From: Horse Breeds
New Forest Pony
This lovely looking pony is sure footed, agile and quick thinking with a wonderful temperament as well as being incredibly hardy and being able to withstand varied terrain and cold winters on what is often slim rations.
The breed originates in the New Forest in the south of England.
Height can vary from 12.2 to 14.2 HH
New Forest ponies can be bay, brown, grey, black, chestnut and dun.
They are as an all round riding and driving pony.
This wonderful horse takes its name from the area called the New Forest which used to be a hunting ground of William the Conqueror and which covers many miles of varied terrain including woodland, heath-land, grassland, wet heath land and tree plantations called enclosures.
This varied terrain has led the New Forest pony to be agile and sure footed and intelligent enabling it to cope with what its area has to offer.The New forest pony has had some interesting influences over the years including in the 18th century a Thoroughbred called Marske who also sired the racehorse Eclipse being put to New forest mares. In the 19th century an Arab stallion belonging to Queen Victoria was also used and later Dales, Exmoor, Fell, Dartmoor, Highland and Welsh mountain were also introduced. The end result is a sure footed and hardy pony with agile and active paces and a kind nature.
All the ponies that run free on the forest have owners who are called commoners these commoners have the right to turn out their ponies, cattle and pigs onto the common land. Once a year the ponies are rounded up in what is called a drift and the local verderer (who is a guardian of the commoners rights and conservation protector of the new forest) check the ponies over and separate any that are to be sold and also mark them with either a brand or a tail cut, each verderer has his own mark of tail cut so that they know which ponies are from which area and who they belong to.
New Forest Pony Society
The society works to preserve the wonderful nature and versatility of this beautiful breed and offers information on breeding, stallions and shows.