Origin: Some believe the Exmoor pony is indigenous to Britain, while others claim they are descended from ponies that migrated from Europe 130,000 years ago.
How rare is it? Listed as endangered, there are approximately 500 ponies left in UK.
For me, Dad chose a wonderful Exmoor pony. Descended from ancient Celtic stock, these Neanderthals of the horse world can survive even the harshest of conditions. On their native home of Exmoor they live off moor grasses, rushes, heather and gorse. Their heavy brow shields the driving West Country rain from their eyes while their coat of downy under layer and longer surface hair offers the kind of protection that a mountaineering jacket designer can only dream of.
When the wind blows these thrifty ponies, standing 12 hands tall, turn their backs on the elements, their tales fanning out like a protective shield. Thousands of years of evolution have done their job, giving us an intelligent, strong and hardy creature. Exmoors have also served humans well. They are believed to have pulled the Iceni chariot of Queen Boudica and today serve as riding ponies for adults and children alike.
But whatever their history, I’m proud to still have six breeding mares and a handsome stallion on the farm. The love that my father encouraged all those years ago has stood the test of time.
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