Exmoor ponies are believed to be descended from ponies from North America and are considered to be the oldest and purest of the pony breeds in the UK.
During World War II they were sometimes used for target practice and the numbers dropped to a dangerously low level. Careful management has seen a beneficial improvement, although the breed is still rarer than the giant panda.
In former days, the ponies were used for the postal round and to mount the Home Guard during the war. In modern times, those taken off the moor are domesticated for disabled riding, showing and so on.
Although living wild on the moor, each herd is owned and kept separate from the others by cattle grids, etc.
Every autumn the ponies are rounded up and inspected by the Exmoor Pony Society. Some are sold on and others returned to the moor, as the need permits. Any colts below standard must be gelded when they are old enough.
Exmoor can only support a certain number of ponies and the numbers are carefully managed.
Foals are usually born around May, June time, but the odd ones can be seen later in the year.