Tuesday, 22 May 2018

May Calendar + Update

Somewhat later than we usually post our calendar photos, those of you with your P4P calendars will have had the lovely picture of Topsy and Star one your walls for May.  These two older girls teamed up last year after Star came back from conservation grazing and they love hanging out together.  It's a bit tricky at the moment as Star is a much more efficient eater than Topsy and, even with the snow, Star came through the winter with more weight than I'd like.  Topsy needs the extra calories and grasses so for the moment we have to compromise and they are in the same field but separated by a fence - Wolfie is with Star. 

There has been so much work to catch up on.  We're so grateful that the long awaited sunshine has arrived and stayed with us.  The mud has dried up so we've managed to roll the fields.  We had a nightmare with the electric fencing not working as it should be (with Frodo taking full opportunity to display his electric fence bulldozing skills)... This turned out to be a very obscure problem where some stock fencing in an adjoining field had been replaced and had been re-fitted touching part of a switch - that shorted it out the whole circuit - it took a good few hours to narrow that one down!

Faye's been working on more assignments and case studies, and we received a letter from Michael Gove MP commending us for our excellent work regarding the ponies on Bodmin Moor which has been very much appreciated by Defra...so that's an achievement...will write more about that in our next newsletter.

Munchie's coat is very shiny already!  Just a bit of winter coat left to shed

Topsy's got lots of grass to work her way through!
Wolfie earlier this month
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Friday, 4 May 2018

Goodbye Breeze

It is with great sadness that I have to pay tribute to Breeze who had to be put to sleep on Tuesday afternoon.

Breeze was one of the original P4P herd ponies - a youngster who had no mum with him but was part of the large herd of ponies to be rescued.  Cilla says they called him the "Muddy lookalike" - 2 similar looking young ponies who had sadly lost their Mum's at some point.   

Breeze had structural issues from before the time P4P knew him.  He wasn't frightened of people because he hadn't had anything bad happen to him, he was just unhandled.  His structural issues meant he would never be suitable as a riding pony but he could be a companion. He was on loan near Chulmleigh for a long time where he was part of the family.  When he couldn't stay there any longer he came to Ted and Jenny for a period before he started his career as one of our best conservation grazers.  He was brilliant because he was usually the most handleable pony we had on a site and so he could be caught up and led to a handling area and the other ponies would follow him.  I have so many lovely photos of him - such a proud pony who certainly loved his food.  He was also very sociable, and reassuring to other ponies.

As my previous blog explained, he became ill early in April - he was poisoned by something which he ingested - we may never be able to establish precisely what the original toxin was.  He had been responding so well to the support we'd been giving him.  We'd been journeying to West Devon and back nearly every day on top of doing the yard work.  His health declined and so we decided to bring him and Wolfie back home whilst he was still well enough to travel.  Once back and on our different pastures we saw improvement each day and we really thought we'd turned a corner with so many changes for the positive.  Unfortunately on Tuesday his health crashed - he was so poorly.  Our lovely vet came out and ran more blood tests - sadly Breeze's condition was not recoverable.  Liver and kidneys had been supported OK, there was no temperature/infection but the toxin wasn't beatable.  He'd fought so hard, and so had we with him, but you can only work with as much as nature and the body is able to give you...and this time we lost the battle.  

The vet and I were able to give him a very peaceful and dignified end.  No more pain now...

...The loses are never easy to bear.

Thank you so much to Margaret, Paul, Bill Lomas, Vanessa, Catherine Edwards and our lovely vet.

We're now making sure that Wolfie is OK and seeing whether he is in need of any special health support.  I know the loan family who had them as conservation grazers will miss them very much.

Run Free lovely Mr Breeze...  

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