Saturday, 31 August 2013

Making The Most Of The Summer Holidays

Anita's sent us this lovely photo of Rowan (with Jeremy) and her brother Kieran making the most of their summer holidays and going out for a ride together.  I bet Tilly the Shetland was pleased that Kieran chose a taller trusty steed to ride!  Looking good everyone with the fluorescent gear!

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Tuesday, 27 August 2013

The Painting Of The Roundpen Has Begun...

...The undercoat of the first 8 panels is on...just 10 panels and the topcoat to go!!  Great job Hazel-Ann and Graham!

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Monday, 26 August 2013

Holding On To Summer

We're holding on to the remnants of summer - the evenings seem to be drawing in already (which is a bit scary!)...apples are starting to fall from the trees and blackberries are turning from green to black...but the weather is holding out for us with some beautiful sunshine.

Yesterday we managed some autumn "spring" cleaning and had a big attack on cleaning the pea gravel in the barn - it's a great work-out for the muscles between the shoulder blades.  Although we didn't really buy the pea gravel for the purpose of providing bedding, it has turned out to be an added bonus that the ponies do like to use it!  It helps to cut down the cost of the "throw away" bedding but it does take some hard work to get it washed through!  Poor Hazel-Ann had an unfortunate incident during the "normal" daily mucking out when she fell over on the manure heap...a quick change of trousers...and as dedicated as ever she was back to work again!

The second saddle we had listed on ebay had another exciting end to the auction...finishing at just over £86.  Hooray!

Here's some pony photos to enjoy!

Bobby and Dan

From before The Brooke Show - Frodo gives instructive directions on how to put up a gazebo!

On the move

Charge!...Past the scary man with a camera...great photo though Graham!

Tractor Agility for volunteers!

Beautiful Topsy

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Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Hot Branding Update

We've been asked by lot of people if the news circulating on the internet about hot branding is true...

The information states that Defra have established that domestic equines and those not being put back onto the moors to live in a semi-feral environment cannot be hot branded and that this practice was made illegal under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, and particularly the Permitted Mutilations Act 2007.

If this is true, then this would be a big step forward for Exmoor Ponies, as many young domestic Exmoors are hot branded at inspections all over England and Wales every year.

At present, there seems to have been no official public press release from Defra about this, and I have asked our MP Neil Parish to see if we can get some clarification from Defra.

The information also states that the code of conduct for hot branding semi-feral ponies will come into place ready for this year and contains "the move to a single brand only, with restrictions on the size of the brand. The code will also include training and handling requirements for hot branding. It is understood that the strong aim is to find an alternative method of ID to hot branding as soon as possible, after which all hot branding of equines will stop".

We have very little information about this at present - whilst the code of conduct does appear to look at a range of issues, we still believe that the practice should be banned completely...This could however be a big step in the right direction, but we will let you know more details once we have them...

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Monday, 19 August 2013

An Exciting Auction!

We had a bit of a bidding frenzy going on this evening.  One of the saddles that was donated to raise some money for the ponies sold on ebay tonight...and it made a fantastic £256! 

There is another saddle which is finishing tomorrow night - a nice saddle but no makers's already reached £41 so if we keep our fingers crossed we could get a little bit more to add to the total.

Thank you very much to the lovely lady who donated the saddles to help raise some money for the ponies!

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Friday, 16 August 2013

A Quieter Week

We've had a much quieter week this week and I think we've been recovering from the show as we've all been feeling a bit tired!  The really good news is that the show raised £1600 for The Brooke, so everybody had a great day out and helped lots of good causes at the same time.  We've been writing our thank you cards to everyone who donated items to us!

We were delighted to meet Angela on Tuesday who came to visit us with a view to possibly volunteering.  She's had lots of experience with donkeys and was a volunteer for 5 years at a Donkey Sanctuary in Ireland...we hope Angela will come back and see us again.  Some of the bigger charities in our area have such strict rules, Angela was finding she couldn't even get near a donkey(!)...or the mucking out(!)...which is rather frustrating when you know you can do a lot to help.

If we are really lucky we might add a little extra to our show fundraising total - 2 of the saddles that we took to the show but didn't sell are currently on ebay...fingers crossed they will raise a bit extra for us!

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Monday, 12 August 2013

The Brooke Show...Great Job Everybody!

Our new people4ponies Stall

Yesterday was the big day...Jane and Penny had done a brilliant job of organising and promoting "The Brooke" Show and there were lots of equine and canine charities...and lots of rescue horses, ponies and dogs coming to take part.

We had a super day!  Our volunteers arrived early to set up our new people4ponies stall - and it looked fantastic.  We had lots on offer - tack, plants, jewellery, gifts, dog biscuits (thank you to Pets At Home for donating them to us), jams and marmalades and the tombola.  Thanks to everyone's support we raised £350.81 for the ponies!

Issie from the Exeter LUSH store supported our stall with a lovely selection of hand made cosmetics and of course the people4ponies charity pot hand cream.

Thank you very much to everyone who donated items for our stall, and of course to all the volunteers who have put lots of time and wonderful energy into the event.
Anita and Gracie (a rescue Greyhound) enter one of the fun dog classes
Graham's found a new friend!

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Saturday, 10 August 2013

One Day To Go...And The Tents Are Up!

There's lots of last minute activity happening at the moment -  all the volunteers are rushed off their feet in preparation for tomorrow - even the main people4ponies website has a new page to promote our work!

Hazel-Ann, Graham (who's behind the camera!) and Faye have set up the tents at the show site already - so hopefully that should give us a bit of a head-start with setting up in the morning!

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Thursday, 8 August 2013

2 Days To Go...

Only 2 days to go until The Brooke Show at Chevithorne Barton!  It's been a pretty busy day - I think I've cleaned more tack today than I have in the rest of my life - the dining room has come to resemble a tack room - with lots of saddles, reins and numnahs etc!!  Thank you everyone for your donations of good quality second-hand tack which will definitely help to boost our profits on the stall.  This event is our biggest fundraiser of the year so lots of the volunteers have been busy contributing to the day.  Beate has brought lovely plants to sell, Hazel-Ann has designed some brilliant pony signs for the stall highlighting each of the sections (gifts, plants, tack etc), Graham is all set to take the tack away tomorrow to deliver it to the stall on Sunday morning, and Margaret has the tombola and marmalades already arranged for the day.  Jenny's been helping to clean some of the items we have for sale, as has Catherine who also has a large amount of the "horsey jumble" and has been cleaning rugs etc.

We're really looking forward to the show - it's a great day and it's such a good way to promote rescue animals...equine and canine.  It's really exciting that the Exeter LUSH store are coming to support our stall too!

We hope to see you there!!

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Sunday, 4 August 2013

Goodbye Val!

We're really quite sad that Val is leaving us tomorrow morning - she's been with us a week and is due to continue her England adventure down on a farm near Totnes.  The ponies have really benefited from having another person around on a daily basis.  Frodo's been having his Horse Agility practice and Val and he have been doing very well - Frodo seems to have rather a lot of "joie de vivre" about him at the moment and so he's a good experience for Val who has been used to riding school ponies!

Val's made friends with Topsy too... the week's gone so quickly!!  Thank you Val for all your help and we hope you'll come back and see us again.

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Friday, 2 August 2013

Big Thank Yous

We have a couple of big thank yous to say this week - firstly to Ross who sent us a surprise donation of £150 for the ponies - thank you Ross so much for your support!

And secondly to our friends at "The Horse's Voice" charity based in Leicestershire.  They have sent us a donation of £250 to help with our campaign to ban hot branding.  In their letter they write "The last pony we rescued that had been hot branded with a giant M on her side was back in 1993.  She was an aged Welsh mare so the brand would have been done back in the 70s.  She was very sensitive around the brand area as the scarred skin was always weeping and to think this mare had spent her life being ridden.  The pressure from the saddle had caused her a lot of discomfort over the years!  It is totally unacceptable that our native ponies still have to suffer this barbaric treatment for identification purposes!!

Our charity has always been concerned about our "native ponies" and we always help where we can..."

The Horses's Voice helped with the Dartmoor rescue Faye was involved with in 2011 and took 4 foals who have now grown up into very smart little ponies indeed...thank you so much to Pat and everyone at the charity

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