Saturday, 27 February 2016

Puffin's Adventure

Here's Puffin with Faie just back from a walk down the lane - a little practice for his adventure next week when he'll need to walk down to the nature reserve site.  He was such a good boy and didn't mind being out on his own and away from the others at all.  He's only been with us a couple of days and he has lots of fans already - he has such a sweet nature and is very affectionate - he loves having kisses on the nose!

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Thursday, 25 February 2016

Puffin Arrives

Today Puffin has arrived back with us - he's one of the original herd and was one of Misty's foals.  He's come back to us because his donkey companion died very unexpectedly - it was a real shock to everyone and Beth the donkey will be very much missed.  Puffin has been very much loved at his loan home and we can't thank his fosterers enough - he's had a wonderful home for 10 years.

Thank you so much to our friends Vanessa and Philip who were able to borrow a trailer (and thank you to Lisa for letting us borrow it!) and help us with the loading and transport to bring Puffin back to the yard.  It was quite amusing on arrival...Puffin nervously wanting to come out of the trailer as the ramp comes down and Frodo eager to get straight into the trailer - he loves getting into places to investigate them and look for any morsels of food Puffin might have left behind!  Puffin spent a lot of time with Frodo when he was growing up and this afternoon they were very happy in being in each other's company again.  Puffin already knows Bobby, Dan and Rocky too which helped him to have a super quick integration into the group this afternoon and he had a good run around in the field.

Puffin is going to be staying with us for a week and then will be heading out to one of our nature reserve sites - what a lucky pony!  He's got a bit of weight to lose but he'll be quite busy with the steep hills once he gets to his new home!

Puffin investigating willow branches

Puffin meeting Rocky - they are almost certainly brothers!

Puffin and Babe

Dan taking Puffin on a tour of the field

Lots of friends in the yard!
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Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Babe - Day 12

So it was day 12 of rehab for Babe above...we've had 3 days of drizzly rain, and the mud is more soup like than ever before, so we are very glad to hear that we are about to have 2 or 3 sunny days...very much appreciated.  She is starting to stand much more squarely now with her feet/legs  - you can see that she's much more even when she's standing.  Much better support on her right fore in particular and all the hooves are changing in shape and improving every day.  She still needs to strengthen the soles of her feet but she really has made extraordinary progress in the time she's spent with us already.  There's a photo below from when she first arrived for a comparison!

This week we were doing worm counts (thanks to Verm-X for our vouchers) on all the ponies to see if we needed to do spring worming  and we were delighted to find they are scoring 0 epg or low counts of c,100 epg, even Topsy our older girl had a low count so that was a really good achievement for everyone!

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Thursday, 18 February 2016

Who's Been Rolling In The Mud??

As you can tell, today was Babe's first time out in the field...and she certainly enjoyed some good rolling!  I think it's been a while since she's been allowed out so it was really nice to see her out and about and enjoying being a proper pony.  Might be a while before she's clean again...I wonder if Frodo has been giving her mud camouflage advice?!!  

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Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Herd Integration

Babe is now being integrated into the herd which is much nicer for her.  Frodo should have a medal because he's done such a good job of looking after Babe and has been a very willing companion for her whilst she's getting used to everyone and everything!

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Sunday, 14 February 2016

Settling In

Babe has been settling in and getting to know everyone.  She's a friendly girl and isn't afraid of people but she is still "into pressure" and has to learn our ways and rules of interaction.  She's had time with Frodo, Arthur, Topsy and Bobby in her area and today she had some more of the yard to explore.  She has pedal bone rotation in the front and rear feet and the pea gravel in particular is a really good surface for her - it's comfortable for her and it helps to wear her feet down at her own pace.  Yesterday she had a boot on her front foot to make it more comfortable and today she walking much more positively.  She's had a good start the last few days...just a couple more ponies for her to meet "in person", rather than just over the fence...

...You can start to see her feet changing shape already as the photos below show - they are not taken from the same angle but you can see the improvement, particularly if you look at her right hind.  Amazing how quickly they is day 4...

On arrival

Day 4

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Thursday, 11 February 2016

Babe Arrives

The welcoming committee!

Just off the trailer - quite a big girl (well, for us anyway!)

Checking out the hay from the back of the trailer

Late yesterday afternoon, Babe, a New Forest pony, safely arrived at the yard after travelling down from Oxfordshire.  She's come to us for hoof rehab - she's been a conservation pony for a long time now but became poorly before Christmas.  She had an abscess which a vet cut away the hoof to get to...followed by laminitis (triggered by drugs), followed by pedal bone rotation.  Recommended trimming made her even more sore.  Unfortunately all of this has meant that the conservation group had to come to the decision that Babe is no longer suitable to be on the reserves, so as soon as she was able to travel she's come to us for some barefoot rehab.  Ponies with conditions such as Babe are often "put to sleep" so we're really her last and best chance of getting well again and we'll do our best to help her.  The conservation group have been committed to finding the best outcome for Babe and have paid for her transport and for staff to travel down and stay with her for a couple of days.  She is now going to be owned by Nicole, who Babe already knows well, and who will be learning and taking part in her rehab...and the long term aim is to get Babe well again and for her to have a positive future...but we just need to take her rehab one day at a time for the moment...

We've set up the yard with lots of different surfaces for Babe, and Frodo's been in the front yard with her today keeping her company.  We need to thank the ladies at Naturally Animals again for donating herbs and tonics especially for Babe and helping with her recovery.

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Wednesday, 10 February 2016

New Arrivals

Jenny's had some new arrivals this week - 10 hens and a handsome cockerel who needed a new home - they are settling in to their huge 5* chicken house and in a week and a half they should be able to go out on the farm...mind you they'd probably prefer to do that without the 70mph winds and the hail storms we've had in the last couple of days!

If all's going well we should have a new arrival on our own on their way to us, journeying down the M4/M5 as I write this post...

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Wednesday, 3 February 2016

...So You're Wild Then?

When the hedgehog arrived it really struck me how different the standards and experiences are for animals we describe as "wild".  Gill was clever enough to draw a picture which could be turned into a cartoon!  Somehow hedgehogs seem to have a much better deal...I suppose this is because they are without humans intent on making some sort of profit!


Anonymous Cilla said...

That's brilliant Gill! and so nice that Little Hedgehog's time with p4p had such an impact.
4 February 2016 at 17:34

 Blogger Vanessa Bee said...

That's a very lucky hedge pig! 

6 February 2016 at 10:36

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Tuesday, 2 February 2016


February brings a photo of Mr Bisto who is currently on loan (thanks to Rachel; and Jane Schofield!) to Barnaby and Jenny who kindly allowed us to use this photo in the calendar!

Bisto was one of the first ponies at Horseford Farm in the very early days of the p4p project.  His Mum, Girlie, was one of the original wild herd ponies - she had caught their attention in the herd field because she was heavily pregnant but, worryingly, was in extremely poor condition.  Very concerned for her, Paul and Cilla managed to bring her back to the farm.  The vet wasn't sure if Girlie would make it or not, but he was keen to try to save Girlie and the soon to be foal.  No sooner had all that happened, that Girlie gave birth to Bisto, a tiny but perfectly formed foal.  I've managed to find some photos from 2003 of the young Bisto.  Very cute!  Cilla sad that they all said "Ahhh!" when they first saw Girlie's foal and that's why he was called Bisto!

My how he's grown!!
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Monday, 1 February 2016

Goodbye Little Hedgehog

(Left - little hedgehog when she arrived, middle and right, little hedgehog during her rehab)

Very sadly we have to report that yesterday Little Hedgehog died in her sleep during hibernation...such a shame as she'd beaten all the infections and looked so well and been eating healthily before her first and second sessions hibernating.  So sad to find her's been suggested that her heart might have been weakened from her illness as she was likely ill for quite a long time before coming to find us.  As lots of people have said to us, "You can't win them all"...but as you know we try extremely hard for our animals to give them the best care possible and the best chance of can't help but get attached as you get to know them and their personalities and share their highs and lows and make everything better/OK for them.  She was such a brave little soul and very determined...goodbye Little Hedgehog.


Blogger Vanessa Bee said...
But you gave her great life while she was with you, in this weather it would have been such a miserable death outside.
6 February 2016 at 10:38

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