These remarkable pictures give a glimpse into the lives of the mystical wild ponies that thrive on one of the UK’s most beautiful yet harsh terrains.
The Carneddau Ponies have been grazing the remote and rugged mountain grasslands of Snowdonia for centuries.
The horses were saved from a mass cull by Henry VIII 400 years ago after he declared they must be destroyed, as they couldn’t carry a knight in full armour.
Today they remain part of the landscape in North Wales.
In 2013 the ponies were declared completely unique after researchers from Aberystwyth University discovered they were a genetically exclusive population, after being protected by generations of hill farmers.
Free to roam Snowdonia National Park they are a protected species with no more than 200 thought to exist.
The ponies, who live at heights of more than 600 metres, are owned by the surrounding farms and every year the farmers drive the animals off the mountain for health checks and to separate the colts.
These colts are then relocated to protected areas of land so that they can graze.
One woman who has managed to get incredibly close to the wild animals is Sandra Roberts.
Living in Conwy she is known as The Pony Lady, the Carneddau guardian and has even been dubbed the Horse Whisperer!
Sandra takes incredible pictures of the ponies as they roam, and can spend hours walking miles, following the herds.
Her life completely changed after she took a mountain stroll nearly three years ago and came face-to-face with them.
“It’s just something that happened. I just went for a walk really – and that’s it.
“I think I had my little camera with me. It all started from there.”
One pony in particular drew her to the animals.
Affectionately nicknamed Seren, the white pony was one of the first that Sandra came across.
Likening her to a unicorn, Sandra fell in love with Seren and was mesmerised from that point onwards.
“She was the one that got me started. She was the star of the mountain.
“Seren didn’t change much but when they are tiny, their colours change so quickly.”
Seren died 12 months ago but Sandra has continued documenting the ponies.
The ponies and foals have become comfortable they allow her to wander between herds almost unnoticed.
Some have even been known to go up to her and lick her hand.
As a result Sandra has been able to keep a close eye on the ponies and alerts farmers if there are any problems.
She said Gareth Wyn Jones, secretary of the Carneddau Mountain Pony Society, considers her their guardian.
“He calls me that because he says I tend to look after the ponies on the Conwy side.”
She goes up to the mountains three or four times a week during the summer, and once or twice a week during the winter months.
“They are so free up there, and the scenery. It just all comes together.”
Meanwhile, here’s a horse who lives in the house:
Thank you Dawn!