The Fell in Fell Pony

Lunesdale ponies on Roundthwaite Common

Have you ever wondered why the ponies that we admire aren’t called Westmorland Ponies or Cumberland Ponies or Border Ponies or Pennine Ponies? Or Eden or Lowther or Derwent or Duddon Ponies?  Is there a reason they’re so rarely called Galloways anymore?  While Fell Ponies are certainly found in what used to be Westmorland and Cumberland and the Borders and even Galloway, they are of course called Fell Ponies because of the fells they have called home for centuries. 

We all know that what makes a Fell Pony unique is because of those very fells.  Good knee and hock action and sure-footedness are required to handle the rough terrain of the fells.  Intelligence is required in order to find shelter, food, and water there.  Thriftiness is necessary to deal with less than ideal fodder.  Abundant mane, tail, and feather assist with shedding precipitation.   A broad forehead houses an intelligent mind capable of learning about and surviving without human assistance.  Small ears are less likely to be frozen during frigid weather.  Nostrils are large to take in abundant air when working to traversing steep terrain.   Muscularity and strength of body are similarly important to be able to move safely across the land.

Click here to read the breed standard.  What is your favorite tie-in from it to the fells that our ponies have called home for so long?