At first I was a little disappointed (although it was still a lovely day out) because there weren't actually many ponies anywhere near us. We were out in a group of 15, so not a lot of animals wanted to stay close by anyway. Then, as we were leaving the pub after lunch, we realised why they needed turnstiles at the gate:
To stop this girl getting in!
I *know* you're not supposed to touch the ponies, but she was already in the center of the village and quite clearly happy with being petted. Most of my friends had a tentative pat of her face and moved on, but I didn't want to!
The roan pony arrived in town with this little grey mare although she didn't seem to want scratching, so we left her alone.
Obviously hanging out with the ponies all day isn't everyone's cup of tea, so we went home and I came out early(ish) another morning for photos. I wanted to photograph them out in the countryside, but only having the morning free, I couldn't find any except a big herd in the middle of another village.
This pretty grey mare was on the village green:
(You can see their brands here.)
The road here was FULL of ponies which most people drove around carefully. One driver got cross and blew the horn of his truck at them for a while, which the chestnut pony (next to the grey) took issue with and stamped about in response to.
And then on the way home, we saw a HUGE herd of ponies!
I've had a lovely holiday, all the more so for New Forest ponies and the beautiful countryside they live in. And they've given me a whole bunch of ideas customs and maybe even a new Julip :)