Dales Horse

Origin: England – north country Dales.

Height: 14-14.2hh.

Color: Jet black, bay, dark brown (locally known as hackberry). White markings other than a small star on the face or a white heel or coronet are unacceptable, since a white face, fetlock, or hoof indicates a touch of Clydesdale ancestry.

Character: Sensible, quiet to handle. These qualities, combined with its great physical strength and sureness of foot, make it ideal for pony trekking, though its strength makes it a more suitable ride for adults than for children. Thrives on work.
Physique: Powerful body with muscular back and quarters. The head should be pony-like.

Abundant mane and tail, feather on feet. Exceptionally strong, capable of carrying a 16-stone (2241b) rider or pulling a load weighing a ton.

A native of the eastern side of the Pennines, the Dales’s pony is very similar in appearance to its slightly smaller close relation, the Fell pony. Both are of Celtic descent and have been used for hundreds of years by fell and dales farmers for carting and riding and all kinds of farm work. In the 17th and 18th centuries, they worked as pack ponies, carrying lead from the mines to the coast.

Some outcrossing was done to improve the Dales’s pony for farm work and transport. In the 19th century a famous Welsh Cob stallion, Comet, was brought to the Dales to compete in trotting matches, which were a local sport. Comet, who could trot 10 miles in 33 minutes carrying 12 stone(1681b) on his back, was bred to the Dales mares with such unanimous approval that today every Dales pony traces back to this great Welsh Cob.

With the invention of heavy machinery and automobiles, the Dales pony became redundant. Hundreds were slaughtered for meat, and by the early1950s the breed was nearly extinct. It was saved by the advent of pony trekking and is now much used to carry tourists across the country where, for centuries before, its ancestors carried the local doctor or the farmer on his way to market.

See more: Criollo Horse

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