New Forest Ponies

The New Forest Ponies are a British breed, found in Hampshire, England. 

These ponies have lived there since the 11th century and have a varied genetic background and over the years, different breeds have been introduced, such as Arabs and Barbs, Exmoor’s, Highlands, Fells, Dales, Hackney and Clydesdales. 

The earliest written record of horses in the New Forest dates back to 1016 when rights of common pasture were granted to the people living in what was a royal hunting ground.

Stud books have been in existence since 1906, and the breed has been purebred since 1930.

Stallions must be registered New Foresters, and do not run free on the Forest all year round.

They are normally turned out during spring and summer, when they gather mares into larger groups and defend them against other stallions.

There are two types of pony – one stands 12 – 12.2hh  (1.22 – 1.27m) and the other type can reach 14.2hh (1.47m).

The ponies can be of any colour except piebald, skewbald or blue-eyed cream.

Palominos and very light chestnuts are only acceptable as geldings and mares.

Pictures of ponies

Their heads are rather horse like with long sloping shoulders and strong legs and feet.

They have powerful and strong quarters along with an arched neck. 

The locals are known as “commoners” and have the right to graze their animals in the forest, which is mostly heath land.

Around 3,000 ponies are running there with some in poor condition.

They are used as a harness horse, general riding, dressage, driving, jumping, Pony Club, polo, gymkhana, and are successfully trained to carry handicapped riders.

The new forest pony is a proven athlete and is capable of performing to the highest levels.

They are known for their calm dispositions and gentle manner, which make them an ideal choice for children.

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