Exmoor breed information
Exmoor horse general information
COLORThe Exmoor pony is brown, bay or dun with black points and no white markings.
SIZEThe Exmoor Pony stands 11.2 to 12.3 hh.
WEIGHTPonies weigh on average 700-800 lb (315 - 365 kg).
LIFE EXPECTANCYAverage life expectancy is 20 - 35 years.
USESThe Exmoor pony is an ideal child's pony but is also strong enough to carry a small adult. They are also used as a driving pony.
TEMPRERAMENTThe Exmoor pony is alert, intelligent and kind.
Natural selection has designed a pony suited to survival in a cold and wet climate without the provision of food or shelter by mankind. Two features unique to the breed are the “hooded-eye”, or heavy upper brow to protect the eyes from wind and rain, and the “snow-chute”, a group of short course hairs at the top of the tail designed to channel rain and snow down away from the body. The snow-chute, or ice-tail is shed each summer and regrown each Autumn. Their summer coat is sleek and shinny, but in winter they grow a double layered coat to provide both insulation and waterproofing enabling them to stand out in the worst of weather and remain dry at skin level.
The Exmoor pony has a wide forehead with large eyes, thick neck, deep chest, well laid back shoulders, broad back and short legs. They are hardy and strong with good stamina and a straight and smooth action.
The Exmoor pony has inhabited the Exmoor moorland of South-West Britain for many years and is one of the oldest native breeds. The first written record of Exmoor ponies appear in the Domesday Book where 104 Exmoor pony broodmares were recorded in 1085. Exmoor ponies were used for general agricultural work such as ploughing, pulling carts and transporting farmers across rugged hills.
By 1700 local farmers were allowed to graze their ponies on the Forest and approximately 150 Exmoor ponies are still roaming free on the moor today.
A Stud Book of Exmoor ponies existed but was destroyed in World War II and at that time the Exmoor pony almost became extinct with just 50 registered mares and 4 stallions remaining. A new studbook was started in 1952 and numbers have risen since. However, the Exmoor Pony is currently listed as 'endangered' by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.
Exmoor fun facts
First imported into North America (Canada) in the 1950’s, the breed has remained virtually unheard of until the last 10-15 years. There are several herds of Exmoors throughout North America, and foal number are on the increase. The Exmoor is a rare breed, there being only some 800 ponies globally and less than 40 Exmoors in North America.