The New Forest Pony

Find out about the New Forest Pony's history, conformation, and other facts about the breed.


New Forest Pony History

In England, near the coast in southwest Hampshire, lies the beautiful New Forest. The New Forest Pony, one of the nine native breeds of the United Kingdom, has existed here since 1016 A.D.

New Forest Pony grazing

The native ponies mixed with transient stock, Welsh ponies, Arabians and Thoroughbreds, and because of this influx the pony’s genes are more diverse than any of the British breeds. However, their distinctive type was shaped by their environment.

Bay New Forest Pony standing

Today, New Forest Ponies are popular throughout the world as leisure and driving horses and excel in dressage and jumping.

New Forest Pony Breed Characteristics

The New Forest Pony does not have a lower height limit, and they can be 11 hands high or shorter. The maximum limit is 14.2 hands high.

Foresters come in all colors except palomino and pinto.

Dun New Forest Pony

The New Forest Pony is more horse-like than the other native breeds. Viewed from the front the shoulders slope in and form withers, which is more like a horse than a pony.

The Forester must lift his shoulders and his hocks as he moves; this is functional because a low mover would have trouble in a land filled with heather and gorse.

New Forest Pony walking in a field

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Further Reading

This breed profile was originally published on December 15, 2006.


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