Breed Organization The New Forest Pony Association & Registry Website: http://www.newforestpony.net New Forest Pony Society of North America Website: http://www.newforestponysocietyna.org Native Country England Other Names N/A Average Height See Breed Description Adult Weight ------------ Rider Experience Level See Behavior
Breed Description New Forest Ponies range in size from 12 hh to 14.2 hh, and although there is no official lower limit, they seldom go below 12hh.
The most prominent colors are bay, brown and gray followed by chestnuts, roans and blacks. Limited white markings are allowed
on the head and legs. Blue-eyed creams, piebalds and skewbalds are not permitted.
The New Forester displays free,
straight movement, plenty of bone, strong rear quarters, good depth of body and should be of riding type, with a good deal of
substance. The head should be of "pony type;" the shoulders should be long and sloping; the quarters should be strong and well
muscled; the body is deep; the legs are straight with strong joints and good hard hooves. The larger ponies, while narrow
enough for children, are capable of carrying adults. The smaller ponies, although not up to so much weight, usually show
more quality than the larger animals.
History The New Forest Pony gets its name from the New Forest that lies along the English coast between Southampton and Bournemouth in
southwest Hampshire. This region comprises one of the largest areas of unenclosed land in southern England and today is a popular
recreational destination for the general public. The New Forest ponies still roam its heaths, woodland and bogs as they have for
centuries. It is, however, unknown as to how or when these fine ponies passed into private ownership.
New Forest ponies
combine the characteristics of the other native British ponies such as strength, intelligence and agility with a narrower build,
tractable temperament and speed. It is a recognized breed of the mountain and moorland ponies of the British Isles. Not only was
the breed influenced by native British stock but also the various infusions of blood from horses that crossed Britian during
various periods of history.
It was not until the end of the nineteenth century that systematic efforts were made to
improve the breed. In 1891, the Society for the Improvement of New Forest Ponies was founded. In 1906, the Burley and District
New Forest Pony and Cattle Breeding Society started to register mares and young stock, and the first studbook was published in 1910.
At that time stallions from other native breeds were used to improve breed and the early studbooks show a curious assortment of sires.
From 1914 to 1959 registration were recorded in the National Pony Society's studbook. In 1938 the two local societies merged and no outside
blood has been permitted since the mid 1930s. In 1960, the New Forest Pony Breeding and Cattle Society started to publish its own
studbook and has continued to the present.
Today, as in the past, these wild, though privately owned ponies roam their
ancient homeland unencumbered. Their owners pay for grazing rights in the forest and each fall the ponies are rounded up and
evaluated for breeding by the New Forest Pony Breeding and Cattle Society. This organization continues to oversee the management
and breeding of the ponies in order to ensure their survival.
In recent years an increasing number of New Forest ponies
have been bred in private studs outside the forest and many ponies have been exported. Presently there are flourishing studs of
registered New Forest ponies not only in the United Kingdom but throughout Europe, Canada and Australia.
Behavior The New Forest Pony is considered an ideal mount for families seeking a horse appropriate for both children and adults and one that is skilled
in adapting to the various skill levels of various riders.