Another pony breed native to the U.K., Dales Ponies are known for their stamina, strength, intelligence and bravery. Like most of the ponies in the area, they were historically used in the mines. In the 1900s, Dales were bred to draft horses like the Clydesdale to make smaller, but thicker horses to pull large carts and as “gunners” for the military.
These vanner horses (some of which would contribute to the Gypsy breed), increased in popularity, which caused a decrease in the Dales Pony numbers. In 1916, the Dales Pony Stud book was open to preserve the purebred pony. They are still listed as critical by The Livestock Conservancy and the U.K.’s Rare Breed Survival Trust.
Larger than most ponies, at around 14- to 14.2-hands high and very stocky, they are a good mount for adults as well as children. They make excellent endurance horses and excel at jumping, including hunter and cross-country disciplines. They are also seen competing in dressage and of course excel at driving events.