Sunday, 2 December 2018

December is Here...and Christmas Is Coming!

Those of you with your P4P calendars will have turned the page yesterday to find dear Apache - there's such a lovely light in this picture, taken by Jane and Claudia.  You can see his frosty breath too - it's such a cold morning there, we don't get too many of these hard frosts these days - mostly rain instead!!

The newsletters are already to send out so our supporters should be receiving their's in the next few days.  There's also a special feature about Apache, Ebony and Larry in there!  I've been working on the P4P online shop so that it is now possible to buy an wide selection of gifts for your Christmas shopping on the P4P website - and all the profits from everything you buy goes straight to the care of the ponies and our campaigning work.  There are gifts for children, as well as other popular items such as purses, shopping bags, jewellery...and if course our 2019 calendars...and pony sponsorship available.  To visit the shop, click the following link:

It's also such a help if people can remember to use Easyfundraising when they are making their Christmas purchases from online retailers.  It costs you nothing - it's just a quick click to go through Easyfundraising onto your retailer website and the retailer will donate a percentage of your purchase amount to the ponies.  Since we signed up to it, you have raised an amazing £864.69.  Sometimes the amount raised on a purchase might be very small but all those pennies here and there certainly do add up!  You can find the link to Easyfundraising here:

Some of our supporters have asked us about the option of donation herbs and supplies to the ponies again...and thanks to Catherine at Naturally Animals they have again agreed to help with this...

Thank you everyone for your support!  Munchie is particular is a big fan of Frankincense essential oil so that would be very much on his wish list!!

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Monday, 26 November 2018

Christmas Without Cruelty Festival

P4P stall just set up and ready to go at the Christmas Without Cruelty Festival
Saturday was a very busy day as we had two P4P stalls in progress during the day.  Margaret ran a stall in Witheridge in the morning and with the tombola and calendars etc and raised £106.80 for the ponies.  Meanwhile Faye was down in Exeter at the Christmas Without Cruelty Festival and with the help of Frances, we took £312.55 on the ponies' stall.  Funds that are very much needed so we are very grateful to all our supporters.

We will add some of our lovely items for sale to our website so that they will be available for our supporters to buy for Christmas..along with our 2019 calendars!

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Sunday, 18 November 2018

P4P Calendar 2019 Now Available To Purchase!

Thanks to the wonderful staff at Hedgerow Print, our 2019 calendars are now available to purchase...and they're available at the same price as our calendars last amazing is that?!

It's the same great quality glossy print...with the super grid section which includes separate colour coded weekends and bank holidays, moon cycles, and a snapshot for the following month so you can check out dates without needing to flip over the page! 

Each month features one of our ponies - this year's calendar features...Arthur, Rocky, Munchie, Puffin, Star, Breeze, Dan, Wolfie, Muddy (and his "Mum" Tasha), Babe, Topsy, Bisto, Bobby, Jaffa...and our volunteer Archie is there too. 

This year's calendar is available for £6.50 and all profits go to the care of our ponies.  

We'll be adding the calendars to the shop section of our main website tonight.  We can only accept card payments via PayPal, but we can also accept payment via cheque, cash or bank transfer - just get in touch if you'd like to to this....either by calling 07968 071179 (and leave a message if necessary) or email us at 

Calendar 2019 Options
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Saturday, 10 November 2018

Remembrance Sunday - Purple Poppies - and 100 Years Since the End of WW1

The traditional red poppy and the purple (animal remembrance) poppy
can be worn side-by-side
Tomorrow is Remembrance Sunday and with the centenary of the end of WW1, quite rightly there has been a huge focus on remembrance of the massive loss of life and reflection on the horrific and costly four years of war - for those in the military and for civilians from all walks of life.

I just wanted to take the opportunity to reflect a little on the huge sacrifice of animals in the conflict too - horses, mules, donkeys in particular...and also the other animals that the military used too - camels, oxen and pigeons...Dogs were used for sentry duty and casualty dogs were trained to find dying or wounded soldiers on the battle field - they carried medical equipment so a soldier could treat himself and they would stay with a dying soldier to keep him company.

The extent of loss and sacrifice is just staggering...and incomprehensible to think what humans and animals went through in those 4 years.

Remembering the Plight of the Horses, Mules and Donkeys:

  • By the end of the war the British Army had purchased 460,000 horses and mules from the British Isles and beyond - for riding, pulling guns or for transport.  
  • Around 120,000 horses were requisitioned from the civilian population.  Families wrote to the War Office asking for their beloved ponies to be spared, and the War Office did decide that no horse under 15 hands high would be recruited.  
  • More than 600,000 horses and mules were purchased and shipped from America and Canada.  Travelling by sea for these horses was extremely dangerous and thousands died through this journey alone - due to disease (especially pneumonia), shipwreck, injury caused by the rolling vessel or attack by the enemy.  In one year alone, 2,700 horses and mules died/drowned as a result of submarines and warships sinking their vessels.
  • Of the horses that died in WW1 75% died from disease and exhaustion.  Horses suffered greatly from cold, exhaustion, long marches, poor food.  They suffered from disease, fatigue, respiratory infection, lameness, mud-borne infections, gun shot wounds, exposure to gas, and shellshock.  Veterinary Officers were told to clip their horses which led to an increase in the number of horses dying from exposure to the cold and mud - the rule only being relaxed in 1918 so that the legs and stomach were clipped.  
  • Apparently British horses were fed the best diet - the German horses suffered from the naval blockade and had their feed supplemented with sawdust causing many to starve.
  • The Army Veterinary Corp managed to get 80% of the horses they treated back to the frontline.  Vets inspected army horses daily to try to prevent injury and disease.  Many wounded animals were destroyed on the spot but others were taken to special veterinary hospitals for treatment.  
  • Charities in the UK contributed by providing the first ever motorised horse ambulance, which revolutionised the care of sick and injured horses.  It was such a success at getting thousands of animals back from the front to the 18 field hospitals that the War Office requested 13 more vehicles from various charities.
  • Between 1914-1918 the British Army lost around 15% of its horses annually, compared to 80% lost each year during the Crimean War.  

(Facts gained from the data and information on this website National Army Museum - Army Horse Care in WW1 )

For those that survived the war only 25,000 horses were brought home to Britain.  60,000 were sold to farmers on the Continent.  The oldest and most worn out horses were sent to the Knackers yard for meat.  Some UK charities rescued some war horses from the Belgian horse markets and brought them back to the UK for retirement.

Such a sad end for so many after their endurance and we remember all those who lost their lives and who endured the war.

For me personally, I have only just learned recently that my great, great, great aunt was awarded an MBE for her work with the Red Cross in WW1 - for her work as quartermaster and then commandant of an auxilliary hospital where wounded servicemen were cared for.  Her work had been all but forgotten so I remember her now and her extraordinary achievement helping those in need of care.


Thank you Faye. Sobering facts, but the purple poppy movement seems to have hugely increased 'war animal' awareness. We will remember them.
Cilla and Paul

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Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Christmas Without Cruelty Festival 2018!

It's not long now until one of our favourite events of the year...the Christmas Without Cruelty Festival 2018 - 24th November at the Exeter Corn Exchange.  Lots of stalls from ethical traders and organisations that promote human, animal and environmental causes.

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Saturday, 3 November 2018

November + Pony Catch Up

Frosty ponies picture on the November 2018 calendar -
Rocky, Bobby, Dan, Wolfie, Frodo and Arthur
Time has been going so quickly - mostly because there have been 10 ponies here to look after and that number is really the absolute maximum limit to manage, particularly when poorly ones need extra looking after.  Thankfully Bisto has gone back to his "Mum" now - after a slight delay because their barn/stable became a casualty of the big storm the other week.

The weather has been very peculiar this year with the grass flushing in the autumn - no fences up for the spring but up for the autumn instead - very peculiar!  Apparently on Exmoor there have been lots of cases of grass staggers with horses - thankfully we've avoided that so far (fingers crossed)!  There's been lots of frosty mornings which we love - we have really missed those in previous years.  The grass is changing now so it won't be long before the ponies will be allowed onto their winter pasture.  The colour of the trees has been most spectacular - as Alfie demonstrates, posing next to the Liquid Amber tree.  Catherine and Victoria helped me to get the gateway mats down just in time so we have a rubber walkway to try to keep us on the move as the amount of mud increases!

During half term we had Archie and Caitlin help for a day, and then Henry and his Mum on a different occasion - and we finished the week with a stall at the Apple Fair in South Molton where we raised just over £150 for the ponies.  Margaret featured on Spotlight this week as Witheridge has it's spectacular church display of 5,000 poppies in the church in preparation for remembrance Sunday  - as such she had been knitting red and purple poppies to contribute to the numbers needed.  She kindly knitted some extra purple poppy brooches for us to sell at our South Molton stall - they are for remembrance of animals lost during conflict.  Amazingly we sold out so she is knitting more!

Archie and Bisto

Henry and Munchie

We were very pleased to hear an excellent report for the horse sale at Hallworthy market this year where standards have improved considerably - trading standards and Defra were present.  Animals without passports were not sold and handling was considerably improved.  Apparently taking photos and videos at the market has been banned by the auctioneer - obviously this is the preferred evidence for any investigating authority when there are problems so I will be taking this up with Trading Standards.

We have more stock on its way in preparation for our Christmas stalls...and very importantly the design for our 2019 People4ponies calendar is currently at the printers so we should be able to pick those up very soon - we've had people enquiring about our calendars and whether they can make purchases - we are a little delayed...but they will be ready for sale very, very soon!  Keep an eye on the blog for more news about when the calendars are ready for sale!

Dan and Bobby

Wolfie (the wrong side of the fence!) and Star

Topsy and Rocky

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Wednesday, 3 October 2018

It's October

I love this silhouette of two best friends together - Chester and P4P Basil - you can see how close these two are together - and one of the benefits of living on a hill is that they also have a lovely view!

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Thursday, 27 September 2018

Bisto and Lottie on Their Adventures

Bisto and Lottie and Becca have been bonding and learning to work together as a team. You can see in the photos how their confidence in each other is growing.  Bisto and Lottie love trotting so the rest of us are getting a good workout trying to keep up with them!! 

You can also see Bisto has been enjoying running around with his friends too!!

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Monday, 24 September 2018

Guess Who's Here?

A certain pony arrived here last Wednesday - back with the gang - we were hoping he was going to find a home with Tasha and Muddy but sadly it didn't quite work he's having a month here with our volunteer Lottie - her first ever full-on pony experience...

...And he's certainly had lots of super experiences in his last home with Jenny and Barnaby who are going to miss him very much!

If you haven't guess's Bisto!

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Belated September

It's a very belated September calendar blog here - sorry everyone!  It's been super busy here with everything ponies...there's been a month full of poorly volunteers and/or volunteers with poorly cars...combine this with study and consults time just flies so fast!  This month you've all had the gorgeous Wolfie to delight you - I love the light in this photo and how it brings out Wolfie's colours - all set against his mealy muzzle and eyes.  Wolfie is always a bit insecure but has a really lovely personality!  Munchie's been a bit poorly again so he's been trying out the Stream Z magnetic bands which do seem to be helping him. 

Last weekend we had a stall at an apple orchard open day and raised just over £52 for the ponies from sales on the tombola.

Autumn has certainly arrived - which brings much relief from the flies which were terrible throughout August..and the midges which Bobby will be very pleased about indeed!

We've also got a visitor here at the moment who arrived on Wednesday...more about that tomorrow!

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Tuesday, 7 August 2018


August is the last 2018 calendar photo of Wolfie and Breeze together - it was taken last summer - Breeze has had a few star appearances on the calendar this year and of course when I designed the calendar I had no idea that we'd lose him this year - so this is the last calendar tribute to Breeze for this year.

On Sunday, Archie and I went to Porlock Country Fair with our fundraising stall.   Thea had very kindly donated the stall fee for us which we are very grateful for!  The tombola and the jams and marmalades were as popular as ever and Archie's Mum had baked some cakes for us to sell...we raised £140.40 for the ponies.  Catherine and Victoria did a great job at the yard and seem to have finally cracked the barricading of the ponies out of the "new hay side" of the barn.  It was quite tricky this year as the bales were stacked closer to the wall than we should have...and Munchie and Arthur are experts at finding a way through our initial efforts!  Margaret did the pony dinners and got Archie home again as he was so tired!

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Friday, 27 July 2018

Chulmleigh Old Fair 2018!

Lottie and Caitlin with the Alden Gilson trophy and the envelope with their prize money!

Yesterday we had our fundraising stall at Chulmleigh Old Fair!  We had a big team effort this year!  This is the first time that Lottie, Caitlin and Becca had come to help on our stall.  Caitlin and Lottie have started volunteering for us recently.  Last Thursday they decided that they would make some decorations for the stall so they could enter the competition for the best stall in the market.  They worked really hard making ponies and rosettes, and special bunting to decorate the stall.  They wore riding hats and florescent jackets as part of the theme.  The judges were really impressed with their efforts and later on in the morning the town crier announced that People4Ponies won the Alden Gilson trophy for the best presented stall in the market!  Amazing effort and result for the girls!  Well done Caitlin and Lottie!  The girls are sharing the trophy between them...and they won a prize of £25...which they donated to the ponies...thank you girls! 

We also need to thank Archie for helping to get the stall loaded and set up and put away again at the end of the day, and to Archie's Mum who baked some cakes for us to sell.  Margaret was working at the yard yesterday and also did a lot of preparation work - organising the tombola and making jams and marmalades etc.  Ted and Jenny let us transport everything in their car as it was big enough to move everything we needed in one go.

Becca and the girls manned the stall so that Faye could go back to the yard to look after Rocky, who's been poorly, and to get the heavy yard work done.

The girls raised a total of £205 on the day for the ponies - such a brilliant effort - thank you so much to everyone!

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Monday, 9 July 2018


Munchie July 2017 - 7 months into his rehab
Apologies for being behind on the calendar photo for this month...but hopefully you have figured out that this month's star pony is Munchie (Munchkin).  He is the grown up foal of Ebony who is one of our sponsor ponies.  We've been on an educational journey with Munchie and his rehab.  He really helps to challenge the stereotypical views of what is defined as "Cushings".  When we found Munchie struggling at his loan home he was not getting any real turnout at all - no more than an hour a day all year around because of laminitis and the rest of the time just stood in a yard.  He was caught in a vicious cycle because the less he moved about, the worse he became, he had more laminitis... leading to pedal bone rotation...on top of that he wasn't being fed the recommended feed which was causing him more issues...combine all that with his multiple inherited weaknesses, it really was a perfect storm resulting in a health disaster.  His coat was thick, long, and curly with dried in sweat.  His loaners have owned horses for many years and were very upset that they couldn't "fix" him but these cases are never simple and if Catherine Edwards hadn't come to show us iridology at that time, I don't think Munchie would be alive now.  Even though symptom-wise everything about Munchie looked like a Cushings pony the vet tests had always come back negative for Cushings and the iridology agreed with this.

So far Munchie has already had a huge transformation.  Even by last summer (6 or 7 months in) he was back to the same turnout regime as all our other ponies - no laminitis.  In this photo he was 7 months into his rehab and there was still an awful lot to work on.  His iridology consult gave us a plan so we knew which areas needed the most support.  We spent a very long period detoxing his kidneys.  It took about 8 or 9 months or so to really get on top of that.  Then was the tricky part working on his liver and lymphatic system to release toxins but not too much at a time. 

Our special technique for approaching pedal bone rotation without invasive/remedial trimming is working brilliantly.  What Munchie has struggled with health-wise is when he has abscesses - when the old internal hoof tissue has to make way for the new.  Abscesses are a good thing...but for Munchie his lymphatic system was under great strain already, any abscess caused him to have a health "crash".  He'd become sole sensitive after the abscesses due to all the toxins he'd been processing.  As we've got his lymphatic system in better shape over the course of his rehab we've seen a marked improvement in the way his body is able to cope with these and remove the toxins much better.  Red Light therapy has helped this a lot....and after using the red light during his abscess episode (after first purchasing it), Munchie started growing new hoof capsules at a dramatic, even more improved angle and this "new" hoof is now 3/4 of the way down.

When I think of how poor Munchie struggled with his health and laminitis at his loan home, there is nothing better than seeing him like he is now - stomping around the yard and gravel, enjoying his days out in the field with the herd and back to being a super pony again.  We still have aspects to work on but he has his life back which is wonderful!

Without the iridology we wouldn't have had a clear route to follow or know which body systems needed the most support - that's why I'm studying iridology - it enabled us to have all our ponies laminitis free which is wonderful!

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Saturday, 30 June 2018

Thank You!

Thank you so much to Thea and everyone who attended her woodland workshop on Exmoor today!  Together they raised an amazing £140 for the ponies which we really appreciate so much!  Thank you everyone from the ponies and all of us!

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Friday, 29 June 2018

Memorial Service for Hazel-Ann Willson

Yesterday was the funeral and memorial service of Hazel-Ann Willson who had been a long term supporter of P4P.  Some of you who are signed up to Easyfundraising may have seen she was the top Easyfundraiser and raised considerably more than any of the rest of us through the course of her adventures!  Hazel-Ann and Graham also jointly sponsor the ponies.  It all seems very strange that she passed so quickly and at such a young age.  The photo above is one of Hazel-Ann and Ebony taken last winter and it was also used on her memorial service order of service.  The service was extremely well attended and really celebrated the full and varied life she lived.

It was also a busy day yesterday with Vicky helping in the morning and she was able to work with Rocky and then give Munchie a bath.  We were very grateful to Caitlin, Lottie and Becca who were on hand for the afternoon chores...and Lottie has purchased our super hand knitted pony jumper which was kindly donated a while ago - we've nearly sold it quite a few times but clearly it was waiting for Lottie to be it's perfect new owner!

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Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Haymaking Complete!

Yesterday we managed to complete our haymaking mission - with huge thanks to all our helpers - an army who turned out to help us!  A few days ago I worried it was just going to be me trying to get it in and I was so relieved to see so many people arrive!  Roger was able to rewe up for us and then came with his tractor, "flat 8" and extra big trailer.  Angela came from Cornwall to drive the little tractor and with the help of Jo we made a start on getting some bales in.  Then Roger arrived and we had a change of plan - the flat 8 was bringing bales in faster than we could process them!  We were so thankful to see our extra helpers arrive and as the evening went on we had an army of 22 people!  Jo, Angela, Pete and Jamie who came to help from the local village, Archie, Caitlin, Lottie, Becca, Richard, Catherine, Edward (who drove the big tractors for us), Victoria, Tasha, Orrie, Vicky, Jim, Roger, Ted (who also managed some extra tractoring), Margaret and Jenny working on refreshments, Henry watching from the sidelines, and myself.  It was so hot and this cut was one of the earliest ever.  The ground is so dusty and I had the worst hayfever with this crop - I'm still suffering with dust in the lungs now so I hope our helpers have recovered from all their hard work.

It was the first time we've ever had an "artist in residence" to capture the haymaking and Henry drew us some fantastic pictures of the job in progress.  Thank you very much to Jo for capturing the photos on her phone for us!

770 bales all stacked and safe in the barn! Phew!  Thank you to everyone from the ponies for all your help!  It's going to be the most delicious hay they've ever had!  Thanks especially to Ted and Jenny who donate all the hay for the ponies - such massive help to P4P!

Roger arrives with his tractor and the Flat 8

Henry - our artist for the evening impresses everyone with his drawings of the event
Henry's artwork

Offloading and stacking in the barn - there's a chain of people there in the shadows of the barn that you can't see.

The baler hard at work and the John Deere and trailer in the field

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