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Exmoor Ponies: Breed Status Critical

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Carien Schippers
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Exmoor Ponies: Breed Status Critical

Postby Carien Schippers on Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:07 pm

Exmoor ponies are considered one of the rarest and oldest breeds in existence, their breed status is critical with only 1200 ponies in existence in the world. After the war in the 1940's only about 50 individuals remained. Today about 150 Exmoors still have free range of their native moors. All ponies are owned by local farmers and display brands to identify the herd, but live on the moors year round. Each fall ponies are rounded up so that the foals can be weaned from the dams, usually the fillies are turned back and the colts are sold.
http://www.moorlandmousietrust.org.uk/H ... r_Pony.htm
This photo was taken in May of 2008.
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Re: Exmoor Ponies: Breed Status Critical

Postby Carien Schippers on Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:12 pm

This lovely mare displays the Anchor herd brand and number, one of the largest herds of Exmoor ponies. The Anchor herd was started by the Acland family in 1767. Read more about the Anchor herd here:
http://www.equinetourism.co.uk/editoria ... orherd.asp
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Re: Exmoor Ponies: Breed Status Critical

Postby Carien Schippers on Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:14 pm

Exmoor ponies are survivors. They have small ears to prevent heat loss during harsh winters. Their primitive "toad eyes" have raised, fleshy rims above the eye to prevent precipitation from running into the eyes. The classic pony head has large nasal passages to warm air before entry into the lungs. The large, unique teeth have an extra, or seventh molar to make mastication of coarse, thorny vegetation efficient. The gait is low, smooth and surefooted. In the winter, the hairs at the root of the low-set tail grow short and fan out, forming a precipitation chute. The body is deep through the heart girths and wide through the chest. The summer coat is short and shiny, and the winter coat is double layered and dense, like a dog's coat rather than shaggy. The inner insulating coat layer is soft and springy whilst the outer waterproof layer is slightly greasy. The strong legs have plenty of bone, and the feet are always black. No white markings on the feet or elsewhere are permitted. Coat colors are bay, brown or mouse dun with mealy markings around the eye, on the muzzle, and across the underbelly
.
Reference: http://www.exmoorpony.com/exmoorponies.htm
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Re: Exmoor Ponies: Breed Status Critical

Postby Carien Schippers on Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:15 pm

The Moorland Mousie Trust was created ten years ago to promote and conserve the Exmoor pony. It is located in the heart of Exmoor National Park and gives visitors a chance to get to know, ride, or even adopt an Exmoor Pony.
Here DNA is being collected. http://www.moorlandmousietrust.org.uk/
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Re: Exmoor Ponies: Breed Status Critical

Postby Carien Schippers on Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:20 pm

Exmoor ponies are also used in conservation grazing as they are known to graze on invasive grasses and thorny vegetation that most horses reject and are used all over the United Kingdom for this purpose. http://www.equiworld.net/horses/horseca ... r/epic.htm
Exmoor Pony in Conservation:
http://www.exmoorpony.org/
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Re: Exmoor Ponies: Breed Status Critical

Postby Carien Schippers on Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:23 pm

Exmoor Ponies share the moors with hikers.
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Re: Exmoor Ponies: Breed Status Critical

Postby Carien Schippers on Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:24 pm

cars and sheep...
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Re: Exmoor Ponies: Breed Status Critical

Postby Carien Schippers on Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:32 pm

And the cycle of life continues. Hopefully due to the work of groups like the Moorland Mousie Trust and others this breed will continue to grow in numbers. Thank you for allowing me to share one of my favorite places on earth!

More Exmoor Pony Information:
http://www.albc-usa.org/cpl/exmoor.html
http://www.exmoorponysociety.org.uk/
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Re: Exmoor Ponies: Breed Status Critical

Postby Diana Duffy on Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:35 am

I can see why you love this place so much - the ponies in their natural habitat, doing what God intended, and the pristine, unspoiled landscape. This, along with Lynn Caldwell's and Susan Carter's pieces, illustrate very well that there is more than one type of rescue work to be done out there. Very informative with excellent photos. Thanks for giving us a glimpse into their world.
Diana

"Ask little, expect less, praise more."

http://www.resurrectionfarmphotography.com


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