These ponies were most likely painted at Munnings's house in Swainsthorpe, and are possibly some of the ones he used for his summer trips around the Ringland Hills. Around 1910 Munnings painted several series of horses in groups; in the depths of the forest, fording a stream or peacefully grazing in the sunshine.
The present work is an example of the artist exploring the juxtaposition of the ponies with their thick winter coats against the rough snowy ground. Using a limited colour palette the work is a tonal study of a wintry day, captured in broad, choppy brushstrokes.
The grandfather of the present owner was in the Indian Civil Service and moved back to England in 1929-30 where he bought a house in Norfolk. It is most probable that this painting was purchased from Boswells in Norwich; the picture appears on an inventory prepared for the family by Boswells in 1941.
This work will be included in Lorian Peralta-Ramos's forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the works of Sir Alfred James Munnings.