Tuesday, 12 November 2019

We're Now on Social Media!

Thanks to the help of some wonderful friends, People4ponies is now on Social Media!  You can now find us and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/People4ponies-100288661429721/

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/people4ponies/

Twitter https://twitter.com/People4poniesUK

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Monday, 11 November 2019

Still raining!

Photogenic moment today between the heavy rain and hail!  Beginning to wonder if it's ever going to stop raining!

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Sunday, 10 November 2019

We're Back to Blogging...Topsy's New Rug

Hello Everyone - We're back to blogging again!  It's been a very hectic time these last few months as many of our close supporters know, with Ted and Jenny both being so unwell and trying to get them sorted out.

Topsy's been very lucky because Margaret has bought her a new snuggly rug with a special neck cover - an early Christmas present!  And just in time too because the weather has been absolutely awful - rain, wind and gales pretty much constantly!  Now where ever Topsy is she can be warm and cosy!

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Saturday, 6 July 2019

Epic Haymaking Mission Achieved!

We are so very grateful to everyone who has helped us achieve our haymaking this year!  We now have 785 bales stacked and safe in the barn and it is such a relief to have it all successfully completed!

There are so many people we need to thank - with Ted now unable to do the tractor work for the hay,  and Faye's allergies making it very uncomfortable/difficult to breathe for weeks when handling newly made bales we relied heavily on outside help.  Margaret wasn't able to do the food prep either so we needed a plan B and a change of roles!

Roger's cake reward!
Our neighbour Roger was fantastic and did all the cutting, turning and reweing, and fixed the flat 8, and for 2 nights brought his tractor and trailer to help load bales and bring them in for us so people could concentrate on stacking.  This was such a huge undertaking and help for us, particularly when he had so many other things going on with his farm.  He was unable to stay for the food too so we hope the cake we made him to say thank you goes some way to rewarding him for all his hard work!

Whilst Roger was busy in the field preparing the grass for us, we needed to get the barn ready for the incoming new crop.  This meant a few days rearranging the barn and moving out A LOT of older and 2018 bales, cutting down any that had unusable bad ends and retying and then restacking again in the stable.  Archie was my "right hand man" with this and we spent 3 days moving bales and fixing any subsidence issues in the old stack.  We needed to fill any dangerous holes and take up all the old, loose hay which Margaret loaded up into huge dumpy bags. 

We have a permanent hedgehog nest in our barn so we are used to building this in and working around them.  On this occasion we also discovered a bumble bee nest and so there was much deliberation on whether we should try to relocate or move them.  Thankfully we've been able to leave them where they were and build around them - probably the safest solution for the humans and the bees!

Thanks to Ted and Jenny, we ordered food and drinks to keep all the helpers provisioned...but helpers were proving extremely difficult to find - our thanks to Jane, Sharon and Izy for taking to Facebook in an effort to find us some help.  With so little help coming forward but with with the weather thankfully set in our favour the only solution was to bring bales in over multiple evenings until we had it completed.  Angela agreed to come for a couple of days from Cornwall to help with tractoring and moving bales.
Thursday Night Hay Crew: Lucie, Louise, Andy, Angela, Archie and Callum

On Thursday evening the hay was baled.  Thankfully our helpers arrived!   Archie brought his friend Callum along to help...and we were joined by Andy, Lucie and Louise from Witheridge and between them they managed to stack half the crop!  It was so hot this evening - absolutely roasting and everyone worked so incredibly hard for us and they were determined not to stop and give up!  It's amazing how a group of people who have never met before can come together like this and work so efficiently for a common cause.  Great team work everyone!

The next day Archie and Angela helped me with the pony work in the morning and then over the course of the evening we were joined by Heather, Alex, Catherine, Victoria, Edward, Vicky, Jim and little Henry.  By 8 O' Clock everything was stacked in the barn and we could at least reward our helpers with food - which was Faye's main task...as well as all the other pony work of course!   

So...thank you again to everyone from the ponies...and to Ted and Jenny who donate the hay to the ponies meaning that we have a years worth of food for them - it is such a huge gift.  Whatever the weather the ponies now have a fully stacked barn of best quality hay and they are very lucky ponies indeed!

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Friday, 7 June 2019

NDVS Volunteer Award For Margaret

 A few weeks ago I nominated Margaret for one of the North Devon Volunteer Awards under the category of "Supporting Your Charity".  The awards are to recognise the commitment and contribution of volunteers in our local community.  Margaret's been volunteering for P4P for the last 12 years and so this was the perfect opportunity to ensure her work is recognised. 

Very sadly, due to her operation which was planned at short notice, Margaret was unable to collect her award herself at the awards ceremony yesterday evening...so thank you very much to Izy who stepped in to collect the certificate on Margaret's behalf!  I was able to stop off at Margaret's on the way back to the yard so she did at least still get her award on the same day!

There were over 200 people at the awards last night representing many different charities based in North Devon and lots of inspirational stories!  Thank you very much to NDVS for their work organising the awards!

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Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Pet Portrait

Thank you very much to Izy who sent Faye a present this week - a beautiful hand drawn portrait of Munchie as a way to remember him by - such a lovely idea. The postman bent it on delivery but hopefully it'll flatten out and we can frame it.  Such a talented pet portrait artist - thank you to Matt of Matt's sketches for his work and to Izy of course for commissioning it! 

Margaret is doing well after her operation and hopes to be back home soon.  It'll still be a little while yet before she's back "ponying" again!

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Saturday, 1 June 2019

June Calendar Features Babe

Babe is featured with a background of yellow buttercups for June.  This pony is the super model of the pony world - she knows just how beautiful she is and really sends the boys into a spin!  She is lucky enough to have a home with Frances and two of our ponies - Maisie and Jaffa.  In this photo you can clearly see her brand mark... but we found that people always found it difficult to read and mis-read the letters even when in it was visible.  It is still unbelievable that in this day of modern technology where we have facial recognition and the ability to track the tiniest of creatures...that it is still deemed essential/necessary to burn ponies with a red hot iron!

Our thoughts are with Margaret who is having an operation today, and Roy who is also recovering after an operation but feeling better.  Feels like all the departments at the RD&E are being tested out at the moment!

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Wednesday, 15 May 2019

May's Calendar Photo

Everyone's loving this month's calendar photo of Tasha and Muddy which they kindly sent us to be added onto the 2019 calendar - and how could we resist?!  These two are very bonded and go on all kinds of adventures together!  When they lived close to us they would come and visit and Muddy would come and say "hi" to his old mates.  They've moved to North Devon now so I suspect Muddy might be making the most of some potential riding on the beach which I'm sure he will absolutely love!

When the original herd of over 50 ponies were living in the herd field Paul and Cilla would check the ponies everyday and count them to make sure they were all there.  One day a pony was missing and upon searching they found (the then un-named) "Muddy" stuck in a bog, just disappearing under the surface.  They were able to pull him out and took him back to the farm for some TLC.  He was a youngster but had no Mum with him and it's possible that she had died before the herd was rescued.  He's certainly grown into a very well-built, sturdy chap and I'm sure they'll have plenty more adventures to come!

Baby rescued Muddy on the right.  Girlie and her foal Bisto on the left.
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Saturday, 11 May 2019

In Memory of Folly

We had some very sad news in mid-April regarding Folly, one of the original P4P herd members.

Folly has had a very loving home for a long while now and she has always been an important member of the family.  She has been living with a lady called Faye (not P4P Faye) who first met Folly when she was 12 - Faye was at a friends house and was the first person to ever catch Folly in their field - she took her out for walks and they bonded. Folly then joined her pony and their little herd.

In December 2018 Folly had been diagnosed with cancer and had an operation to remove tumours.  Very sadly, despite her family's best efforts, the tumours returned and very aggressively so - her family gave her the best quality of life for as long as they could and then in April the decision was made that it was time for her to be put to sleep. 

We are very grateful to her family for having given Folly such a wonderful home.  She was one of the very traumatised mares who had been ear-notched and had a lot of head trauma which Paul had to work through.  Folly had to regain trust in people and she was very lucky to be able to spend some very happy years with her family.

Run free little Folly...Misty, Brenda, Gus, Mrs Brownhead (Tess), Tinker, Breeze and Munchie are over that "rainbow bridge" too...

Folly with Paul in one of her training sessions.
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Thursday, 9 May 2019

April - Start of the Updates!

Well...let's try to do a catch up!  So April came and went just as quickly as March did...Jenny still recovering obviously after her accident and operation (and as of last night another ambulance trip to A&E for her, poor thing, but is home again now).  As we are very short of regular helpers now, we are very grateful to Frances who managed to get over a couple of times to give Faye a hand on the heavier work jobs.  It seems that just about everyone we know is poorly at the moment with some sort of serious ailment or another so we send out lots of "get well/healing" wishes!

The photo above should look familiar as it was taken in 2017 - after Jeremy disappeared from the nature reserve at Marsland Mouth (still incomprehensible!) we decided to bring the other ponies home as the site was no longer secure and we could not guarantee their safety.  This photo captured the reuniting of friends back at the yard...the photo shows Puffin, Star and Breeze sniffing noses with Munchie, and then Wolfie and Dan in the background...a happy moment quite full of ponies and greetings! Little did we know that we would soon lose two of the ponies featured here - Breeze (to suspected herbicide poisoning on a different reserve the following year) and Munchie this year.   Both were such big wonderful characters who had fan clubs of their own...ponies definitely have a way of melting your heart!  People really feel they connect with them even if they have very short encounters.

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