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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