Monday, 29 June 2015

Arthur In The Sunshine

Look how shiny Arthur's becoming at the moment!  I remember telling him when he first arrived with us (very nearly a year go!) that Arthur is a name given to brave ponies... I was thinking about the legend of King Arthur (I couldn't think of any other Arthur's I knew at the time!!)......he was quite nervous back then and I wanted to focus on the feeling of bravery not fear...Now he might be going for the full knight in shining armour effect to follow on from his display of bravery at St John's Fayre last week!
Do you think Arthur's smiling in this photo??

Group photo!

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Wednesday, 24 June 2015

All Grown Up!

Between autumn 2011 and early 2012 we helped to rehome a herd of ponies from Dartmoor.  All the ponies were rehomed, but quite a lot of the foals needed to have some basic handling before they went to their homes at registered charities based all over the country.  You might remember this YouTube video we made about 4 foals who went to The Horse's Voice charity in Leicestershire:

Well the foals are all grown up and congratulations to George and Ozzie who were rehomed together at the weekend and  They've grown into such big boys!  Thank you to Pat and her team for all the hard work and care that they have given to the 4 foals.

At the weekend we also had an email from Roy at The Pit Pony Sanctuary to say they were on their way to see a potential foster home for the pony known as "Fearless" - she was such a confident foal right from when we first met her!  I expect she's quite a big girl now too!

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Monday, 22 June 2015

More St John's Fayre photos...

Thank you to everyone who has been sending through their St John's Fayre photos!  Here's a few to share...

Margaret manning the stall (Charlie in the background!)

Ponies towards the end of their time "meeting and greeting"
next to the stall.
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Saturday, 20 June 2015

St John's Fayre

I know there are more photos of today to come...but in the was finally the big day of St John's Fayre!!  It's such a big operation for us to get co-ordinated with 2 ponies, the parade and the fundraising stall.  The ponies have been in training since March!

We've all had such a busy and successful day.  The fundraising stall was busy all morning, particularly with the sale of tombola tickets and plants.  The ponies walked all the way to Witheridge (about 4 miles) and then took part in the parade.  Arthur was brilliant and was such a good boy for his first ever parade.  Then, after the parade they had a "meet and greet" area next to the stall.  People paid to feed the ponies slices of apple, which they (both the ponies and the people) absolutely loved!  Then it was time to walk the ponies home again whilst the stall was still in the last phase of the event.

We've raised our most ever amount for this annual event - £250.29!  Peter and Faie did a fantastic job, raising £30.54 in their donations bucket.

This was by far the biggest event we've done in recent years and we are very grateful to everyone who has helped and participated some of the many ways to mention - Peter for coming early to help with the mucking out and preparations this morning, Faie and all her family who helped so much in so many ways through the whole of today, Catherine and Victoria for helping with the walking of the ponies, Archie came to help with the parade and walking ponies home, Charlie and Margaret manned the stall all day, Jenny gave lifts to people and helped so much with the preparations too (newsletters, laminating, plants and Ted helping get donation buckets prepared etc), Margaret again for all the extra help with the preparations particularly over the last 3 weeks, Gill who also prepared plants and helped get the gazebo sorted for our stall this morning, Warwick and Sue for allowing us to leave all our pony snacks and supplies in our driveway, Terri for keeping all our workers supplied with tea, coffee and water at the event.  Paul and Cilla visited too and took more photos!    

The ponies went straight out in the field when we got back - galloping off, not seeming tired from their day at all...Rolling also was very high on the agenda and they were very quickly covered in mud least they stayed clean for about 21 hours, which were the important hours that we needed!!

Well done Arthur and Frodo, we are very proud of you!  And we're proud of your younger volunteers who all worked so hard for the ponies today....thank you again everyone!

And finally...thank you so much to the lovely lady who was selling pet beds at the fayre...she drove out to find the ponies walking on their way home to donate £20 of her takings for the day to the ponies - so incredibly generous of her, and we are very grateful to her!

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Friday, 19 June 2015

Frodo and Arthur Are Ready To Go!

Frodo and Arthur are all clean and ready for their adventure to St John's Fayre tomorrow!  Frodo's got a lightweight rug on tonight in an effort to keep him clean.  Arthur ended up having two baths...he was sparkling clean after the first bath (looking quite like a cavalry pony being all black) ...and then he went and rolled in an extra-ordinary amount of mud!  So a second bath happened after Frodo was clean and then they were both kept away from the mud patch!

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Monday, 15 June 2015

Just 4 Days To Go...

 ...To prepare for St John's Fayre!  There's so much to do to get everything together but it's all heading in the right direction.  It's such a big fundraiser to prepare for...there's all the stock to prepare, the stall to put together and set up, the volunteers and helpers to co-ordinate (all 10 of us doing different jobs!), the banners and flags to put together...

...The ponies have been in training for a while - both for walking the 8 mile distance...and for training to be in the actual parade itself...and then of course on Friday both the ponies will have to have a bath before their big day!  Arthur's very excited as we've told him he's going to a big Horse Agility competition...hopefully that's just what he'll'll be quite like that with all the flags, banners, majorettes, tractors, motorbikes, vehicles and stiltwalkers! The yard is decorated with bunting at the moment so that the ponies will be used to it by the weekend!  Arthur's already tried eating it - why else would it be hanging in the yard???...Thankfully he decided it wasn't tasty at all...

Frodo at St John's Fayre in 2014

Thank you to Margaret who has been organising areas in Witheridge for us to leave pony snacks (hay etc) so we don't have to carry it...and organising where we'll be able to have our pony pen on the day!

We're really looking forward to Saturday - come and visit us and the ponies on our stall along the main street in Witheridge! The parade starts at 11.15.

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Thursday, 11 June 2015


There seem to be an extraordinary number of buttercups this year - they're no good for ponies to eat so they just concentrate on grazing the grass and other plants around's still really quite chilly in the evenings...quite surprising for June!

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Sunday, 7 June 2015

Can Anyone Offer "Pink" A Home?

Can anyone offer a loving loan home to "Pink"?  This is a private loan agreement (she isn't on People4ponies' books) but she's looking for a lovely natural horsemanship home and we offered to post her on here to help her owner...more details below...

Name: Pink
Age: 15
Height: 15.1hh
Gender:  Mare
Breed: TB
Suitability: Seeking a loving home for natural horsemanship groundwork/ agility, or light hacking.
Health: Very good, very tough for a TB! Prefers to be out, but happy to be in a bit too.
Pink's owner says she "Has been with me for 7 years. I‘ve known her for 10 years. Advertised through no fault of her own. Totally adored, sweet natured and affectionate mare. MUST find  a home by September, even if a loan home for the next 12 months".


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Saturday, 6 June 2015

Early June

Time is just flying by at the moment! The ponies are well into being on their different regimes - 6 ponies on 4 different plans depending on their grass intake and training (if they are taking part in St John's Fayre). Athur and Frodo had a practise run today to see how they are doing - just about half way of the distance that will be required. The ponies did really's Peter who needs to be in training as he's the one who's flagging at the moment. The question is...will he be able to keep up with Frodo, or will Frodo out perform him on the distance??!

It's still quite chilly at times so the ponies don't feel quite happy to completely shed their coats yet - we can see all the super shiny coats ready but it's just not consistently warm enough yet!  You can probably just about see in the photos that they are all at different stages.

We have a sea of buttercups, very pretty but not delicious for ponies! Docks have been strimmed where-ever I can find them (to make sure they don't go to seed and produce millions of them)! Lots of silaging going on around us but obviously it should be a little while before we make hay yet. The ponies have only just started eating the hay that we made last year - and it is very delicious! There's still quite a bit to organise before St John's Fayre but we are getting there!

We visited Lulu, Harriet and Tracey during half term week - Lulu's been really busy and Harriet is clearly very proud of her pony and delighted to have her back again :0)

On a separate note...I was astonished to hear on the news yesterday that 94% of lorries coming into the UK are unchecked - that is for "illegal migration/transportation" of people...with almost no checks at the ports it just makes me wonder the true scale of the illegal animal transporting if the figures are that bad for human statistics!

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Monday, 1 June 2015

June's Photo

I hope that everyone's enjoyed turning over their calendars today to reveal beautiful Topsy.  She's such a special girl...and proof that just because you might be a bit older, it doesn't mean to say you should be written off.  Topsy had been written off twice by a national animal welfare organisation...twice she was on their list to be shot...but thankfully she won the hearts of people along the way who fought for Topsy and her best friend Tufty.

Topsy has the sweetest nature and is so gentle.  She is also one of the most traumatised ponies we've come across.  When she first came to us she had trauma triggers in lots of places - multiple areas of her face/nose, on her right side and on her left shoulder.  She was so frightened of ropes.  She wouldn't even take any food from the hand - someone had tried to trick her with this is the past.  She has a big notch in her left ear and she has a brand mark on her saddle area.  She was originally seized from Bodmin Moor for welfare reasons because she was severely emaciated...but none of the mutilation marks she endured was considered proof of ownership by the her owner was never prosecuted for neglect!   That was about 17 years ago so nothing has changed in that respect!

Despite all these difficulties and having been unhandleable and considered impossible all her life, here is Topsy with one of her Horse Agility rosettes - I think she's competed in two competitions - she won sixth in her starter class in a course of 12.  She's into her mid 30s, so is retired really!  She enjoys her time wandering about the grassiest areas of the farm and garden, helping keep the grass down in special areas where the other ponies aren't allowed into.  She's lost a bit of her eyesight in her right eye now but it doesn't seem to bother her - we just take that into account when we're interacting with her and asking her to do things.

Everyone says how beautiful Topsy is...she is one of our sponsor ponies but for some reason she only has one sponsor so far...if you'd like to sponsor this very special pony for £2.50 a month (which helps towards her herbs and arthritis supplements), please do get in touch!

Tufty on the left and Topsy on the right
Topsy and her best friend Tufty (who was
also in her mid 30s and died in 2013).  

Tufty by the following February
Tufty when she arrived in the autumn 2012

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