The first Dartmoor reference appeared in 1012, and much later this pony was instrumental to tin mines who used them to transporting product. Once they had outlived their usefulness, farmers took some of them but most of them were set free.
In 1898 the National Pony Registry set up local committees in order to produce descriptions of all of the native breeds. Other than height, the description still fits the Dartmoor as we know it today. Unfortunately, both of the World Wars took their toll on the breed and their numbers dwindled.