The British Isles are identified for producing fantastic horses. The Connemara, Thoroughbred and Shire all discovered their begin within the U.Ok. Whereas all of those breeds are synonymous with this a part of the world, one specifically is so tightly linked to England that horses of this breed nonetheless graze on the land the place the breed was first developed lots of of years in the past.
That is the legacy of the New Forest Pony, a hardy and sure-footed breed that lives within the New Forest of southern England, 100 miles from London. Now a part of a nationwide park, the New Forest is made up of pastures, glades, woods, moors, hearthland and cliffs. The land overlooks the English Channel which explains for the New Forest Pony’s rugged structure.
In the present day, the descendants of the unique New Forest Ponies, who grazed on this land for hundreds of years, reside in a semi-wild state. They’re managed by way of the centuries-old custom of “commoning,” which permits farmers to graze their livestock on widespread land. As soon as the looking grounds of William the Conqueror, the New Forest is dwelling to lots of of native ponies owned by native farmers and managed by “agisters,” who take care of them.
Get Our Free Weekly Enewsletter About Horses
The Trendy New Forest Pony
About 5,000 New Forest Ponies reside within the New Forest at present. The New Forest Pony Breeding & Cattle Society (NFPBCS) in Hampshire, England, holds the studbook and registers New Forest Ponies all through the U.Ok. Though the breed is known for its lengthy historical past within the New Forest, this mighty British pony can also be identified for its versatility.
In England, the NFPBCS manages a program known as the Elite Scheme, which was established to assist breeders, homeowners and potential homeowners of New Forest Ponies uncover essentially the most profitable bloodlines within the breed. This system highlights the qualities of New Forest Ponies in many alternative disciplines. Recognized for his or her versatility, the breed will be discovered doing absolutely anything. On the NFPBCS annual breed present, ponies compete in dressage, gymkhana, hunter, and different using and in-hand courses.
Alana Henson in Nottingham, United Kingdom, has had her New Forest Pony mare, Bowlingreen Espresso (aka “Espresso”), for just a few years now, and is totally bought on the breed.
“Espresso is 8 years outdated and has solely had a using profession of three years,” says Henson. “In her earlier dwelling, she primarily did present leaping and Pony Membership actions. With us, she has excelled at exhibiting as a working hunter. She has received just a few championships this season.”
Espresso additionally certified for STARS Champions of Champions, the place she competed within the working hunter courses. STARS was established in England in 2018 as an end-of-season finale for younger equestrians exhibiting any breed of horse or pony.
“Espresso was one in all just a few that made it round a really tough course and was awarded the Shining Star award,” says Henson.
Though just a few hundred New Forest Ponies are registered in North America, the individuals who hold them on this facet of the pond are keen about their ponies.
“We love the New Forest Pony temperament, intelligence and trainability,” says Lynda Davies of Manoravon Farms in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. “They transfer extra like a horse than a pony, have nice toes, and are simple keepers. Their measurement makes them glorious household ponies—sufficiently small for kids, but able to dealing with an grownup.”
Davies has additionally discovered New Forest Ponies to be a particularly versatile breed, performing any process requested of them.
“Our ponies have completed Pony Membership, hunter/jumper, dressage, and eventing,” she says. “They’re additionally nice driving ponies and may do each pleasure and mixed driving. My husband and I take our ponies on tenting and path using weekends. We additionally use ours in our small lesson program for kids and adults.”
This charming breed could also be uncommon in North America, however possible not for lengthy. Phrase is spreading on the fun of proudly owning a New Forest Pony, and it’s little marvel—the breed’s magnificence, brains and athleticism are onerous to beat.
Peak: Not more than 14.2 1⁄8 fingers
Colour: Any colour besides pinto, noticed or blue-eyed cream
General Look: High quality head, alert expression; sloping shoulders; robust quarters; loads of flat bone; good depth of physique; straight limbs and good, onerous, spherical toes.
◆ New Forest Pony Society of North America
◆ New Forest Pony Breeding & Cattle Breeding Society
This text in regards to the New Forest Pony breed appeared within the March 2022 difficulty of Horse Illustrated journal. Click on right here to subscribe!