Ponies spray painted green? Absolutely – and here’s why…

  • Some eagle-eyed residents and visitors to Dartmoor have noticed something a little bizarre recently – ponies with green manes.

    But these aren’t just any ponies, these are Dartmoor Hill Ponies, and their new colour scheme has come about thanks to an idea hatched by Friends of the Dartmoor Hill Pony group.

    Their spray painting service has been offered to farmers who are members of the Dartmoor Hill Pony Association and is part of a plan to match the breeding levels of Dartmoor Hill Ponies to that of the demand for this breed.

    Dartmoor Hill Pony spray paint

    The project, which aims to reduce the number of foals being left unsold and going to slaughter, means that semi-feral Dartmoor Hill Pony mares can receive a contraceptive injection to help tackle the problem of overbreeding – this scheme was first introduced in 2012.

    The ponies with green manes are mares who are part of this contraception scheme. Although a very bright green to start with, the spray paint fades over the winter period, but is still visible in spring time as one of the ways to identify them quickly out on the moor.

    The spray paint means that the ponies who are on the contraceptive scheme are easy to spot when they are rounded up late in the spring, at which point they are injected with a six-month booster jab of the contraceptive.

    The first approval of this contraceptive scheme came about after World Horse Welfare vet Keith Meldrum worked with the Dartmoor Hill Pony Association and pharmaceutical company Pfizer – who are now well-known as a Covid-19 vaccine provider – on a plan to inject 20 mares in 2012.

    Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade your subscription to access our online service that brings you breaking news and reports as well as other benefits.

    You may like...