Not so frightening – we seem to have got off fairly lightly around here. There has been flash flooding in other parts of the country; the ground is so hard and dry the rain water has been running straight off the ground causing problems. I was speaking to “Switzerland” on Skype this morning, early, and my daughter was saying they have been having tremendous thunder storms as well. (There it is always quite spectacular, especially at night, with the thunder and lightening bouncing round the mountains!)
Here on the open hill the dew ponds and springs had pretty well dried up, but, I see this morning on my daily ride out, some of the normally wet areas are filling with water again. There appears to be a good number of ponies grazing out on the hill this summer; although I have only spotted three foals. When the Welsh Mountain Pony sales were in there hey day there were always two or three stallions put out on our hill, running with the mares and foals. However, I don’t think we have had a pony stallion on this hill for at least 4 years. There is now very little market for the foals. The breeders just seem to be letting a few of the best mares foal for their own “showing” purposes. There is still a very strong Breeder association locally who have an extensive calendar of shows and events.
The native Welsh mountain pony is actually divided into four groups for breeding/showing purposes: A,B,C, and D (” Sections” as they are termed). Based really on size and conformation. “A” being the smallest and then “D” being the big and flashy Welsh Cobs. They are all thought to have have evolved from the prehistoric celtic ponies that wandered the land. The modern breed as we know it today having arab blood from horses brought back by the crusaders in the middle ages. In the past they were essential to the farming, transportation and military workings of the country. The Welsh Section D Stallion Cobs always get a huge cheer at the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show ( real spine tingling moment) – they always create a stir – truly evocative of Wales to any “welshman”.
“The Show” . . . . ( is there any other!) begins again next week. Now, I believe, the biggest agricultural show in the uk. Another tick on the calendar . . . . the year is going around awfully quickly…..