Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Thank You!

Thank you very much to Rachel Boase who came to visit us today...Wolfie was lucky enough to have a cranio-sacral treatment and we really appreciate Rachel's expertise in helping to make him a bit more comfortable.  He's had a poorly leg this week - not that it stopped him being first in a galloping herd of ponies heading out or back from the field...or play fighting and rearing up at Arthur and Dan!!

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Sunday, 27 November 2016

Simple Measures

This week has gone by so fast!  Thank you to everyone for helping to promote the results of our Bodmin research which were covered by Pirate FM and the Western Morning News...calling for there to be compulsory winter feeding of ponies by owners, provision of minerals all year around, and clean water supplies (with toxic ones fenced off)...all simple measures which should be provided under the Animal Welfare Act.

Thank you to Thea for donating the stall space for us yesterday at Wellington school where the tombola was popular with the children!  And thank you again to Catherine and Victoria for ponysitting for the day!
Our beautiful 36 year old!
The ponies are enjoying the full extent of their winter pasture now - Topsy stays on her lusher pasture but fancied an expedition into the main pony field to find just the perfect spot to roll in!

Oscar had his anniversary this week - 2 years since he arrived from the Dog's he had a selection of tasty treats to celebrate!  Happy Anniversary Oscar!

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Monday, 21 November 2016

Bodmin Moor Ponies on BBC Breakfast

Today we were on Bodmin Moor to film with BBC Breakfast television who wanted to cover the story of the ponies on Bodmin Moor and the number of annual pony deaths there...The weather was absolutely torrential and Bodmin looked as bleak as ever.

I was really shocked at the lack of grazing in some areas today, as shown in the photo above - the ponies have to overwinter on this for the next 5 months and there is already very little to eat.  Just down the road from here in a field was a big, red, bull with a ring in his nose, leaning over a barbed wire fence desparate to eat the grass on the verge the other side - as I drove by I could see the 2 strands of barbed wire he was leaning over pressed hard against his chest - he was desparate to reach the grass...

...We have been told there are currently no plans for supplementary feeding to be provided for the Bodmin ponies this winter and so our message to the media and authorities is key for this year - there needs to be compulsory supplementation of hay by owners, mineral provision all year around, and safe water sources provided (with toxic supplies fenced off).  Without this there will be more deaths of ponies this winter.

Between March and June 2016, the People4ponies blog highlighted to the media and the public the ongoing situation on East Moor where 23 ponies died and at least 42 ponies were seized in emaciated condition (see the link to the left of this posting). Large scale problems have taken place on East Moor for many years. During 2016 offers of hay drops for the ponies on East Moor were rejected by the authorities. It is time action is taken to prevent these annual problems rather than only trying to act once there are animals in severely emaciated condition.   

It is great the media have highlighted the plight of the ponies, that the Commoners' Council has been formed, and that there have been efforts to start microchipping ponies...but unless changes in management are made regarding feeding, the same problems that have existed for so many years will persist.

The Animal Welfare Act 2006 states that animals must be provided with a suitable environment, suitable diet, and be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.  It is very important that provision of food comes from owners and/or from the Commoners' Council and the authorities. The animals are owned and should NOT be fed by the public. This can cause fighting between animals, cause the ponies to approach cars making them susceptible to road traffic accidents, and horses are susceptible to colic from eating the wrong foods.

 At the beginning of 2016, People4ponies decided to undertake a ground-breaking research project into the causes of the large scale, annual, equine welfare problems on Bodmin Moor.  The results of the scientific testing on 2 Bodmin Commons have been published on the People4ponies website and can be found on the following link:
The results revealed huge deficiencies of minerals on East Moor and a combination of factors contributing to starvation.

At Minions/Caradon Hill, the results revealed heavy metal toxicity (including arsenic) onsite, ponies with bioaccumulation of heavy metals/toxic elements, and pasture deficient 6 out of 7 minerals (unable to provide even a minimum daily recommendation levels for breeding and non-breeding animals). As the ponies are "farmed" animals there is potential for toxicity to be passed into the human food chain, or into consuming animals.

This research has the potential to end the welfare problems on Bodmin Moor...and we need your help to make this happen! We would like to ask our supporters and the public to spread the word on social media about this research and to seek assurances from the Bodmin Commoners' Council, Defra, MPs Scott Mann (East Moor) and Sheryll Murray (Minions), and the big charities which have been involved on East Moor and Bodmin that the ponies are fed this winter, that clean water supplies are provided for livestock at Minions/Caradon and the dangerous water sources are sectioned off. If hay is sourced from areas away from Bodmin the better mineral content would benefit the ponies.

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Sunday, 20 November 2016

Christmas Without Cruelty Festival

We had a fantastic day at the Christmas Without Cruelty Festival yesterday - thank you so much to everyone who came to support us and the other stalls - such a brilliant turnout - and to the organisers for all their hard work to make the event happen...

...We were able to promote our Bodmin research, and set the record straight about what is happening on Dartmoor (lots of people had questions after having seen some rather clever marketing on TV this week which didn't quite tell the whole story and focus of what is happening on the moor!).  It was lovely to see Thea, Julie, and Diane who came to lend a hand and brought some apples for the ponies too!

Thanks to all your support, we raised an amazing £334.70 on our stall...thank you so much everyone!!!!

Thanks also go to Catherine and Victoria who were ponysitting for us.  Driving home last night storm Angus was taking hold...what terrible weather...calmer today...looks like there'll be another big storm tomorrow...

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Saturday, 19 November 2016

First Snow Of The Winter!

Today we were greeted by the first snow of the season!  Quite early for the winter too!  It turned to rain later but Exmoor continued to have snow all day.

We've got quite a lot of blogging to catch up on so we'll attempt to start that over the weekend.  Thanks this week to Roger who helped to track down the location of a water leak - the big digger was on the yard for a couple of days and the ponies coped with it really well. Thank you also to Archie who helped Margaret at the yard this afternoon!

In the meantime, we're looking forward to seeing everyone at the Christmas Without Cruelty Festival tomorrow!!

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Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Puffin's Family Visit

Puffin's family went out to visit him and his friends last weekend and were kind enough to share some of their wonderful pictures with us!

Clearly Puffin's been determined to eat well for the winter!
The ponies here usually return to a good sized wasitline by February!  Good
job he's got those steep hills to keep him fit!!

Breeze - he and Puffin are best friends!

Spot the ponies!

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Saturday, 12 November 2016

Babe Follow Up

We were back to see Babe today just to go through all her feed and herbs...nice for Roy to come and see her at her new home too :0)
Basil the dog and Babe

Jaffa getting to try some self-selection!
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Friday, 11 November 2016

Babe's New Home

Babe on arrival in February was Babe's big day to move to her new home with Frances, Maisie and Jaffa! It was nine months ago yesterday that Babe actually arrived with us (photos above!) - she was such a poorly girl with very poorly feet - pedal bone rotation in all four.  At that time we didn't know that she could definitely be rehabbed. but we would try our best for her.  All we knew was that we hadn't seen the conventional treatment work and be successful, so we had to try something else....and it worked :0)  Thank you so much again to the ladies at Naturally Animals for all the herbs they donated for Babe's rehabilitation!  Paul came over yesterday to give her toes a last tidy up - she's just on the very last part of her old hoof capsule as you'll see on the photos below.

The horse trailer that was available for hire was brand new (fit for a queen!) but wasn't quite the design we'd expected.  Normally we remove the centre partition so they can travel loose in a bigger area...but on this occasion the "groom's door" didn't have a lock on it so it would be a risk for travelling in the preferred manner.  Instead Babe had to have a horse agility training experience to get her used to the small partitioned area to travel in - all went well, building up the different elements.  As usual we always learn something new along the way!

On her arrival at Frances', Babe was keen to investigate and it was almost like she'd been there forever.  She was so comfortable with her surroundings.  Maisie, the wonderful matriach, made her position clear from the start...and Jaffa was so excited to have another friend.  He's already decided that Babe is HIS girlfriend!

Nicole and Babe on arrival - on the path from the trailer to the pony paddock

First taste of the new grass (and some leaves!)

New friends spotted in the stables! Babe obviously travelled with her bottom against the trailer to stabilise herself - hence the ruffed up top of her tail - it was beautifully groomed by Martin before she left!! 

Good photo to compare her standing stance from when she arrived in February!

Saying "Hi" to Maisie

Hello's with Jaffa!

Jaffa and Babe!

The trio getting down to the important pony business!

Front right foot November
For hoof fanatics here's a couple of photos to show how Babe's feet have improved...and she is sound on all surfaces including stones/cobbles.
Front right foot March

Front right foot November (side)
Back right hoof

Thank you so much to Frances for giving Babe a home!  It's always strange at the yard to have one gone - part of the family that has had all that special attention!  We are delighted though - her new family are the perfect match!  Here are some of our favourite Babe photos from her time with us!

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Thursday, 10 November 2016

Well Done!

Well done everyone!!!  Your Easyfundraising efforts have surpassed the £500 mark!!  The grand total is now £501.47...thank you everyone from all the ponies!!

...It's a big day tomorrow as Babe is moving to her new home...such an amazing journey for this girl, and so lucky...she has a really wonderful home to go to...

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Friday, 4 November 2016

Some Animals Are Luckier Than Others!

Seemed right to post this again - thank you Gill for her wonderful drawings...

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Tuesday, 1 November 2016


On your calendars for November are Bobby and Dan - super fluffy which is a big feature of our wonderful native ponies - their coats are amazing and keep them warm in the winter.  The design even encourages the water to run off, keeping their underbelly dry...and that combined with super multi-layers of insulating, woolly coat means they are very well adapted for managing in the rain and snow.

They always get "portly" at this time of year - no more summer restriction and going onto the winter pasture is always a favourite time of year for them!  They'll lose all that extra weight during the winter.

As we're coming up towards Christmas...we'd like to encourage everyone to remember to use Easyfundraising when buying your Christmas shopping online!!  The ponies can get donations from retailers (big supermarkets, Amazon, Ebay + lots more!) when you shop online and it costs you nothing!   It's very easy to use and most of the big retailers now take part.  We're approaching the £500 mark in donations since we started using Easyfundraising (well done everyone!), so Christmas is a good opportunity for us to break this barrier!!  To use Easyfundraising, please go to the following link...

We're really looking forward to the Chrismas Without Cruelty Festival at the Corn Exchange in Exeter later this month!  It's the 10th anniversary of this event and it's a super day out - lots of stalls from organisations working against cruelty towards people and animals....another chance for doing your Christmas shopping!  It's free entry and there are free gifts for the first 250 entrants!

Thank you everyone too for your 2017 calendar purchases - they're proving to be so popular!  We now only have 25 copies left so please do get in touch if you'd like to secure your copy/copies!

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