Saturday, 23 September 2017

Surprise Visitors!




The ponies enjoyed their surprise visit from Stephanie, Ray and Max this afternoon!  The boys had brought their wellies which was ideal for getting out into the field to meet the ponies - photos here with Arthur and Munchie!

Margaret's been busy making raspberry jam and redcurrant jelly, thanks to the generous donation of fruit from Sue and Nigel!  There'll be lots of people happy about that...and Margaret's getting ready for the Apple Fair and the Christmas Without Cruelty Festival!!

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Friday, 22 September 2017

Pony Summary Of This Week!




It was lovely to see Wolfie and Breeze on Tuesday - they are really enjoying the site they live on!  They had a hoof trim as it's a bit wet underhoof - not easy for them to trim their hooves themselves.  They have just a little bit longer on this patch whilst the weather is OK and then they move onto their winter pasture.

There's been lots of coverage in the local and national media this week about the "conservation" scheme to eat Dartmoor ponies (not surprising timing with market time coming up - also an effort to sell extra ponies at the market by appealing to people who will travel to pay to "save one" from the meat fate) - but hardly anything at all to reveal the real situation on the moor.

We are pleased to see that the Mare and Foal Sanctuary has been in the media today urging people NOT to eat or buy Dartmoor Pony meat - totally refuting claims it could save the breed.  We are also pleased to see that general media coverage has led to a surge in people finding our "Eat Ponies To Save Them..Yet Again" Blog post that I wrote after the Countryfile feature a few weeks ago - so hopefully people are better informed about what is really happening on the moors.

For those thinking about People4ponies calendars already...we should have 2018 calendars available for sale soon!  We couldn't produce them through Vistaprint this year and a local printing company are helping us to produce our next edition - to our usual high standard...it's under design at the moment, so watch this space!! 

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Saturday, 16 September 2017

CONGRATULATIONS to Angela!!!



Congratulations to Angela who today has arrived at John O' Groats on her round trip from Lands End and back!  We're so pleased she's made it this far, and so quickly too!  It's her third attempt at this mission after a mechanical failure on the last two occasions, and the last time she ended up camping for a month in the hope she could get back on the road again...but it wasn't to be.  Third time lucky Angela!!!

Angela's fundraising for P4P on her journey which we are very grateful for - thank you if you have donated to Angela - I think she's the first person to have undertaken a fundraising epic mission with P4P as one of the chosen charities!  Amazing!

Comments:

Cilla and Paul said...
That's fantastic! - very well done Angela. What a brave and determined lady.
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Monday, 11 September 2017

Oh, Bobby!

I'm aware that at the end of last week the grass changed and autumn is now well and truly upon us...and the ponies are definitely more hungry...but I thought the ponies were getting plenty to eat!!  Bobby obviously thinks he's so hungry he could eat a whole haystack - there were full haynets available out in the yard!!  As Jenny pointed out, this was one occasion where I did have time to get my camera to capture the moment as Bobby was not likely to move anywhere in the between time!!



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Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Star's Adventure

Star and Topsy
Star had a little adventure of her own yesterday!  Of course we never have the camera to hand in such scenarios!

We had drifted the girls into the yard to work with them...but somehow I'd been distracted and forgot to close the gate into the boy's field.  I could see Star heading purposefully up that way and I was thinking "uh-oh...oops...too late now".  It doesn't really matter to mix the boys and girls but Topsy is a bit fragile in her old age and doesn't want to take part in charging about.  She's an amazingly wise pony, so although she went a short distance into the boy's field, once she could see ponies running about she came straight back to the yard where she knows we can keep her safe.  Star headed straight out very purposefully and had all the boys run towards her - surrounded by all 6, my goodness was this old lady perfectly in control of the whole situation!  Holding her presence and almost straight away gave Dan a good walloping, followed by Rocky...seeing this put Munchie, Arthur, Bobby and Frodo off completely and they instantly went back to eating.  So Star was perfectly in control of the lot of them.  Off she went exploring the field - finding that the grass actually isn't as green there as it is her normal side of the fence.  By the afternoon she was back in the yard of her own accord waiting to go back to join Topsy!  We never write off our ponies just because they are old!  Sadly it is so normal these days for ponies to be put to sleep just because of their age, but not at P4P - we love the spirit, character and wisdom of our older ponies!


You'll be pleased to hear that Angela is well on her way with her quadbike adventure - she's made it to Silverstone already so we hope that her journey continues to be stress and problem free!


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Friday, 1 September 2017

September's Here!


Somehow it's September already!!...and a new month brings a new calendar photo...a charge out to the promise of new grass...Rocky, Frodo and Bobby on a mission to get there first.  We love these action photos...and the sunshine the autumn often brings with it.

Sadly we won't be attending the Honiton Holistic Fair tomorrow as planned - a bit more recovery time is needed but we look forward to being back there again next year.

Good Luck to Angela who is braving a 3rd attempt of her round trip from Lands End to John O' Groats again.  We have our fingers crossed that this will be third time lucky for her!!

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Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Getting Back On Track...

Very shiny coat Mr Arthur!

Sorry for the delay in blogging everyone!  I'm afraid I managed to catch flu when I went to the Porlock event - which, of course, I hadn't foreseen at all - very frustrating to be ill for so long!  Margaret has been brilliant and has stepped up to make sure that we have kept on top of everything with the ponies at the yard.

When the flu was at its worst and volunteers were covering it seems that Topsy had another of her super adventures!  A young volunteer remembered to fill the field water trough and helpfully went off to do this.  When the trough was filled, they took the hose back out of the field (which was the right thing to do)...but they forgot to fasten the main gate!  The wind was coming from an unusual direction which meant after they had gone home for lunch, the gate blew open.  We had a phone call from a neighbour to say a worker had just driven down the road and had found a white pony loose up in the local village.  When he turned off to come down the lane, the pony stayed in front of him and eventually turned up our driveway.  Out we went...and found the field gate wide open with Topsy and Star grazing in the field, Topsy looking as innocent as ever, you'd never have even known she'd been out on far-flung adventures!  Another adventure for Topsy...she might be 36+ years old but she's still feeling as sprightly as ever!

Between us everything has continued to run smoothly...and Margaret even mastered the driving of one of the tractors.  John stepped in to shift a tonne of bedding which was delivered last week.   Archie's popped in occasionally to lend a hand.  Catherine came over to visit and brought some lovely "get better" dinner.  Oscar the dog has been trying to get Faye better as quickly as possible. Munchie had his hooves tidied last week thanks to Clive our trimmer.  (We'll have to post a Munchie update soon - he's going to have a full fantastic set of new hooves by Christmas)!

Are thoughts are with everyone in Houston, Texas being battered by the hurricane there - animal shelters now being flooded as the water levels rise even further.  Animal owners desperately trying to get their pets (both big and small) to somewhere safe.  There are amazing people volunteering to go out with their own boats to rescue animals in need...guardian angels needed for all those in need of rescue.

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Monday, 14 August 2017

Two Super Ponies In Need of 5*, Loving, Secure, Knowledgeable Homes

Tonight we'd like to call on all our wonderful supporters to spread the word via social media/Facebook about 2 special ponies who are looking for homes ASAP.  

A riding school in our local area is having to close due to sad circumstances and there are two super riding ponies looking for 5* wonderful, loving, secure homes - this should be a wonderful opportunity for a family/families - there is limited time available for the ponies to stay at the facilities where they are currently so we need to share their profiles to find them their perfect homes asap.  We do not want them to end up with a dealer!  All the other ponies have been rehomed already.

The ponies are being offered privately and not through P4P - we have no extra room right now and ponies as super as this shouldn't need to end up in a rescue...riding school ponies are usually snapped up...and ridden ponies are usually not long stayers at rescue centres...so lets hope someone looking for a pony right now might be right for these two...Rosie and Gatsby.  They are being offered separately as I understand it - these are the details about them:  


Please share these two on social media and if you are serious about offering them a home and think you are their perfect new home please contact Jenny Hawkins on 01884 861187.

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Sunday, 13 August 2017

Eat Dartmoor Ponies To Save Them....Yet Again!


Yet again there are going to be a lot of people very unhappy about the media coverage on BBC Countryfile of the "Eat Dartmoor Ponies to Save Them" campaign...with no real actual debate on the pony situation itself.  I do feel sorry for the Dartmoor Pony Society who have to permanently have a feature at the top of their website making clear that they have nothing to do the the Dartmoor Hill Pony associations/charities.  The owners of the true Dartmoor ponies are very passionate about their breed and it is the HILL PONY owners which are the ones which are promoting the meat scheme - this should be made clear.

There will be a lot of people who take issue with the same individual heading up both a charity/rescue centre for ponies and a slaughter scheme for them...and no mention of that was made by Countryfile at all!  If it had been the head/representative of The Donkey Sanctuary, The Dogs Trust, or Cats Protection League being interviewed for the same plans for their own respective species I don't think the subject would have been avoided!   

In the first half of the Countryfile feature it was claimed that the Hill pony breeders believe there is an alternative to killing...featuring contraception...and then the second half of the feature promoted slaughtering and eating...certainly not an alternative to killing.  What wasn't made clear is that ponies given the contraceptive have been promoted as being for the slaughter scheme  - that's why the new drug is being trialled rather than using existing contraceptives - because the intention is for ponies on contraceptive to be put through the slaughter scheme.  Research into finding a proven equine contraceptive drug that could stop or substantially limit breeding and avoid the need for culling/slaughter was not a route that was pursued by this organisation.  The chosen contraceptive drug comes from commercial use where it is used in pig farming – it is used in male pigs intended for slaughter to stop boar taint. In our opinion, the use of the drug on Dartmoor is not about preserving the ponies - it’s about trying to convince people it is acceptable to see ponies as a by-product and to keep stallions out on the moors. The impact of the drug on the moorland environment and on the ponies themselves is still unknown.  The scheme is not about giving a contraceptive drug and then not needing to shoot/slaughter.

The reason why the Hill ponies are worth nothing is that there are too many being bred and certain Hill Pony breeders refuse to remove their stallions from the moor - forcing everyone into breeding...which results in 700 unwanted foals EVERY year - exasperating.

The Dartmoor Pony Society called for stallion removal on Dartmoor for many years. The Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust also offered to pay for all stallions living out on the moor to be vasectomised but the Dartmoor Hill Pony Association have fought against these management options. Each organisation does not actually have any general control over the pony populations - ultimately decisions come down to individual pony owners.

 All the breeding of the cows and sheep on Dartmoor by the same sets of owners that own the ponies is strictly controlled and does not happen on the moor!

There are native breeds of pony in the UK whose owners thankfully take much more of a strict line with their breeding and therefore keep up the value of their ponies.  At a meeting on Dartmoor earlier in the year, The Exmoor Pony Society made it very clear that they had very few animals travel for human consumption and they do not use their derogation, opting for all Exmoor ponies to be microchipped. There is certainly much for the Dartmoor breeders to take on board in this respect from Exmoor.

A report from the Fell Pony sale in Cumbria last year was most impressive.  Minimum bids were set at 100 guineas for colt foals, 150 guineas for filly foals.  On the day all ponies sold, even older mares that were wild off the fell - the oldest going for 120 guineas.  Colts averaged 325 guineas and fillies 670 guineas. (One guinea is approx. the equivalent of £1.05).  None went to unscrupulous dealers - they all knew they were going to be priced out so didn't even bother to turn up. 

The sad thing is that the Hill pony people (not all of them, but some, and a dominant force on the moor) think it is easier to convince a nation to eat horse meat than to actually take control of their pony herds.  They are the ones that de-value them.  One Hill pony breeder at the Dartmoor meeting proudly claimed that she spends no money on her ponies at all—they cost her nothing—and we have certainly seen cases where her ponies have suffered due to this! Whilst a pure bred Dartmoor pony keeper said that it costs a lot to care for her ponies!  

So there are a lot of issues here and as things currently stand we see very little hope for the pony situation on Dartmoor - overbreeding, culling and slaughtering of ponies is going to continue for some time to come...it doesn't have to be like that...but for the moment, sadly, that is what the ponies face.

If you would like to read more about the issues and research into the ponies on Dartmoor there is a page that explains more on the P4P page Dartmoor Ponies

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Sunday, 6 August 2017

Porlock Fair


We would like to thank Thea and everyone who we met at Porlock Fair today - we raised £100.60 on our stall and also enjoyed watching all the lovely dogs of all shapes and sizes who came to enjoy the day out.  Archie did a grand job of running the tombola with lots of tickets sold!

On the way home across Exmoor we spotted on the horizon these special ponies - mare and foal which was a lovely sight, even if it was only a glimpse....and what a lovely view they have to enjoy!

Meanwhile, Margaret and Jas had been looking after the ponies at the yard and making sure everything went smoothly there - it is such a luxury to come back and not have to do the pony chores at the end of a long day fundraising for the ponies!!



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Thursday, 3 August 2017

Archie's Afternoon


Archie's been helping us this afternoon - spending some time with Star and getting to know her.  We are very grateful to Bill Lomas the horse dentist for travelling over to us this afternoon and visiting Rocky and Frodo.

We need to thank Angela for her generous donation for the ponies this week too - a further contribution from her quadbike adventure earlier in the summer - for which we are extremely thankful!

Margaret has also done a grand job fixing one of the rugs which Munchie managed to "rearrange" - not an easy task to fix but you'd hardly know it had happened now!

The rain and autumnal weather has been continuing - even the North Devon Show was cancelled due to the conditions - with the mud and rain back all too soon.

In the news today more coverage given to the Dartmoor Hill Ponies - with it being declared that through genetic research that they are a breed in their own right...whether that is going to stop their owners and promoters eating them, or turning them into sausages...or breeding too many of them still remains to be seen!

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Tuesday, 1 August 2017

August's Star Pony Is Wolfie


August's calendar photo is of the gorgeous Wolfie who is quite a fan of the camera and a very photogenic chap!  Wolfie was one of the young colts in the original herd of ponies that P4P rescued.  Cilla nicknamed him Wolf because of his colouring - greyey brown and shadow-like.  He used to enjoy playing with Bobby in the field - they played lots together including a lot of rearing games which Cilla finally succeeded at catching on camera after many attempts.  We have so many lovely pictures of Wolfie that I'm sure there will be more appearing in our future calendars...we're spoilt for choice!

Wolfie and Dan




Bobby and Wolfie in their younger days!















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Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Chulmleigh Fair


Thank you everyone for your support at Chulmleigh Fair today!  A few days ago the weather for today looked horrendous but thankfully it wasn't too bad - a bit of heavy rain every now and then - but thankfully people weren't too put off and came out to support the various stalls!  We're so thankful for our waterproof gazebo too - it makes such a difference to running the stalls.


Archie and Margaret came to help run the stall and did a great job helping to raise £173.49 for the ponies - Archie's specialty being the tombola!  Our thanks to Roy too for looking after the ponies and sorting out the yard today - it makes such a big difference to the day!

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Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Wolfie and Breeze Visit


It was great to be able to visit Wolfie and Breeze at their new home yesterday to see how they are getting on.  They are loving their conservation patch and have really bonded together.  Alison and Steve have done a great job and have even made the ponies a big track way around the site.  The ponies look fantastic and have really made a big impact on the site.  There are some amazing thistles there as well - tree-like at about 6ft tall - the super prickly sort that are even too prickly for ponies to eat!  We've had so much rain recently I was expecting the site to be a bit boggy in places but it turns out there has hardly been any rain at all over there so it was pretty dry! When Wolfie was back at the main yard his hooves were perfectly self maintaining, but over on the site they have not been getting as much wear so it was a good opportunity to have a hoof tidy up. Happy ponies and a happy loan family :0)



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Monday, 24 July 2017

Ponies As Conservation Grazers – A Good Idea?


Ponies are absolutely amazing conservation grazers in the right circumstances – they eat the right plants to maintain the habitats, let the wild flowers grow, and therefore encourage insects and wildlife to flourish - which is great if you are someone who is into conservation and wildlife management.  It can be brilliant, and brings benefits to both the ponies and the sites!

What is extremely frustrating is our awareness of wildlife groups across the country who have often bought in conservation ponies as management tools – literally with the idea of them being eating machines to keep the grass down on their reserves…but time and time again problems arise (and the same reoccurring problems across the country).

Management of ponies is quite different to other livestock and it is not just as simple as having a large area of long, luscious grass that needs to be eaten down.  Too much grass will lead to laminitic ponies.  Unfortunately we have seen too many cases now of conservation ponies with severe laminitis and pedal bone rotation – including older ponies with severe damage to their feet.  One national organisation had the management strategy of waiting until the pony was so laminitic it stayed lying down (still eating the grass!) and then they could take the pony a bowl of food with Bute in it each day until it could get up and walk again.  Year upon year, this led to irreversible damage.  

I recently saw a herd of 2 year old conservation ponies who all had pedal bone rotation – so frustrating to see, especially when they are so young.  The right species and varieties of plants and landscapes are amazingly beneficial to ponies…but overload them with the wrong food and there will be health consequences. 

Certain areas of Bodmin of course are the other extreme of this!  Whereas most calls we have are in the summer after ponies have consumed too much grass, there are sometimes circumstances where in the winter there is not enough food.  Even in lowland areas we have seen conservation ponies left with NOTHING to eat – a barren landscape - the excuse being the ponies can’t be fed hay because of the conservation status of the land.  

There needs to be a balance – with the numbers of animals and the suitability of the land.  Ponies may need to be restricted in spring/summer months, and they may need to be removed from certain areas for a period of time – in the winter if there isn’t enough to eat…or in the summer if the area is too intensively grazed to benefit the site long-term.  If the site is just right - variety of vegetation, landscape, and the right number of ponies, then it is very possible to achieve healthy ponies with no restriction - but this is not true of all sites.

We absolutely love to have ponies conservation grazing but it needs to be a harmonious scenario between the ponies, the people and the wildlife sites.  The sites can be managed in a way which is harmonious to everyone.

Ponies also need to be checked every day just as other livestock are – checked for health problems, availability of water, and to make sure all ponies are present (no problems with fencing, accidents etc).

One of my personal frustrations is the ethical sourcing of ponies – it seems astonishing to me that despite the number of equine welfare organisations/rescue centres across the country with ponies for rehoming, conservation organisations have been paying horse dealers hundreds of pounds per unhandled, non-pedigree pony from the moorland areas – ponies worth no more than £10 at market.  The dealers do well making a handsome profit and the deal does nothing to stem the mass overbreeding on certain moorland areas.  Through such deals, conservation groups have a herd of wild ponies arrive - that are unloaded and disappear off into the distance – which works OK until there is a problem.  The wardens (who often have no equine experience anyway) are then left with the conundrum of what to do with a poorly, unhandleable pony…or even one that just needs its feet trimming…which in some cases has led to health and safety nightmares! …Not great for the pony…or the people either.   Having ponies which have already had basic handling makes everyone’s life so much easier – it is safer for staff and much easier to trim feet or have routine healthcare issues attended to.

So…ponies are amazing conservation grazers…under the right management and circumstances.

If you are interesting in acquiring conservation ponies we recommend:
  •  Assessing the site and its suitability for ponies throughout all the seasons of the year.
  • Be prepared to adapt the management of the site to the ponies – do not to expect the ponies to cope with any amount of grass/food – particularly if introducing them for the first time to a site with large areas of long, luscious grass…To stay healthy, the ponies may need to have areas of grass restricted.  
  • Choose ponies without previous history of laminitis or sweet-itch.
  • Choose ponies which already have a level of basic handling – it is possible to have ponies trained to a level where they are “wild but handleable” in that they do not approach people willingly but can be handled safely (headcollared, led, have feet picked up) once in an enclosed area (good for areas with public footpaths etc) BUT their handlers need training in order for this to be possible.  Some sites/handlers may prefer tamer ponies.
  • Have a plan of what to do when a pony is poorly– number of vet, safe enclosed area to remove the pony to, headcollar and leadrope available etc.  Also consider other extreme events - is the area prone to flooding, if so where can the ponies be moved to so they are not at risk; if it snows all winter how will the ponies be fed and what will they be fed on?
  • Ethically source ponies – look at charities who have ponies available for conservation grazing, try to stem the overbreeding rather than encouraging it.  Depending on your experience, it may be better to loan ponies from charities who will be responsible for their healthcare, handling, transport etc but rely on landowners/wardens to ensure daily checks, fencing, water provision etc.
  • Ponies must have daily checks, safe and secure fencing, and a clean/safe water supply (if in a mining area or if you are located downstream from one it might be sensible to pay for a livestock water check to ensure there is no pollution/heavy metal content).



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Sunday, 23 July 2017

Is Autumn Arriving Early This Year?


I hate to say this...but has anyone else noticed there are signs of autumn already?  Today's the first day I've noticed leaves on some trees starting to change colour and some ferns dying back...Yesterday Frodo was showing signs of starting to change his coat...and there have been mushrooms growing in the field.  It's a bit early to be thinking of autumn yet!  Pleeeease can the summer last a bit longer!!

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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".


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-40624073

https://www.europol.europa.eu/newsroom/news/police-dismantle-crime-group-trading-horsemeat-unfit-for-human-consumption


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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 morning...it 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 hay...so 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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