Horse and Pony Breeds: The New Forest Pony

The New Forest Pony is a fascinating breed native to the United Kingdom. The breed was first written about and described in 1066, but it is believed that the ancestors of the new forest pony roamed the woods and heath of the New Forest before the last Ice Age.

Creating the Breed

The New Forest is an accessible piece of land in Hampshire that was once crossed by travellers on horseback. Although later the new forest became a royal hunting ground under William the Conqueror, forest-dwellers known as Commoners had the right to put their ponies living together in this way and mixing with the horses and ponies of travellers, meant that lots of cross-breeding happened between mares and stallions this created quite a diverse group of ponies.

The Ponies

They made excellent partners for riders of all ages and abilities and are strong enough to be ridden by adults. Their canter is their best gait, and they are extremely sure-footed.

They are known for having fantastic temperaments and being intelligent and versatile.

Extracted by HQ Magazine, Horse and Pony Breeds, November 2021.