How many Dales Ponies are there? Are they rare?
The Dales Pony is classified by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust as "critical," indicating that there are fewer than 300 registered breeding mares in the UK [1]. In the USA, the Livestock Conservancy lists the breed as "threatened," with a global population under 5,000 and fewer than 1,000 annual registrations in the USA [2]. In 1990, there were only about 800 Dales Ponies worldwide.
Young Dales Ponies starring at the viewer.
Can adults ride Dales Ponies?
Yes, adults can comfortably ride Dales Ponies. These ponies can easily carry a person weighing up to 100 kg, making them suitable for both heavy adults and children due to their gentle nature [3].
David Eccles rides a Dales Pony at the Dales Pony Show.

David Eccles rides one of his Westwick Dales Ponies at the Society Show.

What makes the Dales Pony a good riding horse?
Dales Ponies are known for their excellent body structure, energy, and endurance, making them outstanding riding horses. They excel in walking, have impressive stamina for long distances, and are popular for trail riding and endurance rides. They are also skilled in jumping, performing well in cross-country, performance tests, and dressage competitions [4].
Hose jumping with Dales Ponies.
Are Dales Ponies only black?
While Dales Ponies are predominantly black, they also come in various shades such as brown, bay, and occasionally roan (a mix of red and white). White markings are allowed as stars, blazes, or on the hind pasterns. Ponies with more white markings may be categorized into Section B [4].
Beautiful white Dales Pony ridden.
What are the registration sections for Dales Ponies?
The Dales Pony Society has three sections: A, B, and C. These sections indicate the status of their breed characteristics [4].
Are Dales Ponies related to Fell Ponies or Friesians?
Dales Ponies are closely related to their geographical neighbors, the Fell Ponies, but are slightly larger and sturdier. Originating from the highlands of Northern England, Dales Ponies were used as pack animals in the lead mining industry, while Fell Ponies were used on the western slopes. The Dales Pony carries the bloodlines of the now-extinct Galloway pony and other local breeds, making it unique and not a smaller version of the Friesian [5,6].
Young Dales Ponies on a field.
How tall do Dales Ponies get?
The preferred height for Dales Ponies is between 142 cm and 147 cm (about 14 hands) [7].
Why do Dales Pony foals look moth-eaten? Does their coat stay that way?
The unique foal coat serves as protection and is shed during their first coat change, which typically occurs around three months of age. Some foals shed sooner, others later. It is important not to clip their foal coat before this change.
Typical Dales Pony foal.
Is inbreeding a concern for Dales Ponies?
The Dales Pony is classified as "critical" due to its recovery from near extinction and concerns about increased inbreeding. Maintaining genetic diversity is challenging for rare breeds without introducing new blood or risking inbreeding, but Part-bred Ponies also exist [8].
Plenty of Dales Ponies under a tree.
What are Part-bred Ponies?
The Dales Pony Society maintains a registry for crossbred ponies to promote breeding quality horses with Dales stallions. Crossbreeding with Dales mares is not recommended due to the breed's recovery. Part-breds must have at least 25% Dales heritage [4].
Is the Dales Pony Royal?
In a way, yes! The patron of the Dales Pony Society is HM The King. HM Queen Elizabeth II had a deep affection for native British breeds, and HRH Prince Philip won the 1980 world championship with a team of Fell Ponies.
Are Dales Ponies easily spooked?
Not at all. As mountain and moorland ponies, Dales Ponies are sure-footed and confident. They stay calm and assess potential threats rather than reacting rashly, making them dependable in uncertain situations.
Part-bred Dales Pony and an umbrella.

Part-bred Dales Pony Arche Noah Primrose is unimpressed by an umbrella.

Why are Dales Ponies called "Great Allrounders"?
Their versatility makes Dales Ponies true all-rounders. They excel in various disciplines such as showing, dressage, endurance riding, hunting, and driving competitions. Known for their strength, resilience, endurance, courage, intelligence, and good temperament, they are ideal family ponies [9].
Dales Pony in a fancy dress.

Fancy dress class

Are there other breeders in Germany?
While exact numbers are unknown, finding Dales Ponies and breeders can be challenging. This website lists all registered breeders, and Facebook groups can also be a helpful resource. Arche Noah Dales Ponies are the first Dales Ponies bred in Germany.
Can visitors see the Arche Noah Dales Ponies in person?
Absolutely! Contact us through our contact form to arrange a visit. Currently, we are restructuring, so visiting hours may be limited, but we aim to improve this in the future. Sign up for our newsletter or follow us on Instagram for updates.
Dales Pony stud visit in England with many visitors.
1. Watchlist overview. (2024). Rare Breeds Survival Trust. (Stand: 14.06.2024).
2. CONSERVATION PRIORITY LIST. (2024). The Livestock Conservancy. (Stand: 14.06.2024).
3. About the Dales pony. (2001). Horse & Hound. (Stand: 14.06.2024).
4. About the Dales Pony. (2024). Dales Pony Society. (Stand 14.06.2024).
5. Über das Dales Pony. (2023). archedales e.V. (Stand: 14.06.2024).
6. DALES PONY. (2024). The Livestock Conservancy. (Stand: 14.06.2024).
7. Breed Standard. (2023). Dales Pony Society.ΒΒ (Stand 14.06.2024).
8. Guidelines for acceptance onto the RBST Watchlist. (2021). Rare Breeds Survival Trust.
9. Home. (2024). Dales Pony Society. (Stand: 24.06.2024)

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