The sight of a herd of wild ponies is both beautiful and spectacular, but they are also useful animals. Ponies are used in Cornwall by organisations like the National Trust to manage cliff-top habitats, for they keep back the bracken and encourage wildflowers to grow, bringing greater biodiversity.
You can usually find ponies at Navax Head (between Godrevy and Hell’s Mouth) both of which have parking places and cafes nearby. Or try the clifftops of Kynance Cove on the Lizard. They also inhabit the cliffs above Tintagel. Inland, ponies are found grazing in the wild and brooding in the varied terrain of Bodmin Moor. Usually, there are some around Crowdy Reservoir, on the northern side of the moor in the shadow of Brown Willy.
Please bear in mind that wild ponies are exactly that, wild, so please don’t feed them and keep your dogs on leads when in their space. Eating unfamiliar food can make them very ill, but it is also not in their best interests to rely on people to feed them. If driving in a horse/pony area, stay slow for a great view but also to avoid injuring them. Litter should also be safely disposed of.
Wild ponies may appear docile but you should keep your distance. Moorland ponies are owned by tenant farmers but they can really struggle in winter, which is where the Bodmin Moor Commons Council comes in. They help manage the 80 square miles of granite moorland and keep a watchful eye on the welfare of the ponies (around a thousand in total) on the moor.
The ponies at Bodmin are not of a specific type, as they are on Dartmoor or Exmoor, but for pony lovers, they are still well worth seeing and very photogenic.
If riding is your passion, you will find plenty of riding schools and trekking centres in Cornwall to see this beautiful county on horseback.