Tuesday, 15 July 2014

The ponies of Hay Bluff

Once upon a time, there were indiginous kosher Welsh Mountain ponies grazing the Welsh mountains.  Not any more.  I think there was a spell when everything looked half-Shetland.  Now, looking at these mares, I can see very scaled-down shires in their ancestry.  Some Welsh blood too, but they are raw boned, with upright shoulders and LOTS of feather and the mare at the back has Blagdon markings, which say heavy horse ancestry.  No pretty heads with pint-pot muzzles either . . .

A close-up of the mini-Shire.

Another mare of the same sort, perhaps related.

One of two gypsy cob stallions running with these mares.  Lots of feather and cart ancestry there.

Here's the other stallion, with a better sort of proper Section A mare, heavily in foal.

He was quite a nice chap really, seemed quite friendly, and better-made than the other piebald stallion. He was a bit over-protective of his mare though, and drove her away from the other little herd, not giving her any peace, poor lass.

He even posed for me, standing in true show-ring stance, to show me what a lovely boy he was!  So many of these sorts are roach-backed with weak hindquarters, so he was an improvement on most.  He was a goodish example of a gypsy cob to my mind, but for driving rather than riding with that upright shoulder.

A Welsh Mountain colt here, 2 year old I think, with a belly full of worms and no back end.

Another piebald mare and her colt-foal.

Another coloured mare who was part of this same herd.  She was a sweetie - a sort of blue-dun skewbald - and her new-born colt-foal looked like it had "Irish eyes" - put in with smutty fingers!

This foal, also a colt, but a bit older than the others, had obviously met people before, and was very friendly, but also very nippy and nipped my thigh at one point.  I began to walk back to our car (where he had already been for a recce, putting his head right inside through the open door to see if any grub was on offer!)

He really liked people and wouldn't back off!

When I got back in the car, he began to chomp the mirror attachment!

Then he tried the rubber round the back window, and it reminded me of a Safari park, when the monkeys come along and climb all over the car, ripping bits off!  Well, this one was a little monkey alright, and we drove away whilst we still had our car intact!

It was lovely to be around ponies again though - I could just hear my dad's voice, saying I was off pony-chasing again . . .


  1. Lovely to learn a bit about ponies about which I know nothing. What long, full tails they have.

  2. They are lovely but yes they do look a bit worm laden :(

  3. I didn't know all that about the horses. But they look wonderful. I hope the horses with worms get some help !

    cheers, parsnip

  4. Chris J - all the better to swish away the flies with.

    CW & parsnip - well, they just get bunged out and left until it is time to "harvest" this year's foal crop . . . I don't think it occurs to the owners to worm them - probably don't even know that horses GET worms. This lot seemed happy enough anyway.

  5. Amazing photos, those ponies are gorgeous, but I can see what you mean about less than pure Welsh! There were a couple there that I would love to have, especially the white foal with dark head, very nice :D

  6. The ponies are lovely - great photos and I love the view in the last photo :)

  7. Loved the mini shire who posed for you. We have wild horses on some of our coastal islands and it's always a treat to see them.

  8. Yarrow - the foal was so cute, especially with those "smutty" eyes.

    RR - glad you enjoyed the photos and the views up there are stupendous.

    M & J - she looked like she had shrunk in the wash!

  9. It is sad that the native ponies are being bread out by those taking advantage of free grazing - and inter breeding is diluting the true welsh pony. When I was young they looked more like the cave drawings of ponies, short legged, stocky and strong. True welsh ponies no more alas.