The Dales Pony

Learn the history, characteristics, and use today of the Dales Pony.


Dales Pony History

The Dales Pony originated in the dales of northeast England. The Dales Pony was the ultimate farmer’s horse, pulling a plow, a cart, or working under saddle helping to herd sheep. The Dales Pony was valued as a pack pony working in the lead mines carrying the ore to cargo ships.  Welsh Cobs and Clydesdales were used to help better the breed, although Clydesdale features were later bred out.

Dales Pony stallion being ridden
Ridden Dales Pony Stallion by Annapennell [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons
Known for their super-equine strength, the Dales can carry 220 pounds in weight. The Dales is a speedy pony, trotting an average three-minute mile. Today, the Dales is a versatile pony and is both ridden and driven. Its surefootedness makes it a good mount for trail riding.

Dales Pony mare shown in-hand
Champion Dales Pony by Annapennell [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons

Dales Pony Characteristics

The Dales Pony has hard dark-colored hooves with thickly boned feathered legs. Short-coupled with strong hindquarters and a well-muscled neck, the Dales also sports fine features with wide-set eyes and tiny ears. Average height is 14 to 14.2 hands high. The Dales Pony is usually black, although brown and gray are sometimes seen.

For more information:

Further Reading:

British Isles Ponies: The Dale


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