A Gower Pony Experience. In 1998 I was on a mission to conduct a field study for my BSc Honours dissertation. I went to Cefn Bryn to discover what effect Welsh Mountain pony stallion, Dyfed Brigadier, had on the resident mares. He was a temporary resident, leased by the Cefn Bryn Hill Pony Improvement Society for the summer of ’98 only. Three groups of mares banded together to become his harem of 16, chasing away any younger, single mares that tried to join him. In return, he put much of his energy into chasing them back into the group. The tension was palpable. Once he was removed in August, all 16 mares uprooted away from the vicinity of Arthur’s Stone and the west side of Broadpool where they’d stuck by and waited for him to return from his wanderings, trying to solicit mares from the Cefn Stud, Reynoldston. With their new found freedom they sought fresh grazing on the eastern side of the main road where it passes Broadpool. By winter they’d split up into their smaller groups of family and closest friends.
By Jenni Nellist
Starting from October 2015 the Gower Pony Experience is for everyone curious about the natural lives of ponies. The project aims to introduce more people to an understanding and appreciation of the lives of Gower Ponies. Field trips and studies such as Autumn Pony Watch will make it possible for people curious about ponies to participate in scientific research, collaborate with others, and share the findings with the rest of the world – promoting the iconic ponies of Wales.
Monday 5th to Saturday 10th October 2015
Get involved with natural science and participate in the first pony watch. Meet the ponies and discover their social groups. Learn about their social behaviour and how they deal with the Autumnal weather. See where they go and what they do. Share your findings with the group, compare them with other feral horse research, and present them to the rest of the world.
Stay in the Gower Bunkhouse, enjoy vegetarian cooking, delight in the other things Gower has to offer. £320.00pp
Non-residential places also available. £220.00pp
Monday 5th October 2015
Welcome meal and introduction to the project.
Tuesday 6th October 2015
10am Introductory tour of the common and identification of the pony population
1.30pm World Cafe: Introduction to the Equid Ethogram and recording behavioural observations.
3.30pm Field observations of pony behaviour.
Wednesday 7th October 2015
9am Group reflection: Field observations
10am World Cafe: Research questions.
1.30pm Field observations
4.30pm Collate day’s data
Thursday 8th October
9am Field observations
12.30pm Lunch and collate morning data
1.30pm Field observations
4.30pm Collate afternoon data
Friday 9th October
9am World Cafe: Processing and interpreting the data
10am Statistical analysis of the data
1.30pm World Cafe: Discussion of findings, conclusions, more questions
3.30pm Presentation of the field study – Blog for the Gower Pony Experience and submission to Wild Equid Network
7pm Pub Meal