Friday, 17 February 2012

Barney Goes Back to School

Barney, the tiny terror who has been resident at the Centre for most of his 6 years, has temporarily moved home.

He is affectionately known as the ASBO pony after he well and truly blotted his copybook when he spat out the polo mint  given him by HRH the Duchess of Cornwall when she visited the Centre last year.

Barney has gone to live with Linzi where he will undergo some intensive training in an effort to improve his behaviour.

We hope he will then be able to go and live with a family who can keep him busy and interested with lots of different activities. He has been involved in so much since the Centre opened its doors to him that he gets bored if left to his own devices - and then he gets up to mischief.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Conservation Grazing on the Quantocks

Meet Conker, Connor, Tiddles, Jim Bowie, Blackfoot and Cody.

Many of our ponies are used for conservation grazing. For several years these ponies have been living on Lydeard Hill, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the Quantocks, doing a fabulous job keeping the scrub down. They trample the bracken and gorse which is threatening to over-run the moor, and they eat the rough vegetation including gorse and heather shoots.

Tiddles has a damaged eye and only limited vision but, despite that, he is happy and healthy and, along with Conker, the oldest, is probably the most friendly of this bunch.

Both Tiddles and Connor spent some time with a local fosterer who still keeps an eye on them all.

Jim, Blackfoot and Cody all arrived at the pony Pony Centre in 2009 and are from the year when all the ponies were named with a cowboys and Indians theme. Jim and Blackfoot are well handled and we thought they would set a good example for Cody who was much more nervous.

They all enjoy watching the many public users of Lydeard Hill, especially those walking their dogs or taking in the beautiful views. They are not afraid of people but it is important they are not approached and vital they are not fed treats.

We hope that Exmoor ponies will remain on this site. Not only is it good for environmental reasons but it also helps to ensure the well-being of our ponies by providing an area for them to graze where they are safe and secure.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Foals Urgently Need Temporary Homes

More foals have turned up over the last few weeks and are undergoing their training to fit them for a life away from the moor.

Unfortunately there are still more being bred on the moor than can be found homes for and up to now, they have been fortunate to be given a future through the Trust.
The Exmoor pony is still a rare breed and it’s such a pity that it does not have a higher profile. However, the Trust has very limited facilities, and it is possible that important decisions will have to be made in the future in order to make sure that youngsters are not bred purely to be sold off to the meat trade.

Meanwhile the Exmoor Pony Centre continues to do its best for all the foals that come our way and we are currently trying to find foster homes or suitable grazing sites for the 18 that remain.

Do you have a horse or pony that would like a companion? Or do you perhaps have some land that needs grazing – Exmoor ponies are notorious for eating down the most difficult areas. 

If you can help,please call us on 01398 323093
to talk it through with Linzi,our pony co-ordinator.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Snowed In!

Winter has arrived with a vengeance on Exmoor and the Pony Centre is snowed in.

Not that it bothers the Exmoor ponies. They have evolved to withstand anything the Moor can throw at them whether it be snow, rain, cold or wind.

In fact, they seem to enjoy it, as you can see from these photos.