Wild Pony Management

Pen y Fan ponies pont cymruIn Wales we can be proud that we can see a visual representation of our heritage in the herds of wild ponies that still roam our mountains and hills.

These ponies range over large areas and are distinctive landmarks in areas such as the Gower Hills, Snowdonia National Park and the Brecon Beacons National Park.

The ponies graze differently from sheep and have a wider diet than domestic ponies. They will eat soft rush, Molinia, gorse and mountain grasses. Their grazing and trampling help to keep bracken and gorse under control and create pathways. They are essential in maintaining the landscape of the mountains.

They are now perhaps better described as semi-feral, because in most herds some element of management is required. In our developed landscape, fences, roads and towns restrict the natural ranges of ponies and disrupt the natural balance. This can lead to issues such as over-population and welfare issues such as disease. Additionally, over-population is a threat to some of the important wildlife habitats over which these ponies range. For this reason, herds often need to be managed in some way.

Carneddau Pony Gather Snowdonia PONT Cymru wild pony managementIn many wild pony herds, interested parties get together to conduct an annual gather of the ponies off the area where they are ranging. This allows a check up on the welfare and may also involve administering medical treatment such as worming. Sometimes, draft mares, colt foals and surplus fillies need to be removed from the herd. Redwings provide assistance with castrating colts, which helps to tackle the over-population and allows the colts to live a more peaceful life!

In the past these ponies were sold as pit ponies but these days they have another purpose. PONT Cymru works with herd managers across Wales to distribute ponies from over-populated areas to locations that need conservation grazing. These include our previous Grazers´ of the Week, White Walker, Bera and Jean.

Do you have a wild pony management project or conservation grazing project that needs pony grazing? Get in touch!

3 thoughts on “Wild Pony Management”

  1. Rose Post Author

    Carneddau Ponies Emergency Contacts
    Jackie 07885417937
    Bryng Gaseg 07955525069
    Amy 07799005666
    Please provide them with detailed information and photos of the pony and surrounding location, to enable the guardians to get to the pony as quickly as possible.

  2. Nicole thomas

    I’ve just seen a horse lying on its side with anotherstanding up and watching it. It’s on the brecon penderyn mountain. I’m worried it needs help.

  3. Jana Krtil

    Hi, we have walked today in the area of Hay Bluff and very near the peak with stone with ted dragon on it we saw a small black and white pony limping quite badly, almost drugging his hind leg behind him, appeared to be alone and as I’m not an expert, I can only guess that it was probably a calf – as smaller than other ponies we had seen. I have photos of him and a video of you would like more details.

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