The Furry Critter Network

New Forest Pony Breed Description

Back to Equine Breed Menu


Breed Organization

New Forest Pony Society of North America

International Museum of The Horse

Native Country

Other Names

Adult Height
See Breed Description

Adult Weight

General 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.


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.


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.


The New Forest pony and related crossbreeds are still the "working pony of choice" for local farmers and commoners, as their sure-footedness, agility, and sound sense will carry them (and their rider) safely across the varied and occasionally hazardous terrain of the open Forest, sometimes at great speed, during the autumn drifts. New Forest ponies also are used today for gymkhanas, show jumping, cross-country, dressage, driving, and eventing.


Very hardy

Back to Equine Breed Menu

Featured Rescues

"Don't Shop ... Please Adopt"

laptop pro


The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®) was the first humane society to be established in North America and is, today, one of the largest in the world.

Our organization was founded on the belief that animals are entitled to kind and respectful treatment at the hands of humans and must be protected under the law. Headquartered in New York City, the ASPCA maintains a strong local presence, and with programs that extend our anti-cruelty mission across the country, we are recognized as a national animal welfare organization. We are a privately funded 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, and are proud to boast more than 2 million supporters across the country.

The ASPCA’s mission, as stated by founder Henry Bergh in 1866, is “to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.”

laptop pro


If you can’t find the pet you’re looking for on Petfinder, don’t give up. Some shelters maintain waiting lists for specific breeds, so don’t be afraid to ask! There are also breed-specific rescues for just about every breed, and most of them post their pets on Petfinder. (Petfinder can even e-mail you when a pet that fits your criteria is posted — just click “Save this Search” at the top of your search results page.)

laptop pro

Rescue Me

Jeff Gold, Founder, Rescue Me! Animal Rescue Network

Jeff Gold lives in Watkinsville, Georgia on the same property as Rescue Me's Animal Rehabilitation Center, with 18 rescue animals. Shown with him in the photo to the left are Maggie, Izzie and Cortez. In 2003, after learning there was nobody doing boxer rescue work in Georgia, Gold founded Boxertown, an organization which helped find homes for over 500 boxers during its first two years. Based upon this success, Gold came up with the vision for Rescue Me! ― a network which helps all breeds of dogs, cats and other animals find good homes, anywhere in the world. is also a free service of Rescue Me! and provides the world's largest and most up-to-date directory of animal rescue organizations for all breeds of dogs, cats and other animals, including a comprehensive directory of wildlife rehabilitators in over 150 countries.