We have some great news … we have Dales ponies here at Penbugle!

Now if you’re unaware of the Dales pony as a breed, prepare to be impressed.

As the name suggests, this hardy breed is a native of the many dale areas of the UK, including those in Derbyshire and the Cheviots, parts of Yorkshire and Tyne and Wear.

All are rugged terrains that needed a hardy horse or pony to thrive in harsh conditions.

Farmers saw the benefits of the breed and Dales pony ancestors worked in the coal and lead mines and on small farms throughout the agricultural year.

They were and are still strong enough for draught work, pulling carts and ploughs.

As time when on, roads improved and agriculture changed and became more mechanised, the Dales pony required preservation.

Dales Pony Improvement Society was founded in 1916 during the First World War.

Research suggests the War Office took over 200 Dales Ponies in the 1920s measuring 14hh and 14.2hh and able to carry 21-stone in weight. 

Dales Ponies also worked overseas during the First World War.

The Second World War nearly saw the demise of the breed and following the end of the conflict, the future of the Dales ponies were in the hands of a few dedicated breeders. 

In 1964, the Dales Pony Society was reorganised. The patron is traditionally HRH the Prince of Wales.

Dales Ponies are still around today and are considered to be a breed that has strength, hardiness, stamina, courage, intelligence and a good nature.  

The height of a Dales Pony is ideally 14 to 14.2 hh and their colours are usually black, with some brown, bay, grey and roan, although this latter colour is rare. 

Some Dales Ponies have white markings and have well-shaped feet and legs.

So, you might wonder how a Dales pony ends up on an organic farm in South East Cornwall, miles from its ancestors’ stamping ground.

Our ponies are another member of our rare native breeds of cattle and sheep that have included South Devon and Red Ruby Devon cattle, Lleyn , Polled and Dorset Horn sheep and Oxford Sandy Black pigs over the years.

Horses have been used on farms for centuries and while we associate the powerful giants such the Shire, Clydesdale and Suffolk Punch horses with agriculture, Dales ponies have their place despite their smaller size, and are often generically referred to as Cobs. 

If a Dales pony works the land, there are some huge benefits.

They can be used in more sensitive areas such as ancient pastures and can tackle steeper inclines.

As a rule, all horses are fuelled by grass and provide fertiliser … a definite bonus!

Today Dales ponies are the perfect ‘all rounder’ pony for all aspects of equine activities.

Our ponies here at Penbugle are very much the family ponies for hacking out on rides. 

Back in spring 2020, we continued with our breeding plans to establish the Cornshire Dales ponies with Waterside Lucy and are pleased to announce that we looked forward to meeting the new addition at the end of March early April 2021. 

During this period we were lucky enough to have two more brood mares join us, foaling March 2021.  

Find out more here:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *