Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Thank You!

Thank you very much to the Tiverton Free Spirits who had a collection for the ponies at the end of their group meeting last night!  We raised £32.20 for the ponies so thank you very much everyone - and on top of this we have a couple of potential new sponsorers too!

Thank you also to Marc who has decided to sponsor Bobby as an extra addition to their current sponsorship!

Thea's also been organising a stall for us at Porlock Country Fair, so we look forward to being there in August with our fundraising stall - thank you Thea!

We hope everyone's been enjoying reading their pony newsletters too!

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Sunday, 24 May 2015

Spring Newsletter Is Published

Good news everyone - our spring newsletter has been printed and sent out this week so all our supporters should be receiving them in the post very shortly (if they haven't arrived already!).  Many thanks to Ted and Jenny who have donated all the printing for us - and they have donated the envelopes and labels too - such a big help.

Well done everyone for their Easyfundraising so far this year - for the first quarter you've raised £13.98 for the ponies...thank you!

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Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Misty, Star And Breeze's Annual Check Up


Trusty volunteers patiently waiting whilst
the ponies are in the pen!

Today was Misty, Star and Breeze's special day to have their MOT check up.  They live conservation grazing on the most beautiful Devon Wildlife Trust nature reserve and are checked every day by the warden.  Today was the day for their annual hoof trim and check over.

We are so grateful to our team of helpers who gave up their day to help - Vanessa, Philip, Carol, Lisa, Charlie, Margaret, Catherine, Gill and Frank (who also very kindly donated his hoof trimming services for free).  The ponies live on a large area so we needed to position people in critical spots to keep them channelled towards our pen area - keeping everything as calm as possible.  Breeze is headcollared on-site, and then Misty and Star once they are in the pen, using our special "non-confrontational" methods.  Thank you everyone for their help which made the day run so smoothly.  The ponies are in super condition - not obese but definitely very well "covered"!!  Just as well they have steep hills to walk about on.  It is perfect for them in terms of vegetation - lots of special variety and natural herbs for them to eat and keep them healthy!

Here are the photos of them back out on the reserve after their hoof trims, very happily back out grazing again:

Breeze and Star
We also need to say thank you to Margaret - not only for driving today but she's also donated 3 new haynets for our ponies at the yard this week!

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Saturday, 16 May 2015

Country Walks

 The ponies have been going out on extra excursions this week when the weather has been good.  Frodo and Rocky have been going out together with Faye - just along a stretch of lane where there are plenty of passing places in case we meet traffic...or flocks of running sheep being herded by a quadbike like this afternoon!!
Topsy looking as beautiful as ever!
 This afternoon we went out with Peter, Arthur, and Oscar the dog...

Lovely bluebells in the woods

Peter and Oscar
 We need to say a big thank you to Dean at Handy Distribution who this week has very generously given us a discount on a new "garden" trolley.  It's such a vital piece of equipment for us - helping us to move hay, water, and equipment around the yard.  Our old trolley had a broken wheel so we have really been missing it! A replacement should be arriving on Monday.

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Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Lulu Update

Tracey has kindly sent us these lovely photos of Lulu, who has clearly been very busy in her new home already! :0)

Moses the miniature Shetland and Lulu

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Monday, 11 May 2015

Ebony And Apache

Hazel-Ann kindly sent through these photos of Ebony and Apache with their sheep friend Larry who are conservation grazing at Jane's...
Apache, Larry and Ebony

Snoozing with full tummies!
...Photos of Lulu coming soon!!

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Saturday, 9 May 2015

Busy Days

Faie's been to visit us today so we went out for an adventure with Arthur on a circular route that we've never done before - he was such a good boy.  We were delighted to see a couple of deer in the distance with a baby fawn tucked into the long grass!  The route was about 3 miles long so a good practice for building up distance for the walk to Witheridge for St John's Fayre.

The good news is that we've managed to find a replacement insurer who will cover all our activities and the youngsters who come to help - it has pushed the cost up but it is a relief to have it all sorted!

Our thanks to Vistaprint this week (and to Margaret for persuading them!) as they've given us a discount on the cost of some new greetings cards that we've designed...hopefully they will be available on our stalls and website soon.

We are very pleased to say that Lulu is settled in her new home - we've had lots of lovely text message photos and I need to see if we can get them in email version so we can share them on the blog!

Nothing really to report from the Exmoor AGM - no discussion about any pony issues...just an awards ceremony really...and the wild ponies didn't seem to get any of those!

Our patron Neil Parish has been re-elected as MP, which is good news because he not only helps us with the equine issues we raise with our campaigning but he has an important role as chairperson of the APGAW (Animal Welfare) committee in Parliament.

Time is flying by...there's so much to do not only in terms of the work on the yard and with the ponies but with the admin things too!  Thanks to Ted and Roger, the hay field is now all prepared for our hay crop which will hopefully be ready for cutting in July...depending on the weather of course!!!

Thank you again to Margaret for her donation this week and to Charlie for the haynet he donated.

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Saturday, 2 May 2015

Pony Challenges...

We travelled down to Cornwall yesterday to visit this little pony - sadly another victim of the efforts of a very well known national "animal welfare" organisation..  Apparently it was chased by a group of male employees for 4 hours before they shot it with a tranquilliser gun - taking 5 dart shots to eventually knock her out.  Once they'd trimmed her feet, removed the ear tags, and done her teeth, they turned her out in a 2 acre field (with no stables or pen facilities) with a headcollar on and lunge line still attached!   The whole episode has left the pony even more traumatised than before they started!  The pony managed to get rid of the lunge line herself and the headcollar is now half on, half off...the welfare organisation's only advice now is to shoot it!  We've been told that since their visit the pony now tries to "kill" any men who enter the field - she is just so fearful.  The owner has asked if we can help - there are no stables onsite where the pony's been put so we're trying to come up with a plan to's so frustrating because this isn't the first time we've been asked for help to pick up the pieces - the organisation fails to see the damage they are causing.  They aren't prepared to admit that they are not skilled enough to deal with wild and traumatised the meantime they are causing more damage to these ponies than they'll probably ever realise.  The pony was suspicious of people before...and then all its fears were realised all over again, and now it doesn't want to come near people at all!

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Friday, 1 May 2015

May's Photo

May's photo is of handsome Gypsy Dan when he was a stallion in the herd field.  Look at his super mane and tail!  Dan has always been one of the more frightened ponies - him and Apache used to wind each other up with their high fear levels bouncing off each other when people were in close proximity.  Dan has come on so well - Cilla commented a long time ago that "With some of the traumatised ponies there has come a point in their rehabilitation where they no longer seem like unpredictable wild animals.  One day I would look at one and think ‘you’re just a little pony, aren’t you?’  With Apache and Gypsy Dan, that hasn’t happened yet.  They both retain a mystique, as if they hold something back.  They can’t bring themselves, yet, to let go and be ‘just little ponies’".  I think we can say that Dan has progressed to that level now - he only trusts people that he knows, but he's come a very long way...and even has his first ever rosette which he won in March!

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