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The earliest record of ponies in the New Forest dates back to circa 1016 when rights of common pasture were granted to the people living in what was a royal hunting ground. The ponies on the forest are feral but are owned by Commoners who have commoning rights attached to their property. Ownership of depastured animals is identified by the brand the ponies carry. The ponies’ well-being is overseen by the Agisters who are employed by the Verderers - all part of the management and Forest way of life.