The situation is very complex on Dartmoor but due to the economy and a change in transport laws hundreds of Dartmoor Hill Ponies don't sell at the markets. These farmers are in the process of reducing the number of ponies they keep but in the meantime they have asked us to help find homes for the ponies so they don't have to be shot. Although the Zoo meat scheme is run by a highly skilled professional who minimises the stress for the ponies, we would prefer that these ponies are given a chance in good homes.
However, please don't take on one of these ponies if you aren't willing to ask for advice and help in how to train them. Even if you are very experienced with horses & training youngsters, training a wild pony (especially an older one,) can be very hard if you don't have help. Please do remember we will try and help you as much as we can so do email / call us if there are any problems.
We are asking for £80 per pony to cover your pony being microchipped, passported, wormed, de-loused and a copy of Sarah Weston's wonderful training book "No Fear, No Force" which details how to work with your feral pony in a non-confrontational and gentle way. We'll also send out a load of training information that we've compiled over the years at the DPTC.
- Download the form below and email it to the person dealing with the farm you want to take a pony on from (We won't have time to respond to any other emails as it's a super busy and stressful time for us. If you have any questions then put them on your form.) You'll also need to put two references on the form.
- Wait for us to contact you (after we've checked your references,) saying whether your first choice of pony is available. We will then provide you with our bank details. Ponies are reserved on a first come first served basis when the money is received. Please mark the payment with the reference of your full name so that it's easy for us to check off who's paid.
- Arrange for your pony to be collected; the person dealing with your ponies farm will contact you directly with the dates on which the ponies must be collected from the farm. Local transporters who we've worked with in the past are: PC Horse Transport, Paul, 07860 261144 and Willhayes Horse Transport, Brian, 01392 832466.
- Please contact us if you need any support with training or problems you might be having. Working with these ponies can be challenging and we want to make sure you do really well together. We'd also love it if you put updates on the DPTC facebook group as we love to see how they're doing. Please look at the DPTC facebook group for pictures of ponies from previous years.
All of us who work at the DPTC work for free and are often out of pocket after the autumn rehoming because of the high fuel costs travelling over to the farms in Widecombe. We'd be very grateful if you'd consider making a donation to the DPTC along with your pony payment to try and help us recoup some of our costs.
Anyone taking on a pony through our rehoming scheme is eligible to a free spectator place on our foal handling course in Widecombe from the 28th October to the 1st of November. Please fill in the appropriate section on the form if you're interested.