About Newfoundland Pony Horses
Newfoundland Pony are an “all purpose” pony known for its
strength, courage, intelligence, obedience, and willingness. Newfoundland Ponies
are hard workers and easy keepers.
Newfoundland Ponies’s ancestors first arrived with the
Newfoundland’s early settlers from the British Isles. Their ancestors were
primarily, Exmoor, Dartmoor, and New Forest ponies and to a lesser extent,
Welsh Mountain, Galloway, Highland, and Connemara ponies. They were hardy
creatures who were already well adapted to the harsh climate of the islands of
the North Atlantic. Isolated from the rest of the world, the ponies
intermingled for hundreds of years, breeding in the seclusion of Newfoundland’s
bays and coves to produce a sturdy pony uniquely our own.
In the past, the Newfoundland Pony ploughed gardens; hauled
fishing nets, kelp and wood; gathered hay; and provided their families with
transportation around the Island. The center piece of many weddings in fact,
was often a pony and a carriage that proudly carried the bride to the church on
her wedding day. In the 1970s and ‘80s, the ponies were replaced by tractor
power, cars and modern machinery.
The darkest part of the Newfoundland Pony’s history was
during this period when horse dealers combed the island looking for ponies to
ship to mainland slaughter plants. There, they were destined for the dinner
tables of France and Belgium. According to records, in 1980 alone,
approximately 700 ponies were shipped out of the province to Quebec. To protect
this special and historic pony, the Newfoundland Government has recognized it
as a Heritage Animal. It is estimated that the current Newfoundland Pony
population totals less than 400 animals. An ongoing effort on the part of
concerned individuals from across Canada has stabilized the population.
However, the Newfoundland Pony continues to be identified as a critically
Today, the Newfoundland Pony is used for riding, driving and
light work. They have an excellent temperament for young people to ride and
excel under saddle, and in harness.
Source: The Newfoundland Pony Society ( newfoundlandpony.com