Saturday, 10 March 2018

Surprise Visit!

Look who dropped by on his hack today...we had a surprise visit from Muddy and Tasha!  Oh my goodness he's looking extremely handsome and beautiful...and without a single trace of mud or being rained on at all - so smart!  He and Tasha make a great team together!  They've moved house and so live nearby now.
Munchie in particular was so pleased to see Muddy and they spent a long time sniffing and grooming and generally squealing and biting/licking eachother - they spent so much time together - buddies reunited - they are half brothers.  Bobby and Rocky made their way over too - not quite believing their eyes at who had appeared!  Tasha said she took Muddy to Chumleigh Horse Show last year and they won some of the in-hand classes including smartest pony - he does look very smart indeed!

Following on from our previous post, I also received an update today about Holly who was the fourth pony who went to Horseworld and she is also happily rehomed as a child's riding pony.

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Thursday, 8 March 2018

Goodbye Tinker

Puffin (left), Tinker (skewbald centre), and Woody (right)
I'm afraid we've had some really sad news - Tinker, one of the original P4P ponies has sadly been put to sleep this week.  Tinker was one of the 2004 foals (born 11th May) and was born to Bella - it's very likely Apache was his dad.

Tinker was born on a conservation site in West Devon and grew up there with his other foalie friend Puffin and the other P4P mares residing there.  That December, Tinker and Puffin came back to Horseford and here they grew up with other P4P foals born that year - Jaffa, Toast, Smarty Pants and Winnie. Cilla's diaries note that "These six foals spent the winter and spring 2004 - 2005 together, being handled daily and using the stables and pens, yard, garden and back yard and the little grassy bit through the bottom gate.  They were quite hilarious to watch and loved their 'out playtime', tearing about and, when the gate was open, leaping over the log that we kept below it. The pens at the top of the yard caught full sun, no wind; and they would all go back in and go to sleep together in the sun, often with their heads resting on each other's backs. They interacted with whichever adult ponies were in at the time. We gave them all sorts of things to play with and look at - washing on the line, rugs to walk on etc".

Foals investigating - Tinker nearest the camera
After being gelded in the spring of 2005, Tinker went to a foster home as companion for a bigger horse. Unfortunately in autumn 2006 he developed laminitis while he was there; he had to come back to Horseford for rehabilitation - which was successful but of course he would remain prone to this.

In the spring of 2007, Tinker was one of 4 ponies that went to Bristol Horseworld - he went there with Bella, Frosty and Holly.  Horseworld were hoping to benefit from the experience of rehabbing a wild, traumatised pony such as Frosty, Bella had already had her initial handling at P4P and could be caught in the field by people she knew, Holly had also had basic handling with Vanessa Bee, and Tinker was the fourth of the group to go to find a new home a little further up the country.

We know the staff at HorseWorld really loved Tinker - he had a wonderful temperament.  Sadly Tinker became very unwell recently and their vet advised that he should be put to sleep.

The staff say that Frosty and Bella are very happy in their loan homes, which is good to hear.

My clearest memory of Tinker being at Horseford was that if he was in the lower stable, he was too little to be able to see over the door so he had a special trick...He would rear up and put his hooves on the door so he could peek over to see what was going on!  Being little he would quite often be stabled in the pen in the yard instead so he had a good view all around.

It's always sad to lose a pony - run free little Tinker...Misty, Brenda, Gus and Mrs Brownhead (Tess) are over that "rainbow bridge" too.

Thank you so much to Cilla for looking through her diaries today to help me put together Tinker's story. 

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Tuesday, 6 March 2018

A Belated Start of March!

The snow provided quite a distraction from us posting March's calendar photo!  It seemed rather funny that the day this photo appeared on our walls, the actual weather outside couldn't have been more different - without even a hint of green in sight!  Things are returning to normal now - a few snow drifts still about but the roads are mostly clear.

This photo was taken by Cilla back in 2006 at the conservation patch where Eb and Apache live now.  On this occasion the excitement was caused by Basil and Muddy being reunited with their of whom sees to be Jaffa Cake...Cilla might be able to give us a clue as to the other mystery pony in the mix!  Pony action shots are wonderful - you can really see their spirit!

 looksattheflowers said...
The other pony is Ebony. This was 19th May 2006 - found it in my diary. Eb and JC were already there, saw us coming and were waiting to greet Basil and Muddy, and off they all went on a rapid tour, then back again a minute later with super accelerated bursts and high jinks!
8 March 2018 at 13:33
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Friday, 2 March 2018

Day 2 Of The Snow!

We certainly had plenty of snow as part of storm Emma yesterday and it's stayed pretty cold and arctic like today - with snow falling and strong winds.  There was also a layer of ice on the fallen snow which made it difficult to walk through - and very difficult to get the wheelbarrows through too!  The handles were all frozen up too so very chilly. 

Archie very bravely offered to come over and help today - he lives nearby and could walk over so his efforts were very much appreciated.  He opened the field gate for the ponies this morning and they were still keen to go out so we got some lovely photos!  With Archie's help we sorted out all the haynets for this evening and refilled all the water bowls again.  We worked out a good technique for moving the full wheelbarrows through the deep snow - a team effort with one person pulling it through and the other one pushing the barrow through.

It just amazes me how much ponies will chose to stay out in these condition - obviously they are very well adapted.  They have plenty of food on offer - both out and under the shelter, and they have free access to go in and out of the barn and stable as they wish...but I think it's the first time I've seen icicles on our ponies before!

Icicles on Star

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Thursday, 1 March 2018

Late Night Hay And Water Run...The Snow's Piling Up Out There!

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Red Weather Warning of Snow For Us!

Munchie at 15.50, as the red warning is in place - lots of snow already!
Somehow we've found ourselves in the middle of a red weather warning for snow!  It has been extremely cold outside and keeping the water accessible for the ponies is really quite a challenge as it freezes up so quickly.  Jenny's been helping by providing warm buckets of water from indoors.  As always, the ponies have plenty of hay, and they can go in the barn or stable for shelter, but ponies being ponies, they love to stand out in the weather!  It's been snowing most of the day but at 3pm it really escalated and it's been snowing heavily ever since!
Earlier in the afternoon

Keeping warm is so important - the wind chill is supposed to be -14 degrees Celsius - the ponies are OK - as long as they have food, their super fluffy coats keep them warm.  Alfie's got his thick natural coat and his "polar bear" snow paws.  For me it's 3 scarves, 3 pairs of trousers, 2 pairs of socks, 2 coats, 5 jumpers, a woolly hat, neoprene wellies and pair of waterproof gloves!    Then it's not cold at all!

The snow's blowing around a lot and it's very fine and powdery - more like icing sugar.  The red warning has only just started.  We bought Topsy a bag of meadowgrass chaff in preparation for the snow so she enjoying her extra feeds...whilst Star seems to prefer being out in the field.  The red warning is in place for a while yet!  I've brought the essentials indoors, including a shovel, just in case!
Topsy's extra snacks of meadowgrass

Munchie's photo even made it onto the BBCLocalLive blog on the BBC website this afternoon!

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