Ponies galore…

I’ve taken my family to Burley in the New Forest for a break. For those who don’t know, the New Forest is a National Park in southern England. It covers south-west Hampshire and extends into south-east Wiltshire and towards east Dorset.

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There are many villages dotted around the area, and several small towns in the Forest and around its edges. The New Forest was created as a royal forest by William I in about 1079 for the royal hunt, mainly of deer. It was created at the expense of more than 20 small hamlets and isolated farmsteads; hence it was ‘new’ as a single compact area.

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It’s a beautiful, idyllic landscape, that isn’t the easiest thing in the world to photograph.

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The New Forest pony is a British native pony breed. Height varies from around 48 inches (122 cm) to 58 inches (147 cm). They are valued for hardiness, strength, and surefootedness.

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DNA studies have shown ancient shared ancestry with the Celtic-type Asturcón and Pottok ponies.

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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.

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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. Numbers fell to fewer than six hundred in 1945, but have since risen steadily, and thousands now run loose in semi-feral conditions.

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Taken on my GH3 and 12-35mm lens, X-E1 and 18mm lens and M9 and 35mm Summilux

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