Monday, 27 January 2014

Topsy's Day In

Topsy was keen to exercise her "grand-motherly" rights today and chose to stay in the barn all day eating lots of lovely hay and keeping dry...and you can't blame's cold and muddy and wet and windy!  She's doing so well and all her delicious herbs have definitely been paying off.  Her coat is so soft and fluffy!

Our pea gravel arrived last week and Margaret came over specially to help get it distributed and it looks great, just like having our own beach.

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Sunday, 19 January 2014

Sunshine At Last

We're definitely at the time of year when you know you are in the depths of winter - it seems to rain all the time, there's lots of water lying on the top of the fields...of course there's mud and not very much grass to eat in the fields - the ponies get to have the most freedom they can have at this time of year with two fields, but they've already eaten all the best bits!  Yesterday it was so miserable that Topsy came back in almost straight away and had a lovely day in the barn eating the best hay we have!!  The ponies are very lucky because they always have to choice to be in or out, or to be in the mud and rain or not.  Frodo however seems to be determined to plaster himself in as much mud as possible.  He actually seeks out the muddiest part of the field and covers himself as much as possible.  I've never seen such a muddy pony or a pony that has such a determination to cover himself in the wettest mud possible.  If there was a horse competition that was the opposite of "Tidy Turnout" Frodo would definitely win first prize!!

Rocky says to Frodo that we still love him no matter how he looks on the outside!

Today we really enjoyed the sunshine and Topsy was happy to be back out in the fields again.  For today at least it felt like spring.  This evening there was a poor bumble bee that Faye rescued from drowning in the water trough - it's been so warm today...this time last year we were snowed in...what a contrast!
We need to say a big thank you to Travis Perkins in Tiverton this week who have given us a discount on our shipment of pea should arrive tomorrow!

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Lulu & Ellie

We've had this lovely email and photo from Ellie with an update about Lulu.  Ellie says:
"Me and Lulu are getting on really well, we recently did our first jumping outing at codden hill and we got a clear round in the 1ft6 I was really please with her as she didn’t make a fuss just went straight in and done it, our bond gets stronger and stronger everytime I see and and we are getting on really well".

Big congratulations to Ellie and Lulu on their great work together!! :0)

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Saturday, 11 January 2014

A Stressful End To The Day

 The poor ponies had quite a stressful end to their day with the local hunt, hounds and quadbikes charging around the surrounding lanes.  Catherine had helped to poo-pick the fields this afternoon but now it needs doing all over again!  Even after the hunt had gone the ponies just couldn't settle and were constantly on guard.  Bobby looked a bit like a dragon with his breathe in the cool evening air.

The weather was peaceful though!

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Thursday, 9 January 2014

More Hot Branding Updates From Defra

We've received more information from Lord de Mauley (thanks to our MP Neil Parish) about the progress being made on hot branding.  On the whole, the news continues to be promising...

The warmblood societies who had been hot branding have been directly contacted by Defra and have been informed about the law regarding hot branding.  They have been informed that anyone identifying their horse or pony in this way runs the risk of being prosecuted under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

The hot branding code of practice is nearly completed and Defra will be publishing the details on their website.  The semi-wild moorland pony societies will be responsible for ensuring that branding is carried out in accordance with the code.  Any concerns about poorly applied brands should be reported to the relevant semi-wild moorland pony society (hmmm, perhaps not so good!)

The good thing is that Lord de Mauley finishes his letter by saying "I consider the code of practice is a step in the right direction.  The semi-wild pony societies must also continue to look for suitable alternatives to hot branding as I am sure advances in technology will eventually make branding unnecessary".

Lord de Mauley has certainly done substantially more work on this issue than any other Minister and we are very grateful to him for his time and efforts...and of course, thank you again to Neil for helping us with this issue.

Hot branding will be completely banned in this's just a matter of time!

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Saturday, 4 January 2014

Go Jeremy And Rowan!

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Wednesday, 1 January 2014

P4P Calendar - January's Star Pony

For all of you lucky enough to have a people4ponies calendar, Bobby is your star pony for January!  As you can see, he is a fantastic colour - officially "bright bay" but somehow that term doesn't quite do him justice!  Bobby was one of the original young boys (colts) from the p4p foundation herd and his colour meant that he stood out from the beginning.  He takes his name after Bob Marley - because of his long black hair with dreadlocks!  He was very frightened when he first arrived.  He is a very sweet pony who likes a quiet life and likes to keep out of any possible fracas...although he does like to make sure Frodo stays at the bottom of the pecking order.

One of his personality traits is that he will stomp his foot when he is not happy about something.

Bobby's going to feature again in the calendar so I'll save some of his stories for later on in the year!!

This was Bobby when he first arrived - very frightened indeed

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