New Forest

New Forest

The New Forest Pony is an equine of antiquity, having existed on the New Forest Commons, Hampshire, for centuries. Horse remains dating back to 500,000 BC have been discovered in areas surrounding the modern New Forest, suggesting a likeness to the Exmoor Pony.

The indigenous breed is largely referenced in historical records, with evidence to indicate William the Conqueror shipped as many as 2,000 horses to England during his invasion of 1066. From here, the horses went on to breed in semi-feral conditions, producing great variation in offspring and evolving a diverse new breed native to the rugged New Forest Commons.

Due to ownership rights meaning that often the best examples of the breed were claimed, the quality of breeding stock diminished, causing a decline in New Forest Pony conformation and constitution. To counter this, a famous Thoroughbred racehorse called Marske was introduced to the Commons in 1765 to try and enhance the New Forest Pony bloodline.

The breed is known for its gentle and friendly disposition towards strangers and its strength, sure-footedness and hardy constitution. Due to interbreeding, a wide variety of coat colours and patterns are seen in the breed. The average height is 14 hands.

Did you know..?

Another horse that was instrumental in improving New Forest Pony stock was an Arab loaned by Queen Victoria in the late 1850’s. The horse was named Zorah and was returned to Windsor after 4 years because New Foresters were unimpressed with its breeding.

Our New Forest owners have uploaded 100 photos

Our New Forest owners' thoughts

Added on 11/12/2017
Joined 26/12/2016
From Essex, United Kingdom

Intelligent, crafty, quick and cheeky!
Mine keeps me on my toes.
Mine however is not hardy, shivers and has numerous ailments!
She is a princess!

Added on 19/06/2018
Joined 19/06/2018
From Cornwall, United Kingdom

My mare is kind to other horses. She is quick on the uptake when learning something new, good job she is bombproof.

Added on 27/06/2018
Joined 01/09/2016
From Northamptonshire, United Kingdom

Very quick to learn, great paces , beautiful and spooky like a TB which is the fun of riding and owning one. Mine looks at everything whilst hacking (apart from big lorries etc LOL)

Added on 15/10/2018
Joined 20/07/2018
From Suffolk, United Kingdom

Mine is very cheeky and will escape out of the fencing if it's not secure enough or the electric is turned off.
But he is the kindest soul on the planet. He is very forgiving with small children and children with disabilities. New Forest ponies are quick learners .They are genuine, kind and great family ponies.

Added on 22/04/2020
Joined 31/10/2014
From Surrey, United Kingdom

Absolutely fantastic all-round breed for adults and children. I’ve owned my mare for 14 years, since she was a and we’ve done absolutely everything - dressage, showjumping, eventing, fun rides, hunting. She’s been on loan to a child doing pony club teams and has taught her so much.

These ponies are clever and enjoy their work. They’ve got a great brain and will get you out of trouble on a SJ or XC course if you make a mistake. I would highly recommend this breed. I’ve had three and would never be without one!