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Exmoor Pony

Equus ferus caballus


The pretty rare Exmoor pony is a horse breed native to the British Isles, where some still roam as semi-feral livestock. The ponies are classified as endangered by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, with only 390 breeding females left in the UK. All Exmoor ponies are brown, bay, or dun, with a 'mealy' nose (it's called this because it looks as though they have dipped their noses in a bucket of wholemeal flour).


Askham Bog in Yorkshire (very close to the town of York). Part of the bog is maintained by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust (YWT)as a nature reserve. We had stopped at a red light and I read out the sign...and we saw that YWT was maintaining it. On this trip I have been really impressed by the number of woodland type areas that YWT is maintaining and it was a spontaneous decision to explore...we did not have much time...there are two large areas to cross before you come to the bog proper but we got to see some wildlife including the Exmoor pony.There are not many of these ponies here so it was a stroke of exceptional good luck. We were separated from it by a patch of fenced off boggy grass and it was feeding with its head down. My sister made a realistic neighing sound and it lifted its head for a moment to give me two shots. It was not till I saw the board as we exited the Bog that I realized what we had seen.


Wikipedia says that the Domesday Book records ponies on Exmoor in 1086. Descendants of ponies removed from the moor in 1818 form the foundation bloodstock of today's Exmoor breed.The breed almost went extinct after the Second World War, owing to soldiers using them for target practice and thieves killing them for their meat. After the war a small group of breeders worked to save these ponies.

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SukanyaDatta 6 years ago

Thank you, Karen and Gilma...I was so excited when I realized what I had seen..hadn't known about these horses at ALL, before.

KarenSaxton 6 years ago

A friend of mine participates in breeding efforts for these unique ponies. Nice spotting of a truly unique breed!

Thank you for all the information and the fantastic spotting, SukanyaDatta.

Spotted by

England, United Kingdom

Spotted on Sep 7, 2017
Submitted on Sep 7, 2017

Spotted for Mission

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