Why are there so many ponies in the New Forest?

All ponies grazing on the New Forest are owned by New Forest commoners – people who have “rights of common of pasture” over the Forest lands. An annual marking fee is paid for each animal turned out to graze. The population of ponies on the Forest has fluctuated in response to varying demand for young stock.

Why are there wild ponies in the New Forest?

It has survived because William the Conqueror made the Forest his private hunting reserve and imposed strict laws on the people who lived here. In return they were given the right to graze their animals on the ‘common’ that we now call the New Forest.

Are New Forest ponies sold for meat?

Around 3,000 New Forest ponies can be found wandering freely in the Forest and its surrounds and have done so for many years. In recent years however, the future of the breed has not looked so healthy. With plummeting prices, many ponies have been sold for meat.

Do people steal horses from The New Forest?

This was usually as a result of horse-trading or swapsies between each other. The often-repeated assumption that New Forest ponies are wild and ownerless has led people to commit ‘horse-rustling’ and actually steal one.

Where do the ponies roam in The New Forest?

You can’t miss the New Forest ponies: don’t feed or touch them, but they’re beautiful to watch – especially the foals. A good place to see them is at Beachern Wood near Brockenhurst, the start of a lovely off-road cycle ride to the pretty hamlet of Bank.

What happens to male New Forest ponies?

These stallions are carefully selected each year to ensure a good blood-line and only approved stallions can be released. At other times of the year the stallions are kept on private land to the south east of the Forest. Young male ponies (colts) are usually taken off the Forest in January of their second year.

Where is horse common in The New Forest?

Horse Common is on the northern edge of the New Forest between Southampton, Salisbury and Ringwood.

Can you touch New Forest ponies?

Feeding ponies causes serious issues in the New Forest and is against byelaws. Some ponies and donkeys develop an unhealthy craving for human food and become aggressive with people who, quite rightly, try to keep their picnics to themselves.

Where do New Forest ponies sleep at night?

Ponies can doze whilst standing but to get a really good rest they need to sleep lying down. In the herd environment one of the ponies will stand sentinel and keep a look out while the others lie down and rest.

How many New Forest ponies are killed each year?

There were a total of 38 deaths of ponies, down from 39. In 2018, 13 were killed, which was actually down from from 2017 (18). Twenty five ponies were injured and destroyed, which was up from 21 in 2017.

What are commoners in The New Forest?

Commoners of the New Forest are those people who occupy land or property to which attaches one or more rights over the Forest, first laid out in the Charter of the Forest (1217). Common rights are: Common of pasture – the right to turn out ‘commonable’ livestock: ponies, cattle, mules and donkeys.

Why do some horses in New Forest have collars?

When the ponies are rounded up as part of the drift, some of them have these reflective collars put on them to help make them more visible at night time.

Where do the horses sleep in The New Forest?

Exact location often depends on the time of year and weather conditions – winter, for example, will often find New Forest ponies deep in the woods, sheltering from the wind and cold, whilst at other times of year, they are more likely to be out in the open.

Can you ride New Forest ponies?

Horse riding in The New Forest is one of the finest ways to experience the natural beauty of the National Park. With over 3,000 New Forest Ponies roaming the beautiful and varying landscapes, The New Forest is truly the perfect backdrop for a relaxing hack or carriage ride.

Are New Forest ponies branded?

Every year many of the 3,500 ponies roaming the New Forest are rounded up and branded with a red-hot instrument which leaves an instantly identifiable mark on their back. The equine “number plate” enables the authorities to trace the owners of sick and injured livestock.

How many ponies roam the New Forest?

The New Forest is visited by millions of people from all over the world each year and one of its great attractions are the 3,000 or more New Forest ponies which freely roam the heathland and woods.

Who owns New Forest?

As of 2005, roughly 90% of the New Forest is still owned by the Crown. The Crown lands have been managed by Forestry England since 1923 and most of the Crown lands now fall inside the new National Park.

What do New Forest ponies eat?

What do ponies eat? In the summer, ponies will eat rich grasses, creating the close cropped (short) lawns of the New Forest which are important for rare flowers and insect species. In the winter their diet is more varied. Green plants such as holly and gorse are incredibly nutritious for them.

Can New Forest ponies jump?

As well as having a super jump for the worker ring, they also excel as performance ponies in other disciplines, many being scopey enough for eventing and hunter trials. They are popular choices for pony club and riding club all-rounders as well hunting and dressage ponies.

Are New Forest ponies a rare breed?

The New Forest pony has been classed as a rare breed by an animal charity. The Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) listed the pony in its minority breed category on its watch-list, for equines with up to 3,000 breeding females.

Are New Forest ponies endangered?

The New Forest pony has been classed as a rare breed by an animal charity. The Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) listed the pony in its minority breed category on its watch-list, for equines with up to 3,000 breeding females.

How big do New Forest ponies grow?

Of all the native British pony breeds, New Foresters are the least afraid of man. New Forest ponies range -in size up to 14.2 hh and while there’s no official lower limit, they seldom go below 12 hh.

Are the horses in the New Forest owned?

There is a myth that the New Forest ponies are completely wild, however, they are only wild in the sense that they are able to roam freely around the National Park. They are in fact owned and cared for by New Forest Commoners.

How many donkeys are in the New Forest?

One of the more overlooked animals which can be found in the forest is the New Forest Donkey. Found throughout the Forest all year round, only around 200 donkeys are turned out into the forest in comparison with the 3,000 New Forest ponies.

How many pigs are in the New Forest?

How many pigs roam the New Forest during Pannage? In the 19th century it was as many as 6,000 pigs, but the present day it is up to 600 pigs and piglets allowed to hoover up all the acorns and nuts from the forest floor during Pannage.

Why is brockenhurst called Brockenhurst?

Brockenhurst has a long and colourful history, including a tradition that badgers, or brocks, as they are often called, lent their name to the village.

Where can I see wild ponies in the UK?

Despite their name, you can find Welsh mountain ponies on the coast near Stackpole in Pembrokeshire, and at the Long Mynd in Shropshire as well as in the Brecon Beacons.


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