New Forest Pony

New Forest Pony credit Audrey Scott-Hopkins with credit

Key Characteristics

The New Forest Pony has an ideal temperament and are easy to train. Their action when moving is free, active and straight, but not exaggerated.

History

  • There have been New Forest Ponies in the New Forest since the end of the last Ice Age.
  • During the 19th Century they were regularly raced and with prizes of £5 or £10, they became a valuable asset.
  • The first society for the improvement of New Forest ponies was set up in 1891 to run a stallion show, followed in 1905  by the Burley and District New Forest Pony Breeding and Cattle Society, who started the Stud Book and the Breed Show.
  • New Forest ponies served in South Africa with the Forest Scouts in the Boer War and performed better than regular mounts, regularly carrying 13 stone all day under extreme conditions and on their return they won the Army Jumping compettion in Aldershot. 
  • The introduction of outside stallions was at its height in the first decade of the 20th century. After WW1 commoners stated that those ponies with the most old forest blood stayed longest on the forest so after 1930 only New Forest stallions were permitted to run out. 

Appearance

  • New Forest ponies should be of working type with substance.
  • The upper height limit is 148cm.
  • They may be any colour except piebald, skewbald, spotted or blue eyed cream. Palomino or very light chestnut and cream ponies with dark eyes are not eligible as licensed stallions. 

Uses

Riding

They ponies are quite capable of carrying adults, while narrow enough for small children.

Did you know?

During the 19th Century, New Forest colts were often raced. The best became valuable and were gelded so they could continue racing. This meant that the best animals were not kept for breeding and so a scheme was created to bring in new stallions to improve the breed again. 

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