MEMBERS of Langholm Probus Club enjoyed being taken for a ride back in time with Ian Graham who gave a talk on the history of the Dales pony.
He covered the pony’s origin in the British Isles up to the Middle Ages and an overlapping period to make local links with the lead mining industry and the Scotch Galloway.
He looked at the foundation stock of the modern pony and the establishment of the Dales Pony Society.
Since Paleolithic times, people have had a hand in the evolution of horses by hunting them for consumption and later domesticating them for use.
Records, in the form of cave paintings, go back 17,000 years. Early equine types crossed and intermingled, adapting to different habitats and migrating around the world.
The native pony is traced from the Bronze Age and Roman occupation to links with the Border Reivers and the origins of the Dales pony in the Pennines and the High Peak.
At the start of World War One Lord Lonsdale bred them with Fell ponies to create stronger working animal which he sold to the government.
Ian talked about the breed’s development and improvement and, with the creation of the Dales Pony Society, the breed standard was defined.