Dales Pony

Dales Pony - Ridden

Key Characteristics

The Dales Pony is a fast, stylish trotter and much sought-after harness pony. They are also willing and clever jumpers making them an ideal riding pony.


  • The Dales Pony evolved in the Pennine Dales of North Yorkshire, Durham and Northumberland.
  • Until the mid-twentieth century they were the main source of power on Pennine farms, and during the height of the lead-mining industry in that area carried ore from the mines to seaports on the North Sea. 
  • Their hardiness and strength was also used by the army as Mountain Artillery pack ponies. 
  • Now their value is realised in forestry work.


  • The Dales pony has excellent conformation, short back, powerful loins, strong legs and quarters. 
  • Ideally they stand from 14.0hh to 14.2hh. 
  • Black is the most common colour, with some brown, bay and occasionally grey. 
  • They have high head carriage with long flowing mane and tail and silky feathers on their heels.



The combination of good conformation with energy and ability make the dales pony excellent for riding. Their great stamina makes them favourites for trekking and long distance rides. Being willing and clever jumpers, they compete very successfully in cross-country, performance classes and dressage competitions.


The Dales Pony's presence and eye-catching fast trot combined with their stamina and generally calm nature makes them a great driving pony, either for pleasure, or for driving trials.

Did you know?

Dales ponies were originally used as pack ponies in the lead mining industry. The lead mines were often in hard to reach places so everything the miners needed was carried up by ponies. 

The Rare Breeds Survival Trust is the leading national charity working to conserve and protect the United Kingdom's rare native breeds of farm animals from extinction. We rely on the support of our members, grants and donations from the public to raise the £700,000 a year needed to maintain our conservation work with rare UK native breeds of farm animals. Visit www.rbst.org.uk to see how you can help.

Breed Societies

Dales Pony Society