Monday, 9 July 2018

July

Munchie July 2017 - 7 months into his rehab
Apologies for being behind on the calendar photo for this month...but hopefully you have figured out that this month's star pony is Munchie (Munchkin).  He is the grown up foal of Ebony who is one of our sponsor ponies.  We've been on an educational journey with Munchie and his rehab.  He really helps to challenge the stereotypical views of what is defined as "Cushings".  When we found Munchie struggling at his loan home he was not getting any real turnout at all - no more than an hour a day all year around because of laminitis and the rest of the time just stood in a yard.  He was caught in a vicious cycle because the less he moved about, the worse he became, he had more laminitis... leading to pedal bone rotation...on top of that he wasn't being fed the recommended feed which was causing him more issues...combine all that with his multiple inherited weaknesses, it really was a perfect storm resulting in a health disaster.  His coat was thick, long, and curly with dried in sweat.  His loaners have owned horses for many years and were very upset that they couldn't "fix" him but these cases are never simple and if Catherine Edwards hadn't come to show us iridology at that time, I don't think Munchie would be alive now.  Even though symptom-wise everything about Munchie looked like a Cushings pony the vet tests had always come back negative for Cushings and the iridology agreed with this.

So far Munchie has already had a huge transformation.  Even by last summer (6 or 7 months in) he was back to the same turnout regime as all our other ponies - no laminitis.  In this photo he was 7 months into his rehab and there was still an awful lot to work on.  His iridology consult gave us a plan so we knew which areas needed the most support.  We spent a very long period detoxing his kidneys.  It took about 8 or 9 months or so to really get on top of that.  Then was the tricky part working on his liver and lymphatic system to release toxins but not too much at a time. 

Our special technique for approaching pedal bone rotation without invasive/remedial trimming is working brilliantly.  What Munchie has struggled with health-wise is when he has abscesses - when the old internal hoof tissue has to make way for the new.  Abscesses are a good thing...but for Munchie his lymphatic system was under great strain already, any abscess caused him to have a health "crash".  He'd become sole sensitive after the abscesses due to all the toxins he'd been processing.  As we've got his lymphatic system in better shape over the course of his rehab we've seen a marked improvement in the way his body is able to cope with these and remove the toxins much better.  Red Light therapy has helped this a lot....and after using the red light during his abscess episode (after first purchasing it), Munchie started growing new hoof capsules at a dramatic, even more improved angle and this "new" hoof is now 3/4 of the way down.

When I think of how poor Munchie struggled with his health and laminitis at his loan home, there is nothing better than seeing him like he is now - stomping around the yard and gravel, enjoying his days out in the field with the herd and back to being a super pony again.  We still have aspects to work on but he has his life back which is wonderful!

Without the iridology we wouldn't have had a clear route to follow or know which body systems needed the most support - that's why I'm studying iridology - it enabled us to have all our ponies laminitis free which is wonderful!

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Saturday, 30 June 2018

Thank You!

Thank you so much to Thea and everyone who attended her woodland workshop on Exmoor today!  Together they raised an amazing £140 for the ponies which we really appreciate so much!  Thank you everyone from the ponies and all of us!

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Friday, 29 June 2018

Memorial Service for Hazel-Ann Willson


Yesterday was the funeral and memorial service of Hazel-Ann Willson who had been a long term supporter of P4P.  Some of you who are signed up to Easyfundraising may have seen she was the top Easyfundraiser and raised considerably more than any of the rest of us through the course of her adventures!  Hazel-Ann and Graham also jointly sponsor the ponies.  It all seems very strange that she passed so quickly and at such a young age.  The photo above is one of Hazel-Ann and Ebony taken last winter and it was also used on her memorial service order of service.  The service was extremely well attended and really celebrated the full and varied life she lived.

It was also a busy day yesterday with Vicky helping in the morning and she was able to work with Rocky and then give Munchie a bath.  We were very grateful to Caitlin, Lottie and Becca who were on hand for the afternoon chores...and Lottie has purchased our super hand knitted pony jumper which was kindly donated a while ago - we've nearly sold it quite a few times but clearly it was waiting for Lottie to be it's perfect new owner!

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Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Haymaking Complete!

Yesterday we managed to complete our haymaking mission - with huge thanks to all our helpers - an army who turned out to help us!  A few days ago I worried it was just going to be me trying to get it in and I was so relieved to see so many people arrive!  Roger was able to rewe up for us and then came with his tractor, "flat 8" and extra big trailer.  Angela came from Cornwall to drive the little tractor and with the help of Jo we made a start on getting some bales in.  Then Roger arrived and we had a change of plan - the flat 8 was bringing bales in faster than we could process them!  We were so thankful to see our extra helpers arrive and as the evening went on we had an army of 22 people!  Jo, Angela, Pete and Jamie who came to help from the local village, Archie, Caitlin, Lottie, Becca, Richard, Catherine, Edward (who drove the big tractors for us), Victoria, Tasha, Orrie, Vicky, Jim, Roger, Ted (who also managed some extra tractoring), Margaret and Jenny working on refreshments, Henry watching from the sidelines, and myself.  It was so hot and this cut was one of the earliest ever.  The ground is so dusty and I had the worst hayfever with this crop - I'm still suffering with dust in the lungs now so I hope our helpers have recovered from all their hard work.

It was the first time we've ever had an "artist in residence" to capture the haymaking and Henry drew us some fantastic pictures of the job in progress.  Thank you very much to Jo for capturing the photos on her phone for us!

770 bales all stacked and safe in the barn! Phew!  Thank you to everyone from the ponies for all your help!  It's going to be the most delicious hay they've ever had!  Thanks especially to Ted and Jenny who donate all the hay for the ponies - such massive help to P4P!



Roger arrives with his tractor and the Flat 8

Henry - our artist for the evening impresses everyone with his drawings of the event
Henry's artwork

Offloading and stacking in the barn - there's a chain of people there in the shadows of the barn that you can't see.

The baler hard at work and the John Deere and trailer in the field

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Sunday, 24 June 2018

Alfie's Birthday, Babe, St John's Fayre, Newsletters...and Haymaking!

As is often the case there can be really intense times of activity here...As well as the newsletter being published and sent out last week...Nicole and Martin came to visit and helped get the barn all tidied up on Wednesday (little did we know at the time their timing would be perfect!)...

...Next day it was yard work and then heading out to see Babe and her pals Maisie and Jaffa and their "Mum" Frances...Hopefully these photo will cheer Roy as he's still suffering and can't come back to help us yet.
Babe


Babe, Jaffa and Maisie in a 3 way "red-arrows-esque" manoeuvre

..When I got back the hay field had been cut so haymaking is now underway! Thank you so much to Roger and Ted who have been looking after it and turning for us...

...Friday was Alfie's Birthday and the last chance to get ready for the Fayre which Margaret has been preparing for all week with a tombola to arrange and preserves to make.  Ted turned the hay.  It didn't go quite to plan with a chicken emergency to deal with too (not Alfie or hay related!)...


Alfie inspecting the hay - it's Alfie's first birthday (he has an honorary date in his passport and although he's clearly not one year old today, we think it is probably the first birthday he's ever actually celebrated and certainly in the UK).  It's also his first time hay-making!
Running in the hay (grass at the moment)

Inspecting the tractor

Beautiful evening

...Yesterday was St John's Fayre - beautiful weather and super attendence.  We had amazing support yesterday and for the first time ever on a P4P stall we sold out of the tombola completely - thank you so much to Margaret, Catherine, Victoria and Edward who came to help!  We raised an incredible £314 for the ponies and we are so grateful to Vicky and Henry for looking after the ponies for us...


...And now tomorrow is baling day!  A huge day for us to get all the hay into the barn and stacked.  It's an earlier cut for us than usual but everything is so dry so we need to take our chance whilst we have it!  Hay helpers on standby - food being delivered tomorrow morning!


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Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Thea's Workshop In Aid of People4ponies!

A huge thank you to Thea who is running another workshop in aid of People4ponies!  Here is a poster with the details - it is held in the beautiful Horner Woods - such a lovely setting.  Please share and contact Thea if you would like to take part.




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Tuesday, 5 June 2018

June

This month's calendar features Breeze and Star in the coastal setting where they used to conservation graze - people often ask about the background in this photo - and it is the sea.  In this photo the ponies were walking along the coastal footpath which they helped to keep clear of vegetation for all the walkers. 

This photo really shows how strong Breeze was and it still seems so unbelievable to have lost him.

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Tuesday, 22 May 2018

May Calendar + Update


Somewhat later than we usually post our calendar photos, those of you with your P4P calendars will have had the lovely picture of Topsy and Star one your walls for May.  These two older girls teamed up last year after Star came back from conservation grazing and they love hanging out together.  It's a bit tricky at the moment as Star is a much more efficient eater than Topsy and, even with the snow, Star came through the winter with more weight than I'd like.  Topsy needs the extra calories and grasses so for the moment we have to compromise and they are in the same field but separated by a fence - Wolfie is with Star. 

There has been so much work to catch up on.  We're so grateful that the long awaited sunshine has arrived and stayed with us.  The mud has dried up so we've managed to roll the fields.  We had a nightmare with the electric fencing not working as it should be (with Frodo taking full opportunity to display his electric fence bulldozing skills)... This turned out to be a very obscure problem where some stock fencing in an adjoining field had been replaced and had been re-fitted touching part of a switch - that shorted it out the whole circuit - it took a good few hours to narrow that one down!

Faye's been working on more assignments and case studies, and we received a letter from Michael Gove MP commending us for our excellent work regarding the ponies on Bodmin Moor which has been very much appreciated by Defra...so that's an achievement...will write more about that in our next newsletter.


Munchie's coat is very shiny already!  Just a bit of winter coat left to shed

Topsy's got lots of grass to work her way through!
Wolfie earlier this month
 
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Friday, 4 May 2018

Goodbye Breeze



It is with great sadness that I have to pay tribute to Breeze who had to be put to sleep on Tuesday afternoon.

Breeze was one of the original P4P herd ponies - a youngster who had no mum with him but was part of the large herd of ponies to be rescued.  Cilla says they called him the "Muddy lookalike" - 2 similar looking young ponies who had sadly lost their Mum's at some point.   

Breeze had structural issues from before the time P4P knew him.  He wasn't frightened of people because he hadn't had anything bad happen to him, he was just unhandled.  His structural issues meant he would never be suitable as a riding pony but he could be a companion. He was on loan near Chulmleigh for a long time where he was part of the family.  When he couldn't stay there any longer he came to Ted and Jenny for a period before he started his career as one of our best conservation grazers.  He was brilliant because he was usually the most handleable pony we had on a site and so he could be caught up and led to a handling area and the other ponies would follow him.  I have so many lovely photos of him - such a proud pony who certainly loved his food.  He was also very sociable, and reassuring to other ponies.

As my previous blog explained, he became ill early in April - he was poisoned by something which he ingested - we may never be able to establish precisely what the original toxin was.  He had been responding so well to the support we'd been giving him.  We'd been journeying to West Devon and back nearly every day on top of doing the yard work.  His health declined and so we decided to bring him and Wolfie back home whilst he was still well enough to travel.  Once back and on our different pastures we saw improvement each day and we really thought we'd turned a corner with so many changes for the positive.  Unfortunately on Tuesday his health crashed - he was so poorly.  Our lovely vet came out and ran more blood tests - sadly Breeze's condition was not recoverable.  Liver and kidneys had been supported OK, there was no temperature/infection but the toxin wasn't beatable.  He'd fought so hard, and so had we with him, but you can only work with as much as nature and the body is able to give you...and this time we lost the battle.  

The vet and I were able to give him a very peaceful and dignified end.  No more pain now...

...The loses are never easy to bear.

Thank you so much to Margaret, Paul, Bill Lomas, Vanessa, Catherine Edwards and our lovely vet.

We're now making sure that Wolfie is OK and seeing whether he is in need of any special health support.  I know the loan family who had them as conservation grazers will miss them very much.

Run Free lovely Mr Breeze...  















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Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Mr Breeze On The Mend


We've had a very busy time as Mr Breeze has been quite poorly and needed lots of special help and attention - so this meant visits to West Devon as well as looking after the ponies at the yard - making for some very long days...but all worth it as he's well on the mend now. 

Very chuffed that veterinary test results confirmed my iridology findings...and the wonderfulness of self selection avoided the use of very invasive veterinary options.  It's great to see him improving each day.


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