The Fell Pony is a breed of pony from England, originating in Cumberland, Northumberland and Westmorland. It was developed by breeding on the Fell Farms in Northwest England. Breeds used in the development of the Fell Pony are believed to be the now extinct Galloway Pony and decedents of the Dales Pony.
Originally the pony was used as a pack horse to carry lead, slate, copper and iron ore from mines, also transporting farm goods like wool. Vikings also used them as pack horses, riding and pulling sleds. Because of their sturdiness and speed, into the early 1900s they were also used by the postal service.
The population of the Fell Pony decreased drastically until 1945 when a breeding program was initiated. The program was stopped in 1970 but with the popularity of the breed its numbers are steadily increasing.
The average size of a Fell Pony is 54 inches high, but can vary dramatically. It adapts well to harsh environments and can withstand almost any climate. Coat colors black, brown, bay and gray are accepted for registration. Other colors that are not accepted for registration are chestnut, piebald and skewbald. Small amounts of white markings are accepted but an excess is not.
It has a steady temperament, it’s intelligent and has an alert attitude. The Fell Pony has a regular walk and is sure-footed for use on rough terrains. The Fell is agile and does well in local shows and events.
Today the Fell Pony is mainly used for riding, packing, trekking, herding, showing, endurance riding, driving and working.
Image Caption: Fell Pony. Credit: Paul/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 2.0)