Dartmoor ponies were used as pack animals for hundreds, possibly thousands of years. In modern times and for various reasons, their numbers have dwindled to such an extent that they are at risk of disappearing from their native moor.
Inspired by 'Walking Dartmoor's Ancient Tracks' by Eric Hemery, Sam Goodwin has been single-handedly training ponies to carry packs. Giving people the opportunity to step literally into the past and experience Dartmoor and its distinctive breed in a unique and authentic way.
Emma Cunis of Dartmoor's Daughter creates walks and nature-connection experiences to invite people into a deeper sense of connection with our bodies, community, and the natural world. Her maternal family has lived and loved Dartmoor for generations. Her grandmother introduced her first husband Eric Hemery to Dartmoor in the 1950s where he set up and offered guided walks and pony treks then wrote a series of well regarded books including ‘High Dartmoor’ described as 'the bible for anyone who has the spirit of Dartmoor'.
Cost & Booking: For this event we ask, in the spirit of the same generosity of this landscape and its ponies, that you pay what you decide. The larger portion of your donation will go towards paying for the feeding, upkeep and training of the ponies and helping Dartmoor Pack & Pony to set up with replica baskets (to be handmade in the future), insurance, etc. The suggested donation is £45 but the decision is yours...
Group size is limited to 8 maximum so pre-booking is essential.
Level: 3 out of 5. We will spend the first couple of hours getting to know the ponies, putting on their packs, and answering any questions you may have before we get started. Then we will head out on to the open moor for an approx 3-4 miles walk. To keep up with the ponies, we will walk at a reasonable pace with a few short stops along the way. You will need a good level of fitness and to be comfortable spending approximately 4 hours in open moorland terrain. When we return, you will be invited to help unload the ponies and return them to their fields please.
Meeting time & location: 9.15am ready for a 9.30am start at the horse barn near Lukesland, Ivybridge, PL21 0JF. On the way to Lukesland Garden, turn right into a rough lane and up towards a horse barn. We will be waiting there to meet you.
Car parking is very limited so if you can offer a lift to others or would like to carshare, please reply to this email letting us know where you are driving/coming from and going to.
What to wear/bring: Sturdy walking boots/comfortable wellies (you will need to walk where is easiest for the ponies possibly including river fords), plenty of warm layers, hat, non-slip gloves, waterproof jacket and trousers (whatever the forecast), picnic lunch, snacks, drink/hot flask.
Sorry no dogs.
Cancellation policy: The event will go ahead come rain or shine. If the walk is postponed because of dangerous weather, you will be offered a new future date or refund. Sorry no refunds if you are unable to attend.
Risk: This walk is entirely at your own risk as insurance to work with horses is not currently affordable for Dartmoor Pack & Pony. No liability is accepted for accidents or incidents.