Yesterday a visitor to Willowtrail Farm asked what other breeds contributed to the Fell Pony. I didn’t have a ready answer since it’s not a question I’ve been asked before. Most people come to me already knowing that Fells are one of Britain’s native pony breeds, and that they evolved over centuries, developing unique characteristics reflecting their home terrain and historic uses. This person, though, came to me because she was looking for a larger pony with a temperament appropriate for children but with enough bone and substance for an adult to ride.
I’ve been around the Fell Pony breed long enough, of course, to produce an answer to this question reasonably quickly. One thing that helped was having just read the most recent article on my desk about genetic diversity in pony breeds. This particular article called out Fells as having unique genetic characteristics relative to the other breeds in the study….