The Carneddau Ponies

Friends in high places
On a bleak and desolate range of mountains in what came to be known as Eryri, can be found a herd of wild ponies which, are genetically unique and said to be Britain’s oldest breed. These hardy creatures have roamed the Carneddau for two and a half thousand years, enduring extremes of temperature that no human being could survive without recourse to some form of weather-proof shelter. Many times I have seen them on the high Carneddau, stoically bearing the brunt of a storm in which my friends and I could barely stand. While scurrying off the mountain, shielding our eyes from the onslaught, there, they remained, impassive and unconcerned.

Last winter however, was a harsh one and Mother Nature dealt a cruel blow with around one hundred ponies succumbing to arctic conditions. This was more than a ‘mighty’ king could achieve when, in Tudor times, Henry the VIII ordered their extermination; their diminutive size meant they were incapable of carrying a knight in full armour, rendering them useless in the eyes of the king.

I consider myself very fortunate to see them regularly on my walks in the Eastern Carneddau and familiarity, rather than breeding contempt, has fostered in me an abiding affection for these beautiful animals. Surely, all who love these ponies hope that this coming winter will be kinder to them than the last one.
Shadowfax - Eryri Enchanted

 

 

High Horses - Explored

 

 

The Horse Whisperer

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~ by nicklivesey on December 2, 2013.

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