Exmoor Pony

Exmoor Pony photo
Wild Exmoor ponies
Photograph by David Masters. Some rights reserved.

Exmoor Pony photo
Exmoor ponies, near Winsford.
Photograph by Mark Robinson. Some rights reserved.


The Exmoor Pony is a well built horse that has a good bone structure. Though this breed of horse is short in stature as compared to the other breeds, this animal has great strength and endurance. They have a forehead which is wide and also a thick neck with a deep chest.

There are two main features of this breed that can be used to easily identify them. The Exmoor pony has hooded eyes which offer protection from strong winds and rain. Another feature that distinguishes it from the other breeds is the presence of a cluster of short hair that is also rough at the topmost part of the tail. This group of hair is also called an “ice tail” or “snow chute” because it helps the horse easily wipe away the snow from the body during the harsh winter season. The Exmoor pony has a unique gift of growing a double layered weatherproof coat during winters which offer good insulation and helps keep them warm.

These short, but elegant creatures weigh anywhere between 700-800 pounds. The beautiful animals are not only intelligent and alert, but also very gentle and kind.

Brown, tan, bay, dun

Suitable for
The Exmoor Ponies are versatile in nature and hence find multiple uses. In the bygone era, these creatures were used for herding and also for tending to livestock. Due to their short stature, they are also a favorite among children and people with disabilities because these horses can carry them over long distances without showing signs of fatigue. In the modern era, these domesticated Exmoor Ponies are for a number of activities like long distance riding, dressage, jumping and driving.

The Exmoor Pony is probably the most ancient horse breeds in the world. These horses are considered to be the descendents of the ponies that migrated to the British soil from North America during the existence of the pre-historic bridge that connected the two continents. The evidence for the same exists in the fossil remains of the ponies found in the Alaskan region. The unique jaw structure found in them is similar to that of the Exmoor Pony. This breed gets the name of “Exmoor Pony” because they were found in this region in Britain due to the abundance supply of heather, moor grasses, rushes and gorse here. Their number significantly dwindled during the Second World War because the moor, which was their home, became a ground for training new recruits. This rare breed is hardly crossbred with any other breed because the offspring thus produced cannot adapt to the harsh weather conditions. Hence, most of the Exmoor Ponies in existence today are of the pure bloodline.