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Project information

Homes for Unwanted Exmoor Pony Foals

We work with unwanted, rare-breed, Exmoor pony foals which might otherwise be slaughtered, and find them foster homes or place them with conservation grazing schemes.

The project is ongoing

Charity information: The Moorland Mousie Trust at the Exmoor Pony Centre

The Moorland Mousie Trust at the Exmoor Pony Centre logo
  • Need


    The Moor will only support a certain number of free-living Exmoor ponies if they are to stay fit and healthy.

    As a native rare-breed classified as endangered by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, continued breeding is essential to strengthen the diminished gene pool. Only by breeding ponies living free in their natural environment can their unique hardy qualities be preserved.

    Filly foals are generally kept but few stallions are needed so many colt foals must be homed or else slaughtered


    We take in as many unwanted foals as possible and, using gentle natural horsemanship methods, provide essential training, veterinary care and neutering of colt foals.

    We then arrange for re-homing to foster homes or grazing placements where they can live happy and useful lives and many go on to be much-loved family ponies.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To re-home as many unwanted Exmoor foals as possible as an alternative to them being slaughtered.


    » Purchasing the surplus foals from the herd owners.
    » Giving necessary veterinary checks including worming and de-lousing and, when the foal is comfortable with being handled, castration of the colts.
    » Using gentle handling methods to train foals to enjoy human contact, wear headcollars, have their feet picked up and be groomed.
    » Re-homing to foster homes as companion or family ponies or to conservation grazing schemes.

    What success will look like

    The charity retains ownership of the foals it re-homes and continually monitors their welfare and progress.

  • Impact


    Since 2006, the charity has re-homed in excess of 500 pure-bred Exmoor foals.

    By taking in these surplus foals each year we help to enable herd owners to continue essential breeding in a responsible and humane way.

    The number of unwanted foals actually being bred is reducing as is the number going to slaughter.


    We rely heavily on grants and donations which, in the present economic climate are increasingly difficult to come by and rising prices mean our core and welfare costs are continually increasing.

    We are intensifying both our fundraising activities and our work promoting the Exmoor Pony as a classified endangered breed in need of support.

    In the meantime we have reduced the number of foals we take in. We are also currently operating with reduced staff plus our loyal volunteers.


    Donors are able to access regular information about the work of the Trust through our website, FB page and Exmoor pony blog.

    Membership of our Friends of Moorland Mousie Trust scheme provides a quarterly newsletter.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £10,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £2,100 Feed For 10 foals over 1 winter
      £2,000 Castrations For 10 colt foals
      £500 Veterinary Costs For 10 foals to include health checks, worming & de-lousing
      £3,000 Handling Training 10 foals to wear headcollars, have feet checked and allow general handling
      £2,400 Transport Collecting from breeders and delivering to new homes
  • Background


    The Moorland Mousie Trust is based at the Exmoor Pony Centre near Dulverton in Somerset.

    The foals taken in by the Centre generally come directly from Exmoor.

    Our ponies are re-homed to foster homes and conservation grazing schemes throughout the United Kingdom.


    Breeders and herd-owners are able, with our help, to pursue a responsible, humane breeding program.

    Local groups of all ages and backgrounds visit us and interact with the ponies. We go to schools and local events and take ponies to care homes and others who are unable to visit the Centre.

    We employ local people and offer work experience to students.

    Local businesses benefit from visitors from home and abroad who come specifically to see our ponies.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Our Exmoor Pony Centre provides a permanent, specialised base for foals arriving off the moor and our staff are highly skilled in working with un-handled foals.

    We work closely with herd owners and breeders and have contacts with Wildlife Trusts and other organisations throughout the UK who take our ponies for their conservation grazing schemes.

    The welfare of our ponies is paramount and we continue to monitor their progress throughout their lives.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Linzi Green

    Linzi Green is the General Manager of the Exmoor Pony Centre and also holds the role of Pony Officer for the Exmoor Moorland Landscape Partnership.