Buy a Dartmoor Pony
Considerations before you buy
If you buy a Dartmoor pony from the commons you will have a hardy pony of good temperament. With the right training, your pony will become a fantastic child's riding pony or driving pony and, perhaps above all, the best of family friends.
Looking after your Dartmoor pony
Ponies kept at grass should be checked at least twice a day for health and any signs of injury. A sheltered area should be available, either man-made or natural, and the paddock should be a suitable size, depending on the quality of the grass. The grass supply should be restricted if it is too lush, especially in the spring, because ponies can become very ill from eating too much rich grass, especially if they are not used to it. It is good practice to 'rest' grassland by dividing up the field and rotating the grazing of each section. All fencing should be adequate and safe, especially since moorland ponies are particularly nimble and are likely to be unsettled initially. Clean water should be available.
Remember, most ponies sold at markets are under one year old and will not be able to be ridden until they are about four years old. Until this time, regular handling will make it less wary of humans when it comes to be trained for riding. Training, known as breaking, requires experience, skill and specific equipment and should be carried out by an expert to be successful. Once broken, the pony will still be very inexperienced and is unlikely to be suitable for a child or novice rider for some time. A badly broken pony can be a danger to both rider and the public and is very unlikely to have a secure and happy future.
If you follow this advice, and do decide to purchase a pony, you will have invested in a pony that should provide an ideal, and reliable companion for any child, and should prove to be excellent value for money as well.