The variety of ponies found on Dartmoor is the result of hundreds of years of survival in this diverse wilderness, which ranges from 98 feet high to over 2000 feet above sea level. Over the generations, the breeders have found which type of pony thrives best in each particular area with its specific habitat.
Generally, the higher you go, the smaller the pony.
This small, tough breed- was introduced to the Moor approximately 300 years ago. It has adapted well and thrives on the high Moor where vegetation and shelter from the wind and rain is sparse. There are approximately 200 of this type. It is thought that with the introduction of cattle grids on the Moor, migration to more sheltered parts can no longer take place, and so the Shetland types are the only ponies to stay on the high Moor all the time.
The lower you go on the moor, the larger you will find the ponies.
As the climate becomes less harsh, the vegetation becomes more plentiful and palatable, and so the habitat is able to, sustain a bigger pony. These larger ponies are mainly bays, blacks, chestnuts and greys and are the largest group, with about 1100 in total.
The coloured pony has been found on Dartmoor since Medieval times, according to historical records.
They can be found all over the moor, varying in size and shape according to habitat. There are approximately 200 at present.