The Moorland Mousie Trust has been attending the interactive feature at HOYS since 2007 as a joint effort by both the Exmoor MMT and the Northern MMT based in Northumberland.
We take an Exmoor pony up to the NEC in Birmingham the night before the first day of the show and, for the last three years, we have taken Cadbury who did a fantastic job.
At the show, the pony is stabled outside each night and then enters the indoor stabling area during the day where the public can meet him and learn more about the Exmoor breed and the work of the Charity.
The pony is supervised by volunteers and staff who chat to the public at a stand opposite the stable. It is a great environment - very busy but lots of fun - and getting to see the odd equestrian celeb helps keep the motivation going! We always come back with grand aspirations of teaching the ponies new tricks or training them to jump puisance!
This year the pony we are taking is Almond.
Almond is a five year old gelding
and one of the friendliest ponies you could ever meet. He was purchased by the
trust in 2007 when he was a weanling colt at Brendon Sale. He has always been a
softie and was straightforward to train thanks to the positive and trusting methods
used by Linzi and the rest of our staff. He is now enjoying life as a riding pony at the Exmoor Pony Centre.
However, for the next few weeks, during the run-up to HOYS, he will be living with Linzi in Barnstaple so that he can get in a little bit more exercise and (hopefully!) arrive at the Show fit and slim. Fingers crossed!
Next month we'll have an update and let you know how he got on.