamina.
14 - 14.2 hands
The preferred coat colors of this breed are black, grey, dark brown, bay and roan.
Initially this breed was used as pack horses for transporting heavy good and also as artillery ponies. Today, the Dales Pony finds its use as a riding pony because of its endurance and even temperament. Thanks to their everlasting stamina, they are also used for riding over long distances and for treks. In addition to this, the horses of this breed also find their use as show horses and for driving, endurance riding, dressage jumping and in other events.
The Pennine Pony is considered to be the ancestor of the Dales pony. This breed was also influenced by the Friesien blood and Scottish Galloway which is now an extinct breed. This influence made the ponies more sure footed and fast.
In order to further improve the walking abilities of the Dales pony, in the 18th and 19th centuries, these ponies were cross bred with the Clydesdale, Yorkshire Roadster and Norfolk Trotter. In the 20th century, these ponies were further influenced by the Fell Pony. In the year 1916, the Dales Pony Improvement Society was formed with the objective of protecting these ponies.
This breed was almost on the verge of extension due to its excessive use in the war field. The formation of the Dales Pony Society in the year 1963 brought about a ray of hope to ensure the survival of this breed.