Skip to content

Pony Drifts

Pony herds, which are owned by individual commoners, have been grazing the commons of Dartmoor for many centuries. The hardy ponies seen today are often of mixed breeding and are able to survive the harsh conditions of the moor. These are known as Dartmoor Hill Ponies.  There is also the pure pedigree Dartmoor Pony that can be seen grazing the commons. Both play an important role in managing the moorland.

Pony pound

Traditionally the ponies are ‘drifted’ or rounded up from the commons in the autumn and gathered into a nearby pound from which each owner removes his or her own ponies to the farmstead.

Foals born in the previous spring are separated from the mares for weaning and later sold at the local markets in Tavistock and Chagford. Some of the foals are kept as replacement stock, branded and turned back on the commons to breed in future years, others will be used as children’s riding ponies or for driving small traps.

Crazy Well Cross

Dartmoor Commoners' Council, 1 Canal Road, Tavistock, Devon, PL19 8AR  Tel: 01822 618892

Terms of Use     Accessibility Statement     Last updated 10th April 2024     Mobile     site by WesternWeb Ltd

Image 01 Image 02 Image 03 Image 04 Image 05 Image 06 Image 07