Thursday, 10 January 2013

Tom - an Exmoor Pony

Tom is a real character and one of our most popular ponies.

He was born in the summer of 2002 on Winsford Hill in the heart of Exmoor where he spent the first few months of his life living wild, until autumn when the herd was rounded up in the annual gathering and he was separated from his mother.

Along with his fellow foals, Tom was inspected to ensure he was a pure-bred Exmoor pony. He was then branded with a hot iron, giving him a unique identity. A star on his nearside shoulder indicates he is a true Exmoor. On his near hind rump is an anchor identifying him as a member of the Anchor Herd of Winsford Hill and under the anchor is his individual herd number, 300.

The Moor can only support a certain number of ponies and, unfortunately, there has long been little interest in purchasing moor-bred colts. Those, like Tom, not needed to graze the moor or to be kept as breeding stallions face an uncertain future.

Along with other unwanted foals, Tom found a home with the Moorland Mousie Trust.

Here, he was given lots of love and experienced handling before going to a foster home where he lived with two older ponies and learned new skills such as getting used to traffic and meeting lots of people.

When he was two years old, during a routine visit from the vet, it was discovered that Tom has a minor heart problem. It shouldn't cause him too much trouble but we'll be keeping a careful eye on it.

 After leaving his foster home and spent some time grazing in a conservation area until, at the age of four, he came back to the Moorland Mousie headquarters where he was taught to be a ridden pony.

Tom has a wonderfully kind and trusting nature and loves attention which makes him especially popular with schools and the residents of Minehead Care Home where he is a regular visitor. 

Tom is one of our ponies available for adoption at the Exmoor Pony Centre and always has a steady stream of admirers.

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