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The pony's diet of hardy vegetation such as gorse, shrubs and coarse grasses that out-compete more fragile plants make them great moor and grassland conservation aids. Fred F / Flickr

By Brooke Maree Williams

Bordered by Devon and Somerset counties and dropping away steeply to the Bristol Channel, the hilly, open moorland of Exmoor in southwest England is a place of freezing wet winters with driving winds. Vegetation here is tough and of little nutritional value. Only the hardiest of creatures endure in this harsh environment. The Exmoor pony is one of them, though it's currently listed as "endangered" by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.

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