Sunday, 27 April 2014

Longer Days Means Busier Days


With the longer days and better (but still rainy!) weather with us we're getting lots done!  Ted's been busy tractoring - moving the huge winter manure heap and chain harrowing and rolling the hay field.  Pete gave us a hand by clearing out all the the guttering alongside the barn - it was stuffed full with decaying moss that's been washed off the roof and stopping the rainwater tanks from filling up.  The sheep have returned too and they are very itchy!  They keep rubbing on the gates and trying to get into the tractor yard.

Topsy's been continuing her adventures (although yesterday we deemed it too wet to go out in torrential, monsoon style downpours) and is finding lots of delicious patches of vegetation that need "strimming" along the driveway and beyond.

The grass has been growing like mad for the last couple of weeks, so laminitis prevention procedures have been in place for a while.  For those ponies who spend more time in during the day we try to keep things entertaining with obstacles for Horse Agility practice or walks out.  Frodo needs to start walking out to get ready for his long walk to St John's Fayre!

Thank you to Margaret for her purchase of a new "snow" shovel for the ponies...not that we're expecting snow exactly, but more that they are a great, durable, lightweight design for stable yard duties!  The photos below show we've had a busy day!


Topsy and Margaret are becoming good friends!
I couldn't decide which photo was nicest so I've posted them all!
 

Country walks


April weather...lovely between the showers 
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Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Muddy Update


Cilla sent through an email from Tasha who has p4p pony Muddy and included with it is this photo.   Tasha says "He is such a wonderful pony and we love him to bits!! And yes he is a very strong little chap n very forward going".     She's been able to go out riding with her partner (who rides their other horse) and have obviously been making the most of the lovely weather!

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Saturday, 19 April 2014

Jeremy's Super Jumping...And Agility Plans

video

Jeremy and Rowan have been busy this Easter holiday developing and practising their jumping skills...now with a triple!  Well done Jeremy and Rowan.  I'm sure that lots of you are following their blog now too!

The better weather means that our ponies have been able to start doing some agility again too so it looks like there's quite a few of us hoping to do our first starter course this month...Jeremy and Rowan, Peter and Frodo, and Victoria with one of her ponies (Silver, Baby and/or Willow).  We had to measure Frodo to see whether he would qualify for the small pony or "big" pony class.  After 2 measurings, we had the same reading of 10.2 + 3/4 of an inch...which just takes him into the "big" pony class.  I think Frodo would probably be quite pleased about that as I don't think he ever considers himself as being little!

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Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Time To Roll (Take Two!)

Today was our second attempt at rolling the pony field.  Our first effort a few weeks ago did fairly well but was followed by lots of rain...so the mud had been all churned up again.  The good news is that we didn't get the tractor stuck this time! Last time we discovered where the deceptively dangerous parts are and on experience it's still too wet to roll those at the moment...but by the end of the week they might be OK.  The field looks great and now that it's flat it's much easier to manoeuvre across.    Margaret made two special visits to the farm today, inbetween her busy schedule of appointments, to help with mucking out and moving the fences...she also donated a new lightweight broom!  Jenny helped with the fences too - there's quite a lot to move and we have a technique to "walk" them to certain positions so we don't have to take everything down and then reinstate it afterwards.

Topsy's looking gorgeous

Another beautiful sunset




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Sunday, 13 April 2014

Topsy's Adventures


Topsy approves of Jenny's decision not strim the grass here!
We're really enjoying the spring weather and to celebrate the arrival of the cow parsley, goose grass, dandelions (and the delicious patches of lush grass that Faye's not supposed to notice!) Topsy's been having excursions the last two days.

Margaret's been helping today so she's been enjoying time with Topsy too!

The ponies' coats are changing fast now with handfuls of hair coming out. No matter how much you brush there always seems to be more hair!  Sara gave Bobby a brush yesterday.  She was hoping to see Peter but unfortunately he couldn't come as he has a cold so we hope he feels better again soon!
Lovely weather at last!
Yum!

Lovely Dan looking very handsome




Sara brushing Bobby

I'm not sure whether we did a proper update about the diatomaceous earth...but we can report that it did indeed do it's job to get rid of the dreaded lice that were immune to everything, and quickly too, thank goodness!

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Thursday, 10 April 2014

Peter and Frodo's Obstacle Practice

video


Peter's been doing horse agility obstacle practice today...it's still too muddy in the field to set up jumps, or bigger obstacles so we focussed on poles and obstacles in the yard.  We set up an "L" shape out of poles to pass through, a single pole to step over with the front feet and wait for 5 seconds before backing over it, a tarpaulin to wait on and then pass across, and a hula hoop obstacle where horse and handler have to wait in each designated hoop for 5 seconds.  We did lots of waiting exercises because patience has not really been one of Frodo's best skills...but actually he was very good!  There's just snapshots in the video but hopefully we'll get a longer video made.

Peter said that he thought the most difficult obstacles were the hula hoops and the single pole.  He found that sometimes Frodo would step into the hoop and sometimes it didn't quite work...but he found that when he was more positive and decisive with his energy and thought exactly about what he needed to happen and where Frodo needed to put his feet (even by pointing into the hoop for instance) that it worked much better.  Peter did really well for his first attempt and he wants to work towards doing a starter level competition with Frodo.

Beautiful sunsets in the evenings again!

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Thursday, 3 April 2014

Bisto - Available For Loan

We have a lovely pony available for loan...I'll be adding him to the rehoming page of our website but I thought I'd give him a feature on the blog too.

 
Name: Bisto (Busy for short!)
Age: 11
Height: Between 11.1hh and 11.2hh
Gender: Male - Gelding
Breed: Exmoor X
Suitability: Lead Rein Pony, Horse Agility, driving/logging...Basically an all round star pony!
Health: Very good.  Never had laminitis.  Unshod and works barefoot.

Bisto has lived with Rachael since he was 2 years old and is a real part of the family.  Rachael owns Bisto and we are helping her with find him a wonderful loan home.   As you'll see from his description below, Rachael has done a fabulous job with Bisto and since she developed Multiple Sclerosis she has even trained Bisto to lead and be groomed alongside her mobility scooter.  Bisto was one of the youngsters from the p4p herd.  We will be assisting Rachael with the loan process - if there are periods where Rachael has difficulty with her health we will assist with the yearly home-checks and Bisto can come back to us if there is ever a problem.
video
 
This is what Rachael says about Bisto:  "We have had Busy since he was 2, we spent 2 years just playing and walking around the village getting used to traffic and every day life. He then went on to Dan Wilson to start and was with him for 6 weeks giving him a really good start, he has been to local shows and done the fancy dress classes, done fun rides (on lead) and beach rides, he leads from another horse, and is generally a well behaved young man (now 11) he loves groundwork and would be an excellent agility pony. He has been brought up in an Intelligent Horsemanship home and keeping to those methods would help cement any relationship with him. He is a sensitive boy and likes a leader, he doesn't like to get things wrong and if he doesn't like something he will hide behind you and purse his lips, bless him. He has never had any cause to mistrust and has a good foundation, he doesn't kick, buck or rear, he will try and nibble fingers (well he is a pony!!) Never had laminitis, always good for the farrier and vet, fine with dogs and farm machinery. I have been doing a lot of long reining with him and planned to start him driving, he also loves logging. I am having to find Busy a new home as I have M.S and things have changed dramatically for me over the last year, He hasn't been ridden for a while but I will find a little local jockey to make sure he is all with that, but I am completely confident he will be fine, he is the kind of pony you can leave for a while , tack up and go out with. He's ridden mostly in his Dually headcollar as he's such a star but has also done riding with a bridle and bit.  He leads from my scooter and whilst out long reining we have dragged cans behind him and the wheelie bin, used a motorbike and bicycles and even taken him out to watch a bike race, not a problem. I am quite limited at the amount I can do with him now and would love Busy to have more adventures.

 




Busy currently lives in West Devon.  If you think you can offer Bisto a home, please get in touch with us at people4ponies@yahoo.co.uk or 07968 071179.


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Tuesday, 1 April 2014

April


Those of you with your p4p calendars will have found a rather spectacular photo for April.  Cilla captured this great shot - she says it took many attempts to get this picture.  Bobby and Woolfie used to do this play fighting every morning when they were turned out...very boyish pony behaviour!  Woolfie is now out on permanent loan and is very happy living with Helen and his horse friend Scooter.  For quite a while he wouldn't let anyone but Paul and Cilla headcollar him so although Helen was lined up as a potential fosterer, Woolfie had to overcome his fear before he could be rehomed.

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