Wales’ inaccessibility is part what makes it so fabulous, says Catherine Austen, delving into what makes the land of dragons an equestrian paradise
WALES. A country where sheep outnumber people by three to one. That’s an often-quoted and rather predictable statistic, but horsey people should be delighted by it. Sheep mean space; lush green valleys, bracken-covered hills, steep-sided mountains. Fewer people mean quieter roads, cheaper house and land prices, more room to move and breathe. Why so many sheep? The largely poor-quality soil means it is far better suited to livestock farming than arable – and it’s tricky to plough a mountain, of course.
Horses have always thrived in Wales. The Welsh Mountain Pony probably has its origins in a prehistoric Celtic pony, and the nature of the Welsh terrain and the poor grazing ensured it was a tough, hardy, footsure beast. Arab and probably thoroughbred blood added quality.
This exclusive feature can also be read in H&H magazine, 25 March 2021 issue
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