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22 March 2019   
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New Forest Pony

The New Forset pony is one of the nine recognised breeds of ponies comprising the Mountain and Moorland group in the British Isles. Though its origin is uncertain there is reference given to wild horses living in the New Forest in the days of the Viking King Canute, 995-1035. New Forest ponies are still bred in their natural habitat in the 145 square miles of the New Forest in Hampshire, where today they may still be seen roaming free. Once a year they are rounded up into pounds so the owners, Commoners of the forest, may sell them at the Beaulieu Road Sales. Generally it is the foals that are sold.

The Forest pony is less distinctive than the other British Mountain and Moorland breeds as there have been, since the 19th century, introductions to improve the breed, of Arab, Thoroughbred and Hackney blood. It has been said that unfortunately this outside blood did not necessarily improve the New Forest stock and a less hardy animal not as capable of surviving on the meagre scrub land of Its natural habitat has evolved in parts of the forest.

However, the best of breed are sturdy and sure footed with plenty of speed. They have an excellent temperament and make ideal children's ponies. All colours are acceptable except piebald, skewbald and cremello. Mostly bay and brown are seen. Standing between 12. to 13.2 h.h they are seldom seen under 12 h.h. The larger ones are strong and capable of carrying a mans weight while still being narrow enough to make a good children's riding pony. Their agility makes them excellent at gymkhanas and mounted games and they also make good little show jumpers.

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