Sunday, 16 July 2017

BBC Reports "Horsemeat Racket Busted in Europe"

The Europol press release states:

"The Spanish Guardia Civil, in coordination with Europol, has dismantled an organised crime group that was trading horsemeat in Europe that was unfit for human consumption. The operation was carried out in coordination with Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. In Spain, 65 people were arrested and charged with crimes such as animal abuse, document forgery, perverting the course of justice, crimes against public health, money laundering and being part of a criminal organisation....

...During the investigation, Guardia Civil was able to locate the Dutch businessman related to the Irish case of the beefburgers containing horse meat, in Calpe, Alicante. From there he led the activities of the organisation, putting his most trusted men in charge in every country affected by the scam.   Investigators concluded that the Spanish element of this organisation was a small part of the whole European structure controlled by the Dutch suspect. The arrest of the leader of the criminal group was carried out in Belgium. This action was coordinated by the Federal Police, the Federal Food Agency in Belgium and Guardia Civil. Different police actions were simultaneously carried out in France, Portugal, Italy, Romania, Switzerland and the United Kingdom".

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Saturday, 15 July 2017

Mid July Catch-Up

Star and Topsy back out to their normal field

 Topsy and Star headed back out to "their" field on Thursday and are enjoying having the whole field back to themselves now that the haymaking is complete.  There are lots of long patches of grass around the edges and it's surprising how the cut grass which was brown is starting to green up already.

Beautiful Star....Lots of annoying flies this week!
We must send our condolences to poor Angela who despite all efforts has had to abort her trip from Lands End to John O' Groats and back on her quadbike.  She had managed to get a very long way north, to Blair Atholl -  the quadbike broke down and she ended up in a campsite for a month...a very long time to live in a tent(!)..waiting for a part to arrive from China for the bike.  Poor Angela!  Once this was fixed and she was on her way there were more problems so she ended up having to abort the mission.  Thankfully Green Flag got her home safely!  Such a brave effort!  Thank you so much to Angela for the £66 she raised for P4P along the way!

Munchie in the sunshine
We also need to say thank you to Clive and Jill for coming out to see us this week and to Clive for really listening to us and understanding our trimming needs for Munchie.  Poor Paul has had a back back for a while now so hoof trimming isn't a great help to it.  It is extremely important to us that a pony is not sore after a hoof trim.  Paul never made them sore from a trim but unfortunately there are very few people locally who seem to be able to achieve this - so it was a great relief for Clive to come and help us out.  Here's Munchie in the sunshine the day after his trim.  Great to see how far this chap and his feet have come over the last 7 months.

It was nice to visit Babe, Jaffa and Maisie yesterday too...again looking beautiful in the sunshine :0)

And finally a photo of Frodo for his fans!  I don't think he's ever been quite as trim as he's looking this year!!

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Monday, 10 July 2017

Haymaking Is Complete...Phew!

Roger "rewing" up the hay
What a day it's been today!  We were all ready for the baling of our hay today - the hay was all dry, the baler was booked and everyone was on standby to come and help get the bales in the barn.  We knew the forecast for Tuesday was heavy rain so if we didn't get the bales in today then it would be a set-back of quite a few days!

Early this drizzled...not a lot, but enough to make the hay damp so it was going to need turning again...and this meant that the baler wouldn't be able to come - it was booked for a lunchtime slot and after this it was committed over at Jane's.  Once the hay was turned, the sun came out and the hay was drying nicely...Roger came to the rescue again and managed to find us a baler who could come this afternoon at short notice (amazing!) and Roger also came over to rewe up the hay for us.

The baler hard at work
The whole scenario had been off and on all day with the weather and logistical arrangements...but thankfully we were so lucky...Paul and his son arrived with the baler 4.30pm on the dot as promised - Archie arrived about a minute later to join Roy and John who were already onsite.  Over the course of the next hour we had an army of helpers which we are so grateful for - Catherine, Victoria, Edward, Faie, Rachel, Izy, Simon, Rupert and Peter.  There were 336 bales in all which we managed to get stacked in the barn by about 7pm.  They are a bit heavier than usual and we were grateful for the weather being in the high teens in temperature so we didn't get too hot.  We finished with the usual delicious snacks prepared by Margaret and Jenny to reward the workers for all their efforts.

THANK YOU so much everyone for your hard work which now means we have a barn full of hay again for the ponies.  A big thank you to Ted and Jenny who donate the hay for the ponies and for all the work Ted and John have done the last few days to get the grass cut and hay ready!
Archie, Edward and John with the big trailer, Ted supervising!

Chain of people getting the hay to the back of the barn

Munchie tried to persuade Izy into letting him try some ice-cream!

Thank you very much to our team of hard workers,
including Rupert and Peter who aren't featured here!

We had to include some photos of Oscar the dog supervising the hay in production!
Very cute!

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Friday, 7 July 2017

Hay Preparation And Archie + Munchie's Challenge

The weather wasn't sunny today so there was only one turning of the hay...lots of work in the yard.  Margaret and Archie set up another patch for Star and Topsy to make sure they have plenty to eat whilst "their" field has been taken over.  Roy came over to move the bales in the barn and collect up all the loose we now have a lovely clear area to get everything stacked.

Archie took up the challenge of making an obstacle course of his own design to complete with Munchkin (our current rehab pony).  5 obstacles of any construction he wanted as long is it was safe and not too difficult to put up and take down again!  Archie came up with a very interesting and diverse course for them to try.  One of the obstacles was putting a hula hoop over Munchie's head so Archie was using advance and retreat to show Munchie this was OK and he was rewarded with Munchie achieving this - ears back in the second photo to show he is concentrating on the hoop rather than him being cross!  There was also a very interesting castle obstacle with a gateway section to walk through - all made out of boxes so very inventive!!  Apples for Munchie to finish with!!!

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Thursday, 6 July 2017

Haymaking Is Underway!

After thinking that we definitely wouldn't be making hay this week...yesterday the weather forecast changed from weather warnings for torrential thundery showers, to no warnings at all and lots of plans change and now hay making is underway!  Topsy and Star have moved fields and thankfully we have enough spare patches of grass to keep them going for a few days.

It was extremely hot this morning so it was a sweltering job getting all the electric fencing down - Margaret braved the heat to help.  John and Ted had already serviced the grass cutter and hay turning equipment about a week ago so it was ready to go.  Ted cut the hay this morning, John turned it and then Ted did a last turning late this afternoon.  There'll still be a lot of turning to go before it's ready...

...So we have a "call to arms" anyone who can lend a hand to help us get the bales collected up off the field and stacked in the'll be a late afternoon/early evening job.  There is likely to be somewhere between 200 and 250 bales to move (not over a thousand like last year but still a lot to move).  If you think you can lend a hand, please get in touch - or 07968 071179.

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Saturday, 1 July 2017


The July calendar has brought us beautiful Topsy - a photo taken last year - sadly there wasn't a lot of sunshine last year but Topsy still looks beautiful no matter what the weather!!  Amazingly Topsy seems to look younger every year - must be all those lovely herbs - she's in her mid 30's and doing great :0)

Topsy June 2017
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Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Spring Newsletter 2017 + Jeremy Appeal

The somewhat overdue Spring 2017 edition of our newsletter has been published and is on its way to our supporters either by email or by post.  We have featured Jeremy in there - it is now three months since he's been missing.  His description is being shared via Facebook again so we would encourage people to continue to do so - we still hope that someone somewhere might have seen him:

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Saturday, 24 June 2017

St John's Fayre

 Thank you so much everyone for your help and support today at St John's Fayre - thankfully the weather did stay fairly reasonable and we kept nice and dry when the showers did come (due to our waterproof gazebo which is such a big improvement on what we had before)!  With all the local support we were able to raise a fantastic £228.70 for the ponies - thank you everyone!  Thanks to Joyce for looking after and bringing all the plants, Roy for getting everything set up and packed away and Margaret for her efforts with the tombola and manning the stall!

Thanks to Ted, Jenny and John, the girls also have a nice shiny new trough in their field - beautifully modeled here by Star!

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Sunday, 18 June 2017

Golden Oldies

It's scorching weather at the moment!  Not as hot as the SE of England but still pretty hot compared to what we are used to!

Star and Topsy are so happy together which is lovely to see and Star nearly has her full summer coat now.  These photos were taken yesterday and today we've opened up a bit more pasture for them - which they are loving!  At many charities these golden oldies are written off but we don't believe in that - they deserve their retirement.

The hay crop is ready to cut but the end result would be a bit too lush for our ponies so we're going to wait just a little bit longer (weather depending of course!).

We're pleased to say that Wolfie and Breeze have settled really well at their new home which is great!

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Wednesday, 14 June 2017

A New Home For Wolfie and Breeze!

A big thank you to everyone who helped with our big move today - particularly to Margaret, Izy and Catherine...and to Steve and Alison who have given the ponies a new home!  They are such lucky ponies to have a special patch of their own!

Just Arrived!

On our way to find Breeze who arrived earlier!

Here he is!

On our way to find the new field!

Very exciting!

Off to explore their new territory!

Very tall reeds!


Lucky ponies!
Our special thanks also go to Ted and Jenny who have been so supportive the last few weeks!

It's been quite intensive with up to 11 ponies onsite and it's so good that the extra ponies have found special homes!

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Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Moving Day Tomorrow For Breeze and Wolfie

It's moving day tomorrow for Breeze and Wolfie who are off to their new home together.  We are certainly going to miss them - particularly Wolfie who has been back with us and part of the family for nearly a year now.  Breeze is such as presence on the yard and he knows it's his turn to go to his special place now (after Puffin went to his a few weeks ago).  We know that they have a wonderful place to go to - a new pony paradise area for them to call their home.  They were such good boys for their loading practice today, I was very proud of them!

I'm always impressed at how good the ponies are at adapting to and foretelling the local climate.  Frodo is always the first to start losing his coat in the spring, so we knew it was going to be late this year as he didn't start shedding around the time he usually does.  It's been really cold over the last week or so and we've been back to wearing multiple jumpers and woolly hats...the ponies cleverly knew that though and had kept some winter coat to help them stay warm.  Breeze lived by the sea in a much warmer micro-climate before coming back so he's a bit ahead of the others. People often comment how much colder it is up here - especially with the wind that is almost always on the go.  Now the cold snap has passed they are hastily shedding what's left of their winter coats.  They're going to look beautiful once the new coats have fully arrived!

Safe travelling tomorrow Wolfie and Breeze!

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Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Munchie Update

We can't believe how quickly time is flying by at the moment - summer gave way to the most horrendous weather the last couple of days - gale force winds and driving rain - not pleasant at all!  Wolfie and Breeze's new loan family have been to visit them and thankfully we had the barn to shelter in so that they could meet properly!

It seems like a good moment to give a Munchie update as he's been with us for laminitis rehab since December 2016 (please click on the photos to enlarge them):
December 2016

December 2016

January 2017
June 2017

June 2017
He's made really huge progress and as usual we always learn lots from each case we take on.  Munchie's case is particularly interesting to us because it could have been easy for him to be "labelled" as a classic Cushings case based on his appearance and severe laminitis.  Previous vet tests had come back negative for Cushings...and a negative result was also indicated by iridology.  

In Munchie's case his kidneys were compromised, and for a long time he had been in a situation where he was having just one or two hours of turnout a day (all year around) and spent the rest of the time stood in a yard or stable.  His feet were very distorted from pedal bone rotation and trimming. 

We were very shocked the day he arrived back - he had abscesses in all 4 feet that had not been treated and the pus welled along the coronary bands at the top of the hoof - we started treating these straight away.

Our priority is always to get a laminitic rehab pony comfortable - both with surfaces and natural pain relief.  Laminitis rehab seems to be becoming a specialty for us at the moment!  

It is great to see how far Munchie has come, how his feet are realigning, the internal structures of his feet are developing, and how he's getting more and more turnout even in the height of summer.  Minerals and toxicity - and the knowledge we gained from conducting the Bodmin research last year - have been important aspects that we have taken on board.  Since specifically focussing on this with Munchie he has returned to the colour that he was as a foal, which is really quite extra-ordinary (he's no longer "orange"!).  Our thanks to the ladies at Naturally Animals and ForagePlus for their assistance!  He's still got a way to go but nearly 6 months on we are delighted at how well he is progressing.

So often horses such as Munchie are put onto Pergolide and we are so pleased that we have not gone down that route.  Of course, all horses and ponies are different and some will have Cushings, but perhaps it is all too easy for horses and ponies to be labelled as "Cushings" when other conditions can produce similar symptoms.

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Friday, 2 June 2017

June is here!

 The year is flying by now and we have reached June already!  The "star" of the June calendar is Wolfie, showing off some of his lovely moves when he came back to the yard last year.  We do love Wolfie - he has a very playful nature, he's quite a sensitive chap and although he's not super confident he will always try his best!  He's also a very easy pony to get on with and has lots of friends in his pony herd.

As it's June, it's getting towards the time of year to think of haymaking (we hope!).  The hay field has been set aside for some weeks now and the grass is really coming on!  Topsy and Star have the parts of field that are too wet to make hay from and they are enjoying the extra grass.  They are getting on so well - they go everywhere together, which is lovely to see.

The grass is growing fast now!
Topsy and Star
We also need to say thank you to our Easyfundraising supporters - during the last quarter you've managed to raise £43.49 for the ponies from your online shopping!  Fantastic!  Hazel-Ann is still charging ahead at the top of the leader board...followed by Martin who hasn't been Easyfundraising long but is in 2nd place already!  If you have your groceries delivered each week, please remember the ponies and use Easyfundraising when you do your shopping - it only takes a second and costs you nothing as the donation comes to us (via EF) straight from the retailer!  Since we registered with EF you've raised an amazing £589.30 from retailers!  THANK YOU!!

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