While helping #1 Boreades Junior with his homework, I came across this snippet.
William the Conqueror, who claimed the New Forest as a royal hunting ground, shipped more than two thousand horses across the English Channel when he invaded England in 1066.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Forest_pony#History
So Normans shipped war horses with them. (see the Bayeux Tapestry) But WTC's horses weren't ponies were they?
The curious thing is that almost everywhere I can find in Britain where Celtic folks moved in and started mining, there are "native ponies" as well.
Devon & Cornwall: Dartmoor and Exmoor ponies: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celtic_pony
Dorset: New Forest ponies: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Forest_pony
Wales: Welsh Muntain Cobs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_Hobby
Cumberland and Westmorland (Cumbria) and Northumberland: Fell Pony: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fell_pony
Yorkshire Dales: Dale pony: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dales_Pony
But it goes further:
Asturias : Asturcón ponies: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asturc%C3%B3n
Basque: Pottok ponies: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pottok
Galicia : Garrano ponies: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garrano
Ireland: Irish Hobby: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_Hobby
The western coastal areas clearly prefered ponies to the larger horses which were around.
So, have the "wild ponies" always been there? Or (as I suspect) are these domesticated ponies (that were useful for Celtic mining and metal trading) have been allowed to roam free?
Some have made it a PhD subject, albiet with a Roman slanthttp://www.york.ac.uk/media/archaeology ... hDvol1.pdf