New Forest Pony

New Forest Pony photo
New Forest pony mare of buckskin color.
Photograph by Paula Jantunen. License: Public Domain.

New Forest Pony photo
Mutually grooming ponies at Turf Hill, New Forest, U.K.
Photograph by Jim Champion. Some rights reserved.

New Forest Pony photo
New Forest ponies shading on Wilverley Plain
Photograph by Jim Champion. Some rights reserved.


The New Forest Pony or New Forester is a pony breed of English origin. This is a well built, muscular pony. Its head is alert and rather large, with a straight profile and set on a short, strong neck. The New Forester has sloping shoulders and a short, flat back. It has straight legs with strong joints and powerful hindquarters.

12 and 14.2 hands high.

Comes in all solid colors except piebald and skewbald. There are no spotted New Foresters.

New Forest Ponies are even tempered, intelligent, quick learners and easy to train. They are brave, docile and friendly as well as eager workers.

Suitable for
They are used in many equestrian sports such as dressage, driving, eventing, polo and show jumping. Many farmers use them as working animals and they are also excellent hunters. New Foresters are also perfect for riding as they are gentle and swift. They are suitable both for adults and children.

New Forest Ponies require standard horse care in order to be healthy and happy; regular feeding, lots of clean water and outdoor access so that they can exercise, graze and socialize. These ponies are curious and will wander anywhere the road takes them; this has led many ponies to be killed or injured by drivers who failed to see them on time. If you own a New Forest Pony, make sure that you keep the pasture well fenced so that it doesn't escape.

The breed was named after New Forest, an area in the south of England. Although it has been suggested that New Foresters have been around since the last Ice Age, the first official record to prove the existence of the breed is Canute's Forest Law which was written in 1061. The Society for the Improvement of New Forest Ponies was formed in 1891 and coordinated organized efforts to improve the breed. Over the years, Thoroughbred and Arab blood has been introduced in the breed in order to refine its looks and make it taller. Despite their long history, New Forest Ponies were imported in North America for the first time in the 1950's.

There are two types of New Forest Ponies currently being bred. Type A stands up to 13.2 hands high and is perfect for children. Type B is taller, up to 14.2 hands high and is suitable for adult riding. New Forest Ponies live on average 25-30 years.