Did you know?
1. They evolved from ponies that settlers brought with them from the British Isles sometime in the 1600’s including 8 breeds including Connemara, Dartmoor, Exmoor, Fell, Galloway, Highland, New Forest, and Welsh pony.
2. They have unique physical survival traits: their hooded eyes keep snow, rain and pests out; their tails are low set to allow rain and snow to fall off easily and their ears are small and furry to help prevent frostbite and keep bugs out.
3. Some Newfoundland Ponies change colors – and quite dramatically with the seasons! Gray “Radical Changers” change to white in spring and gray roan in summer and winter months. White “Radical Changers” stay white in spring months and change to bay roan in summer and winter months.
4. Newfoundland ponies have hard hooves, thick hairy winter coats and long hairy manes and tails. Their height ranges between 11 to 14 hands high and their weight range is between 400 to 800 lbs. Many of the pones are short and stocky with hairy legs but some are a finer boned. Newfoundland Ponies are smart, friendly, hardy, easy keepers and easy to train in multiple disciplines.
5. They were listed as ‘Critically Endangered’ by Rare Breeds Canada in 2015 which is now called Heritage Livestock Canada.
6. In the 1960s, there were an estimated 12,000 Ponies on the island of Newfoundland. Throughout the next few years community bylaws changed which mandated that ponies could no longer roam free and had to be kept in fenced gardens. This led to hundreds of stallions being gelded and natural breeding came to an abrupt halt. Around the same time, three and four wheel (ATVs) took the place of what was once pony work for several decades before. By the 1980’s there were fewer than 100 ponies remaining as many were shipped off the island to auction and consequently meat buyers along with horses.
7. The Newfoundland Pony Society maintains an official Registry of known Newfoundland Ponies. Registering each pony helps protect the pony and keep track of ownership changes. 8. There is a need for community grazing land in Newfoundland for the ponies. There are a few community pastures on the island, which are maintained annually by a team of pony volunteers to ensure that repairs are addressed prior to opening each year.