There were about 4 or 5 foals in the herd I was watching, all only a few days old. One of them had spotted me watching him and got a bit shy. He went and hid behind a gorse bush, so I couldn't see him. It didn't take long for him to got curious though and he peeped his head out from behind the bush.
welsh pony foal
He kept getting shy and hiding back behind the bush, and then peeping out again, each time a little bit further. He was being very cheeky and was definitely playing with me ! In the end he realised I was no threat and wanted to show off. He ran out from behind the bush and started running around, keeping making glances my way - I couldn't help laughing at him - he was so cute.
practising his trot
He ran around for a few minutes - trotting, cantering, galloping and bucking - he was having great fun, but then he suddenly got embarrassed, and ran back and hid behind his mum.
welsh mare and foal
He was still watching me and knew I was watching him. After a while he ran off again, up and down the hill, round and round, until he got tired and ran back to his mum for a rest.
welsh mare and foal
I had the best time watching him, and he made my day. Its amazing how he was only a few days old but was able to do all the paces and even buck already ! He was a real show off as well, maybe he will grow up to be the stallion of his own herd one day.
This is a lovely shot of his mum.
wild welsh pony
Lets hope that the Carneddau ponies future is safe, and that they continue to grow in numbers, and remain on the hills. Luckily we are now starting to realise that the wild and feral native ponies of Britain are very important and need protecting. They are very important to our heritage, but also are very useful in land conservation. This is a quote from a very interesting BBC news article from 2008:
“Theses mountain ponies are very special to us in Snowdonia. Not only do they contribute to our cultural heritage, the Welsh mountain ponies and their genetics has an important role to play in sustaining the diversity of plants and insects on the mountain slopes. Their grazing patterns mean that they keep vegetation low on the mountain in winter and provide a good source of food to the chough during the winter. This in turn allows the fragile habitats of the highland to be revitalized when the sheep aren’t there.”
You can read the whole article here
Article on the welsh carneddau ponies