Efforts to return Scotland’s land to a more natural state could be spurred on by an unlikely helper: an independent, hardy and terribly cute breed of horse, the Exmoor pony. In this podcast, Naturally Speaking’s Joey Humble interviews PhD student Debbie Davy, a guardian and advocate for the Exmoor pony, who has recently introduced a herd to Cochno farm, a University owned site close to Glasgow. Here we learn a bit about the history, ecology and genetics of this breed. Exmoor ponies are native to the UK and although in modern times they were only found in Exmoor (South-west England), it is believed by many that their kin were widespread throughout all of the UK in ancient times. Without need of horseshoes, stables or assisted foaling, Exmoor ponies truly are a feral breed which could help promote biodiversity through their love of coarse vegetation. Debbie’s PhD is funded by the Exmoor Pony Society.
Feature image courtesy of Joey Humble, 2021.